March 2018 Reflections
March was an interesting month, to say the least. A lot has happened over the past 31 days and I feel like it went by way too fast. In late February I had modeled for three very different photographers and the photos were beautiful. Each shoot brought out a new side of me, and looking at the photos reminded me that I am my own dream come true. During this month I posted these images with motivational messages and have let my personality shine brighter on my Instagram account. This is just the beginning of using my social media platforms to inspire acceptance, confidence, and progression. My new goal is to promote the idea that everyone can be their own dream come true. I am proof of that. Some of my earliest memories are putting my Blankie on my head and pretending it was long blonde beautiful hair. I would be looking at myself in the mirror but I wasn't seeing a little boy playing dress up; I was looking at what I wanted my present, future, and even my past to look like. I have become the woman I always wanted to be… and then some. Not only have I realized this, but I have become extremely grateful for the life I’ve been living and will continue to live.
Towards the end of this month I went home to New Jersey/New York. It was a quick trip, four nights and five days, but it was a very special and in many ways monumental. For starters, I got off the plane and immediately drove to the city and met my brother's new girlfriend, who is really really wonderful and the type of girl I’d always hoped my brother would be with. It was one of the main reasons why I came home and I think it’s really sweet that my brother was excited to share her with me. Most of my time was spent with my mom and our bond deepend even further, as per usual these days. I love her so much and I love how our relationship has evolved over the years. She gives me her all it makes me so happy when I can help her grow her through my own personal experiences. I got to see some of my best friends and went to my cousin’s sweet 16, which was filled with families members from all over the country. It made me realize how important it is to cherish every moment you get with your family members because the truth is, you never know what’s going to happen next. At the same time, it makes me realize how important it is to have a balance between being with your family and away from your family; being out of your comfort zone is how you grow most. The most profound experience this month was reaching new levels of personal growth having the desire to open up and grow further.
Home is where the heart is, but can your heart be in two places at once? I’ve been thinking about this prior to, during, and after my trip home. In LA I am filled with creativity and passion. In New York I feel more filled with love and support. I love living in LA and wouldn't change it for the world, in fact, it’s been one of the best decision of my life. Of course I miss my mom and brother, but it’s not something I am actively thinking about. I think my relationship with my mom specifically is stronger because of the distance. In trying to explain my lack of missing New York I had said to my brother I didn't miss him, and I felt bad about that. It's not that I don't miss him, it's just that I don't think on it much. I am not the type to miss family or friends, but more so times, memories, and places. Maybe that's because I trust the love and support that comes from each person and I know if I needed the they'd be there and vise versa, but with all that I have going on here, it's hard to dwell or think about New York when I'm trying to keep focused on my life here in LA. I do think that my heart can be both at home with my mom, brother, and friends in New York, as well as here with my extended family, friends, and new people in my life. Before I left, I went to Nordstroms at the mall in my town and as I was walking through with my mom, I spotted the heart shaped pillow I have on my bed in NJ. I’ve wanted to have it with me in LA, but I spray my perfume on it so my mom can smell it whenever she misses me. I feel bad taking it from her, so I bought it and had it shipped to my apartment in LA. Now I can literally have my heart in two places. :)
Like I said, I didn't really miss anything specific about NYC before this trip. While I was there though, I realized how much I do miss the inevitable access to meeting someone by chance that can change your life drastically within a couple of hours. One of my best friends from college, Vanessa, introduced me to a friend of hers, named Jeff, who runs a successful Instagram account called @TheTravelinBum, which features the rear end of gay men and in the captions are their coming out stories. He had featured a girl once, but never a trans woman. We both got excited about the idea of me being featured and made plans to shoot the next day (this whole conversation took place over tequila shots on St. Patrick’s Day.) That next day I woke up in Astoria Queens at that same best friends apartment, went back into NYC and met up with my best friend Turner (also known as Edited by Emily Turner on my blog ;) ) and we had an amazing vegan brunch in the West Village, walked all the way down to the World Trade Center Memorial, and after walking around the Oculus, we walked to the East Village where we parted ways. I then walked further East to surprise my other best friend, Keren, at a coffee shop she was at. After a short visit there we took the train together uptown, she got off to meet her brother at a bar (he tried luring me to join in with vape pens) but I was on a mission to do a booty shoot. I got off on the subway, crossed by Times Square, and was back at Jeff’s apartment in Hell’s Kitchen where I had been pre-gaming 24 hours prior. Within an hour we had done an amazing photoshoot and I was on a train home to my mom’s in NJ. After having dinner with my mom that night, my other best friend Michaela drove from Brooklyn to New Jersey and slept over with me and spent the morning with us. Being able to do all that in such a short amount of time made me think that there is definitely an opportunity for me to visit New York more often and balance business, friends, and family.
When I got back home to LA I went to work for a few days and then another one of my best friends from high school came to visit, which was really fun. Lucie had already visited in August so instead of doing LA’s absolute musts, she got to experience more of my everyday life which was cool. We did however go to Candytopia in Santa Monica and I recommend it if anyone is looking for 90 minutes worth of IG content (@imcoreyrae on Instagram if you want to see my experience there). Now that she's gone and I’ve settled back into my everyday routine, I’ve had a few days to reflect on the things I’ve learned this month and from whom I’m learning from.
I’ve been talking to a guy since early September, I’ve written about him before for a piece I did for StyleCaster.com called, "The Transgender Woman's Field Guide to Dating. In this article, he is the encounter I shared for the Guy #3, the over-accepting type. Over the past month specifically, he has opened my eyes to how boys and men view me both in a trans perspective and not, he’s made me really think about how I act around men and why, and how I can improve my own life by changing my attitudes. I’ve always said I need to date a guy who can put me in my place when necessary. I’m not totally sure how I feel about this particular relationship, but for now I’m learning from the lessons he’s teaching me and I’m continuing to enjoy the ride.
This month my biggest takeaway is being grateful for every experience along my way, and learning from it. I feel more and more grateful every single day, and I love that. I realized that life is always throwing us curveballs and challenging us, that there is infinite space to improve oneself and feed one's mind, that no one is absolutely perfect, and that we all can be doing more to improve our attitudes, mindsets, health, and overall lifestyle. I revel in knowing that I am an ever changing person and sometimes it takes the people you least expect to make you reflect seriously on yourself and your behavioral patterns. I’m excited for Spring and an amazing month ahead. More to come, stay tuned!
Written by Corey Rae --- Edited by Emily Turner