Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Too legit to quit

My office
My new big girl desk. Very legit.

So, I'm a pretty lucky girl - which is often brought on by being pretty hard working. In fact, I'm a firm believer in making luck by doing/being the best you can be, even when its difficult or other people try to bring you down in some way.

This leads me to the announcement of my new job (of which I already have several - but hey, I can sleep when I'm dead), Interim Coordinator of ESL at Saint Martin's University. Yes, that's right, I am helping to organize and support the ESL program which I just began teaching in this summer (also by a stroke of luck and willingness to apply for a job others might deem as too low status for a grad student). So far, speaking honestly, I don't know a lot about everything that my job entails. But I am working hard, asking lots of questions, and learning day by day - which is so much more my style than a week of training anyways, so its perfect. I've already accepted a chair position for a major event hosted by the office (super fun) and I'm trying to figure out how I can help with the Dragon Boat Festival even if I'm moving later this year (the event is one of the biggest the International office is involved in AND I used to paddle with the dragon boat team that helps put it on, but its held in April...) Basically, its kind of, really amazing and I want to do the best I can and figure out if working in a program like this is somewhere I might be headed in the future.

The designer and models
Bri, Claudia and I at the Girl Power Hour G5 event.
As if that wasn't exciting enough, this past weekend I got my first, major, legitimate modeling gig (through an agency and everything), met some incredible people, and had a blast in Seattle.

On Friday evening, Bri Seeley, an astounding local designer, had me model for Girl Power Hour's G5 event. The event was an anniversary celebration for the orgnaization, of which Bri is a member, and her designs for her fall "Escape" collection were being featured. I would never say no to Bri, not only because she is ridiculously talented and an awesome person to be around, but she is also on her way to national - no international -fame as a designer, so I want to be able to say I modeled for her way back when :)

I love modeling events where I get to meet a lot of other people in the industry, or where I get to talk to people at all, which this was a perfect opportunity for. I spent the entire evening hanging out in one of Bri's most beautiful designs, befriending the gorgeous model Claudia, drinking with Bri and mingling with Seatllites, the likes of which I have not met before. It's not a hard night's work when you spend a few hours being told how gorgeous you look, being asked about your dress and having your photo taken. After-parties are equally fun. But the best part really was getting to spend so much time with Bri and making tons of new friends in Seattle.

Reppin ATL
Matt and I, reppin' ATL.
The rest of the weekend I stayed with Matt, an old friend of my brother's who I haven't seen in years, as well as exploring Seattle, a city I should have probably gotten to know a little bit better before I decided to re-re-locate back to Atlanta.

Oh, and of course, getting casted and modeling for a Goldwell/KMS hair show with one of the best (and funnest) stylists in the country.

No biggie.

And when I say no biggie, I mean, h.o.l.y. c.o.w.

I've never been to a real casting for anything, so "competing" against somewhere around fifty other beautiful women was a nerve-wrecking experience. I tried not to become obsessed with thoughts of being not skinny enough or not experienced enough, and instead tried to focus on being confident in who I was and what I've done. I guess it worked because Simon (the kick ass stylist) picked me - though I think it was just because I made the weirdest face when he was looking in my direction.

The rest of the days working for the show involved me getting beautiful cut and color, getting to know even more models and other awesome people, eating free food (yes they feed us actual food like subs and pizza) and doing the first runway show I've been in since high school.

Hair did
The most awesome hair stylist ever, Simon, and myself.

In between prep and show days I got to check out some yummy resturaunts, bars and clubs with Matt, Dom (a good friend from Oly), Claudia, and other friends I met on Friday.

During all of this I realized some really interesting things about myself and my point of view that I suppose I kind of new, but were definitely newly understood in my mind.

1. I am a city girl. I love the outdoors, I love rock climbing and the beach and camping. But cities make me feel alive. I can be shy, but it gives me as much a thrill to put myself out there meeting new people as it does to lead a 10b. It's not like I've got to say this, but it feels great to dress up and eat delicious food and hop from bar to restaurant to bar and discover new places. I love how cities look, how their streets wind together, the feeling of walking down a street and maybe finding something new. I don't know if a lot of my friends can relate to that, but I love cities as much as I love the outdoors - and living in one again is something I cannot wait for. (No worries Atlanta folk, Seattle hasn't stolen my heart, I'm still headed back South... for a bit at least)

2. Confidence may be the sexiest thing a person can put on. And this is definitely a newer discovery of mine, though I've heard it before. People who know me well also know about my insecurities, of which I have many, and of which I have worked hard on overcoming. In some ways I have been succesful, but failed relationships and certain experiences can be damaging to a girl's self-image, so it has certainly been a struggle.

Models back stage
Talented, smart and sweet ladies back stage.
I don't know if it was Bri's design (without a doubt a major part of it), or getting casted this past Saturday, or meeting new people who seemed to really respond to my personality positively and show true interest in getting to know me, but I have never felt more confident - nor have I ever been responded to in the same way I was this weekend. Random people were coming up to me and comlpimenting me and talking to me as if they couldn't help but do so. Sure, this is pretty darn expected at an event or show where I am modeling, but it was happening in bars and restaurants too. Best of all, women were the most complimentary and I have a whole new list of girlfriends to get to know and to call when I am in Seattle.

Not only did I actually feel confident - not just pretended to be - and therefore feel that people saw me differently, I also felt more generous and accepting of people. I wasn't so nervous that I had to talk constantly or insecure that I had to focus on how I sounded or acted. Because I was able to be myself and feel good about it, I also noticed what a better listener I was. I could actually pay attention to the conversation without needing to check myself or stream on because of nerves. I never realize before how much my insecurities affected my ability to be a good listener, something I am always trying to improve upon.

3. And last but not least, and this one is going to be hard to explain fully, but I learned a bit about the feelings you have when you meet someone. I'm talking about that instinctual, gut feeling that you experience when you are just getting to know someone. Friends, relationships, or otherwise. The answer to questions like, Is this someone I want to know more about? Is this someone I could care about? Is this someone I want in my life? And the discovery of why the answer to any of those questions is yes.

I met a lot of women this weekend whose attitudes, drive and personalities drew me in, inspired me, even if just a little, and who I hope to add to my circle of friends. Maybe it was part of my personal confidence gains, but I have never connected so well with so many women (aside from all of my wonderful girlfriends in Olympia - though that took a year or so) who I sincerely felt interested in becoming closer to, and who seemed to return that desire.

Dom and me
Dom and I out in Seattle, lookin' good and feelin' great!
I also realized the difference between meeting someone of the opposite sex (or same-sex if your interested) you think is really kind and fun, someone you think is really fun and attractive, and someone you actually are interested in pursuing (or hope will pursue you). I, by no means, am interested in the latter in Seattle, but after serial monogomy and previous relationships - I may have finally learned a little about my own heart and mind when it comes to men. What I want and don't want. What is important or not important, and when those things matter. Things like that...

After this weekend of fun, which I earned after a lot of hard work, I feel re-energized, happy and in a way, powerful. I see how blessed I am. I am making things happen for myself. I am enjoying each day to the fullest. I know where I am going, at least in the next six months, but I am flexible and strong enough to take on any callenge or change that time might bring.

Now I'm ready to tackle the next week and a half of craziness before I celebrate submitting my thesis to the review board and head to Los Angeles for more adventure!

1 comment:

  1. Rae, it looks like you are doing wonderful new things and making amazing discoveries along the way. You go, Girl! Keep up the great work and watch God's plan for your life blossom! :)