Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Blog Post about Vibrators

I have a friend who is in denial about her psuedo-relationship with a guy she met 7 years ago. According to her, they aren't 'together'. He lived in Boston for a really long time, she lived here in DC. They met online (i think that's how the story goes) and had one date, but on that one date they apparently made a lifelong soul tie. He admires her beauty and independence, she admires that he's a gorgeous Haitian neurosurgeon (Read that again: BRAIN SURGEON) and that that alone shits on all her other exes combined. This is a guy she loves more than any other in the world. The one all her friends -- myself included -- is aware that, if he calls while we're out and she was our designated ride for the night, we will definitely need to call a cab because she will peace out on our asses to run to his side. But she swears they're not together, they just share a great love affair that's flexible and everlasting.

Yeah. Aight.

One night after a movie and drinks at a sushi bar, my friend -- we'll call her Jane -- and her non-guy -- let's call him Bill -- head back to her place to cuddle and have non-awkward, undefined, psuedo-relationship sex. Jane is feeling especially frisky this evening and, during a rousing and surprisingly forceful game of reverse cowgirl and Smooth Operator (I may have made that up), backs it up so hard on Bill that his pillow falls to the floor, revealing her hidden vibrator. Bill is SHOCKED! Jane has a VIBRATOR??! But she's so cool and beautiful and independent! She's a Fly Girl! Whats she doing with a vibrator?? Vibrators are for ugly brawds! Suddenly Bill has so many questions! When did you start using a vibrator? What does it feel like? Do you put it inside?? Can we play with it?!

Jane is feelin' herself so after answering all his other questions, she agrees. Bill flips her onto her back and positions himself between her thighs. Jane's never seen Bill so excited and, in that moment, realizes what a huge nerd he probably was in high school. He probably wore suspenders and tape on his glasses, and rocked a Gumby long after the show went off the air. Bill definitely wore both straps on his backpack, just like this dork:

He was way too excited about that vibrator...

*side eyes of death*

Anyway, Jane and Bill are goin at it. I mean, they are GETTIN IT ALL THE WAY IN with this vibrator. Apparently Bill doesn't watch porn AT ALL because he's so intrigued by this vibrator that he gives it one good hard shove too many...and loses it. It's just...gone. Still vibrating. Inside of Jane. 


Oh to have been a fly on the wall in that bedroom. *sigh* Suddenly Jane is feeling super extra vibrate-y but she's so lost in sensation that she has no idea why it feels like there's a sidewalk construction site in her vagina. She looks down at Bill and immediately she panics from the looks on his face. Mr. Brain Surgeon's eyes are the size of the 00s in a homeless man's bank account. He has no idea what to do. He's just staring at the Pussy in awe of his own brilliance. Jane, on the other hand, is screaming "Get It outta Me, Get it Outta Me!!", clutching her labia like the last page of the last book of Game of Thrones. How in the hell did someone so smart just LET GO of a fully operational vibrator?! 

Bill: Calm down, Jane. I AM a doctor! I'll just dig it out!
Jane: *shrieking like a hyena* There's not a fucking brain in my pussy, BILL!!

*snickering* That's what HE said.

Between the laughing,  the SCREAMING, and the digging in (I hope he had a manicure. If not, EW), this had just become an episode of Alien: The ShapeShifting Vibrator. Every time Bill touched it, it moved further inside and to the left. Then to the right. When the base of it got lodged right on top of her G-Spot and Jane morphed from 'Wholesome Special Education Teacher' to 'Regan', she couldn't decide whether to be pissed off to the highest level of Pisstivity (#ThrowbackJoint) or if this was the funniest shit that had ever happened to her. 

Eventually Jane had to squat beside the bed and give birth to Little Vibey before the bed began to levitate and Boston lost itself it's best neurosurgeon. 

Moral of this story: If you're a nerd, stick to nerd shit. Porn, Vibrators, and the Dope Game are not for you.

And that's ok too.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A blog post about dreams and insomnia

I can't remember if I posted about it or not, but I suffer from night terrors. Not these kinds:

But the kind where I have horribly realistic nightmares of demons and grotesque monsters and deformed rappers chasing me through Silent Hill, possessing me, and dropping me off of cliffs without a parachute. I've had this syndrome since childhood; if you know anything about my childhood, you won't be surprised.

I don't know if other people are able to do this, but I talk to myself in my dreams (which sounds about right since I talk to myself when I'm awake. Go figure.) so whenever a dream gets particularly unbearable, I speak to myself -- in third person, no less -- and say "Ok, that's enough. It's time to stop this dream." or "Ok, it's time to wake up. I'm not ready for how this dream ends." out loud to whomever represents me in the dream, and I'll wake myself right up.

This wasn't always the case. There was a time when I was just a helpless victim of my subconscious' imagination, dragged like a dirty rag doll through whatever terrible backdrop was the scene of choice for the evening, wherever my dreams took me. It took one too many times of me waking up on the floor, or punching and clawing at someone next to me, or waking up screaming and crying in a hot cold sweat for me to try my hand at mastering my entry and exit of said dreams. Most of my dreams are REALLY realistic and representative, as dreams tend to be. Whenever I'm angry, my violence of choice is arson so, alot of times, I dream of setting people or buildings on fire when they've made me upset in real life. Or if there's something I'm particularly stressed or anxious about, it usually shows up in a dream with fire. I once dreamed that I drove my ex-girlfriend to my late grandmother's home, built a 100' high fort of throw pillows, trapped her inside the fort, and set it on fire in the front yard. As I stood watching it burn as she screamed, the bottom of the fort became a winding staircase; as she tried to escape down the steps, snakes struck out from the darkness behind each step and bit chunks of her remaining flesh off. That dream actually gets worse, but you get the picture. I think.

Before I had the ability to awaken myself, I made a habit of staying up as late as  possible so I could avoid dreaming and the ensuing terror that I knew would follow. I never knew if that night's dream would be something I could sleep through, or I drank soda and coffee and energy drinks, I took pills (OTC, thank you very much), and would leave the TV or music up really loud. Inevitably, I would fall asleep anyway and the cycle would continue.

The problem was that I did it for so long that, once I was able to control my sleeping and dreaming, I actually wanted to go to sleep. But...I couldn't. There was a time when you couldn't pay me to lie down and go to sleep; I would finally just pass out whenever my body gave up being awake, usually somewhere around 4am. Even if I fell asleep around a decent hour, I woke up at 3:14 every morning like clockwork, and couldn't get back to sleep. The following day, somebody's ass would get cussed out, if they said 'Good morning', 'wyd', or just off GP. I was exhausted.

Huh? What'd you say? I'm listening. 

More than anything else, I'm terrified that I'll become like my father and fall victim to late night infomercials. Lemme just tell you that no one, and I DO mean NO ONE has more useless Home Shopping Network shit stuffed under their kitchen table and into crevices in their garage than my dad. Before HSN, there was the satanic Fingerhut catalog. But when he began working nights, then was suddenly transferred back to working days...hunny! Plenty nights I went downstairs as a child to find him sitting Indian-style at the foot of the bed, eyes glazed over, lips parted as he spoke quietly into our house phone, credit card firmly in hand. *smh*

And infomercials these days are so...FANCY...the marketing is SO tricky, it's almost sinful not to buy AT LEAST one thing. They make you feel like your life is a sham if you're caught living without WEN hair products or drinking Nopalea. Or maybe you're the scandalous nipple-flasher who missed the infomercial about the product that saves A-cuppers from embarrassing ugly-nude-bra sightings under wrap dresses.

She knows she knew that dress was hangin' off like chicken skin, damned nipple-flasher!


The devil is a LIE!! I WILL get to sleep, and if I can't, I WILL leave the TV on Oxygen or Vh-1 Classic!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hello Fear, My Old Friend

Last night I had the pleasure of enjoying a motivational chat with a makeup friend who has become a great mentor. Just the other day I was pontificating (*pimp voice* like it when I use big words *__*) on how and where I would find the motivation to get Unstuck and get the fuck on with my life, from right where I am. And two days later, I had an in depth conversation about why my methods weren't working so far.

I don't believe in myself. Not enough anyway.

Maybe this isn't news for some of you, but for me, it's a shameful thing to realize. As much as I preach to folks about going hard, lol, maybe I was talking to myself the whole ENTIRE time. Hmph!

The convo started around makeup, of course, but quickly turned to a question of goals, values, and willingness to leave a comfort zone. I realized that me making a power move was really me running away from choosing an undiscovered path, figuring out what work needs to be done to walk down that path, and waking up and doing that work, steadily, consistently, and faithfully...every single day. My sister had suggested something similar to me about a week ago, but I didn't listen. I called her a dick and hung up on her. She was right...but she's still a dick. For completely unrelated reasons. Bitch. 

The wedding and beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. That's a fact. Part of those billions of dollars goes directly to wedding vendors, like caterers, florists, and yes, MAKEUP ARTISTS. There are easily hundreds of makeup artists and hair stylists who are making a baseline of $100K per year. EASILY. But they aren't doing it by bouncing around all over the place, not like I am anyway. They started somewhere, did what they could, and the more they did it, the better they got. Blah blah blah and years later, they're making $5000/face, per wedding. Obviously, that's not the case with me, but my point is that until it really sank in last night and then this morning when I woke up....the idea that that WILL be me one day was really just a pipe dream. Something I thought of in very abstract terms, like unicorns and The Universe. It's POSSIBLE, but I've never really lived it or seen it's only really real when I feel like thinking of it as truth. Does that make sense? Probably not.

But, in layman's terms, I need to saddown somedamnwhere and do better. And I'm realizing that I've always needed to. Believing that that could be me, not just making the money, but making that kind of money doing something I absolutely LOVE, not just working a job and having something to complain about everyday? That's a completely foreign idea to me. I've been programmed to think that that doesn't happen in real life. I know where that programming comes from, but I need to undo it. I seriously need to go in deep and uproot that false belief, and replace it with some good shit. And THAT SHIT is scary! Because it means that I may have to start questioning EVERYTHING I thought I knew up to this point. Was I wrong about other things too?? Dear Gawd!

But before I start doin too damn much AGAIN, lol, let me just start with that one thing. I first have to stop thinking of being a makeup artist as 'a side thing', like bein a dope boy or screwing a ugly dude that I would never introduce to my friends. I *AM* a makeup artist, every second of every day, whether I'm working or not! And I happen to be ok at it. It allows me to do a BUNCH of other things that I love, namely working on movies and teaching people how to do something independently (when I give private lessons). It is, among other things, who I am FULL TIME, and I have to start thinking of it like that. It's going to take me where I need to go, and I have to learn to trust that and trust it faithfully. This is a huge leap of faith for me, and pardon me for being slow but, I'm just now realizing this. Now that I'm IN it, it's bringing up so many issues that I didn't even know I had. I thought it would be as easy as just showing up, doing the work, and collecting the money. *buzzer noise* Ehhhk! WRONG! Nope. It's both a passion and a business, and there are rules, but I have to/get to make them up. Sounds fun...until you realize how hard that is for someone who's only ever worked for other people their entire life. *bewildered eyes* But, Texas didn't happen. I still don't understand why, I'm just following where UniGod (for those of you who don't speak Dreanese, I have a friend named Drea who isn't religious but is very spiritual and, like me, doesn't separate God and The Universe. They are one and the same for us, so she calls it UniGod. Cute!) is leading me and, today, that is right here in front of my laptop, at my desk, alone with my thoughts and fears and talents and the few resources I have. Learning which habits I need to break and which beliefs to unseat, and which ones to pick up. Fighting to swim upstream against my fears.

I tend to overthink things. A Lot. It hasn't really been working for me, so maybe I'll set that down for a while and try a different way to kick this fear of success and solopreneurship.

There's a rush of noise coming from a critical voice in my head, blasting behind my eyes and in my ears, screaming "YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK YOU'RE DOING! GO GET A JOB, MORON!" It sounds a LOT like my dad.

This past Monday, I was in the bathroom giving the puppy a bath, my dad was in the den next door. He picked up the phone to make a call and I heard him saying "hello? Hellllooo? May I speak to Eesa, please?" It was clearly the first time he'd called this number, like maybe he'd just gotten it last night. Because my dad is one of those annoying people who can't possibly talk on his phone quietly, everyone hears everything he says, and I KNOW he knows this. Whomever Eesa is, she came to the phone, remembered who he was, and they proceeded to chat. At one point, I'm sure she asked "What are you doin?", to which he responded (in the grossest phone bone voice I've ever heard) "Thinking about you." Super.Fuckin.Gag!!!!

He went on to spit some other lame ass, faux-smooth lines to her, at which point I think he heard me splashing around and fussing with the puppy in the tub, remembered I was right next door, and quickly got off the phone. My dad has been alive for 60 years, 38 of which he's spent married to my mom come November 2013. He has 4 children that don't belong to my mom, only 1 of which existed before he met her. I love him, in the only way I can, but I think its safe to say that my dad's voice is no longer the one I should be listening to, even when it screams in Autotune. I probably could've stopped listening sometime around April 1989.

Just in time for Father's Day,

Dear Dad:

I'm going to revamp my goals list to NOT reflect a move to Texas, get my plan together, and take a few more steps. That's all I can really do. And when a fear comes up, I'll counteract it by taking another step. For me, the only way to kill the fear is to smother it with progress. Its a day in, day out process which I hope to be brave enough to continue to share here on my blog. I'm taking several big steps today, so wish me luck!

I love you all!


Monday, June 10, 2013

Finding Motivation

Part of growing and developing as a person is finding inspiration and looking to those who've come before you for guidance, if necessary.  When you're an artist -- of any kind -- it can be particularly difficult to find inspiration when you feel unmotivated. The advent of social media has given the general public a false sense of entrance into the lives of celebrities we admire, and as such, we feel like we know them. We don't. But we do get glimpses of how they live, and this can be very inspiring, particularly if they lead a lifestyle that you wish to mimic.

Sometimes I struggle with knowing where to draw the line at admiring and finding inspiration, and comparing myself. I'm not really envious of celebrities. Not really. It's not my desire to be a celebrity. It may come with the territory at some point, and I'm fine with that, but that's not the goal. During the course of the past year, I've dealt with a deep depression that stemmed primarily from the alienation of my son by his father and new stepmother. Unbeknownst to me at the time, there's a name for it (other than Reasons Why Your Child's Father Should Be Lacerated with Crusty Razor Blades and Doused in Lemon Juice) called Parental Alienation Syndrome.  It has been, without a doubt, the most horrifying experience I've ever successfully endured. As many of you know, I was molested as a child. I was later raped as an adult. I've been homeless. I've been poor. I've been beaten. I grew up in a home with an abusive, drug-addicted, alcoholic parent. I have certainly had my share of bad experiences as well as good ones.

The daily suffering of watching and listening to your child being brainwashed by his other parent, poisoned against you, used against you, and withheld from a whole new level of horrifying. It tests and challenges you in ways you couldn't ever know. To hear your own child, one that you carried and birthed and sacrificed for, cried for, prayed over, and would still die for, say things to you and about you, to lie to your face and repeat things that you KNOW HE HEARD the other parent say....and to not kill that child, OR THAT OTHER PARENT, is a whole new level of mothering.

Everyone has an idea of what they believe they'd do in any given situation. "Giiiirl, that could NOT BE ME!! They'd put me UNDER the jail! I don't play that!" OK. And that's fine for some people. But, I've *BEEN* to jail. I know what jail is like. And before I jump out there and run back to it, I need to be CLEAR on why I might be heading back.

Fighting against a co-parent is one thing. But when the co-parent has turned the child against you, its a different ball game. You're outnumbered. And yeah, sure, you can call the court. There is a custody order in place and legally, nope, he can't do that. But is the judge there when you finally get a visitation, and the child is lying to you constantly? When he's stealing from you? When he says you've never done anything for him, or been there for him unlike his other parent who's 'always been there'? When it becomes clear to you that your child's perception of you is based SOLELY on the child's FATHER'S perception of you -- regardless of who you were to the child before -- what exactly do you do? How do you not take that personally?

EVERYTHING about that is personal.

When your friends and family tell you "don't pay that no mind, he still loves you. He knows you're his mom, and nothing will change that. He is just a baby. Don't blame him, he's being brainwashed.", they truly mean well. But on a deeper and more realistic level, they have no clue wtf else to say to you, ESPECIALLY if they've never lived it. They don't understand that confusion, that shame, that daily re-wounding of your heart. They have no idea why you won't just get mad enough to teach that other parent a lesson. And they certainly can't know what it is to live in constant fear, day in and day out, that your child won't ever be returned to you the way you sent him to his other parent. That the relationship may never be repaired because the dissolution of said relationship with the child didn't occur on your terms, or even because of anything you did to the child. Even if they have kids, they must not realize that, for you, your bottom line is and ALWAYS WILL BE to keep your child safe and happy. Hurting the other parent hurts the child. Blaming the child -- a juvenile -- is foolish. Fighting in front of the child guarantees that the child suffers, now and later. In all things that you do, because the child is a child, the child will pay the price ultimately. As a parent, I am completely and totally UNWILLING to do battle with the other parent if it will endanger my son in a harmful way, even emotionally. If that means that I have to stay away, for however long, then that's what it means.

Some might argue that I haven't tried hard enough. Eh. They're entitled to their opinions. Some things can't be understood until they've been survived. It is the height of insulting to suggest to a rape victim that they could've done more to prevent their assault. Or to say to a hate crime victim 'why don't you just stop being who you are, so you won't get targeted?'

Some things are black and white, while others are bursting with color. I've seen my son a total of MAYBE 3 times this year. And that's a strong maybe. It's not for my lack of trying, though. I haven't seen him on a holiday in 2 Christmases and 3 Thanksgivings. No report cards, no pictures, very rarely I get a phone call. When I do see him, I ask him what is this all about? Its not just your dad, YOU participate in it too. He never has an answer, and I know that to badger him about it will only make it worse. So, I resolve to just try to enjoy the time we have together, brief as it may be. My family and I don't buy Christmas or birthday gifts for him anymore.  There's no point, we know we won't see him. His father is the king of making plans and not showing up. Or just not even answering the phone altogether. There are feelings of being unwanted, of feeling victimized, of being punished for a crime that wasn't committed. so many colorful things that make it hard for me to find a viable, doable, lesser of two evils solution.

I still don't have one, but I needed to write about it and stop hiding it like it's some shameful thing I did in a dark alley someplace. I am not a perfect parent. I am not a perfect person. That won't EVER happen. But I have not been a bad parent to my son. I say that with confidence.

Most of this began when my son's father began dating and became engaged to his current wife. From the beginning, I've tried to be cordial and team-oriented with her. And at first, I thought she would play fair. It was NOT my fault that she had gotten pregnant by, and subsequently married, a man who could not be faithful to her, and still tried to have sex with me constantly. I did not want him, and I still don't. That's the choice SHE made. But her insecurities have made it impossible for him to stand up to her demands to keep me away, and so here I am.  I think of what it must be like to be her on a daily basis. Not because I like her; I don't. But to know who she married, and has had so many children with. Mostly, I wonder if she knows that this is the karma that she's put into her own karma bank. Perhaps this is happening to me because of some horrible thing I did in the past, or in another life. I'll take that. But I also know that she is very much responsible for alot of this mess, and I believe in my heart that she knows that a man who would do this to ME would most CERTAINLY do it to her if she ever found herself on the outside looking in, as I am.  I think that she thinks she's exempt for some reason. She's not. And I can only pray --AND FERVENTLY -- to be present when this karmic retribution begins to unfold for her. In fact, it is my hope that I'm in a position to help her through it, as it unfolds.

I've gotten a bit off track, but I said all of that to say that it has been the height of difficulty for me to find something to be motivated about. I lost my baby, and it broke my heart.

But life is still continuing to float on in the meantime, so I'm now tasked with the trial of digging myself out of this slump, finding some duct tape to put these heart pieces back in place, and shake the dirt off my shoulders and my face, and get the fuck on with my life. I feel like if ppl can come back from Stage 4 Cancer radiation and run marathons, I should be able to survive this, and still make a great life for myself.

I don't know why I was chosen to suffer in this particular way, but I am tired of crying and moping about it, and I want to move on to greatness. How in the world am I supposed to do that? I haven't a clue, but you know me. I'll figure something out.

If you have any ideas, please feel free to let me know in the comments!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Some books I read while I was really depressed

they truly helped me to drag myself out of a nasty place:

love yourself like your life depends on it
Calming Your Anxious Mind
The 5 Love Languages
The Fifth Agreement
Honoring the Self
The Alchemist
Necessary Losses
The Time Keeper

I found this sitting in my drafts folder, and thought I'd go ahead and post it.

Hope it helps!


Almost...But Not Quite

Sunday, June 9, 2013.

Today is one of those days that will be permanently etched into my memory bank for years to come, kinda like the first time I caught my parents having sex or the moment I realized that Santa Claus wasn't real. Or the day that my grandma taught me that the secret to the meringue on my favorite lemon meringue pie...was whipped egg whites. I'll remember what I'm wearing, what i did throughout the day, and more importantly, how I'm feeling.

For the past, ehhh, 2 months or so, I've been entertaining the idea of relocating to Texas. Someone that I call a best friend was planning to move there after graduation, and had been asking that I come to live with her. Last year, that same friend asked that I come to live with her in Greensboro, NC -- a move that I WAS NOT excited about but you know me -- and I said yes. Just before I was to pack up and move, the Universe began sending me all types of work and great things in my personal life, making it impossible for me to move away in good conscience.  This year, I'd briefly mentioned that I might consider moving to Houston since I'd heard so many raves about the great cost of living and salary potential there. Because I'm a makeup artist, I didn't necessarily care about salary potential because, for me, makeup money is different than corporate job money. But I was interested in learning of what Houston might have to offer me in terms of low cost of living, making it a bit easier (read: compared to DC) to work and save money and have a stepping stone towards fulfilling my career goals of working in film and television.

After several weeks of research, I decided that I would consider moving to stay with my friend, then possibly moving on to Houston.  I researched photographers, other local MUAs, schools, classes, production companies, directors, everything. I found a website ( that I obsessively checked every day for job postings and crew calls. Eventually, I began responding to them. Initially, I got great feedback and was welcomed to join the crew of several short films. The more I responded, the more jobs I seemed able to get. Once I saw that there was work potential there, I got excited! I wanted to go RIGHT THEN, lol, but then I remembered: I don't have a great track record with living with friends. I've done it before with no problem, but the last two times I did...the words 'train' and 'wreck' come immediately to mind. Granted, those two brawds were both psychotic, respectively, but when I thought about that happening to my best friend and myself, I got a little depressed.

I spoke with her about it, and to be honest, the conversations were brutal. Not only was I going to chance living with a friend and absorb the consequences after, but this wouldn't be a typical move in and hang out deal.  She wanted this to be her and her girlfriend's first attempt at 'community living among black women'. I didn't even know WTF that was, or why anyone would want to do it. That first convo where she described what she wanted it to be like -- a place where everyone takes care of everyone and contributes to the household in various ways based on their individual strengths, that's the gist of what I took from it -- threw me into a panic. I have been living on my own since I was about 17, and even though I'd had a child shortly thereafter, I'd only been accustomed to caring for myself and him. I don't come from a family where everyone takes care of everyone. My family PROUDLY proclaims that it's 'erry nigga for themselves up in here' when I'm home, so I knew NOTHING of cooking for the whole house, washing everyone's clothes when I wash mine, planting gardens and harvesting our own crops (an idea for the future), or any of that.  We all lived very independently, and took care of ourselves. To us, that's what adults were supposed to do.  She asked me if I wanted to learn to live a different way, and I said I wasn't sure, to which she responded "Well then, don't come." #Ouch . What? I wasn't. I'm 33, and I had no problem with the way I'd been living. I didn't need my parents to care for me in that way; I needed them emotionally, and learning to live communally wouldn't solve that problem.

She admitted that this would be a new experience for her, and that she wasn't really sure how it would go nor would she be tyrannical about it, but I could tell she was excited. She was determined to prove that adult black women could coexist in the same living space, harmoniously, and with intention. I, on the other hand, became very stressed out, grew several gray hairs, and had stomach pangs for days on end. I could just say no, right? It didn't sound like my scene AT.ALL. Well, I did say no. I admitted that I had too much baggage from my past experiences, that I didn't believe friends should live together, and that I concerned that I wouldn't get community living right. I didn't know how to do it. It was her girlfriend who convinced me that I should give this a chance, to trust them, and to just come and see what would happen and if things went too far to the left, we would all sit down and talk about it. That helped to sway me tremendously because, in the instance of my other two friends, none of that had occurred. One 'friend' oh-so-politely served my desk chair with an invoice, then 2 weeks later IM'd me asking me to leave. No talk, no discussion.  The other, did a Jekyll & Hyde while I was away over the Thanksgiving holiday, and about a week and a half later, it was a wrap. Talking had served no purpose with that one. And I knew I wouldn't do that ever again, with someone I called a friend or anyone else.  

Each time I brought up a reservation about moving in, while she assured me that this wouldn't be a repeat of that situation, my gut would cramp and cringe at the idea of sacrificing a cherished friendship to that sort of disaster. She seemed very okay with taking the risk. I was NOT. But at a point, I realized that most of that was just the fear of my past talking, and that I couldn't live with that fear forever, especially not if this would be an opportunity for me to really BREAK OUT into working on movies. So, I agreed. The conversations got easier, and she even sent me links she'd found about 'how to share household expenses when living with a couple'. This just might work out after all. I felt SO much better!!

I didn't tell anyone at first. It was my little secret. I continued to land gig after gig in Texas, I decided on a last day for my job, and i secretly began to pack my stuff at home, sorting through what I would take and what would be left behind.  Gradually, the excitement of the possibility of a new start took hold, and I was literally SKIPPING with a stupid ass grin on my face everywhere I went. When my co-workers would ask 'What's goin on with you?? *side eyes*', on the outside I said 'Nothing. I'm just happy that Spring finally came.' On the inside, I sang in my schoolyard bully voice 'Iiiii'm goiiin ta Teeeeexxxxas!' No longer would I be stuck here in tiny ass Richmond with no friends and only my sister's puppy for company. No more barely OK local photographers and directors who never responded back to my texts. I was going to a whole new place, with filmmakers who had REAL interest in my talents and I was finally excited about something. I was a little proud of myself. LOL. Things at my job, the one I hated, were winding down and I knew it was time to leave regardless of Texas or not. This was a good time to wrap that job up. I don't think I'd ever been in countdown mode so much in my life, lol.

i began planning my move like a madwoman! Planning a cross country road trip was something I'd never done before, but I dove into it like a valedictorian. Crossed every T, dotted every i, even down to the groceries I needed to buy for the cooler. I knew I would finally have to tell my family, but individually, not as a group. I told my dad first. He took it surprisingly well, but he was NOT on board with me driving my car. My car is kinda old and can be temperamental in its high mileage and he refused to let me drive it. So, I saved more money up and found a van to rent and tow my car. It was a LOT of money, but I was ready. Told my mom, she went a little ballistic...but she came around eventually. My sister, on the other hand, went ALOT ballistic and never really got out of denial about it. She NEVER accepted that I would be moving away. She avoided me like the plague. :-( I gave my two weeks notice at work, but the next day, my boss called me into her office to say that her boss had decided that I didn't need to stay that full two weeks. 2 more days would be fine. *blinking* Wait...what? I NEED those 2 weeks of pay!! She made it clear that it was non-negotiable, so I walked out determined to find a way to recover those funds and still make this trip work.

Eventually I planned a going away party, and invited all my friends whom I really wanted to see before I left, whom I thought would feel some kinda way if I hadn't made time to see them. On the night of my dinner party, exactly one of those people showed up. One. Of course, Stevie came but the only other person of my 'close real life friends' who came was Ray (big shout out to Gangsta Ray! *waves* Hey Boo!). Everyone else was someone from my FB life. I don't know if that means I need new friends (probably) or if it just wasn't worth it to them. But we had a great time anyway, the food was EXCELLENT, and I was so humbled and grateful to those that took time to show up for me. I would truly miss them.

My last day at work was pretty uneventful...and awkward. A co-worker whom I'd *thought* I was growing closer to in friendship, I'd recently discovered was (and had really only ever been) just a co-worker. I'd treated her as I would a friend, not even really paying attention to the fact that she was treating LOL! It's the silliest thing to see now, all after the fact, but that was the truth. Once I saw that, I'd pulled away from her and began to treat her as I treated all my other co-workers. I don't think she liked that, but I hardly cared. We weren't friends. On that last day, there was so much awkwardness between us, I just wanted to skip my goodbye to her. It didn't help that she'd just had a teen suicide happen in her family over the weekend (ouch!), so she was really out of it already. I just wanted to leave.  :-(

My last week at home was a blur of activity, day after day. Finalizing things, sending out deal memos, last minute chores, etc. Now that I'd resolved to drive my car to TX since renting the van was no longer an option, I had to put my car in the shop for various repairs. I could barely contain myself! One of my old organizing clients called me out of the blue to help organize her new (sickeningly beautiful) home so i spent several days working with her. I was headed into a super duper busy weekend, and once it finally ended, I got in my car and waved goodbye to Stevie, my best friend of umpteen years. That drive home was so gahtdamn long. I'd developed a severe pain in my back the night before, and wasn't sure how I would get the car all packed up by myself. I knew my parents would be NO HELP, so it would be up to me to work around that pain. I had been home for almost 2-3 hours, just piddling around the room packing things and the MOMENT i stepped outside to put a box in the trunk, it began to rain. and I mean it RAINED. The sky just opened up, and the raindrops pelted my face and my hair. But, I was determined to get it done and not wait til the next morning, and I remember saying "It's just a little rain, I'll just keep packing the car until it gets to be too bad." I'm not exaggerating when I say that in the time it took me to go inside, grab ONE box off the floor right by the living room door, swivel and head back out...the sky turned black, lightning flashed across the sky in about 3 different places, and thunder roared right above our house. Suddenly, the wind was blowing the trees sideways, the rain was coming down in droves, and I couldn't see a thing in front of me. *sigh* Ok, I'll just wait this storm out.

The next morning....

After it stormed all damn night, I leaped out of bed around 5:30 (which y'all know I NEVER do) and got started with packing again. taping up boxes, packing my suitcase, checking the bathroom for final toiletries. One of my last minute errands for the day, was to get an oil change. Jiffy Lube didn't open until 8, but it was only 7:30 so I went to buy groceries for the cooler and fill my gas tank up. I get to Jiffy Lube and they take my car in back. Not 2 minutes later, the clerk calls me out to the bay. Uh-oh. *side eye* She takes me to the car, explaining that, somehow every hose in my car is now leaking oil and the engine has no oil left in it. As she's saying this, I see a technician standing under my car and there are copious amounts of black engine oil POURING out of my car onto his hair, his shirt, everywhere. He says 'I hope you have a mechanic, and nowhere to go. We could change your oil, but it's leaking so fast, it would just pour right out. You should probably take it to a shop for repairs. '  -__- How had this happened?? I'd JUST gotten my car back, and been driving it NON-STOP for the past 100 days!! The mechanic had just given me my car back and said all i needed was one more thing. He never mentioned any leaks. At this point, it's 8:30, and I'm supposed to be on the road at 9am. I'm beginning to panic. I take the car to my mechanic, and he says to wait an hour. OK, an hour isn't that bad. As long as I'm on the road by 12.

 Around 2:00, after I've been spent the better part of the morning on the phone with my then-pseudo-girlfriend, listening to her beg me to cancel this trip, I get a call from the mechanic. "Ms. Beautiful Dae, it's gonna cost an arm, a leg, a kidney, two front teeth, and all of your relaxed ends to repair your car into enough shape to safely drive it to Texas."

*face palm* *deep sigh*

Everyone is telling me to cancel this trip or, at the very least, to postpone it. They have their reasons, and I can't lie and say their reasons weren't valid...but I'm stubborn and I had given my word. Not just to my friend, but to the directors, producers, and most importantly, to myself. I'd promised that the moment an opportunity to escape this dreadful place I was in, both physically and mentally and emotionally, presented itself, i would take it, come hell or high water. Well, yesterday, the high water had come...but I'd refused to let it deter me. I revamped the plan and decided to fly to Texas instead, selling my car, taking the money, and just figuring it out when I got there. I was out of answers, I was frustrated, I felt entirely defeated, and I just wanted to be held and rocked like a baby and told that everything would be ok.
That was a long day. I spent the better part of that day and night crying. After the horrendous start to my day, having to delay a trip I'd so been looking forward to, I spent the evening breaking up with my girlfriend (for a totally unrelated reason). That night, I dreamt of demons and Michelle Obama. In church pews. eating cookies. *smh*

The next morning, i woke up and prayed. For a long ass time. I asked the Universe to please send me a clear sign -- not just a sign, but a sign that would be clear and unequivocal to ME -- of what I should do. I was truly conflicted. If I was supposed to go to Texas, for whatever the reason, make it happen, in a good way. BUT if going to Texas to live with my friend and do movies was not what I should do, please conspire to shut this trip D.O.W.N. All the way DOWN. It needs to be virtually impossible for me to leave here and go to Texas. I mean CHASTITY BELT impossible.

Right after that, I bought my plane ticket to Texas. One way. The following Tuesday, I would get on a plane, fly to Texas, and not look back.  I hadn't received a clear sign. (LOL!)

Wednesday, my dad bought my car from me, and put it on CraigsList to sell after I left.

Thursday, my mom got notice that her job would be dissolved. I passed on two makeup jobs in DC, and one in NY (they were for later in June).

Friday, I received an email from a former model who was familiar with my work, saying that she would be coordinating a show in October (but the preliminary meetings would start in July) that she wanted me to be the Key Makeup Artist for. She would find a budget for it, and get back to me. I passed it on to someone else, since I wouldn't be here.

Also on Friday, I received an email from a director (in Texas) asking me to come work on his movie the very day after I was to land in Texas. But now that I would have no car to drive there (or to any of the other movies I'd landed), I would need to rent a car for it. It didn't pay in cash, only in film credits on IMDb. The moment I realized that I couldn't afford to rent a car for X amount of days to shoot this film AND bring my friend the money I'd promised her I would when I arrived, I called her to ask if I could pay her less money.

We talked about it, and she agreed, but once we hung up I realized that there was something I was missing. Moving to TEXAS wasn't supposed to be this complicated. And I had just done something to my friend that, I believe, contributes to the downfall of living-with-friends situations. And I hated myself for it. She'd offered to take me to my shoot, but I'd refused. I slept on it.

Bright and early Saturday morning and it's raining, AGAIN. I'm not going anywhere today. I lounge around all day, til it's time to get up and start packing my suitcase for Tuesday. Yes, I'm still going to go. I'm on the phone with Stevie, and I get a call on my business line, but I don't take it. I check the voicemail afterwards, and it's an LA-based Photographer whose, apparently, found my work or been referred to me somehow, and he's inquiring about rates for a lifestyle shoot on June 16 + 17, and he wants to know MY FULL DAY RATE FOR BOTH DAYS. At first I think it's a trick, so I Google dat ass with the QUICKNESS. And sure enough, I find his site, and he's a real photographer. And his work is GOOD. How the hell did he even find me?? And is he asking me for RATES!!??

Perhaps, unless you're a makeup artist, you don't know why this is huge for me. Brides? Ask me for rates. Models? Ask me for rates. Novelists and bloggers? Ask me for my editing rates. Photographers NEVER ask me for rates. NEVER. And they certainly haven't asked me for my full day rate. Again, if you're not in this business, you probably don't know that the going day rate for a working MUA or hairstylist ranges somewhere between $500-850/day in this area. In other areas, for those who have agents, its double and, in some cases, triple that amount for an 8 hour day of work. If the stylist has a GOOD agency, they can make that or double that in far less than 8 hours. Yeah. It's real.

I call him back, leave a message saying I want to discuss the details. But now I am TRULY in panic mode. It may seem obvious to my readers that I should just cancel this trip and stay here, but for me, it wasn't just about that. My friend Tia warned me not to ignore the (obvious) signs. Crystal told us a story once of her former client Neeko who, for a really long time, was hairstylist to Mary J. Blige. In negotiating the rate for a job for Neeko, when she gave the client Neeko's rate and the client immediately agreed to it, she knew she'd 'left money on the table', or had not asked for enough/had asked for less than they had been willing to pay.
It took this photographer awhile to call back, but eventually he did, and I got the details and asked him his budget. He kinda balked on it, but the moment I gave him my rate and he said "Ok, good!" I knew I'd left some money on the table, lol. But I was just excited to even be having this conversation, and would know better for next time. We talked a bit more, and he agreed to send something to me in writing the next day (with details so I could give him my day rate and my overtime rates).  I knew that, if he'd agree to my rates, and I booked this gig, 1. this would change everything for me, and 2. There was no way in hell I'd go to Texas, ESPECIALLY without a car, and continue to leave money and work behind. Not even for the summer. Not even for a visit.

It had just become impossible for me to leave.

Granted, it's 5:54p the next day and I haven't heard back from Ben yet, but I'm now able to see the bigger picture in a way I wasn't before. It took me awhile, but now I see that I can't go to Texas. not that I can't move, but the logistics and circumstances surrounding this move just...weren't working and I wonder if it's the Universe's way of protecting our friendship from a cohabitation downfall. I don't know what the reason is, but the very same thing happened last year when I almost moved with her to Greensboro so I can't help but think that there's something about this that just isn't supposed to happen. I am very disappointed, and I have been crying non-stop, but in my heart i feel it's for the best. Not just because of work, but because this move set so many things in motion for me, and opened my eyes to so many things.  It's helped me to remove some things and people that didn't belong in my life in the capacity they were in, and allowed me to be OK with how my life is growing.

Stevie reminded me that, part of my problem is that I'm clinging to a lifestyle that isn't mine, out of fear. The fear is understood, but if I would but have the faith to believe in both myself and what has been destined for my life, I could spend less time worrying and just get on MY track, in MY lane and stop trudging along in the wrong lane. <-------------That was the nice version. Any of you who know Stevie know that she can be brutal sometimes. But i love her to her core for just this reason. These were the words I needed to hear, to reinforce what I already know about me and the life I want to have for myself. Gosh I love her, and I'm so glad I have a best friend who speaks my language!

But, i digress.

I won't be moving to Texas on Tuesday. I almost did. But not quite.

I think I'll have to forfeit the flight costs and charge it to the cost of learning. Be careful what you ask for, because SOMEtimes, God will show up, and show OUT, and it'll fuck yo' plans AAALLLLLLL the way up. But I also learned that the plans that you have for yourself will NEVER outshine what God has planned for you. It cost me $147 to learn a lesson that I've been trying to learn for free for years: listen to your intuition. Even if it takes you months to heed what it says. Its never wrong.


Thanks for reading my story. <3


Monday, March 25, 2013


Today was the second day of shooting the as-yet-untitled film by Ms. F. The work wasn't long, but the day was long. The production can't seem to stick to the schedule, so everything runs behind. I guess that's something I need to get used to. This is my second film (to date) and it happened on the previous film too.
But I have nothing to complain about, not even running behind. I love what I do (FINALLY!) and the only thing I would change is making more money. But I've answered an age-old question for myself that has truly set the tone for how I plan to spend the rest of my life. I've found what I'd do if money were no object and I was free to do what I want.

I love acting. I'm good at makeup. I ADORE storytelling. My job incorporates all of these things, and I'm happier than every example I've seen in every Geico commercial. Happier than a witch in a broom factory. Happier than Mutumbo blocking EVERYGAHTDAMNTHING, including that little boy's cereal. #NotinMyHouse

The hours are long, the conditions are sometimes odd because we shoot outside in the cold or the extreme heat, or in the rain, or we have to CREATE rain then PRETEND to stand outside in it. I don't do special FX makeup but twice now i've been called upon to create scars or wounds or use fake blood. I might wanna take a class on that....O_o. But, i'm the professional, and they defer to my judgment, AND they love my work so I must be doing something right. Right? I love it.

Yesterday we filmed an office scene which took place in the lobby of a mortgage company out in Short Pump. It's AMAZING that they can build sets anywhere to make them look like a completely different place. I knew they did it, but being there and seeing it made from scratch is a whole 'nutha thang. Last night, set moved to another location around 9pm -- a restaurant just across the bridge --and I did makeup and hair in the men's room on a stool under a fluorescent light. O_o Today, I was pleasantly surprised to arrive on set and discover that we were filming on location at a STOOPIT BIG ass house out in Bon Air, VA. The driveway was longer than my credit report, and it was riverside so the view was just insane. I'm beyond proud to say that I spent my morning painting faces on the deck of a beautiful mansion, enjoying the late morning breeze and listening to the soft rush of the river just a few feet away. I can't believe they pay  me to do this shit. Fa real. LOL!

I took pics, of course, but I'm too lazy to browse and choose them right at this very moment. I will later, Scout's honor. (Wait...was I ever a girl scout? I went to that one meeting when i was 9, and then...ugh. Never mind.)Today's scenes incorporated guns, flashy cars, and killer wearing a bear head (my phone died by the time we did her scenes so I didn't get that one. Sorry!) and slinging a shotgun. Niiiice!! I'm so super excited, I can barely contain all my thoughts. I'm sure I'll have more to say later, but for right now, I'm fried. Plus, I gotta get ready for tomorrow.

Love ya Hon!