Recharge with a Visit to a Waterfall

Yellow Everything But Water Bikini Waterfall

This weekend was the first time I’ve been swimming since September. I know what you’re thinking. You could get a gym membership and swim during the winter. You could do the polar bear challenge! While these are great solutions to a first world problem, I’ve always enjoyed the feeling of the sun on my face or back as I’ve swum laps in the pool. The joy of looking up and seeing the trees or stars during a late-night swim. Since Georgia has been one of the guinea pig first states to open I’ve waited a while to go out and swim. I realized what I’ve missed about it is the joy you see on everyone’s faces. When you’re in the water you can’t be on your cell phone, you can help but laugh and splash other people. The color blue has been proven to be calming to the mind. It creates a sense of soothing, just like green spaces can improve mood and prevent depression.

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The water was cold, yet refreshing

Swimming has always been my favorite way to clear my head or figure out how I want to play a difficult character. Since the pool at my complex is still closed, I looked for parks with waterfalls. I found this beautiful one that use to be a mill. The area surrounding it is so pretty and makes you feel like you’ve been transported back to an old cowboy town.

Now I will warn you that like many places in Georgia you have to climb down some rocks to get to this spot. One side was basically like climbing a ladder on the other side you could physically walk down, then climb across some rocks to a smaller private waterfall. I was stunned by the sheer beauty of it all. This spot is maybe thirty minutes from Atlanta. There were a good amount of people at the waterfall. Most people were sun tanning on the bank and racing one another to the waterfall. You could hear the people laughing and splashing around. I was just thankful to hear the tranquil sound of rushing water and be thankful for the simple things. I left feeling energized and calm. There is something so beautiful about spending quality time in nature. Have you discovered any beautiful waterfalls? Where is your favorite place to clear your mind and recharge?

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What is Your Definition of Success?

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I found an old journal from 6th grade this weekend. It was from my English class, back when we had to start the first ten minutes of class copying the prompt on the chalkboard into our journals then writing a paragraph or so about the prompt. I absolutely hated writing at the time. Partially, because I loved an in-person debate more, partially because I never felt people correctly understood what I was saying when I wrote. The second journal entry asked what is your definition of success? Back then my response was to own multiple homes in various parts of the world, to make Forbes list of successful people, to have millions in the bank, be married, have kids, and be on various television shows.

As I’ve gotten older my definition of success has shifted I still want to be on various television shows and in movies that will probably never change – but I also think having free time is the ultimate success. We trade so much of our time for money to provide for ourselves, our families, get the next big thing, or show off. I think the true definition of success is having enough money to live comfortably, own your home, be able to work on passion projects like volunteering for charities you love, spend quality time with your kids while they grow up, having a loving respectful marriage where you both share the household work.

anthropologie diffuser, green journal and mirrored dresserOver the years I’ve worked with so many “successful” people who were the angriest, most ungrateful, paranoid people on the planet. The kind of people that see others as stepping stones to their goals, unfortunately, every time they reach their next goal they are still unhappy. They think by making the next 10 million dollar deal for the company they will be fulfilled and get a pretty decent slice of the pie. Unfortunately, their idea of success keeps getting bigger and bigger. Three houses throughout the country, another midlife crisis car, frequent vacations to other parts of the world, a private school for all of their kids, college funds, and trust funds. All of these things are wonderful but can wear on one person when they are expected to keep bringing in more income every year to keep up with the family’s spending. (Lifestyle creep is real!) One of them admitted that he doesn’t consider himself successful because his friend has a net worth that’s 5 times the amount of his. They say comparison is the thief of joy and they would be right.

I think when we focus more on what makes us happy and excited, why we do what we do to make a living then we can appreciate our success. Instead of thinking of all the family members, or friends you want to impress think about what you really want to do. Where do you really want to spend your time and money?

What is your definition of success?

Gratitude for Change

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As we go into this weekend I want everyone to think about gratitude. I want us to think of the things we are grateful for, the positive changes that are going to come out of this the hope we all felt when former President Obama spoke out this week. It reminded me of a simpler time, a time of hope, joy, and change. It reminded me of the excitement we all felt the night a brilliant, well-spoken, charismatic, black man from the southside of Chicago was elected President of the United States. I thought we were so far from our ugly racist history, but years of body cam and cell phone video have proved otherwise. We can and will make this country a better place by voting out problematic members of our government and educating our citizens. We can make this country safe for black people because there are so many people who are willing to listen and change. I am filled in with gratitude at the various people on social media, text, and phone calls that have asked for resources to learn more and be better. To stop sticking their heads in the sand and getting involved in preventing more senseless violence from striking the black community and disgracing our country.

This week I am grateful that we should not have to continue to live in fear of racism, or being shot in our homes due to a police error, oppression at work, financial oppression, and last but certainly not least no one should fear that their son will get shot walking home with his hood on and skittles in his pocket. I don’t know why, but Trayvon Martin’s story is still the one that cuts me to the core to this day. So much potential, light, and joy taken from this world. The fact that he will forever be a 17-year-old boy, not a man. We will never know what great things he could have accomplished.  I know so many amazing black men that could have been him. I hope and pray that no other man, child, or mother has to feel the devastation of burying her child due to racism and police brutality. To the good cops who are protecting and serving the community and holding their fellow cops to the same standard, I am thankful for you. The only way we can grow, heal, and change is by working from the inside out.

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I am grateful for how beautiful the weather has been.

I am grateful for the love that has been shared on social media this week.

I am grateful for everyone who is voting to make a change.

I am grateful for everyone who has taken the time to check on their friends and family.

I am grateful for everyone who has read someones story of injustice this week and been touched by the pain they felt.

I am grateful for everyone who listened to their friends completely and asked how do we help.

I am grateful for everyone who asked for resources to teach themselves and their children to be better.

I am grateful for the people that have let go of toxic beliefs and family members.

I am grateful for my fabulous LGBTQ friends who have supported the Black Lives Matter campaign this month and Pride. I love you all so much more than you ever know.

I am grateful for the celebrities speaking out against violence.

Black Lives Matter |More Justice and Due Process

Hello beautiful people!

More Justice More Peace

This is one of the few posts I’ve struggled with. As a black woman in Atlanta, GA my eyes have been opened to racism way more than I ever expected in 2020. When I moved to Atlanta it was because this was supposed to be where black people thrived. This was the land of milk and honey. Black businesses, lawyers, doctors lived and thrived here like kings. I could finally see myself reflected as one of many college-educated people working throughout the city and shopping at the mall. Instead of being one of the few people that looked like me older white women, employed as salespeople, followed my mom (dressed in a business suit) and I all over Nordstrom as I looked for a homecoming dress like we were going to shoplift. Now I understand that this is still Georgia, a very large conservative red state that loves to fly the Confederate flag. Trust me there have been many road trips through the backwoods of Georgia that I did not drink water for over three hours because I was terrified to stop in a certain area for fear I would end up missing. You all know I love south Florida with all my heart, and I can honestly say the few racist encounters I had over the years there growing up. Every time something happened, I felt hurt, disappointed, but I refused to accept hate in my heart for a few bad apples. I accepted that these people were probably raised ignorantly and did not have the bandwidth to learn about other cultures or ask questions (even though Palm Beach County is a huge melting pot).

I even had a close friend in college tell me racism was not real. In my mind, I was completely stunned, that a blonde-haired blue-eyed poster child for all American beauty would tell me that racism did not exist. I told her that it definitely does exist and that she would not notice because she was not the target of racism. Her boyfriend even stepped in to say he knew racism existed and did what he could for friends whenever he noticed it. He was always an incredibly empathetic guy and for that, I am so grateful. I told her about the microaggressions I experienced while dating in south Florida. I had so many white guys pursue me through Facebook message and text, spend hours talking to me on the phone, and at parties only to disappear into a crowd when we were on a date in public. Only to never introduce me to their close friends or family after six months of being in an exclusive relationship. It finally clicked in my head that they were more afraid of losing their family’s financial support, future trust funds, and being “made fun of” by people, they knew than treating me with the respect I deserved. I even had this happen in college when a guy I was dating walked by me like I was wallpaper with his friends on campus as I waved to him. He texted me later to say he was, “sorry”. I blocked his number. My high school sweetheart was Hispanic, and his friends and family relentlessly made racist comments to my face about my skin being ugly, my appearance to looking like a monkey, cockroach, and other asinine insults. This became one of the major tipping points in us breaking up because I could not marry into a family that does not respect me. I could not have children with a man that would not stand up for me. I could not risk letting some ignorant women call my child disgusting names and trying to make them hate themselves any more than the world already would. The irony of this is his family was Puerto Rican and darker in skin tone and thicker in hair texture than I am. I pointed out that contrary to popular belief we both have originated from Africa and that their comments showed a lot of self-hatred. I think every skin tone, hair texture is beautiful because it adds variety to our world.

In my first corporate job in Atlanta, I found out I was making five thousand dollars less than the previous white receptionist. She told me flat out that my test scores were higher than hers, and every other candidate they ever had. She also told me what she was making before she left so I would not be screwed over. (She also pointed out that I had a year of office experience something she did not). However, when I fought for that salary, I was told to take the lesser amount or walk. As time went on in the company my boss said at a lunch meeting that, “The south should have won. That they had far better leadership.” I felt I was not in a position to say anything for fear of losing my job and my only means of supporting myself. I choked down my burger and went to the bathroom to cry. The next year I moved up to an admin position. The new receptionist and admins complained about their salaries to me. I found out that the receptionist was making more than I currently was by nine thousand dollars and the admins by twenty thousand dollars. I finally realized it did not matter that I went to a private university, graduated with a philosophy degree, worked harder than everyone else, never came in drunk, did not complain and made everyone else’s lives easier, I was still a black woman in the south. These women while polite at times, came in late often, took two-hour lunches, left early, caused drama, ran off various analysts, associates, and receptionists like it was Game of Thrones. They had no problem screaming and cussing each other out across the bullpen while employees were on the phone with clients and drinking at work. They continued to make more than I did while doing less work for no other reason than the fact that they were blonde, and white from the same small towns in Georgia as a lot of the vice presidents and managing directors were.

Coming to Atlanta the birthplace of civil rights, home of the Civil and Human Rights Museum, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s childhood home it is disheartening to see the work and sacrifices of so many have pushed us forward very little. I do not understand why it is okay for someone to walk into a church, murder nine people, permanently traumatize so many more and walk out in handcuffs without a scratch, without a knee to the back or throat. But a black man running through a neighborhood can be gunned down in the street by two citizens and they never received an arrest until Twitter had to create a national outcry MONTHS after the murder occurred. To see that four police officers pinned down George Floyd a man who was not holding a weapon, did not threaten or shoot anyone thrown on the gravel with a knee pinned on his forty-six-year-old neck. I do not understand how anyone can say this is anything other than racism.

I am heartbroken for every person that is terrified to be pulled over for fear of getting killed. I am heartbroken for every person that has false reports made against them. I am heartbroken for every person that has been told they deserve to be treated like a criminal because of their skin tone. I am heartbroken for every person that just wants to live their life equally like everyone else but cannot because of arbitrary ignorant fears and beliefs.

Yes, I know there are riots and crime and utter chaos happening in our metropolises. I do think a lot of the violence and crime have been caused by other races using this movement to cover up their actions. People are angry. Everyone has lost their jobs, some of their homes, and they want someone to blame. I think this movement was the perfect time and opportunity for people to loot under the guise of the Black Lives Matter movement. A time to commit crimes because “everyone else was doing it” and it will be hard to hold people accountable. I have seen many videos of black people begging people of other races to spot spray painting, breaking, and setting fire to things. Crying out that this is not the support we are asking for! That this only fuels the negative narrative the media has already spread. I’ve seen videos of black people volunteering to clean up areas that have been damaged the next day. I have seen the heartbreak of people going to a peaceful protest only to walk back and find their own car has been spray painted or their business looted. I am not saying this is positive, but thankfully our material things can be replaced. We can rally around and rebuild, but we cannot gain back the lives of people who have been killed. This country of mine has a history of killing young black man falsely such as George Stinney Jr. who was fourteen in 1944 when he was sentenced to be executed by an electric chair. He was accused of killing two white girls age eleven and seven. He was held in solitary for over eighty days without seeing his parents and they were not allowed at his trial. He was treated as though he was guilty before even getting the right to due process. He has since been proven innocent. Stories like these are the reason why we as a country need to change.

There have also been peaceful protests for years. Kneeling to the flag during the anthem at NFL games, the Black Lives Matter movement that was immediately disrespected and watered down by the blue lives matter and all lives matter comments. The difference between blue lives matter and black lives matter is you volunteered, trained, and get paid to be a cop. Black people never asked to be born black. While we love and celebrate the skin we are in, we never asked for systematic hate, racism, and disadvantages.

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What can you do to help?

  1. Take an educated look into each elected official for local government. I’m talking county and city, senate representatives, and the huge primary presidential election. Vote for the greater good. You are never going to agree with everything a candidate supports, but if there is a greater candidate of the two picks the one that will do the least amount of harm.
  2. Donate to lawyers that are offering to bail out protestors. (If you have five dollars to spare, we all know how hard and tight it is for everyone financially).
  3. Actually, listen. Listen to your friends from other ethnicities when they mention dealing with microaggressions as well as physical aggression. Do not dismiss them look at your phone or belittle their feelings and concern.
  4. Be an ally. Have the awkward conversations when someone at work makes a racist joke or a family member does at dinner. The same as you should if someone used a gay slur. We all need to stick together and demand that everyone be better and more empathetic to one another.
  5. Teach your kids to judge based on character, not appearance. Children are the future and buying your kids dolls and storybooks of other cultures teaches them about all the beautiful people in the world. It breaks down stereotypes and walls so we can teach the next generation to be even better than us.

 

If you’ve read this far thank you. Thank you for trying to understand. Thank you for listening. I hope I gave you some idea of a way you can help and make a change.

A Week in My Life Prequarantine vs Now

Hello beautiful people!

I hope you are staying safe. Have you finally finished that 1000 piece puzzle and gained back 4 of your 6 pack abs? No, me either. I decided to through together a quick week in my life pre-quarantine vs now vlog on my Youtube channel. I thought it would be a fun juxtaposition from the standard at-home content. So if you have eight minutes to spare, I would love if you would spend them with me.

What are your favorite videos to watch? Do you have any channel recommendations for me?

Using Music to Uplift Your Mood

Hello Beautiful people!

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Yesterday I was feeling a little down, overwhelmed, and frankly concerned. I tried to focus on some tv shows I’d been meaning to watch (Bluff City Law and Games People Play) but found myself overwhelmed with thoughts of everything I hadn’t done and other ways to supplement my income. Many ideas I had set into motion are on hold, for obvious reasons. While I was trying to pivot and clean out my iCloud (since when will I have the time to do so) I found a video from the Post Malone concert I went to back in March. Austin Richard Post took the time to tell us we could be anything we wanted to. Not to let fear hold us back, that he was sleeping in a friend’s walk-in closet before he was discovered. I got inspired to look up some of his music videos on YouTube. I then ended up going down a YouTube rabbit hole of great music.

Abercrombie and Fitch green lace top, bcbgmaxazria skirt Keri Elaine

I don’t know about you, but I’d forgotten the days of using YouTube to play music videos and dance around in my house instead of watching another makeup tutorial, clothing haul, or Amazon round up. I sat and listened to my classics from my iPod via YouTube, Wonderwall by Oasis, Mr. Brightside by the Killers, I Miss You by Blink 182. This moment of nostalgia reminded me that this too shall pass. So often we get stuck in a loop thinking we are always going to be exactly where we are or feeling hopeless but it’s all temporary. Hearing these songs reminded me of sitting in 2nd hour A.P. English Literature after finding out I did not get a role in the play after two rounds of callbacks. At the time I tried not to feel sad about it but after the first round of callbacks, I could taste that role. I put my heart into the performance, only to find that it was not enough. However later that same day a classmate I was not particularly fond of told me, “I just want you to know you killed it yesterday. I told two other people at callbacks that the role should have been yours, but it’s politics.” In the strangest way, this made me feel better. After all, art is subjective. Sometimes you don’t get the role because they already picked out the kids or the husband and you don’t look enough like the two of them to fit the story.

For some reason listening to some of my favorites reminded me how we are constantly moving and changing. How one moment can feel sad and devastating the next you are moving on to other bigger opportunities and making or meeting lifelong friends. I say all of this to remind you, if you are feeling low, don’t be afraid to pop on some of your old music. There is nothing better than music to distract, inspire, underscore a story, or shift your mindset. You are loved. You are badass! You will get through this.

What are some of your favorite songs to listen to when you need a pick me up?

Five Types of Guys you Meet on Dating Apps

Hello beautiful people and happy Monday! During this quarantine, I decided to hop on Hinge since I figured hey I have nothing better to do. I thought maybe since people can’t see each other in person we’ll be more apt to go back to the way it was of when people courted and actually got to know each other before trying to seduce you into their bedroom. It’s been about three weeks now and I can say it’s honestly been a wild ride. I’ve known people who met their fiancés, boyfriends, husbands, etc. off of Tinder and Bumble however my experiences on Tinder have never been positive.

Keri Elaine doorway, pink polka dot marriage beautiful girl

For the sake of this experiment, because that’s what it’s beginning to feel like I decided to post pictures that show off my personality but we’re not in any way sexual. Meaning no bikini pictures even though I’m often traveling to tropical places or around the pool. No club attire and no headshots. In the past, I’ve listed my job as an actor in my profile. From the get-go instead of mentioning my finance day job. This often-brought men who set out to play 21 questions about my job. “Are you really an actor? Well, what would I have seen you in? You seem too fat to be an actor.  Well, how much do you make? You can’t be doing well since you are not based in Los Angeles. Oh, I’m an actor too I’ve been an extra for 3 years.”

While I don’t mind questions, asking some of these right off the bat without trying to get to know me outside of my career seems a bit like a fact-finding interview instead of getting to know a person you potentially want to build a life with. I can’t tell you how many times I have asked a finance bro, engineer, or consultant to explain their job only for them to give me the most basic one-line synopsis. This makes me laugh because I know many people working their exact job, and the descriptions the guys have given me don’t even cover 10 percent of the position. I’ve never felt a need to ask an architect to build a house in front of me to prove that they are in fact who they say they are. So I don’t know why people want comedians and actors to personally preform for them to prove their talent. It feels strange to me. Especially since I am looking for a partner to uplift, laugh, and work through problems that pop up in life, not a competitor or someone insecure.

So why do artists need to justify their success by telling you what shows or exhibitions their work has been featured in that YOU would know. I don’t know you yet, so I don’t know what type of shows you watch and frankly, I don’t know if I care to get to know you if you act this aggressively with strangers.

On Hinge, I listed myself as a finance admin since that is the position I have been working in for the past four years. So far, I’ve met five types of guys. Let’s start with the positive.

5 types of men you meet on dating apps, hinge

1. One of the genuinely nice guys who message you every day and just wanting to get to know you on a human level. They take interest in what you like to read, watch, and what you do when you’re not in a quarantine. I found that these guys are very close to their families and make it a point to call their families at least a couple times a week.

2. The second is the fuck boi. These are the guys that start out saying things like hey beautiful or hey sexy! Which is always a oh no red flag in my book. I say that because usually if someone starts out the conversation based on your looks on a dating app it rapidly progresses to them only asking for nudes literally no conversation just ok sexy so do you have a Snapchat? What’s your number? I would rather text your number than on here. You give them your number and then literally all they will text you is hey it’s fuck boi such and such why don’t you send me a sexy picture of yourself? Come on just do it. Just one of your boobs just for me. Like you are supposed to be flatter than a literal stranger feels entitled to viewing your body before they even know your last name. My response why would I do that I don’t know you? For all I know you could be some 50-year-old fat man sitting in a chair or my friends’ dad.

3. The guy who’s not over his ex. He usually will mention his ex in his profile. Something along the lines of as long as you’re nothing like my ex-girlfriend we will get along fine. Red flag if he’s mentioning his ex in his dating profile he clearly is not over her. These guys usually make comments like as long as you don’t complain about me playing video games or going to the sports bar-like my ex did. Why are you bringing up your ex when you’re on a dating app? If you still are carrying a torch for her shouldn’t you reach out to her for closure or go to therapy. These guys are often kind of misogynistic too and sometimes have expectations in general. Like women should be seen and not heard or speak when spoken to. Women should not complain when I come home late reeking of beer in another woman’s perfume just previous experiences trust me.

4. The people who lie in their profiles. There are a lot of people that have a habit of not fully filling out their profile. For example omitting that they have kids. Then posting a picture of a young child and I’m talking an 8-month-old infant in their photos with some kind of weird caption saying oh ask me about this photo. When you do they say oh this is my son he’s 8 months. All you could think is why don’t you try to work it out with the mother of your child? Instead of bringing another third party into an already potentially chaotic situation? I’m totally fine with the concept of dating someone who has children but you need to be honest from the get-go not hide the fact that you have children from this potential stepmom. There are a lot of factors that come in with dating someone with a child. You have to deal with scheduling babysitters swapping weekends being very flexible to last-minute changes . You also have to make it a point to speak to the baby’s mom and establish rules. Ask what she feels comfortable with, obviously you wouldn’t discipline her child but just knowing like is he allergic to anything? Who should I call in case of emergency? Is there a specific pediatrician I should have the number to? When you’re just starting to get to know someone the last thing you really want is to add in a new relationship with their ex and current child. Other guys will lie about smaller things. In their profile that they do not drink or smoke but then post multiple pictures of themselves drinking and smoking. Which then makes you wonder if they just mean they only drink and smoke socially or are those the only pictures they had of themselves? Or are they just not telling the truth.

Black woman, curly hair, beautiful, Fenty Summer Face, pink polka dot, Abercrombie and fitch, gray doorway
Me, when thirsty dudes want me to meet them in the middle of a Public health crisis. #6feet

As I’ve gotten to know various guys I’ve made it a point to tell them that I am an actor usually by day two of our conversations. They’ll ask what I’ve been up to and I’ll tell them I’ve sent out my self- tapes. I have since there have been so many great open casting calls with casting directors and certain network television shows. Some have taken it well. Others I could tell were immediately annoyed because to them that means I will not permanently live In Georgia. Personally, I don’t think I want to live in Georgia long term, and I’ve made a point to say that in a couple years I would probably want to move. I’ve also had some guys make comments about how actors do sex scenes and not understanding that we have a protocol for staging them and that actors do not actually have literal pornographic sex with each other contrary to popular belief. If you’re confused about this see my or a blog post on intimacy here. I think part of this is also just because Georgia is notoriously conservative even though there are tons of guys here on the down-low if you know what I mean. Who is not being completely honest with themselves their partners or their families.

5. The insecure one is the guy that when you don’t message him back within 30 minutes will send you 3 heys. He’s also the type that will mention family problems two lines into a conversation. When you send back your empathy and mentioning how you know therapy is really great and helpful to work through things. They get defensive and say they don’t need therapy. When therapy is great! Everyone should go to therapy. It is a great way to talk through situations and have learned how to cope with the different things that happened to us in life. They will then backtrack and say oh I’ve been in therapy before that was really helpful.

The main thing I’ve noticed from all the different dudes I’ve met on Hinge is that they’re all are very quick to want to meet you. Everyone wants to meet you in person even though we’re literally in the middle of a public health crisis. I cannot tell you how many times I have said no we can talk on soon Zoom or the phone. In response, the guy will whine about how this could go on for months. How are we ever going to meet? We might as well just do it now. I respond with the fact that I’m not willing to risk my health for the sake of meeting someone that I could meet over FaceTime until it’s safe. If we truly are meant to be then our personalities should click through FaceTime. I really don’t see what the big deal would be about waiting another month and a half just see each other in person. The blatant disregard for health tells me that most of those guys just want sex. The ones that I have Zoomed with I’ve noticed we don’t really talk after. I think we could both tell that there wasn’t really a connection. In one case the guy picked the time for us to do the call then was two hours late to do it. He had decided to go to the grocery store instead but didn’t text me to give me a heads up. I didn’t even mention that he was late to the call I just asked if he was okay since he usually texted me pretty frequently.  He then spent the entire Zoom call putting up his dishes and looking so pissed off. It was very obvious from the call that our personalities are not compatible. I’m definitely more extroverted but can handle being alone since I am an only child. He on the other hand clearly needs to be around his friends 24/7, because he mentioned doing multiple virtual happy hours and walks with them throughout the day. Even though he is an introvert and describes himself as stoic.

Overall dating during the quarantine has taught me that there are some decent guys out there. It is a lot easier to weed out all the bad guys, without having to sit through a 2-hour dinner wondering if you should ask the waiter for the bill. Debating if you should text him later that you don’t see this going anywhere or saying it to his face at dinner. This has been a much quicker way to immediately say no to the people that shouldn’t be in your life and say yes to getting to know the people who are meant to be there. Have any of you tried dating during the quarantine? What has your experience been like?

Valentine’s Day

First and foremost Happy Valentine’s Day darlings! I think Valentine’s Day is a beautiful reminder to appreciate the ones you love. Even if that means just calling them to say two things you love about them.

Red Abercrombie and Fitch dress and off white tufted chair

I picked up this fabulous off the shoulder side tie red dress from Abercrombie and Fitch.  Which is on sale btw! This looks completely different than the Abercrombie and Fitch I worked at eight years ago, so shout out to their new buyer this linen dress is so beautiful!

Red Abercrombie and Fitch dress and off white tufted studded chair

I recently finished reading a book called The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo and it made me rethink my perspective on love. At one point in life I thought love was very black and white. Now I know there are tons of gray areas with love. Times where you are so drawn to someone that it is entirely magnetic and other times when you just get butterflies. Then just complete admiration for another person. You can read some of the reviews here to get a good summary. By nature I am a complete hopeless romantic. I love nothing more than great conversation, when a guy plans out a unique date and remembers the little things I even forgot I said. This always shocks my friends, because I’m often single and dating longer than I am in a relationship. I’ll be honest with you all, it’s because I have been afraid of commitment. Why? When I am in a relationship I am one hundred percent invested in my person. I use every spare minute I have to do what my guy wants, shop for the perfect birthday gift for him, plan a party, hang out with his friends and sometimes his family. The thing is in the past this has not been reciprocated. My ex’s have often been insecure due to rumors their “friends” made up, comments about me being out of their league or allowed their families to dictate who they can date and make racist remarks to me. The only thing I wanted was quality time with my man, who loves and trust me unconditionally and would stick up for me with his family/friends.

Red Abercrombie and Fitch dress, long brown hair and off white tufted studded chair

This past year I have taken the time to completely fall head over heels in love with myself. I have planned trips, taken acting classes, laughed with old friends over lunch, gone to viewing parties for my fellow actors, had drinks with some interesting people and honestly loved every minute of it. Ironically I had a four-hour conversation with a stranger about love, life, and marketing. Our conversation basically reminded me that through everything, I still completely believe in love. The kind that is patient, magnetic, passionate, selfless and comes when you are completely happy with where you are in life.

Laughing in a Red Abercrombie and Fitch dress and off white tufted studded chair

This year my Valentine is my fur baby who loves me unconditionally and I am completely fine with that! Do you think there are different types of love?

Red Abercrombie and Fitch dress and side ties with a grey cat

 

Reflecting on My Grad Cap

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My grad cap from 2015. Photo taken by Leticia Ras Andercia.

This is my grad cap. Two years ago I graduated from the University of Miami with the intent of finally moving to Los Angeles to pursue acting full-time.  Over the years I pursued other hobbies and interest of mine, however, my heart kept pulling me towards acting. This has been my dream since I was in the fourth grade. I never mentioned my plan to anyone, except my mom since she has consistently supported my dreams. I always wanted to go to college, but once I got there I never truly felt like I found a school where I belonged. There were times I questioned if I wanted to stick it out and finish my degree, however, I never wanted to look back and wish I just pushed through. My last year I made some great friends that continue to inspire, support and love me unconditionally. This cap was the first time I was going to show my family and friends what my plan was post-graduation.

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I went through the process of downsizing to save money (and meet an awesome roomie love you Nicole) and put my stuff in storage to later be shipped to LA. It took about six months longer than planned for me to save up to make sure I had a contingency fund. I did move to Los Angeles and live there for six months, however, I wanted to look into other opportunities in a less expensive area. So I moved to Atlanta, where tons of movies and TV shows are being filmed every day. I currently work a corporate job (which obviously was not my original game plan). A girl has to eat after all right? I still audition on the weekend and hope to pursue my dreams full time. Even though this is not where I planned to be when I graduated two years ago, I can honestly say these past two years has taught me a lot. I have learned to stick up for myself. I use to let my families expectations, unsolicited commentary and advice affect me. These past two years has given me the strength to say look, guys this is my life and you don’t have to approve of everything I do or say, but you will respect it. I have never done anything that has hurt anyone or affect anyone else’s life. I have not relied on you for financial or emotional support so I do not have to do what you want. This is my one life to live and I have the autonomy to do with it what I please. I have also learned to love the season of being single. There are so many people that make this seem like a death sentence, but it is not. This is the one time in my life where I only have to worry about my needs, deal-breakers and wants. If I want to travel halfway across the world tomorrow I don’t have to ask my boyfriend if he is okay with it or if we have dinner plans with his parents this weekend. My point is graduation brings a sense of hope and fear. The world is literally yours to make your mark no matter how small. It can feel intimidating! That my dears is the beauty of this all, there is no wrong way to live your life as long as you stay true to yourself.

 

-Keri Elaine