Angel Down

Ever feel like turning your back on the rest of the world?

Don’t, love.

You might have a hard day when you’re pushed to your limits and people come stomping (ungraceful as hell) into your path who make it so much harder than it should be but don’t forget all the people who need you. I need you. Just think of the pleasures awaiting you.

That someone who ruins your day can just as easily walk away, especially if you threaten their hate with kindness, love, and goodness. What would God do…They want your displeasure and when you don’t give it to them, they’ll go looking for it somewhere else. Sometimes they find it. Let them be and keep your head held high.

Someone unbelievable will walk into your life. That person is going to make you feel like your shoes are slicker than Cinderella’s, laugh like that first puff, even make you contemplate gravity because you are flying. Too much fairytale, not enough truth? Maybe that person was you all along.

Keep it pushing lovely. You’ve got too much goodness to answer for.

Xoxox

Lindsay Reva

Photo by @the_olivedistrict

Black and Blue

Some people tell me to take it easy.

I can see the concern in their eyes when I try to explain my visions and upcoming projects. They look at me as if I’m a stranger speaking some unknown foreign language. Weariness laced with doubt. I feel it everytime I spread a thin layer of concealer under my eyes to hide the shadowed lack of sleep that stands out like bruises on my pale skin. Starting a blog, running an event company (@reva_event), Executive Director at Alliance Francaise San Diego, trying to be a good daughter and an exceptional friend. Living this thing called LIFE! It takes so much time and effort, especially if your trying to do it right. But you know what?

 Even if I turn black and blue in my pursuit I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I live for the hustle.

Truth. I stay up late working like a doggg but oh my gawdddd how good it feels to be doing something (ANYTHING!!) while taking baby steps closer to the dreams and aspirations that have been waiting patiently in the back of my mind, searching, plotting, for that perfect moment when they could take their first steps out of oblivion into the blinding light of existence. There are people all around the world who don’t have the opportunities like the ones I have (don’t deny how privileged we are in America!). A support system; My family is the only reason why I’m solid and haven’t dissolved long, long ago into a blob of jello. I’m healthy, even if I might be going down hill (I don’t remember seeing those dimples last week!) And I want a better life so baddd. That last one is the biggest deciding factor for my fate. Yes, I want to succeed for my family and loved ones but it’s only when you want it for yourself that things start to get desperate. A desperation that leads me on through the nights of stressful tiresome and beyond the voices of doubt-OHHHH how loud those voices shout!- into almost a calm bliss of anticipation and gratification. Even if I don’t get what I want, even if I’m still living at home with my parents, no kids, no husband, I’m still focused on trying to piece together the picture of how I think my life should hang on the frames of perfection and self satisfaction. Shouldn’t that count for something?

I’m trying. I want a better life and I’m willing to do the work. If everyday you wake up and want something then what’s stopping you from getting it? Wake up and get it!!! If you do go that route just don’t forget the things you have in your life because your so focused on the things you want to have. Family. Love. Happiness. And all the other mushy stuff that sounds like a cliche but matters nonetheless. If you do catch yourself being pulled by the currents of forgetfulness then maybe it’s time for you to take a vacation… Even God needed a break.

And that’s where I find myself now because even though that desperation was still there, I sensed a softness to it. An obtuseness from how far I’ve come and everything I’ve been through. So here is where I stand: A few weeks of wanderlust since there is nothing like getting lost, to come back and be found.

But you better recognize, just like homegirl Teresa, wherever I go I’m going with all my heart. For you I wish only the same.

Xoxox

Lindsay Reva

Aimee Cebreros

Aimee is a unicorn. A mythical, magical human being of a creature who should not exist and yet does. She is not the first Miss Heiva San Diego and certainly not the last..But Aimee is different.

About 8 years ago I decided that I wanted to create a beauty pageant for young blooming girls who embraced the Tahitian culture and the Pacific Islander community. There’s not just one type of person who goes for things like this. The Pageant type? I mean.. Girls who like dressing up, getting there makeup done, and WINNING! Does that really make them all about the pageantry? No. I say that because I ran in a pageant and at the same time I was a manager at Autozone, knew how to change my own oil, and drove a Kawasaki Motorcycle. Was I a pageant girl? Not the usual, but that didn’t stop me from winning. Maybe the dividing factor lies in the vision of seeing yourself with that crown and the elevation which comes with it whether it be prestige, a scholarship, or the networking. Maybe the imagination is the dividing factor for those who run for titles and those who say things like ” Oh no, that is sooo not me. I could never be someone like that” As if a pageant Queen were part Pariah. They’re not. They do it because they have a certain belief in themselves whether they want to play the cunning and confident or the sweetly humbled.  Manifestation baby. Of course not everyone wins(which KILLS me!), and I always walk away with my heart in the grips of these darling beauties with perfect manicured nails. It’s not that I necessarily think that every one of them should have won…because if I’m to be honest there are some that are better for the role as an advocate for the islands than others. What gets me everytime is when I see how much they want that title, how much preparation they put into their cultural costumes, the love and assurance I see in their families eyes as they suffocate their beloved with words of assurance. Some years, there are girls who won the crown who nobody expected…

ENTER AIMEE. She distanced herself from me more than the other contestants I would say or maybe I distanced myself from her? She was kind, but she wasn’t overly kind. She was always aware of her surrounding, independent in her own right, and yet everywhere she went her mother followed(Not a fussy I’m your mother and you will WIN damnit! but more of a mother and daughter two -is-better-than-one package deal. Their bond was their strength). I like to talk with the girls to get to know them because I want to assure them that they will be fine no matter the outcome. They need that assurance sometimes because walking into a room of contestants getting ready to be interviewed is like walking into a force field of nerves. You can feel it, almost taste it in the air. So I made my rounds and aimee was the last one, sitting on the ground daintily playing with a necklace and getting her affairs in perfect order.

She smiled at me and I had to blink at the brightness of  her perfectly shaped teeth, how vivid her bright her lips stood against her pale ivory skin, and how lovely she could make the word “Hi.” sound. hmm.. An event/pageant coordinator will succeed if you can correctly read other people. You have to understand how they feel; if they’re enjoying themselves, if they’re anger, sad..you name it. When you figure that out it’s easy to smooth things out or change factors to make those who might be sad happy(Although sometimes no matter what you do some people are just fine with being stuck in their own miseries).  So I tried to read Aimee. She smiled at me and her radiance left me at a disadvantage. I looked up at her mother who was flashing me an equally expensive million dollar smile. Who are these people and how can they be so cool, calm, and collective? Especially when some of the other contestants look like they’re about to be thrown into the fire. I could tell from the way she walked, how when she was surrounded by others she had an air of confidence, as if she was the true competitor and they the spectators ( she probably had no idea either), and at the same time she expected nothing. If she would have lost the title, no tears would have left her eyes. New things would come, different opportunities, but she would not be affected by any of it. Aimee just had that persona that no matter where she went in life her blue prints were signed by God carving out a true path in success. I didn’t know of this at the time of course. If I’m to be honest with myself I think I tried to steer clear of her because her aura shook me. I was unsure how to proceed with someone who needed no proceeding. This girl didn’t need me! We needed her.

The pageant passed on and there were more than a few girls who ROCKED it from the get go. But there were two girls who everyone had their eyes on, and Aimee was one of them. I was mingling with the audience when they called her name out. That smile was like the first ray of sun after a thousand days in darkness. Brilliant is an understatement. Her family calling out her name and crying definitely set the tone. How much happiness lay in that moment I will never be able to measure but I’m sure it could be felt all the way from Mexico, the land where Miss Aimee had come. Because of the distance that lay between us I didn’t know what to expect from her as the new Miss Heiva San Diego title holder, but I will ALWAYS had an  open mind when working with people. And I found out what’s it like working with Aimee soon enough.

Aimee; winner, beautiful in pictures and even more stunning in person, going to school to pursue higher education, organizing food and clothing runs to people who are in need in Mexico, never far from her family who adores her like the princess she is, a friend to everyone, always willing to help, has never once said no to any of my request as a advocate to the culture, has never once said no when I needed her the most. I know. I am really tooting this girls horn, but I just can’t help it. Like I said before, to succeed you have to be able to read other people, and when I read Aimee her syllables are loveliness, her verbs are marked with the inks of greatness, her every word is placed in perfect precision so that the whole of this young girl will only rise, rise, rise, Somehow changing things so that the Heiva San Diego is no longer helping her to go forward, but instead the girl herself is helping us to go forward. That’s the kind of advocate I had been looking for all along. The kind of person that I didn’t think existed because people had their own agendas, wants, and needs and were only willing to go as far as they deemed.

But unicorns really do exist. Their skin glows even in the shadows. Even when the winds pick up there is never a hair out of place. When they walk into a room: Magic. And the most magical part about them: the core of their being, a heart uninfluenced and inflamed in beauty.

If you ever see a unicorn you better take a picture because they are making moves.

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

Photo 360 San Diego

Yesterday was NUTS! But in all the right ways.

A friend ask me to round up some models for a photoshoot. This wasn’t that uncommon of a request. Afterall, I try to stay involved in the Pacific Islander community (Heiva San Diego, PIFA, ect..) and sometimes photographers or organizations ask me for models with that Island girl look or even those whose looks scream EXOTIC. You know. Long hair, curvy thighs, smile like the sunrise, bla, bla. It just so happens that a lot of my friends have that look so sometimes all it takes is a few texts and I have a whole lineup for a photoshoot or  fashion show. But this time was different. I opened my phone, read the text, and felt a little numb as I deciphered the words that felt like a foreign language. ” A couple of hundred photographers…ooh and by the way, we want you to be one of the models.” Hm. Maybe auto text is being evil as usual?

” Are you sure you want me to be a model? ” For 200+ photographers!! But no, it wasn’t auto-text’s evil tendencies. They really did want me. This was either going to be magical or tragic.

I tried not to think about the amount of people who would be staring at me like an object and instead about the cause. Photo 360 San Diego is a collaboration event with the San Diego school districts for aspiring professional photographers. I liked thinking about that. Imagining teenagers with sweaty hands clutching their cameras like it was the Holy Grail, looking straight into my eyes through the lens that they must have cleaned every time they picked it up like a loving caress.

Then it was Wednesday. I showed up at San Diego City College at 7am with my models in tow, our faces clean of makeup with that its-too-damn-early-in-the-AM grudge in our eyes. It didn’t take us long to wake up though because from the get go we were in it to have fun.  I was led into a room with other models, make-up artist and hair stylist, and Fashion Designer extraordinaire Ugochi Iwuaba. Speaking of fashion; THE CLOTHES! OMG.OMG.OMG. When I saw the clothes they had set aside for us I was an equal amount of thrilled and terrified. Terrified that I wouldn’t fit in ANYTHING ( or if I did, the possibilities of what one slight bend would mean-  PPPFFFT. Rip right down the middle! ..oops) and excited that I was given the opportunity to wear such fly pieces while  photographed by the masses. Because let me tell you. When I am dressed to the nines, my makeup done, hairs did, and I’m looking HOT AS HELL FIRE, well then that’s exactly how I’m going to feel inside. FIRE. That outside layers you throw on, they aren’t just garments. They’re infinite. A shield, a collaboration of your creativity, the expression of your soul, simplicity, cleanliness, they keep you warm, they can accentuate your ever curve, they can hide your every curve, clothes can outline your character and beliefs by the colors and schemes you wear. Or maybe they can be just as good as a burlap sack. NOT! clothes can be everything and when I look good on the outside I feel good on the inside. That’s why when Madame Ugochi pulled out a tight sand colored skirt that went a little past my knees and a vivid green and orange open shoulder top with sleeves that hid my arms in all the right places( Thank God!) I was sailing on cloud nine.  If that isn’t an occasion to be HAPPY about then I don’t know what is. I felt like a DIVA, like a dream. Madame Ugochi’s pieces were just so flyyyyyy. Think African Queen meets socialite or as she says “Luxury fashion with an Afro twist.” Yeah.. I felt BAD! and I don’t mean that in a about to rob the bank way nor a Debbie Downer. Ha! No. I slipped on my Steve Madden Nude stilettos and took a peek in the mirror. Superwomen, you ain’t got nothing on me. 

My Hair was put up in a  Fauxhawk by the ever so creative stylist and studio owner Sy Calac (@esoterichair Eso Hair Salon-16160 Highway 76, set 303, Pauma Valley, CA). It only took him about 15 minutes for the master piece that had once been my hair and was now the embodiment of DRAMATIC. I loved it. Every single strand of it! For makeup I was done by the every so beautiful and lovely Stephanie (INSTA personal- @Flyystephj Makeup- @stephjstyles). She hooked me up with a matte black lip which I was nervous about in the beginning but by the end of the day had crazy thoughts that involved a sharpie and the words longer lasting. Talent on talent on talent.

Then I made my appearance. My first shoot was with another model, Ivan S. Harris ( @Ishthesocialjournalist @ivansharris) which was interesting…but above all HILARIOUS. We were instructed to play the couple scene. Thankfully the layers of makeup I wore had duel purpose: Make my skin look radiant and hide how red I must have been. We went back and forth from corny prom poses to there is no world without you poses. Very intense and very relaxed..All under the scrutiny of young photographers. Their giggles made me giggle.

The highlight of the day:

The interactions between model and photographer. They weren’t use to posing people and giving directions to models but they were trying and the reason why I appreciate that so much was because when I was their age..I didn’t. I didn’t try to do anything. I just cruised by on autopilot letting life come at me full speed. Didn’t make an effort, neither did I know what I wanted to do. There were so many things I could have done if only I had tried and that makes a huge difference in whether a person’s satisfied in life and if they find happiness(yes, sometimes you have to go after it).  So the ultimate shoutout goes to the aspiring photographers and anyone else who’s making an effort for a more meaningful life; Some who will try and some who will try even harder. May the force be with you;)

xoxox

Lindsay Reva

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