In my first blog post of 2018, I wrote about 2017 being the year of Fire, and 2018 supposedly being the year of Earth. It’s clear to most that our world seemed to be torn down in 2017 and 2018 was going to be about rebuilding; and that was true for me. I learned and grew more than I ever had in a year to date. As I get older time not only goes by faster, but it teaches me more too. I set out to remember three things in 2018, confidence, persistence, and thoughtfulness; and I truly lived by those words even when I wasn't doing so consciously. I trusted my path more than ever, and realized that the greater the risk, the greater the reward. I became more thankful and grateful for what I have and started to set myself up for long-term career successes. To say goodbye to a hard yet wonderful year, I’ve compiled a brief list of my favorite 2018 Highlights!
This first month of 2018 started with one of my best friends visiting me in LA. As I hit my 1 year mark in this gorgeous city I now call my home, Michaela and I explored LA and got matching piercings on Venice Beach. I got double helix piercings, and they were my first since having my lobes pierced in high school. My new ear-bling gave me the slight edge I had always wanted in changing up my aesthetic, and regardless of my moms dislike for them, I love them, and they’ve become part of my signature look.
I feel like I was initiated into LA culture when I bought my first crystal, an apophyllite with stilbite clusters, which help with manifestation and intuition. It was a stone I had my eye on for months and I am forever grateful for the energy it gives off. I also modeled in three of my favorite photoshoots to date with three of my favorite photographer-friends, and started to focus heavily on my Instagram-game.
In March I went home to NJ/NYC to visit and be at my cousins sweet 16, which was just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. My college bff Vanessa, introduced me to Jeff Perla of the popular Instagram account, @TheTravelinBum. The next day Jeff photographed me nude and featured me and my bum as the first trans woman on the account. I was happily surprised by how comfortable I was posing nude with NYC skyscrapers as my background. To end the month, my best friend from high school, Lucie, came to visit me in LA for a second time, and we had so much fun doing touristy things like CandyTopia .
April was truly life changing. I went to Coachella for the first time and words will never be able to express my gratitude for the experience. All I can say is that my life changed for the better. I wrote about it here.
May was an interesting month. My same-aged cousin got married, and my stress was at an all-time high from the office job I had been working. As I was packing to leave for Lighting in a Bottle, a festival I was looking forward to for months, I had an alarming problem with my digestive track that landed me in the the hospital. Miraculously, I pulled through and made it to Lightning in a Bottle, which was another life changing experience… and the first festival I went through completely sober.
My life took its biggest turn of the year this month. On the 3rd I celebrated my 25th birthday, and after that night I gave up drinking in the hopes of looking and feeling my best for years to come. Jeff Perla came to stay with me for LA Pride and he got us VIP/Backstage tickets. This was my favorite Pride experience to date. Due to some schmoozing, I landed myself a feature on Vogue.com and on their instagram account, which was a literal dream come true for me. After that day, I set out on becoming a full-time writer, model, and public speaker.
I spent July in typical LA summer style with beach days in Malibu, writing at my favorite coffee shop, and modeling in gorgeous bikini photoshoots. I made new friends, learned to love my alone time, and enjoyed the adventures of summertime in LA.
Last minute, I went to Splash House, a festival in Palm Springs that I had wanted to go to for months, but never took action on. It was ratchet, in the best of ways, and really helped me let loose, release my inhibitions, and confirmed that the greater the risk, the greater the reward.
This was the month that I started my bi-monthly profiles (which I took a break from in December.) This new section to my site has given me the ability to elevate stories other than my own, and open the eyes of my audience to a variety of LGBTQ+ lives. I was also a guest on Chris Klemens and Christine Sydelko’s hilarious podcast, “Don’t Mess with Chris and Christine,” which was a full circle moment from the year before when Chris interviewed me for his Youtube channel on the streets of Hollywood.
October was an extremely eventful month. My bff Vanessa moved to LA, Jeff Perla visited me again, my friend Whitney had her baby shower, and I walked in the first ever equality fashion week show. I also took a personal tour of the Sony lots given by my friend from college, Richard, which was a ton of fun. Within the month I was featured in Sara Bareilles music video, Armor, and walked in the Toni & Guy charity hair show.
I felt proud to vote in a midterm election for the first time this November. I also walked in the GARRAS fashion show benefiting the Translatina Coalition, and I spoke at the first ever Trans March in LA. I met wonderful new friends like transgender actress Cassandra James, and I finally hit my goal of 10k followers on Instagram. At the end of the month, the web series I co-wrote, “To Be Me…,” went into production, and I flew to Pittsburgh to both oversee the script and make my acting debut.
My mom and bff Lucie road tripped to Pittsburgh to visit me on the set of “To Be Me…” which wrapped a few days later. When I got back home to LA, a movie script about me winning prom queen made this year’s Black List; a coveted list of scripts that the industry wants to see be made. I had been working on the screenplay with a friend from high school, Harry Tarre, for nearly 3 years and we exceeded our goal of not only being on the list, but Vulture.com chose ours as one of their favorite five, and had an illustrator draw a scene from it. Throughout the month I reflected a lot, tied up loose ends, and headed to Santa Fe to meet my brothers girlfriends (Sarah’s) family. Santa Fe was gorgeous in every way. The architecture, food, people, skies, stars, and spas. It truly has a piece of my heart, and so does Sarah’s family. I can’t wait to return again.
In the second to last day of this year, I had a moment of clarity in the shower. What occured for me I’ve decided to save for the ending of the book I hope will become published this year. On New Year’s Eve, I prepared for this year ahead, and spent the night dancing into the new year surrounded by incredible friends. What could be better?
I had a gut feeling that 2019 would be the year of money, and would say that to my friends and family throughout the past few months... turns out, it is! With this positive mindset, I’m looking forward to what this new year will bring, and I’m excited by the surprise of it all. I’m calling this year my Kylie Jenner year, the year of monetary success, entrepreneurship, and continuing to make a difference, but on an even larger scale. I have resolutions like reading at least 10 pages a day, taking even better care of my health, and pushing through the hurdles that may suddenly appear on my path.
Here's to a healthy, happy, loving and successful new year!