9 years ago today I landed in Los Angeles with stars in my eyes, $200 in my pocket, and a smile on my face. I had never seen palm trees, mountains, nor an ocean up close and personal before. Since then a LOT has happened. I have taken and quit at least a half-dozen jobs (not counting the temp job I got fired from a week after I got here), broken up with a boyfriend of 10 years, gained 2 brothers-in-law, and 8 nieces and nephews. My grand-mother and great-grandmother have passed from this world into the next one. I wrecked one car, had one repo'd, bought another one, and traded it for the cute little convertible I drive now (sometimes a little too fast on the canyon roads that once scared me half to death). I have gone from wearing sandals all winter to being cold when the temperature drops below 65 degrees. I have gone from no pets to a house full of birds, back down to a more manageable number (3). I have gained 80 lbs., and lost 30. I have gone from wearing my hair relaxed to shaving it all off, to growing dreadlocks. Then I shaved it again, and made peace with it--settling comfortably into the natural curly 'do I now sport. I have been to Aruba, France, and Italy. I have gone from being miserable making $62K a year in corporate America to happily making $12K a year after I quit my job. I have gone from paying $475 in rent to paying $1100, and back down to $900. I have had surgery on both feet. I have gone from being afraid to audition to being able to make a living as an actress. Not only an artist, but a business woman.
Lots has happened in 9 years--far too much to list here. Good things have happened, and bad things have happened, but looking back on it all, I don't regret one thing. Yes, I have plans for the future, but if I were to die today, know that I have lived. And I have been blessed.