They say the longer we take to do something challenging is the harder it is to get it done. So I'm learning. I've been away from MI longer than I care to recall. A lot has happened, much of it having nothing to do with make up and my craft (which I had to put aside for a while). Thing is, the longer I stayed away the harder it was to come back. I felt somehow as though I'd deserted the family I'd established on here and wasn't sure I'd be welcomed back with arms wide open or rather if I'd deserve that welcome.
Now before you shun me with my melodrama understand that MI is the first online community of professional artists I've been exposed to that offered me the kind of encouragement and support I got on here. I had tried other sites before but nowhere else compared. (The fact that I joined in the 'development' stage when the community was relatively small might've been a factor but looking around now at the way newcomers are welcomed I doubt that that's it). You guys are truly special and it does make me wonder why I stayed away so long.
A lot has happened since I last connected with the gang and I am still on my journey to that place of accomplishment. So I'm back. To share that journey with the people who encouraged and inspired, allbeit from a distance. Just now I was reading my old blog entries and the favourable comments and believe me when I say it warmed by heart. Wata come a mi yeye.
SuperLaura, Kim, Curtis, Glen, Hal and Craig (are Hal and Craig back?) you guys are truly phenomenal. You all embraced a Caribbean gal from all the way in Jamaica as if I were your next door neighbour. I have nothing but love for MI and the community of professionals on here. Like Dorothy said, there's no place like home! U guys rock! Luv unu bad bad :-)
I've been given a feature article in the Jamaica Observer! Yay me!!!
Wow! It really does feel like I've been away forever. So many changes around here that I can hardly keep up. The new interface is absolutely fabulous! I am in love. Great things are indeed underway.
Time for me to play catch up and get reaquainted...
As if school being out and all the ladies in short shorts were not enough to remind me that it's summer! Why in the hell is it so hot?! I spent an hour this morning trying to find a barely there light coloured shirt to ensure I'd get as much ventilation as possible but all that was pointless by the time I got out the door and was assaulted by the sweltering heat. Something's gotta give. I simply cannot make it through the summer like this!
Thank heavens for the beach only 5 minutes away from home. Now all I need is a car or my partner in crime to return home from Virginia so we can make the beach our new best friend.
I flew back to Jamaica yesterday morning some time after 4am and landed in Kingston at 7:30am. My trip to New York was both work and play (which is always a great thing when that balance is found). The shoot was a blast and I got to spend valuable time with family.
Nevertheless, I am back on the grind as there is much to do. Those ads I posted on facebook have driven considerable traffic to my site and with traffic comes questions and potential clients. I spent the better part of this morning responding to all those who filled out the contact form on my site and so far it would seem I've added a few clients to my roledex. Yay me! I even got a call from a local TV network offering me a job for an upcoming music programme.
Now to just get those business cards printed and enhance my kit (there's always some other product to buy). I'm feeling good. Things are coming together after all the effort I've put in. As they say...the best is yet to come.
Three days in NY has started to take its toll on my body. I flew in on Saturday morning at 5am, had 3 hours sleep and then had to run off on errands. Midnight Saturday night found me at the corner of Broadway and 40th St in the rain without an umbrella trying to get into the subway system much to no avail (something must've been happening as several of the entrances from 40th St and below were blocked off. I finally turned back and headed to Times Square then finally got in at 42nd. I had to pause to dry off and clean my glasses that were now soaked and smeared and even stopped for a second to watch some young Latino dudes dancing in a circle (gotta love the subway!).
I was home by 1:30 am but didn't head off to sleep til 3 (had to prepare my kit for a shoot) and had to be up again at 8.
At 7pm last night on the highway heading back to Brooklyn from Manhattan my body gave in and I slept all the way to Flatlands. My muscles ached and my whole body just sighed and gave in. Last night was the best sleep I've had since Thursday night. Thank heavens for that.
On Wednesday I head home back to Jamaica as there's only so much of NY that I can handle at any one time. I'll be back soon though. I always come back. It's one of those cities that makes me feel truly alive and aware of humans in a way I don't seem to notice them at home or in some other places. Strange how that is. Strange indeed.
I've always known and accepted death to be inevitable. Still, the comfort with which it has recently invited itself into my life feels a little too overwhelming.
People die every day. Yet it never seems to amaze me how unsettling that reality can be when it hits close to home. On Tuesday morning I lost a friend from high school to an extended battle with lupus. She died just a few a months following a miscarriage brought on by medical complications. As if that weren't enough on Wednesday night, just after half an hour of finding out a coworker was in the ICU as a result of her kidneys failing I got a text informing that she had passed. She too suffered from lupus.
This spate of events has forced me to examine my existence and my relations. I somehow feel at times as though my day to day existence is nothing but a slap in the face of the universe and its agents that have blessed me with the gift of life and all its amenities.
In an attempt at repentance I set out on Friday morning to write a heartfelt letter to every person I could think of with email (or connected to facebook) that I would regret not telling "I love you" were they to leave my life without warning. It was a very sobering experience and the moment I started was the moment I realised why it is that we never do such things... To tell someone how you feel, to not take them for granted is to acknowledge that all this is finite and that someday it may all come to pass. But is that really something to be scared of? Shouldn't it instead make us more diligent in our quest to love and appreciate those we have for however long or short we have them?
Nothing lasts forever. It is my firm belief however that death, illness and other tragedies are the universe's way of ensuring that we love fervently, forgive earnestly and live zealously. If we fail in our assignment it will continue to teach the sermon (however painful) until we acknowledge the lesson...
THIS IS A COPY OF THE LETTER I WROTE AND SENT OUT
Because life is too short
Because I don't want to be one of those people that waits until you die to shower you with love and words of kindness
Because I am able now
Because I am not promised tomorrow
Because you are not promised tomorrow
Just so you never have to wonder
And I never have to live with the regret of never telling you
I love you.
Plain and simple.
Maybe we're family
Perhaps our paths have crossed only once
Maybe we're the kind of friends that speak everyday
Or the kind that remain close even with years between talks
Maybe we work together
Or went to school together
Or had some random encounter that is now forever embedded in the making of my memories.
If in some way we've bonded or shared something more than a passing glance
Then I just want you to know that that mattered to me and I'm glad we've encountered each other in this time and space.
Perhaps you're reading and scoffing at the sheer audacity of this rant, and cringing at the sap it exudes.
How dare me tell everyone I care about just how much I value them? How dare me say what I'm feeling? Cuz everyone knows such rantings inadvertently acknowledge the sanctity and finite nature of life and the inevitability of death... and who wants to think on that?
But here's to living like there's no tomorrow, righting wrongs before it's too late and telling loved ones just how loved they are before they (or I) take that last breath. For what good is an "I love you" if I never get to hear it while alive? Could I have been so magnificent if you forgot to tell me while we shared life? If I mean so much why do you hesitate to say?
So just because I never know when that last chance may be and I never want to be thwarted by the scourge of regret... I love you and value your friendship. You are an amazing human being who has so much to offer the world and I'm glad I get to share in the miracle that is your existence.
It never ceases to amaze me, the inalienable nature of the human condition. The way two strangers from different cultures, backgrounds and geographic locations can meet (unannounced, the way the universe intended) and instantaneously forge a bond that neither time, space, nor circumstance can alter.
How strange it is, to long for that feeling of companionship expecting to find it in the presence of family and friends only to find it in the warmth of a stranger's unanticipated embrace. How unexpected to discover what your pain must look like by staring into the eyes of a stranger or to hear the story of ur life as told from another's point of view with painstaking accuracy. We are, after all, connected beyond that which we can make sense of ordinarily.
The pain of a lover scorned, the anguish of losing a child, the euphoria of young love, the thrill of an accomplishment...they feel the same in any language. Yes indeed, we are more alike than we are unalike.
Six months, two weeks, four days
Since the last time you touched me.
Even then, I was not convinced.
I still wonder daily if you’re the man I married.
Our love has dwindled
To empty stares and callous touches,
Our once overzealous need (for each other) replaced by tolerance.
I avoid lingering in your presence,
As we buy time til this charade ends,
Wondering how we got to this place
Where you are as much a stranger
As the man that delivers our mail.
It's 2am and I can't sleep. I ordinarily have trouble sleeping but tonight the reasons are different. I can't sleep because I'm estatic. I had my first photo shoot on Sunday May 31. The three photographers were not professionals and only two of the girls had modeling experience. Still, I had the time of my life!
Five hours in, with my legs, thighs and my entire anatomy reeling from pain, I was still going like a maniac, feeding off the adrenaline and excitement that swept over me as I realized I could do this everyday. The girls were phenomenal. There were 8 of them (definitely more than we had planned on!) but I took on each face like the trooper that I was.
By 3:30pm (5 hours later) I had finished all the faces and finally got my big break! I got to tag along and even direct some of the shots and offer poses. It was mad fun. I even managed to inveigle one of the photographers to to capture a few shots of me playing model *big grin* (with absolutely no make up on and my hair a hot mess. lol)
This shoot was by no means up to par with industry standards but the experience was truly a learning one. Everyone involved gave it their all and never once complained. What's more, there were some killer images that I can't wait to share!
So this is what manages to keep my eyes wide open at 2:15am when all and sundry are asleep and even the dogs that roam the streets have turned in for the night. I feel like for the first time in a little while I have done something right; something that will take me a step closer to where I need to be. I am fully cognisant of the fact that there is loads more to do before I get there. Still the thrill of this small first step is tumultuos enough to overshadow and silence any negative energy that may arise from the realisation that I'm so far from my goal.
The best is yet to come!