Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The ones you make yourself hold the most meaning

I gave my paint tool box away.

It was one of those plastic tool boxes for about five bucks that I'd modified for carrying paints and paintbrushes. I didn't have a permanent shelf or place to store my stuff at the time. It had enough room for several brushes and most of the colors I used, and the tray carried extra carving blades, small wood pieces, random beads, and electrical tape because I learned the blades were sharp before I invested in gloves and used the electrical tape to wrap around my fingers and thumb to protect them at the time.

The tool box had been gathering dust for awhile now. I still used it on occasion for travel or working in another location and it made a decent foot stool a lot of the time. My brushes are scattered everywhere, the paints are mostly corralled in a drawer unit, and I still have random pieces of wood here and there.

Well on Friday night I kept an eye on my cousins while my aunt & uncle had an evening to themselves for dinner & shopping. I won't call it babysitting because they're old enough to take care of themselves, really. I just hung out to make sure the boys didn't set the house on fire or throw cupcakes at the dogs.

One of the boys is kinda quiet compared to the other two, and really good at the science fair stuff and has an interest in painting. They're all three sharp, just different interests. Anyway, he was showing me stuff he'd been working on but had run out of green paint.

So I cleaned off my tool box, tossed a couple of newer brushes in there and picked up some new paints for him, just basic colors to get him going. When I felt better on Sunday I took it over, telling him it wasn't a Christmas present, it was a gift from one artist to another. I told him what I'd done to modify it years ago & showed him the brushes and paints and a few board canvases if he wanted to paint pictures for someone else for Christmas, he could.

It was a little hard. To let go. Of something I didn't use anymore, I know. But when I was in kind of a turmoil-y place once, and I used art as a stability, and I picked up wood carving and took to it nearly every night, well, it was a grounding thing. Carry tools, foot stool, sitting stool, drying dock, everything.

But I know it's gone to a good home now. Pass along something that he can use to make his own art with. And that makes me proud.

The photos are some of the wood pieces.

Tonight I picked up my detail brush and started working on them again. I haven't touched them in over a year and a half, since before eye surgery the summer before last. Because before that all I could see was up close. Details and tiny cuts were so easy. I've partly been afraid to try since, and have kept myself busy with other things. The lines are not the same. The details are not the same. But it felt so damn good to pick up something that I remember and have a groove with.

I apologize for the craptastic clarity, or lack thereof, of the pics. I used the phone camera because I could send them straight to the computer without having to dig out wires and download my camera. I'm lazy like that. And was busy being productive anyway.

Friday, December 19, 2008

17th of December, Part 4

...Part 1, Part 2, Part 3...

This series has been harder than I thought.

The writing has been therapeutic, yes. It's only further proof that some things never completely heal, and some things will continue to surface long after their time has past.

This night was a turning point for me and I'm reminded of it every time I look in the mirror. The difference now is that while these physical scars have healed, there are days when I wonder about the person I've become since then.

I changed how I travel. I still prefer to drive and I love to travel, but now I give myself plenty of time to get anywhere and stop for naps if I feel I need it. I got my motorcycle license last year and love riding. There is a freedom and balance to being on a bike that feels like flying.

I quit wearing a watch. Time didn't matter. Time doesn't matter.* Yes, I have a lead foot and like speed, but I don't care if I get anywhere on time. I'll get there when I get there.

Family matters. A lot. My cousin was killed instantly in a car wreck just a few years before. This scared my family, dealing this and me. It scared me, the thought of losing all this support and love.

I survived something I shouldn't have. Those pictures my parents took of the truck? I saw one, once. I've never seen them again. That one photo showed a small green pickup truck that looked like it had been picked up and twisted in different directions by the Jolly Green Giant. It's hard to explain other than I saw that photo and cried. How in the world did I survive that? I don't know.

But it let me know I'm still here on this earth for some reason. And I've spent the last eleven years trying to find my way on my path.

Just over a year later I moved to San Antonio. I had a wonderful experience with theatre there and formed a long lasting relationship. I traveled all over the state for auditions and commercial things. I later moved to Ft. Davis and met my best friend.

Then came Massage Therapy classes where I learned so much and loved it all. Yes, the human body is freaking amazing and yet so very fragile.

And I've dabbled in everything that catches my interest since then. Why not? Life is short enough, right? So I might as well try things out and see if I like them. I like to think I've continued to jump in there to take those chances, but sometimes I know I haven't.

Fear will stop things before they have a chance to begin. If the worst that could happen is something I've lived through, then I tell myself to go try it out.

I meet fascinating people and have great conversations this way. I once asked a parking lot painter if I could paint a stripe but he said he'd rather not see me mess up my skirt as we were on our way to the bar. Seriously. Ask Amber.

I took the leap for nude modeling and loved it. I leaned in to kiss a guy during a cold audition and landed the role. I flew out to Charleston to meet someone I'd only talked to for six weeks and that turned into a relationship. I submitted my writing for several projects and landed a few of them, some of which continue now as I develop more skills. I took the motorcycle classes because I really, really, really wanted to learn to ride and wasn't dating anyone with a bike anymore. I took a chance on a personal ad, drove to El Paso a week later to meet the man I will eventually marry.

I've played it safe plenty of times, too. Having a steady paycheck is nice, it's the draw of a desk job.

But the part of me that knows something is off, knows. And I've taken a few steps toward the next leg of this path I'm on, figuring out what still fits and what doesn't.

All in all, I'm an artist. I love creating. I love whimsy. I love helping make people feel better whether by massage or by finding answers. I love the human art form and expression. And I love passion.

The scars are still here. Reminders of what happened. Reminders of where I've been. It's always moving forward from some point. It's a long, winding path with many detours. My life is a journey. When I pay attention and see the signs, I stay on the road, when I don't, things get all topsy-turvy.

Thank you for letting me express a bit of myself here. I hope you come back on occasion to see where I'm at next.

*"Only life matters." - Guess what movie that's from?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

17th of December, Part 3

...Part 1, Part 2...

The Hospital

Backboards suck. I was coherent, in pain, scared, could barely see, cold, strapped down, and nobody had called my parents yet. So I was also pissed.

When I'm in pain my very obnoxious, very dark, very annoying, and very twisted sense of humor shines through. This is true when I stub my toe as much as when I hit my funny bone. So multiply all the tense whiplashed muscles, lots of blood, and pieces of my body that were not in their rightful place, and I was quite venomous with the bad jokes.

I wanted off that backboard. I knew my back was fine. I could sense it in my body. When I tried to tell the poor nurses or doctors who were working on or around me, they did. not. get. it. "My back hurts, please let me off here!" "If your back hurts, it may be broken, please lie still." "NO! It hurts because I'm strapped to this godforsaken FLAT piece of wood and my spine is not FLAT! It curves! How do you not know this? Didn't you take anatomy?"

See? I was annoying. Even better:

"Hello? I'm cold. Please, a blanket or something?" "Here, here's a warm towel, is that better?" Well, it was ok, for a few minutes until the warmth was gone and it was a cold towel barely covering my knees. "Hey, I'm cold again." "Here, here's another warm towel. Is this better?" "No. I tell you what, you take those towels out of that warmer and just put me in there, ok?"

No one laughed but me. I tell you, I have a warped sense of humor.

The rest I remember parts of. Fuzzy parts here and there. I know they took X-rays sometime. I know my parents were finally called, somewhere around midnight or one am. My parents were working two jobs each at the time, both too exhausted to make the drive right then, so they came down the next morning.

Doctor, Doctor

The X-rays came back and a doctor started to tell me what was wrong with me according to that see through piece of paper. "It looks like both your ankles were broken, and..." I cut him off. "What? No, they're not! My ankles are fine!" And I proceeded to roll them both this way and that, up and down, as far as I could while being strapped down. He said, 'Well, I guess that must just be scar tissue then." "Yeah, I jumped off of a lot of fences when I was a kid. Also took dance." I was not so confident in this doctor at this point.

I asked if my shoulder was dislocated because it hurt so bad. "No, it's probably just whiplash from being pulled on by your seat belt." "But it's my right shoulder." "Yes, it was probably from your body straining against the shoulder strap of your seat belt." "But IT'S MY RIGHT SHOULDER." "Yes, it's probably from your seat belt. When it held you in place, your body strained against it, it'll be fine."

I gave up. Yes, my right shoulder has a slight permanent shift to it, a slight dislocation that even massage can only quell so much. And it was not from the seat belt that was going across my left shoulder.

My hand was smashed. My left hand. It was bloody and hurt pretty bad and sorta numb, too. They couldn't tell what was broken and since they were just an Emergency Room, they just wrapped it up in a whole lotta gauze.

My left eyelid was cut going back toward my temple. My right ear had been sliced nearly off. I had dried blood and broken glass all over me.

Another doctor came in, apparently a plastic surgeon on night call. He was there to stitch me up. To sew my ear back on. To sew my eyelid back together.

When you're at a broken & beaten point, strapped to a effing backboard, dried blood in your eyes, one eye swollen closed, and someone is leaning over you with a needle, what do you do?

I chose to scream.

It's not like I didn't warn him. I told him I know what he's doing, I know he has to do this, and I know it's not really like my eyeball, just my eyelid, but I'm going to scream anyway. And I do. And I have a damn good scream. He says knock her out.


According to the bill I got for those stitches though, I must have screamed good. He charged a thousand bucks a stitch.

I was still on that gurney or whatever the next morning when I came to. A family friend who lived in San Angelo came by to check on me, my parents had called him, he was like my other dad. My parents came in. They moved me to a hospital room. They explained their version to my parents.

Sometime in there they gave me lemonade with Barium in it (I still have a tough time choking down a glass of lemonade because of this), and sent me for another test, I guess to see if I was bleeding internally. The thing is, I'd been strapped to that board for however many hours overnight, I'd probably had a large bottle of water or two as I usually do on long trips and had not stopped for a bathroom break yet. I was planning on stopping in San Angelo, another 10 minutes down the road... but I never got there. And now a plastic cup of lemonade? My bladder was full. I told them this before we left the room.

They put me on that machine for an MRI or CAT or whatever anyway and I told them I needed to pee. So they brought me a bed pan.

Have you ever tried to pee into a bed pan? I'm not male, I can't aim like that. I was in too much pain to be too embarrassed, and I'm not proud of it at all, but I peed all over myself and that pan and whatever gurney or machine I was on.

This is another reason why they should listen to the patient.

Anyway. No internal bleeding. They kept me in the hospital for the next four days because my "blood was too low." I told them to "quit coming in to take it every other hour" and it would be fine.

My iron count was too low - I was anemic. Didn't matter to them that I'd pretty much always been and that I'd just finished my period a few days before. They pumped me full of these very toxic iron pills until my levels were to their liking before they could release me.

I slept a lot. I couldn't see anything because they'd taken my contacts out and I didn't have my glasses. Not that that mattered, I couldn't wear them anyway, the stitches on my ear and a broken nose. Oh, yes - a broken nose. From the damned airbag. I hate those things. Seat belt saved my life, an airbag broke my nose.

Anyway, yes. My body was beaten and bruised, so I slept, a lot. My parents stayed with me, I think sleeping in the chairs. I asked for peanut butter and bananas, a comfort food. The cafeteria or nurses station only had peanut butter crackers. My dad offered to scrape the peanut butter off the crackers for me. Turned out the peanut butter crackers they had were separate, so he didn't have to.

Somewhere in those days my parents went to get whatever was left of my personal stuff from the wreck. They went out to the site. My mom told me they could tell where it was from the smashed bottle of nail polish across the ground. Also the broken glass and bits of truck. They took pictures. Of the site. Of the truck. Or what was left of it.

Sunday came, they said I could go home as soon as the doctor released me. The doctor was apparently busy watching the Cowboys football game that day. I was antsy. I was feeling better enough and I wanted out of there. I'd had enough rest and wanted to go home. My body was ready.

He finally came, signed the forms, we loaded up to go. They gave my mom the iron pills I was 'supposed' to take. My body smelled like rust from that stuff. I didn't take them.

We went home. My mom took me to a couple of doctors over the next week to check the stitches and my left hand. They unwrapped it for the first time since it had been wrapped on Wednesday night of the wreck. Several days of dried blood, major bruising, and broken glass. It smelled bad and hurt worse. It was three sizes too big, purple, green, yellow, blue, and disgusting. I joked that someone had removed my hand and replaced it with a prop from a bad 'B' horror movie.

One bone broken though. In all that mess, just one broken bone. A tiny one, a metacarpal. But the rest was swollen and bruised badly. I'd had my hand on the steering wheel as I rolled, smashing it. So I got a soft cast and six weeks of showering with a plastic bag over my hand.

I slept a lot more. I couldn't drive for awhile. I relied on my family for so much.

Things changed for me that night.

Tomorrow I'll expound further.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

17th of December, Part 2

Part 1 here...

Rollover on the Highway

I had a truck. A little Ford Ranger. Green. It had a crack in the windshield from a rock chip from the resealing of city streets the past summer.

I was tired. I'd been awake since sometime around 4am. I'd taken some form of over the counter sinus stuff the day before for allergies. (Did that play a role, hardly, but I've since gone homeopathic & don't touch the over-the-counter stuff at all.) I'd driven the six hours out to Austin, done the audition, and driven more than halfway back home. I wanted to be home.

But I was tired. And I couldn't tell that the street lights up ahead were for a different road that went one way while the road I was on curved the other.

And I swerved. And I panicked. And I over-corrected. And I tensed up every muscle in my body. And I said "Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit..." And I remember the track the CD was playing. I remember the song. I remember where in the song. I remember the lyrics at that point in the song. I remember being very, very unhappy at what was happening.

They tell me I rolled several times. My parents told me they unwrapped my dog tags from around my rear-view mirror three times. I went across the median. Into oncoming traffic. Rolling. Rolling across the median. The truck stopped on the passenger side on the other road. Where another car hit my truck and sent me spinning in it.

I was the scene people slow down for. To see what happened. But I couldn't see what they saw.

My view was a very different perspective.

My left eye was bloody and swollen shut. My right eye didn't want to open until the blood covering it dried. My right shoulder hurt. My left hand was excruciating. My feet were cold. And I was in the cab of that small truck looking at a swath of dark red blood across the ceiling above me.

The back window had popped out somewhere on that roller coaster. The front window was smashed. As were the driver and passenger windows. I had enough of my wits about me to turn off the engine. I released my seat belt which let me drop the last few inches so my feet were on the ground through the passenger side window. Good thing I'd waited till the truck wasn't moving anymore, because had my feet drooped through that window before the spinning, they would have been cut off at the ankle. I leaned back on the seat with seatbelt locks digging into my side as voices shouted and hollered outside.

They asked me where I was going. "Home. To Odessa." They asked me where I was coming from. "From Austin." That can't be, they said. I was on the wrong road, they said. I must have it backwards, they said. I must have been going to Austin from Odessa. "NO!" I said. I was hurt, not stupid. I hadn't lost my brain capacity. I was angry.

I offered to try and climb out. They told me to stay put. To wait for the police and ambulance. I told them, someone, anyone, to find my purse. Please. It had a cell phone in it, please find it and call my parents. Just let them know. I know now that no one did.

More questions. Asking what happened, what hurt. Eventually I was told they brought in the Jaws of Life. I figured it must be pretty bad to get that. They put a sheet over my head to protect me from the shards of glass and metal it would be cutting away. Someone placed the neck brace thing on my neck even though I told them my neck was fine. They slid in a back board and strapped me to it. They rolled me to the waiting helicopter and flew me into town to the hospital.

My first helicopter ride involved me being strapped to a backboard, not able to see anything, and was really cold because one door was still open and it felt like my feet were hanging out.

The wreck happened around 10pm. I was on the road into San Angelo, right around a tiny little area called Wall. They've since put up those big yellow arrow signs on that curve, because I apparently was not the only one to not realize the road curved. The sheriff or police officer, I don't even know which, told me I would be given several tickets. Failure to control vehicle. Failure to yield right-of-way or going into oncoming traffic or some such. And something else. I honestly don't remember what else.

It didn't matter to me. I was in pain. And the wreck was just the beginning...

...to be continued...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

17th of December, Part 1

I am afraid. Yet the date comes and goes and I drive the same road several times a year. I persevere.

Some part of you is going to read this, sickly fascinated by what happened, because it's something that draws everyone. It's what makes us slow down to see what happened and be thankful it wasn't us.

And some part of you may have no desire whatsoever to hear read about a twisted, mangled pain that may have healed to the best of healing ability in the physical manner - but still aches as a reminder.


December 17, 1997.

A Wednesday. Cold enough for Winter in Texas, but not as bad as the sudden 10 inches of snow we would get a year later.

I wanted to be an actress. I'd wanted to be one for years. I did the community theatre, the high school shows, the after school children's productions. I did the modeling and training, the late night rehearsals of Shakespeare and musicals. I wanted Broadway, but being practical about my chances as an actress as I was about college, I didn't go.

A friend wanted New York, too. We decided on Austin as a stepping stone to get to NY eventually. Austin from Odessa was a huge step. We decided to move in the Spring, after the holidays with our families.

I like a plan. Whether I stick to it or not, I like having some sort of framework to go with.

We had a plan now. So when I saw an audition ad for "Angels in America" by Tony Kushner at an Austin theatre, meant to be performed a few months later, I decided this was a shot! A chance to audition for a show and move to a big city and see what I could prove!

So I figured it out. My day job at the time was as a graphic operator or sound tech for the local morning news show. Sometimes commercial stuff like helping to dub or make the phone number go across the screen. This Wednesday I would get off work around 11am. I left and headed out toward Austin, taking Brady and Llano across - a road I'd driven a few times before. I remember stopping to pickup a few things as Christmas gifts for my family. A couple of puzzles for my younger brothers, coloring books for cousins. I'm not sure anymore really.

I remember I had time to grab a sandwich and find the theatre. I remember sitting in the hallway going over the lines before the audition. I remember I wore my best blue t-shirt and a blue denim jacket with my best blue jeans. I guess I probably had tennis shoes on... oh, that's right, I did. White Keds. I remember thinking I did pretty good, but I was nervous, so I knew it wasn't a 'knocked their socks off great' audition. But I wanted that role. I wanted this show to be a sign I should move to Austin.

The drive home

Yes, it was dark, but I didn't think it's be a problem. I'd borrowed my dad's cell phone (because at the time only busy business-type people had one, really), so I was going to call my parents when I got to San Angelo just to let them know I was about two hours out. I also didn't want to use the roaming minutes and San Angelo was close enough it wouldn't.

Good. A plan.

It didn't happen like that. My parents got a call several hours later from either the hospital or the officer, I don't know, to let them know their daughter was in a car accident.

...to be continued...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

to thine own self be true: effort

Where I first off admit I'm not great as staying in touch with people, not only in blogging and commenting, but in the real world where I have friends I've actually hugged before. (a real physical hug, not a facebook app hug) I have a hard enough time mailing a card once in awhile, much less reaching out to visit.

It does require effort. Sometimes more than I can muster, depending on what emotional state I'm visiting. But there are days I call everyone and send letters and can't read and comment enough, it's like air - I breathe in your lives and words and stop by to say hi.

It takes as much effort to update my own blog depending on what I've got going on. I suck at downloading pics to upload to the site, and Rob & I are trying to work on designs for Ride & Rub, trying to figure out how to move forward with that crazy little world. Amongst all these little worlds.


In which I profess love, adoration, and stalker status of the writers that I read in absolutely no order other than I think to write them down because I read them in whatever random order my moods are befitting at the time I open my favorites list:

Havi & Selma - The Fluent Self: An awesome pair who calm people down just by explaining how to calm down.

Scott - Caveat Emptor: Scott tells stories and has conversations that I only dream of having, but then he writes them down, so he has way more markers in the "Writing things down so they will be remembered for generations" category.

Brandon - /thepenismightier\: I do believe this man has far more alias' than I have, and let me tell you, I have quite a few. He often has problems with pants, but then, don't we all? He has a way with words that get down on their knees and beg me to lick them up, just once, pretty please, because these words will never do me wrong again. I've had the honor of having him guest post for me before - and he nailed it.

James - Double Danger: He's over in Midland & he shares writing and insight with his wife Shala. It's nice to have another voice of reason & common sense to connect to in the area, and even though we're no more than 20 miles apart, we haven't met yet!

Gina - Art Tripper: My sister-in-law, so I know her art stuff. She graduates this weekend (yea!) and is intent on developing the art scene here in Midland-Odessa, launching a sales venue & gallery & gathering group to grow the talents we have out here.

Neil - Citizen of the Month: One of the first to comment on my other writing, a huge encourager, a man not afraid to stand in the middle of the street and yell at the people passing by and then post about it because it makes great blogfodder, and yet he's still so vulnerable you just want to make him hot cocoa & give him extra marshmallows.

Jenn - Doktorchik: One of my friends from high school who has blogged about her weight loss surgery & some very yummy recipes, as well as the happenings in her life. She's a friend I need to see again the next time I'm going to San Antonio.

James - d is for delightful: His latest incarnation (this man has more lives than a cat, thank goodness) is open, honest, & thought-provoking to say the least. James, you sir are one of my Gabriel friends, though we've not met in person, our stories have crossed paths.

David - Sparky Firepants: An artist who is making a living as an artist! He has offered an ear if I were to need it, and encouragement to keep making the art happen. He lives by some alpacas, and while I have not made the acquaintance of an alpaca, he claims they have great creative inspiration qualities. I'll take his word for it.

Nathan - Doodleist & Nathan Bowers: A genius at code and wordpress and other web/computer things that I don't understand, but that's ok because he does and that's why he's there. He started doodleist to showcase art, his own drawing & painting and that of those he likes - it's intriguing to see the development process from a different angle. Just from grabbing a pen & some paper. Any paper.

Pam - Escape from Cubicle Nation: Because I'm working on my own plan to get out from behind the desk for someone else and in front of a table saw & canvas like I belong, and she offers great advice as well as daily thoughts and encouragement from her life as she writes her book!

Bobbi - The Gar-Lop-Son Spot: My friend Bobbi who moved to New Mexico to be with her honey & while I miss her, I see that they get to go hiking a lot! (And they got snow today!) She's got a good little family life going & it's inspiring to see. (Now wondering when Amber will get a blog! heehee)

Melissa - They Call Me Crazy: She's not really crazy, but appease her by telling her she is, ok? While we may not agree on a bunch of things, she deals with things I don't, so I shut up & let her talk. It's better that way. Also, her hubby is serving his tour in the sandbox & I give her props for not crying every single day, because I totally would if Rob got deployed.

Maggie - Okay. Fine. Dammit.: A woman who can wrap words around her finger so gently they fall into place like one of her bouncy curls. She's pushing the walls of her mime-box back to make her space bigger and more her own and she shares a lot of great insights along the way.


Yep, I like twitter too - it makes the stalking and networking easier. It has made it easier to meet people I like online and someday I hope to meet them in person.

Oddly enough, Rob & I met online, yet he doesn't spend nearly as much time on the web as I do - it's hard enough to get him to check his email! But I'm glad he was on that one weekend, he's worth it.

Someday I hope to meet lots more. When I actually make the effort to do so, that is...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Let Them Come To You

Sometimes I find myself wondering if I come across as trying too hard.

Not the anxiety/paranoia situation where I am standing in front of a group explaining something and in the back of my mind is the little voice going “What the hell are you doing? What makes you an expert here? Why are you talking? No one is listening to you anyway. You have sweat stains under your armpits, keep your arms down! Oh, don’t bring up that again!”

No, that little voice I’m used to and can ignore with the help of wonderful meditation techniques, homeopathic anti-anxiety tabs, or a glass of wine. Or just barreling through so fast the voice can’t get a word in edgewise and nobody understands what I’m saying!

This is the vibe of unreason that says “This person thinks you’re trying to kiss their ass.” Or “This person feels like you aren’t worth their time.” Or “What, she got invited to this? What is she doing here? She doesn’t know enough to be here!”

This is me standing in a room with strangers and acquaintances alike, conversing with whomever happens to be near as we all swirl around on our ‘networking paths’. Where I’m extremely comfortable with the subject or the place and can spend the next hour talking with a handful of people about really cool stuff we’re all working on, or I can spend an awkward two minutes and thirty-six seconds talking with a handful of people about projects, the weather, or what so-and-so is up to.

Because the latter is a conversation with someone who seems to think I’m still the 15 year old girl they saw in a play or my education is lacking or I’m not really qualified to be talking about things even if it’s just opinions.

It’s a weird vibe and I dislike it. I feel like I’m being me, trying to make a conversation, but feel as if they think I’m trying too hard.

But I feel I have to ‘play nice’ because so many of these people that make me feel this way are influential in many of the business and networking circles in this area*, and as I develop my own brand and portfolio, I need to at least be cordial.

This is not about the former. Those are conversations I’d love to have every day. These are people who know I’m genuine when I ask about their family or plans, they know I’m not there to kiss ass or hope for a few minutes of face time just so I can hand someone my card. I don’t play that way. The modeling world, amongst the management and other lives I’ve lived thus far, taught me that I’d much rather be the real me.

So Rob tells me to just say “Fuck ‘em”, although he did point out I should not walk around saying it repetitively out loud. He may have a point.

I’m perfectly capable of holding my own in most conversations. I’m fairly well-read, I know the difference between marketing and sales, I have a varied but talented background, and I’m not as young or innocent as I look. I’m content enough in myself to stand to the side and watch others dance the ego-tangos and chat and mock laugh while absorbing the choices in music and food and art on the walls without feeling the need to go stand next to someone so I don’t feel left out.

So what if I choose not to interact in a few instances?

Instead of getting the vibe that they think I don’t know anything and I’m trying too hard, what if I choose to not bother with them. Does this make them feel slighted? Annoyed? Like I’m a bitch? When in reality I’m off in my own world, which is a place I’d rather be anyway, not trying at all?

It’s difficult to navigate this avenue of perceptions and networking while retaining a sense of reality and self. I mean, I’d much rather tell that small voice in the back of my mind to fuck off rather than another person who is treating me like I’m not worth their time.

*Thankfully, not everyone. Just a lot of them. There are some genuine folks who do what they do well, who care, who talk to everyone as equals and are leaders in this area, and I admire them greatly. If you know Bob Rice, you know who I mean.

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