Hey all I am back again, and it’s been a hot minutes once I last posted! So much has happened over the past few months that I’ve honestly had such a hard time gathering my thoughts let alone keeping my living space clean! As always, life has been a bittersweet whirl pool of happenings. So many amazing things have occurred that I’m not exactly allowed to talk about just yet, but do know I will keep you all posted when I receive the go ahead to do so! As for the not so fun parts, well, the pain issues have come in waves. I have seen multiple massage therapists trying to find one that will work with my body since the one that did help moved away. On top of it, the company that I had worked for for nearly 4 years closed and I found myself transitioning into a few different job opportunities in hopes that I could find some stable income. One of them I had to quit working for due to some pretty severe back issues that flared up and the other, I’ve continued to work for but on a very part-time basis. Meanwhile, I’ve continued to work on sets as an extra and some pretty amazing things have happened in that area. With everything going on, I continue to press on and just hope for the best! Now, I left off in the last portion of my life story where I had finished summer vacation and was working on the set of 13 Reasons Why season 2 as an extra! I was also transitioning into my final semester at Contra Costa College and was taking on political science along with speech and debate team. Now, my journey continues!
Part 18 of My Journey
Fall, one of my favorite times of year! The smells, the excitement of the holidays coming up, and for me… I was finally getting ready to finish school at Contra Costa College! Yesss! Fall 2017 I headed into the semester with body in a lot of pain. I continued to work on set and saw various chiropractors at a local chiropractic chain only to find no relief. I was also working at my regular job as a supervisor at Kmart. Schoolwork, was comparatively light to the previous semesters I had spent on campus. I had such an amazing professor for political science who really helped me understand the work plus the majority of our coursework and grades were based on paper writing! Hmmm welll I couldn’t have asked for anyone better considering the fact that I love to write! As for Forensics (Speech and Debate team), I had such a blast challenging myself! I tend to be a bit of a loner and this forced me into a team atmosphere where we were performing in front of each other to help each member improve, traveling and competing together, eating together, etc… this definitely pulled me out of my comfort zone! On top of it, my division was Dramatic Interpretation, which is very much like performing a monologue, only it’s more on a storytelling level that pulled me again out of my comfort zone and force me to work harder to strengthen my performance. I had such an awesome professor along with amazing team members that really helped make it an unforgettable experience!
As the semester went by, I spent several days on set where I would do my studying and paper writing. I also met so many people with tremendous stories that have really encouraged me to keep pressing on despite my personal challenges. What amazes me the most is the energy I had to push through the 8 to 16 hour days on sets. There’s just something about doing what I love to do that gives me the passion and energy to get through each workday with joy. I have not felt more alive doing anything else in my entire life!
While on set one day, one of my fellow extra cast members/dear friends happened to be a massage therapist and recognize that I was not feeling that well. We spoke a bit and she scheduled an appointment with me for some massage therapy. Upon speaking with her during the appointment she advised that I go back to see Dr. Runco who is the chiropractor I had been seeing while I was running competitively. I took the dive, wrote an email to them asking him to forgive me for taking his previous care for granted and asked if there was anyway he would possibly mind helping me receive treatment again. After some time, he replied and told me how much it would cost. All I could think was how grateful I was that I was finally going to receive proper care! Within a few visits, I was already walking a bit more normal. The massage therapy had also done wonders just in one appointment!
I continued on through the semester, working one day a week at Kmart, various days on set, and completing my schoolwork in the mix of it all. At one point, I had scored a booking on the set of “Ant-man and the Wasp”as an extra. This was a four-day booking in San Francisco during which there was a scene that several of us were asked to run in. I sucked it up, took the chance, and I ran! I FREAKIN RAN!!!! No, it wasn’t super far, it was about a block, but I ran! They asked us to do it a couple more times, and my body actually felt OK afterwards! I walked away from that portion of filming slightly in tears. My dear friend, Irena, this amazing young woman who has been with me through so much, was on set with me that day. As we got into her van and headed back home for the evening, I told her what it happened and she was so happy for me! I love that girl so much, just like a sister!
As the semester came to a close, so did set work for 13 reasons why. Plus… my car broke down and was unrepairable! Such a bittersweet season! There I was, finishing what seemed like an eternity in college, writing my final paper for political science about human trafficking (during which I got to tell my family‘s story and how we have been affected by it), and… we were ending the filming of my first paid gig as an actor! I looked at the lead PA, whose name I’ll keep quiet unless otherwise authorized, and I said, “I’m totally going to turn into a blubbering baby!“ then, with that, the semester was over, the filming was over, and I was released into preparation for yet another singing Christmas tree event at my church where I finally got to play the lead role!
Opening night of the singing Christmas tree, my godmother, godfather, and dear friend Irena got to go see Mr. Alex Ramon’s magic show!
I had won tickets and figured I had enough time before my performance and it would be a perfect way to celebrate The end of my final semester at CCC and the adventures that Irena and I had in filming! The show totally did not disappoint! With card tricks, an underwater escape, and so much more… I was beyond thrilled!
Then, it was off perform! What a blessing!!!
The opportunity to do what I love to do in front of a community of people in hopes of spreading the gospel! I couldn’t have asked for more!
Once the show was over, it was onnnn to regular life along with a major blessing… my godmother treated Irena and me to a day at Burke Williams day spa in San Francisco as my graduation gift! I could not have asked for a better way to exit college! A full day of pampering, time with great friends/family, plus excellent food… fully satisfied and beyond grateful!
Now, during rehearsals for the singing Christmas tree, I had continued to try to run. I’d actually build up to about 2 miles, but with the stress from everything winding down after the end of the semester and at the end of the show, my body ended up hitting another low. Pain, so much pain. At times, the pain was debilitating, but I pushed through, and refused to give up. Every day, I would at least attempt to walk a little while. I continued to see Dr. Runco and we worked through the issues, and slowly but surely… I began to regain my strength.
In the midst of it all, my mom and I were blessed with the opportunity to see my other nephew on the weekends! What a blessing it was to see my two nephews, these sweet brothers, enjoying time together and my mother getting to be grandmama to both of them!
Bittersweet… Pain… blessing… life can be oddly satisfying.
Now, in order to keep this one short, I’m going to leave off here for now. Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish my journey in the next post. Before I do go though I want to let you all know that I matter what you face, God is with you! Don’t give up hope! Until next time, God bless and thank you for joining me!