2009 – I was a secretary at a law firm. 23 year old me became a dog mom to Raelie. I was stuck in an abusive relationship with someone who tried to kill me and I saw no way out. I was drinking a lot to numb my pain and was on around 8-10 Rx drugs this year.
2010 – I worked at Cornell in NYC, analyzing sperm samples for their fertility department. It’s even less glam than it sounds. I was on 12 Rx drugs when this photo was taken. Was surviving on food stamps and Ensure’s that were prescribed to me that I drank as meals.
2011 – My best friend took her own life. I attempted suicide two months later. When it didn’t work, I got to the root of the problem and came off all my Rx drugs. Dropped out of college. Quit my last 9-5 job at a lab analyzing asbestos samples. Ended my abusive relationship and in October I road-tripped to Los Angeles with $300 to my name and a big dream. Started my blog, sharing about my Rx withdrawal and all the herbal remedies I was finding that were replacing the drugs I used to be on. I was throwing up 10-15 times a day, all day long. Was featured in a music video during the Occupy Wall Street march. You should watch it sometime. It’s still good.
2012 – got signed to a modeling agency. I had a residency at House of Blues LA where I played with my band every wednesday. Truly happy for the first time ever, even tho at any given time I only had a few hundred bucks in my bank account. I made most of my money working for a dispensary (weed shop) down the block from where I lived.
2013 – I traveled a lot. London, Amsterdam, Paris, Venice, Milan, Miami, NY. It was mostly for work, and I’d always end up spending whatever money I made while I was there on things like food (I mean who can say no to grabbing a delicious gelato outside of the Duomo?) I was constantly on the move, still going through bad Rx withdrawal but living my life the best way I knew how. Moved into my first house in LA. Did my first music video for my song Visual Exchange.
2014 – Dad passed away from cancer. I’ve never been so broken or so sad. I shut down my blog temporarily and on the 6 month post-funeral journey home to NY, got an email from my publishing company, asking if I’d ever thought about writing a book. From that conversation, Cured by Nature was born. Moved to San Diego.
2015- I finished my manuscript by January 1, 2015. Every day was spent working together with my editors to make the book perfect. I was able to both write the book and survive by working on a movie with Seth Macfarlane with a lot of time off set. Still barely making any $ but doing whatever I could, including tons of music videos with artists like Snoop Dogg, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, The Arctic Monkeys and more. Finally got off food stamps, which I’d been on since I was 18 years old.
2016 – Cured by Nature was published and my life was forever changed. I thought maybe my friends and family might read it. Maybe. Instead, every day I got DMs and emails from people, telling me how the book was changing their lives. News outlets took notice. That’s when I knew that I needed to keep sharing my story. I became a dog mom to Ruca. Got engaged. Started Genetix. This was the year I decided that I wanted a job in which I didn’t have to “show up made up” every day and could work from home.
2017 – got a literary agent and my book deal for WILD Habits. Spent the year working on this book. Ended my engagement. Finally started making some $ through my own endeavors, instead of working for someone else. It happened pretty rapidly that I started modeling/acting less and less and working on my blog and Genetix more and more.
2018 – WILD Habits was published in February. I went on book tour. Hired two assistants. Got serious about Genetix. Had fun as a single lady. Traveled on my book tour. Was pretty happy with the idea of never getting married and just adopting some multi-racial babies when I was ready. I spent most of the year writing and recording music. Forbes wrote about me twice. I met Andrew for lunch and my entire world shifted.
2019 – Maybe my most transformative year yet. Married my soulmate and became a wife. Traveled the world, including visiting Bali, Caymans and Hawaii for the first time. Visited the orphanages in Mexico more frequently. Made tons of new friends. Built houses for people in need. Volunteered at food banks. Released my music. Made music videos. Spoke and sang live for the first time in 5 years. Focused on giving back. Genetix was picked up by Walmart, our first retailer ever. Simon and Schuster, one of the top publishing houses in the world, acquired my first book, Cured by Nature. I stopped drinking.
2020 – I rang in the new year with my husband (!!!), our two dogs and our wonderful friends. On New Years Eve we dipped out of the party early and I drove our car to our cozy house with our two dogs and really drank in the last decade. Woke up on January 1st happy, sober, in love and in light.
Wow. To think how sad and broken I was when the first photo was taken, to how vibrant and happy I was on my wedding day… it doesn’t even seem like the same person could be writing this.
If you had told me when I adopted Raelie that ten years from then I’d be living in San Diego, married to my soulmate, with my own company, a successful blog, two books, an EP, 4 music videos, visiting orphanages, in a position to give back (with my own money!)… I would not have believed you. There was no way. I could never have seen the path there.
It happened with baby steps. Each year I went through to write this brought me back to so many feelings: feelings of uncertainty. Feelings of confusion, loss, heartbreak. A mentality where I thought that maybe I didn’t deserve anything good or anything more.
But it happened because somewhere inside me I KNEW I was capable of more. I knew I deserved more. And when people gave me opportunities, I took them.
I can see so clearly how leaving New York has shaped my entire life.
I can see so clearly now how starting my blog in 2011 lead to my book deal in 2014.
I can see how dropping out of school actually allowed me to find the perfect career.
I can see how performing at House of Blues for free in 2012 helped me to release my EP and book shows that truly paid off for me in 2019.
I can see how ending my abusive relationship in 2011 and ending my engagement in 2017 called in the person I was truly supposed to be with all these years later.
I can see how stepping away to grieve my dad and not pushing anything I wasn’t ready for gave me the clarity of mind that allowed me to embrace success in my 20’s, and work to get to a stable place in my 30’s. I can see how each step of the way brought me here, to exactly where I was supposed to be.
The theme of the last ten years?
Work hard. Don’t give up.
Whatever you want, you deserve.
Stay humble. Stay grateful.
Do what’s in your heart, not what other people tell you that you should do.
I can’t wait to see what the next ten years bring!