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Dream Big 44

Lights, camera, action. To some people those are just words used to describe a common

phrase. But to me, those words are beautiful. When you know in your heart what you want to do, want to achieve in life, and the mere thought of not doing it destroys you inside. Although

wanting doesn't necessarily mean it will happen.

When I was a little girl my family had horses. I rode fairly well for an eight year old. At the time I had never dreamt of being an actress, but I loved being in front of a camera. Then it all changed after watching National Velvet, with Elizabeth Taylor. I had previously seen her in Lassie Come Home, but it wasn't until she was on a horse that it had my attention. I loved horses, and I wanted to be just like Miss Taylor. Then one day my father had come home from work with some interesting news he'd heard. A movie was being made within close proximity of our area and they were looking for a dark haired little girl that could ride horses. Of course I heard everything and was beside myself with excitement. I wanted to be that little dark haired girl they were looking for. Apparently they were holding auditions that weekend and I spoke up that I wanted to try out. Of course my dad thought it would be perfect for me. He grew up in a time when movies and theatre were a big deal, that's all there really was to do. My mother however came from a different time frame altogether. She didn't want me to do it, and after a few minutes of my parents arguing about it, I wasn't allowed to do it. No audition for me.

Years went by, and I grew up into an angry teenager like every other kid. But I was always artistic. I loved art, drawing, and painting came with hard work, but I got better with time. I also loved to write as much as I loved to read. I used to imagine myself as the main character of the books I read, and would almost study the dialog as if I would recite it some day. I wrote depressing poetry, and hardcore angry lyrics to express myself. Of course reciting the words from my heart was only rewarded with laughter at my house. So from then on I kept my angry words to myself. I figured out from an early age it didn't pay to be creative. Luckily, I had music to keep the savage beast in me calm. If it weren't for bands like Iron Maiden, and solo artists like David Bowie, and Madonna I would have gone stir crazy. One thing I also enjoyed doing as a child into my teenage years was to sing. And singing along to my idols was my way of escaping. Of course I had no personal training, but when the school music teacher said I had the natural vocal talent that would be an asset to be trained professionally I went straight home to ask my parents for vocal lessons. Unfortunately my parents didn't make enough money to afford such a luxury, and there was no vocal lessons for me. And definitely no art school to send me to after high school either. I never blamed my parents for not being able to do the things I wanted to do, but I would've liked the much needed moral support, and to tell me to go for it anyway on my own. It was never about their lack on financial ability, it was always the lack of positive reinforcement I needed the most. I stopped caring about school entirely, I began to cut classes and even skipped school. The only way I even passed my freshman year was by cheating on tests and copying my work off my friends. What was the point of it if I couldn't go forward and do what I dreamt of doing?

Fast forward through like an old movie reel and you can see my life passing by in strips of color. Giving up my dreams was something that was forced by reality. Getting pregnant in high school was not at the first on my priority list, but that's what happens to bored girls who've had their dreams taken from them, their spirits broken, while left feeling that their not special enough to someone that sees them for who they are, and not the needy attention whore that they'd become. Skip to the next scene and I'm now a single mother trying to raise a kid on two jobs, only to get involved with the wrong guys and ending up with another kid to take care of. Stress comes in all forms and so does the many ways to alleviate it. I had no help unless I hired it, and no one to lean on when I simply wanted to talk. Unfortunately take a young woman with no time to discover herself and you find yourself with two kids, two jobs, and a developing drinking problem. Not good. I never drank around my kids though, I waited for the babysitter to come, and then I'd go out drinking and dancing in a bar somewhere. But getting pulled over while shitty ass drunk will wake you up quick. I still don't know how I passed a sobriety test, but I did. And that was the last time this single mom went out to relieve some stress. I never missed a play, or a field trip, and I never let them down. But as a momma, I needed something. I felt there was an emptiness inside me that I couldn't fill, until the words came to me. Page after page I wrote poetry, and passionate lyrics again, not all were angry; I finally felt not only a release, but I felt whole again. Apparently it was my muse that had been missing. I had made her an outcast after giving up on my dreams. But she was back and had finally came home where she belonged.

The years have passed me by, I'm older now, wiser. I have no idea how time seems to move on so fast. Now that I worked so hard to keep my kids happy I worked on trying to make myself happy too. I had a new life, and I had three more beautiful children added to it. But having children doesn't mean that part of you inside is dead. The part of yourself that is the muse. She's constantly whispering in my ear all those dreams I'd forgotten about. I listened to her, and accepted that my talents were not wasted away with my youth as it did. Inspired by my children, and advised by my muse I started writing again. Not just powerful words of emotion, but the words of characters from a far away land. It was a place of magic where I could finally escape to. While my kids were at school, playing, or sleeping; I worked hard at my keyboard. Once my masterpiece was complete I began the journey to become a published author. And while I waited for a response to each query letter I sent out, I wrote more, and more, until I had the beginning of my trilogy. Five years later, and over 100 rejection letters I gave pause to my dream of becoming a published author. I spent all that time rewriting, revising and reevaluating my words. Where had I gone wrong? Another year had passed and I decided I was going to finally send my manuscript back out in the world hoping for a better response. More positive feedback was acquired, and more requests to read the entire book this time around. But again, I add at least another 50 or so rejections to my list. I'm beginning to worry I'll have run out of agents to query. So here I am, frustrated, but the muse whispers in my ear again. My characters have begun to miss me, and I them. My story had to be told, and I still needed to finish what I'd set out to do. Finish writing my trilogy. But what began had a great start, until halfway through it I began to get distracted with what I never thought possible.

I have a big thing for cars, tattoos, and pinup girls. I wanted all three of them. So about a couple of years ago in between lots of breaks between writing, editing, work, and kids, I tried something radical. I had done really well for myself and bought a present, a 2013 RT Classic Challenger, in Plum Crazy Purple. I saved and worked hard, budgeting wisely, and giving up my shoe collecting habit. Then I began collecting tattoos instead, finally after years of denying myself the pleasure of having them. I had all the makings of being a pinup girl, but I was missing something. A friend of mine wanted to get back into photography, and I gladly volunteered to be her first model. I had modeled before, a long time ago when images were taken on film. It was amazing being able to see the images right after they were taken. And thus I was a born again model, a pinup model. And social media was the one thing that helped me get out there. Once the new images of me were posted I was asked by other local photographers to pose for them. And from fall of that year until May of last year I was playing around with the idea of modeling professionally. I thought it was a dream come true when my first publication came out, I had never imagined it would happen to me. But it did. And one year and 53 magazines, 3 calendars, a back cover, several center folds, and a front cover later, I'm living a dream I once thought was gone forever. But sometimes when one door opens others open after it. Remember when I wanted to be an actress? That's almost what it feels like as a pinup model. I feel like I become a character, playing a role, and doing what I love. And then another path is discovered on my journey to my dreams. A new door is opened to another world, a world I want to be in. In this industry, and in the social media world new connections are made. And new opportunities are only an email away.

Technology makes applying for extra work on television or movies almost stupid easy. And being a model makes for it being all the more better for me. All of my life I had given up the notion of being an actress, but with the help from others I have been able to be on 4 different tv shows as a background extra. I'm not expecting to be discovered, I've been but a mere shadow, but with hard work and determination I may someday be able to come into the light. But chasing your dreams comes with a price. And it comes with sacrifice. Financially and socially you lose a lot in trying to break into the world of acting. I've spent as much money traveling as I've made as an extra, and I've gotten behind with my responsibilities as an adult, and as a parent. So when do I know when to let the dream go? I try to be cautious in all that I do, I try to budget as tightly as I can, but I've learned the hard way that the three things that I love to do doesn't pay the bills alone yet. I'm not expecting to become a millionaire. I'll be satisfied with doing what I love and living a comfortably modest life. I don't even have to go on vacation. But I'd love to take my kids to Disney World one day. If I can make enough to get out of debt and live without worry I would be happy. My only wish is to do what I love in order to achieve such goals of an honest living. And to me loving what I do is the truest living of all.

So what does the future hold for me? I do not know. All I do know is that I struggle. Sometimes I want to quit because it would be easier than to admit defeat. But isn't quitting considered failure as well? I'll be honest that I'm scared to death. I've taken on more than I can control. I have responsibilities of a parent. But I have responsibilities to myself as well. I don't want to give up fighting for what I believe in. Is it wrong that I believe in myself? Is it wrong that I want to follow my heart and make my dreams happen? Or at least try? I started Dream Big as a diary of my dreams, how I'm balancing life with trying to achieve my goals. Now I've taken it a step further with my YouTube channel. Interviewing others who are, or have made their dreams happen is a huge inspiration for me. And as it has inspired me I want to share this feeling that I'm not alone, and that others should benefit from it as well. So I will share not only my achievements and heartaches, I'll share the stories of others who inspire us with words of wisdom to never give up on your dreams. Will I get my wish and achieve the goals I've worked so hard to have? I don't know. But what I do know is no matter how down I become, no matter how scared I feel, and no matter how bad I want to quit, I will not give in to my fears. I will keep believing in myself, continue to work hard, and I will keep fighting with everything I have.

No matter the hardships, no matter the obstacles, no matter the doubters, or the haters, don't stop what you feel is right for you. Keep dreaming, and always dream big.

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