February 2018 Reflections
The month of February can be a dreary one, especially if you live in a climate like New York. Lucky for me, I don’t; and it makes me appreciate living in LA that much more. With February typically being the coldest month of the year, along with the added social pressures of Valentine's Day, plus this being the month I was broken up with (three years ago, and no it doesn't still hurt like it used to...thank god) I’ve learned during this month it is extra important to look towards the light at the end of the tunnel, and enjoy the journey life has to offer. Although I was living here last February, it was a cold LA winter (in the 50’s) and I was hyper focused on settling into my new life. This year I have time to reflect on my daily experiences. Consider this my first of many monthly reflections to come from this blog.
I’ve come to understand that Valentine's Day really is just another day of the year when you're not solely focused on being in a relationship. My new perspective on this Hallmark Holiday means not allowing social media posts to make me feel like I’m missing out because I’m single. I continue to love my alone time and I see how it has shaped me. I’m more confident than ever in knowing that when I do meet Mr. Right, I’ll be ready for him. Time alone without friends, family, and your phone can lead to healing and deep reflection, which I think is important for everyone to experience.
On another note, I’ve been going through a personal struggle with my fingernails. What were once enviable, long, and strong nails have been reduced to brittle nubs shorter than when I was a little boy. I’ve never been so self conscious of my nails, and I think it's due to stress. When they start to grow, they break and the cycle continues over again. This small problem in my life has helped me to realize I should have been grateful for the nails I had. It reminds me to not sweat the small stuff and to trust the path that I’m on. Seems silly, I know, but sometimes it's the little things in life that make an impact.
I spent an entire day with my grandparents and we had the most wonderful time together. They drove up from Palm Desert and brought me all my necessary Costco needs, took me to the Getty Museum, and had dinner at a vegan restaurant. I was super excited about the museum, I had been wanting to visit; and this coming from a kid who hated them. My mom always told me that some day I’d appreciate her dragging us to museums. If you take your time, they can give you such perspective on our world’s history, and I’m learning to really appreciate that. I want to try to go to a museum twice a year and learn about new and exciting exhibits in the city that I’m in.
I’ve always known this, but it’s important to ask your parents and grandparents questions about their lives, your family history, and other stories they have. Listen to their wisdom and advice and try to get to know them on a very deep level. One day, as sad and terrifying as it is to imagine, my grandparents will not be physically present on this Earth, and I am finding it increasingly important to connect with them. Their opinions and perspectives are extremely interesting; and I promise to anyone who has an open and honest conversation with elder family members that you will feel satisfied, with something to think further on, and/or feel accomplished in learning more about them… and in turn learning about yourself.
A habit that has been passed down from my Grandma to my Mom and now to me is making lists. Anyone who really knows me knows that I am a list person through and through. From sticky notes to legal notepads, to Google Docs, I have a list for everything and anything. This year I have been slowly crossing important things off, and it feels amazing. From this I've learned to feel accomplished with the little things in life first, and to tackle my bigger goals second.
I don’t want to waste my time on this Earth and I can't believe we’re already two months into the new year. I feel I am making progress in modeling and writing, but not enough with activism. Although activism isn’t dependent on social media, I can use it as a platform for the work I want to do for our world. I’ve always wanted to be a model since before I can remember and I want that to be apart of my career. Every photo shoot reminds me of my passion for modeling. I want to be able to produce gorgeous content (whether it be pictures or videos) for transgender girls to look up to. The more networking I do, the more I realize how important it is for me to keep pushing towards my goal of normalizing transgenderism. It’s through the conversations I have with new people where I feel I can enlighten anyone I encounter; and those interactions prove our world can become a more open and kind place to live in.
In even happier news, my first big project of the year came into fruition this month; along with my first ad campaign for a jewelry company, Helen Ficalora, that was mentioned in my last post and shown on my Instagram @imcoreyrae. Since the end of the summer I had been making video content for a social media app a friend of mine created. The video sharing app, Portal, is similar to YouTube and Instagram, but combined, with a component like Twitch where you can reward what you value. This app will never have ads and therefore the beauty lies in zero-censorship. For progressive users, it gives content creators the ability to discuss any topic they’d like, whether it be about tattoos, spirituality, feminism, our government, religion, sex, or LGBTQ+ issues. Together with the founder, Jonathan, we filmed hours of content about my story, meant to be shared with the world like never before. Over the past few months Portal’s team has set me up for the future success of the app. When the second round of invite codes go out, I’ll post it to my Instagram story (so keep up to date with that) and download the app to see content that will be exclusively on Portal.
This year is going to change my life, I know it. I’ve been saying over the past few months that something's coming, something great is about to happen. I don't feel that something’s coming anymore, I feel it being on the verge of happening now. I will keep pushing myself because there is no Plan B, there is only a Plan A for me, and I am excited to revel in this journey even further. The biggest lesson that I’ve let sink in this month is this; it’s not necessarily the destination that will bring you the most happiness, but the ride to it.
Written by Corey Rae --- Edited by Emily Turner