Hi, Im Rae. I grew up all over- Nashville, Santa Fe, San Antonio…..Los Angeles! I graduated top of my class in high school and college. I worked for Columbia Pictures, private aviation, and luxury real estate brokerages. But who am I? And now what?
I found myself at a crossroads between obligation, duty, being a “grown up” and “playing it safe.” BUT I found myself STUCK! Stuck in a rut and scared out of my mind. How can this be?
I was a cheerleader (ok, only in middle school but I won best smile), tied for Valedictorian …I traveled the world by 21…. So this can’t be life now at 28 (clears throat) ok 32. Life isn’t just waking up, pounding coffee, spilling half on my new blouse while racing onto the 405 in traffic to see a property across town. Is this what I moved to LA for?
Was my life eat, work, curse in bumper to bumper, pop a Xanax, and repeat? Attend another Beverly Hills gala and schmooze with the same spiel? Here I was surrounded by an endless sea of fake people who mentally count how many calories they ate as they catwalk the room. Meanwhile I search high and low for quality conversation or someone to shake me and say, “Wake up Rae!”
Well, here it is. My life isn’t what I imagined. I thought I would be a millionaire by now…Size 0, married with 2 kiddos and living on a ranch far away from the 90210 zip code.
Instead, I’m honestly living month to month wondering if I’ll close a deal or book a writing gig. I am nowhere near a size 0- I battle between my love of pasta and desire to have a six pack. I workout hard with hiking and hot yoga but I eat even harder cuz I am hypnotized by Bolognese.
My love life is far from The Notebook and more like an awkward Lifetime movie.
Dating in LA is survival of the fittest with ghosting being the main defense mechanism. A man I thought was “the one” couldn’t even survive a toy store opening. And I don’t live in a big house… But I do live in a 900 sq. ft apartment in Beverly Hills (Adjacent) with 2 parking spots! That’s GOLD in Lala land and my leased Mercedes does sparkle quite pretty in that gated garage.
But maybe my life plan fell off course? Maybe you can’t really plan at all? Maybe some know all along what they want to be or do and others stay lost until they die? I mean I knew what I wanted to do or at least the general realm of Entertainment I moved to Hollywood for. I have written over 500 songs, endless treatments, and dabbled in Copywriting. I have a spark on camera and obviously love to talk and take photos of myself. I should be on the cover of Us Weekly by now or at least Star, right?!
Wrong. Alternatively, I found myself in Real Estate amongst a trillion others who compete to be on Million Dollar Listing or to at least get that Half Million Dollar Condo on Doheny.
Then I hit rock bottom-literally.
I was hiking Tree People on Coldwater, putting my phone away from text-capades, and prayed to God:
“Show me my purpose and guide me on my path.
Help me get to where I am meant to be.”
Suddenly the sun glistened over my face. I took a deep breath and thought any minute I would discover my calling or bump into my soulmate. But instead I just fell into a pothole and sprained my ankle. Learning things don’t always happen in my timing and won’t always be clear. Or maybe I just need to watch where I’m going and be less clumsy. Anyway, it’s when I wasn’t looking that SELF DISCOVERY started to find me.
I started imagining that leaving town would provide me clarity and peace of mind. I tried saying I am gonna visit my stepsister in Aspen, Colorado and THERE I’ll find peace over my ex; THERE is where I’ll get in shape; THERE is where I’ll find true love; THERE is where I’ll find my purpose. I think you get the point! And don’t get me wrong, Aspen was amazing! Probably my favorite place on earth and definitely the best sister in the Universe! But answers didn’t come pouring in. Rather, I found heaps of snotty tissues over my breakup, gorged on homemade meals feeling my pants get tighter, awkward Bumble dates, and myself further lost and more in debt. Then, I took a real leap.
I had not been to Europe in about 10 years and two girlfriends from Nashville invited me to join their trip to Italy. I found every excuse not to go… “My mom isn’t well…” “Work isn’t going great- I can’t afford it…” “Maybe next year…”
Well, then I heard myself and saw my patterns. I had been going on the same predictable trips, lost my spontaneous spark that just said yes anytime, and “next year” never came…. So I screamed YES! And booked my ticket to ROME with help from miles and my brand new credit card. I said YES to myself and didn’t care about the details or the decreasing number in my bank account…. I would make it work. And I did! I could feel the old me coming back.
I have gotten quite comfortable in the 90210 lifestyle, but I knew I was on a budget due to lack of motivation and luck in deals as of late. So could I rough it like my old college self in Italy? Could I sleep in a dumpy hotel or eat street food and take busses? YES, I can and I did…. But you better believe I used my connections and charm to fill in the other moments with Luxury hotels, fine dining, airplane upgrades, and perks on a budget!
I dipped into my Rolodex for some favors- You know a boat in Capri, a plush hotel in Roma, a reservation at the hottest “it spot”…The usual 🙂
So I was able to combine my street smarts of the 21 year old me with the glamor-pus I morphed into …No need to repeat my age.
On this journey I slowly tapped into my deeper self like an onion- peeling away the superficial layers and lies from living in the land of make believe.
In LA, we get so used to the pre-recorded story we tell others and we push play over and over until we are not even sure who we are and what we are saying. Simply running on autopilot.
But my internal and external dialogue changed in Italy. I wasn’t hitting repeat- For one, the Italians wouldn’t understand; they would feel sorry for my lack of passion; and would interrupt me mid-way wanting a kiss.
I subsequently chose to declare,
“I’m Raquele …I’m a writer …I’m a foodie
…I’m a travel addict …I’m starting a blog”.
I assumed I would hear “Another Blogger? Ciao Bella.” But I was surprised by the love and adoration I received.
People immediately wanted to know the name and where to follow me. They couldn’t wait to see a few of the 32,000 photos I had on my phone of LA, my travels, my food affairs. I realized they were interested, because for the first time in a long time…I WAS INTERESTED IN WHAT I HAD TO SAY!
I took the driver’s seat of my life, I told the truth of what is in my soul and I took pictures with excitement to share on a global platform. I was elated to pose for that selfie in front of the Trevi Fountain as I made my wish.
I was no longer afraid to share all my passions and gifts. I even sang a song I wrote to strangers over a bottle of Prosecco on a Positano Balcony. And they cheered- They fell in love with my love for life. There it was… I FELT ALIVE!
No matter how many bloggers are out there, there is always room for one more to share their individual story, zest for life and secrets to finding it!
But now it’s just holding onto that feeling and not letting it slip through the cracks of everyday “mundane life.” As much as we all want to quit our jobs solely to create, most of us don’t have that luxury and have to balance the ordinariness of life with the motivational moments. Keep a pep in our step even when we get in zombie mode.
The goal for me now is to make the best of the transition and smile through the discomfort so to speak. Every awakening requires change, which can be challenging and painful. It’s new and the unknown can be scary. It’s not just an Ah-Ha moment that life is figured out and easy. But the beauty is every step of the journey can be shared and relatable in some way to someone. And who knows, maybe after I look at my Apple Watch and see my step goal achieved, just maybe I’ll be closer to where I am meant to be…..
Here is my journey…. From pizza to pilates; from Cali to Capri; from rags to richer rags; from real estate to the real me…. Sharing my Rae of Sunshine along the way.