Gratitude For The Women In My Life
My first job in Los Angeles was working for the celebrity news show, E! News, where I was presented with the opportunity to star in a Style Network wedding special for Giuliana and Bill Rancic in Capri, Italy. I felt like the luckiest guy in the world as I always wanted to plan an extravagant wedding and travel to such a gorgeous island. Did I mention, it was all going to be captured on camera – it felt too good to be true! The wedding special lead to my breakout role in the “Giuliana and Bill” show and I later went on to star in E!’s “The Drama Queen.”
During the early process of filming reality television, I found myself feeling super energized, incredibly excited and thankful for the opportunity to be around all the cameras, lights, producers, and crew. Starring in non-scripted television shows was a dream of mine ever since I moved to Los Angeles almost a decade ago. At that point in my life, I was super passionate about making it on TV and being part of the entertainment and Hollywood buzz! I use to think, who would not want to be around movie premieres, red carpets, fashion shows, press junkets, award shows and all that showbiz has to offer?!
However, being on reality television showed me the different sides of the entertainment industry, and made me think about what I wanted to accomplish in life. It really allowed me take a moment to sit back and reevaluate my sense of purpose. At the end of the day, everyone wants to feel like they matter and have value but for some reason I found myself feeing really down. Everything that I always dreamt about was coming true and happening right before my very eyes so I could not understand why my gut was telling me to move on. I was unhappy and could not pinpoint why.
Since as far back as I can remember, I’ve always been motivated by the women in my life. From my mother, sisters, aunts, cousins, grandma and best friends, I have always had a close and special bond between each of them. Perhaps, other gay men feel this way too but I always felt a unique connection with the ladies in my life. Growing up, my lovely gal-pals would always come to me with their problems and use me as a sounding board when dealing with break ups, friendship drama, family issues and of course fashion choices. Some would even joke around and introduce me as their “other hubby.” At an early age, I really learned to appreciate the strength of women in all areas especially when I saw them be courageous in time of divorce, drug abuse, eating disorders, etc. Their strength and overcoming such battles was truly an inspiration to me. What can be so powerful about friendship is that two souls have the ability to lift each other up, guide each other and support each other in more ways then one. Maybe having that balance and unconditional love is what really makes the relationship between women and gay men so special. Yes, we have been known to have similar interests but there is an indescribable energy of pure joy when we are in the same room.
A good example of this was when I was going through my own moments of sadness and questioning my happiness. During the reality show filming, I met a woman that was an entrepreneur and philanthropist that came into my life at just the right time. We quickly started a friendship and later began working together. She showed me all that life has to offer outside of Hollywood. I learned about working internationally in the areas of real estate, fashion, finance, and business along with seeing other entrepreneurs build up their own companies and add value into the world. I started to feel a huge upward shift in my life, I was inspired by all the hard working people I met, the different cultures and new drive instilled in me.
I guess you can say the takeaway from all this is that what happens to you in life does not matter but what you become through those experiences is what is important. Today, I wake up feeling a huge sense of appreciation for not only the person that I’ve become, but for the women that helped me along the way. They are the forces that inspired me to start writing.