Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Is this for real?

Just got home from a modeling agency audition in Corona. And I got it.


A month ago I was a wreck: crying, worrying about money, not able to pay the bills, thinking I'd have to resign my endeavors on the west coast for good and move in with one of my family members. But now...damn! In the past week I've started my new full time job in Carlsbad, and now I'm a signed model.


Modeling has never been a life-long dream of mine. In fact, what I really wanted to pursue when I moved out here was acting, but modeling was suggested to me quite often. "You have gorgeous eyes, you should be a model." "You're really beautiful. Are you a model? Why not?" So I thought I'd give it a shot and see where it takes me. If there was any money to be made or anything to be gained from modeling, then it might be worth a shot, right? Then I realized how competitive both industries are. And since I've never had a free ride, free rent, or free food, I've had to work to pay my dues, which leaves very little time for networking and a small window of a few hours each day/evening that I'd be available for a modeling gig or a play/movie rehearsal. The people who make it big in modeling or acting have the time to dedicate open days and weeks to their art - and a flexible schedule to boot. I've had neither, but lately I've been pressing ahead in the modeling field, using Model Mayhem / Craigslist / MySpace to apply for work. And now I'm signed??? Never in my dizziest daydreams could I have foreseen this...

Now I've got a job & an agency - my money problems will clear up fast. And once my debt is absolved (all loans public and private), I've got big plans for this little girl!!
  • get a road bicycle to go with my mountain bike
  • save up $$$ for Bikram Yoga teacher training. After I'm a certified instructor, I want to get a job at a local studio to start. My ultimate goal is to have my own studio one day, and I want to be good enough so that I can guest teach at studios around the world when I travel for vacation.
  • get a motorcycle and learn how to ride it
  • move to Oregon and buy a truck (Tacoma, 4WD). I'm also going to get a dog and name her Gypsy.
  • read all the books that have been in my queue for years
  • go hiking and camping more often
  • hone my survival skills
  • finish teaching myself HTML/CSS/XHTML coding, and once I master that then I'll start teaching myself PHP & Pearl. With those skillz, I can start marketing myself as contract UI Developer & an Email Marketing Specialist. Then I can get some contract work and (cha-CHING!!) more money.
  • play the stock market (after much analysis & research - both of which I'm currently doing)
  • buy a ranch house/cabin, some land, and horses, and chickens. I've got even more plans for the land/ranch once I get it: a nice barn & tack room, a garden, a chicken coop, and maybe a prairie hay or alfalfa field....
There you have it, Internet - my hopes and dreams in a few bullet points. My plans & goals in life right at this moment. And you know what? I can TOTALLY accomplish all of it.

So, to sum up, there's been good things all around!! But my heart is still confused. I have a situation that is unique, to say the least. I don't know how to proceed with it - but there are some undeniable truths I do know for a fact. To be clear, this is more for me than for anyone else who happens to read this - I think I just need to actually write it out to really make it mean what it does. I have never wanted to change someone because I would NEVER want someone to ask me to be anyone other than myself. As Dr. Suess said, "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." I think everyone should be who they are - be true to yourself! - because I'm always going to be me, and I won't conform to anyone's 'idea' of me. Ever. With that in mind, it's correct to say that I am who I am and I feel what I feel - I can't control that, I can't shut my emotions on or off on a whim.

Another bit of information I have to keep telling myself over and over and over again is that he can't miss me if I'm not gone. If I'm always available and always making an effort to someone who's not, how is that fair? Plain and simple: It's not. And if someone is going to miss me, they can't do it when I'm still calling or texting or emailing. I've been making the effort for too long now - and I'm not stupid - I can take a hint. He knows my number - he knows how to get ahold of me....and if he misses me, then he'll do something about it.

No matter what happens with this guy, or any other guy for that matter, I know that the only constant in my life is that I am me and I have a core of truth within myself & a path to walk. I will have the courage and the heart, the centered-ness, to follow my own path, to be who I am and love being who I am, no matter what. I will shine out and show the universe who I am, so that people who are looking for someone exactly like me can find me. I won't allow setbacks or even major betrayals to dampen my spirit. I am the center of my own life, and I am exactly as I need to be right now. I will always *always* shine my own light and walk my own path - and I will allow others to do the same.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I Wanna Hold Your Hand...

I Want To Hold Your Hand - All You Need Is Love
...The Beatles had the right idea...

I'm sure we can call agree that there is not enough Love in the world. Fear and Panic and Doubt seem to be the prominent emotions in society now-a-days. I myself have fallen victim to the latter emotions on more than one occasion. But once you find Love again, life is so much better in every aspect, and you can literally feel the Light conquering the Dark emotions.

We all know how much damage an insult or a malicious-filled-name can inflict. But think of how much a genuine compliment has lifted your spirits or flattered your soul??? There's enough negativity in this world today - there are too many people who thrive off misery and pain. We need to all focus on putting more Light and goodness into the world. When you make someone else feel better, it makes you feel better! And I really believe that it helps generate positive energy and puts good karma out into the universe.

Love isn't sexual. Love isn't about wanting to fuck someone. That's lust - that's attraction. Love is about goodness and kindness and acceptance and appreciation of life - and of finding the Good in other people.

To say that I love someone doesn't mean I want to marry them. I have a Love for myself, and for my friends, and for the world and humanity. If I were to say that I loved a guy, it's automatically assumed that I want a relationship with him or am looking to make him a life partner. I love plenty of men, and I have no intention of being intimate with any of them. Many of my friends are guys, and I love all of my friends. I love the men in my family the same way as I love the women in my life.

I do believe that there is a special kind of Love between two people, but what I'm trying to emphasize is that there is MORE than that one kind of popularized Love in the world, and we seem to have forgotten this.

Even if we are discussing that kind of Love, so many people think that sex = Love. Love is something much more fantastic than fornication. The Beatles said it best: Love is about wanting to hold your hand...to be a friend and a confidant to another human being...to be an emotional support and appreciating the person's faults.

One of my heroes, David Icke, once said during a talk I heard him give: "Love is not something you're in - it's something you are."
How true...

While I cannot dictate to another person how they should live their life, I know that I should be Love, and not worry about "finding" it - because All You Need Is Love...and the world needs it now, more than ever.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Back in Cali - Missing Oregon

Now I'm back in San Diego from Oregon, and I already miss it so much. I want the mountains and the woods and the hiking right outside my door. I wasn't turned off by the weather at all, and I loved the vibe of the northwest. I'm already deciding between getting a truck or an SUV when I move up there! I can truly say that my heart is in Oregon.

The scenery was truly amazing and so gorgeous. Here's a taste of the beauty of Oregon:

Multnomah Falls

View of the Columbia River from the trail at Multnomah Falls

Rose Garden


When I left Portland, I took the Sunset Highway west to the coast and the historic 101 Highway. I'm so glad I did!! The Oregon coastline is another world compared to SoCal:

And I haven't even begun to really explore the state! I'm so glad I took this trip - I now have a visual of where I'll be, and that's added motivation to eliminate my debt and save those dollars. And the best part is that I'll be doing it all by myself - I won't have to ask for handouts or be a burden to anyone else. I know that 'pride goeth before a fall' but I pride myself in being self-reliant and independent. It makes me feel good about myself.

Tomorrow I start my new job, and I'm feeling pretty optimistic about it - things will work out for the best!

As the wonderful Robert Nestor Marley said: every little thing is gonna be alright.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Flutter By

I saw a butterfly today while I was walking Courtney's dog, Keani. I honestly can't remember the last time I saw a butterfly... It was so pure and right to see one, I can't think of a better way to describe it. It also sparked some feeling inside of me - a feeling of "home" and "right-ness." Another crazy & unexpected confirmation that I'm not physically living where I need to be right now.

On a related note: I LOVE OREGON!!! It's so wilderness-y. And even though Portland's a city I don't think of it in that way. I think of it more like a big town than a city. It really has that "town" feel to it. And no one's in a rush like they are in Cali. The vibe reminds me of home.

Monday, after the mail came, I deposited my checks and got on the road. I really needed this trip - I needed to do something besides sit at home and look for jobs and worry about $$. I'm so glad I did! The drive was long, but the scenery was gorgeous. I loved the farmlands I got to pass: cows, horses, fields of sunflowers, orchards for miles. This is the first time I've been north of LA, and I had no idea what to expect.

Monday night I stopped in San Jose at the Lindo's. They were so gracious and hospitable, and Baby J even warmed up to me after a while. I hadn't seen her since they left SD about a year and a half ago, so she didn't know what to think of me!

Tuesday was spent driving up the 5 thru NorCal. I must say that the last 30-50 miles of California was my favorite part. I could see myself in that area very easily. I really liked the mountains and undeveloped land. When I crossed the state border, I wanted to snap a picture of the "Welcome to Oregon" sign, but there was tons of road construction right there, and I think a truck or machine or crew was blocking it. Oh well. Oregon showed me more mountains and soooo many trees! I pulled off the road in Eugene to fill gas, and it was a full-service station. I've never been to a full-service station in my life - not once. So, this was a new experience for me - and the guy was so nice. Just an honest, down-to-earth guy. I don't know if it would've been the same in Cali.

I got to Courtney's house late last night, and let myself in while she was at work. Her place is just adorable! The Columbia River is right outside her balcony, and her apartment is put together so cute! A full kitchen, a washer & dryer, a fireplace, a balcony, lots of space... She even has a dog & a cat. I would love to get a place like this. When she did come home from work, we met for the first time. She's a very cool girl, and enjoys the outdoors too. In fact, she just got back from a kayaking trip. And she was telling me how there's always something to do around here, no matter what you're into. It was a proper welcome, I must say.

View from Courtney's balcony: the I-5 bridge over the Columbia river connecting Oregon to Washington

Today I went for a job interview at a call center - a job I know I've got, but it won't pay enough for me to justify relocating myself right now. I drove around the city and fell in love with all the bridges. I want to drive over all of them! Tomorrow I'm going to take myself on a hike and snap a few pictures too. I haven't been downtown yet, so I want to do that later in the day. And 4 different people have told me that I have to try VooDoo's Donuts. Apparently they're famous.

Ironically, after the call center interview, I find that the company in Carlsbad wants to offer me a position. I'm so stoked to finally have a job again!!! I'll be making more money than I was when I got laid off, and I'll basically be my own boss. The commute is kind of a long way, but I think it will be worth it. And I'm still going to keep looking for jobs here in Portland, just so I can hopefully find one sooner than later and actually PLAN a move up here, instead of the real haphazard "I just need to get out of Cali" move. And Now that I'll be working, I can settle some debts and save some $$$ to make this a reality!

I'm also hoping that I'll be able to see Mark for a few minutes while I'm up here, since it's not often that I'm in Oregon. But I know he's got plans in eastern Oregon right now, and honestly, I didn't make this trip for him. I didn't make this trip for anyone but me. That's right - Risa did something selfish! After years of putting others' feelings before my own, I finally realize that I need to do for ME and that worrying about anyone else is silly, because things will work out exactly as they should. They always do.

I just noticed the sun is out and the clouds have broken up. I'm going back outside to enjoy the rest of my Oregon day. More later!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Create Your Own Reality

When we ask for strength, the universe sends us difficulties to make us stronger.

How true, right? Strength doesn't come from push-ups and crunches. Real strength comes from experiences. That's what life is all about: experiences.

I can feel that I'm ready for that next big experience in this life. When I moved to California, it was primarily for a boy. I learned a lot from that relationship, and when it ended (precisely as my family and friends knew it would), it was for the best. I still don't know exactly what I want in a relationship, or if I even want one for that matter, but I do know exactly what I DON'T want - which is a wonderful place to start in my opinion.

Life has a way of teaching us valuable lessons - and if we miss it the first time, the universe is obliged to put us thru those trials and tribulations again and again until we DO get it.

Being 1,500 miles away from everything and everyone I grew up around was a trip. Being alone and that far away from all I knew and loved was even trippier. And yet, I'm still here. Here I am - standing tall - stronger than I was - wiser than most people my age are - and ready for that next challenge.

Did I say challenge??? Lord, did I ever get what I asked for...

San Diego has been good for me. I took what could've been a horrible experience, and turned it into a good one. I've shown myself that I only need to be dependent on myself to get by, but in my time here I've found some extremely wonderful people and have created a great number of solid friendships. I've discovered/acknowledged my own spirituality and started to nurture it in order to one day obtain enlightenment. While in California, I've learned so much about myself, and grown to love myself that much more (because let's face it - I'm kind of awesome).

As cool as my time in California has been, I'll always be a country girl at heart. In fact, when I moved out here, I knew I wouldn't live here forever. I'm glad I moved to California, even if it was originally for the wrong reason, but I'm ready for a change once again. Really, I think I was ready about a year ago, but it's so hard to save money out here, especially when you're underpaid. Now that I'm out of work, and bills are piling up, and the state of California is on the verge of collapsing, I'm starting to think the universe is trying to tell me something...

Leaving San Diego will be bittersweet for me. While I've never had the intention making CA my permanent home, I kind of feel like I haven't experienced everything that I wanted to do here. I haven't seen all the sights, I haven't really explored the whole city. But maybe that's for the best. I'm sure I'll come back and visit, just like I still go back and visit Kansas.

Portland, Oregon has been my next destination for over 2 years now. Most people question my choice: "Why Portland? It rains there - it snows there - it's still a city." To which I respond: "Why not? I know - I know - I know."

Yes it rains there, but guess what: it rains in Kansas too.
Yes it snows there, but not as much as Minnesota. And (surprise) it snows in Kansas too.
Yes it's still a city, but it's closer to the wilderness than San Diego is. And I NEED the outdoors! I'm a country girl...it's just who I am. I survived the Kansas weather for 21 years just fine: blizzards, droughts, floods, triple-digit summer heat, humidity, -32 below zero days... I'm sure some rain and snow in another state won't bother me in the least.

I've been job-hunting for a month now, and I'm still broke & jobless. I've searched for jobs in San Diego, and I've also been looking in Portland. Would you believe the Portland jobs are responding back to me faster than the SoCal jobs? It shocked me too.

So, in the next few days I'll start driving north - from SD to Oregon. I've got a job interview on Tues, hopefully another one on Wed, and a photoshoot one of those days. I'll get to scope out my new home, and maybe get a good hike and a camping trip in. On the way back, I'll drive the 101 like I've always wanted. And I'll be doing it alone - with my awesome self.

I want to be in Oregon by October - that will be my birthday present to myself. In the meantime, I'm going to create my own reality. I'm going to visualize myself getting a great job in Oregon, finding a cheap place to live, and moving up there in the next few months. I'm going to think positive, and put that energy out into the universe. I'm only responsible for myself, and right now the best thing for me is to get out of California.

Money is my biggest obstacle right now, but if I believe that it will all work out, then it will. Perhaps one of these jobs will offer me relocation assistance! And my step-dad said he will come out with the truck to help me pack up my stuff and move up there, which is basically a free moving service. I'm such a blessed lil' girl have such wonderful people in my life. And who knows? Maybe a San Diego job will hit me back and hire me on - then I can get on my feet financially, and get some $$$ saved up for a deposit and 1st month's rent!

Instead of waiting on someone to make it all better, or for some miracle to work out, I'm going to create my own reality...my own Happy Ending. However, according to Schmendrick the Magician: "There are no happy endings, because nothing ends."

If I believe it will happen, then it will.
If I'm convinced I will fail, then I will.
Whatever I visualize happening will come to pass, because I'm directly connected to the rest of the universe thru my own consciousness, just like every other person on this planet.

Visualize your own reality, and you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish!!!