Monday, December 10, 2012

My Cayman Island Birthday Wish Was....

There is something to be said about having a birthday near the end of the year, because each year on December 5th, (my birthday)... exactly twenty days before Christmas, I often find myself reflecting on the events and accomplishments of that year. Pictures of what has occurred play in my mind like film on a reel; that is, if I am lucky enough to sneak away from the every day hustle and have that moment to myself... thus allowing that precious time to "reflect".

This year, as I turned 39, I was in the beautiful Cayman Islands on a freelance makeup job, I was there all week long on my first "out of the country" gig; that in itself was pretty exciting. I am very thankful for my career for many, many reasons, one being that it presents opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. As a single mom most of my adult life, typical family vacation, let alone exotic travel has not been something I am used to due to the fact that I am always too busy making the bacon, bringing it home, cooking it and then cleaning up. That's not even counting the fact that more times than not, having 4 kids, there was always month left at the end of the money so vacation was simply not in the budget.

I had a little bit of downtime each day last week, to which I was at a loss of what to do. At home, I am always moving... if I am not working at my studio, I am at home working on my computer, or writing, or doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, giving baths, and sometimes when all that is done, I get the time to breathe... or play with my kids a little bit before having to kiss them goodnight.

I must admit that I made my bed every day, (the model Abby that I bunked with thought there was maid service, HA!) I swept the downstairs floors of the house we stayed in a couple of times, cleaned the kitchen after breakfast each day and a few times after dinner and I even did a few loads of laundry. It's a curse... I could not relax,  for more than 20 minutes unless I was asleep. Then, the day of my birthday, I took some time to relax and reflect... and WOW what a year it has been! From buying a home with my boyfriend of two years back in April, relocating my hair and makeup studio to a different county, to my book being published and released in October, I have had a whirlwind of a time. No WONDER I wonder where the year went.

As I reflected, I realized how much I have changed, because that night... I got homesick, I missed my kids, Corey, and my Mom. I even cried quietly in my room because it did not feel right being away from them on such a special day when I am used to getting showered with kisses and hugs even when I don't have birthday cake. I missed my family, instead of being happy that I was free of the responsibility and even though I was in the beautiful Cayman Islands on an exotic tropical trip because of an amazing business opportunity without a care in the world; (except to make some girls beautiful for pictures) my Cayman Island birthday wish was to be home so I could be with my munchkins, and my sweetie doing the daily "do" because that I realized that is what makes my life enjoyable on a daily basis. I love the exotic trips, and all of the wonderful opportunities my career allows me, and I hope they never cease. However this trip definitely made me realize that all of that is simply fluff without something to come home to, and/or something to miss while you are gone. Quite frankly, I think I needed that realization more than the trip itself.

The moral of this blog post is this...

I know that as I shared on Facebook about my upcoming trip to the Islands and as I posted updates each day I was there, I had "Facebook followers & friends"  that envied my being there. They too dream of having those opportunities. What I must say however say is this... never live vicariously through others... live YOUR life and if it's not quite what you want, figure out a plan to MAKE it the life that you want; that is what I wake up to do every day and without that ambition I never would have made it to the Cayman's. Behind the doors of someone else's life, you would likely find the flaws in what appears to be "perfect." Nobody has a perfect life and even when it seems better than yours... the reality is, is that it's not... YOUR life is the best life when you live it to its fullest potential, so GO FOR IT!

Goodnight my Kool-aid drinkers! I hope you missed me as much as I missed inspiring you!

Some pictures from my trip... the view on the way in, from my room and the amazing beaches.

A few examples of what I did while I was there...

Pics of my downtime with Chef Billy, Jose the photographer, 
and my bunk-mate/model Abby
 Me being silly... my last look at the ocean, me with 4 of the models at the airport 
and my free rum punch on the way home

Me with my kiddos when I got home!

Me with my sweetie the night after I got home

(until next post, ha!)