I left off from the time we met.. and I didn't go into detail about how we came to be who we are today. After the night of camping on the Buffalo River, I couldn't get enough of him. I had to have him. And that was all I knew..
I immediately found him on Facebook - he got my number and we started to hang out. He already had plans to move to Hawaii in July, and I was so afraid of that. I didn't want to lose something I didn't even have yet, but I couldn't stop myself from wanting to be around him. I was falling and fast. I didn't know what it was about him. I had never been attracted to someone like him before.
As I told you in Part One, I was headed to self destruction. Depressed, wanting to get out of Fayetteville, not knowing where my life was going at all. That Summer, everything changed. Every moment I could I spent it with Mike. He was like a drug - "my own personal brand of heroine". He kept talking of Hawaii - and my heart kept breaking at the thought of him leaving me.
Mike and me at Z Bar on Dickson Street
I played this one different than any others in the past. Even though I wanted nothing but to be around him, I didn't want to suffocate him. So I played it cool :) Hung out with him when I could, but around my work schedule and other events going on that summer.
He was such a romantic..
I am an old fashioned kinda girl. I like to be courted if you will. And boy did he court me. He'd pick wild flowers and leave them on my windshield with a hand written note. He'd take me to the middle of a grass field on the top of Mount Sequoyah just to look at the city lights and gaze at the stars. He'd take me sailing on the lake and cook a really nice dinner over open fire. He was perfect. Even though he said he didn't want a commitment because of his plans to leave, he was so loving towards me, and made me really happy.
Mike taking me sailing on Beaver Lake
Mike and me at a dinner party at my apartment
We spent all summer doing fun activities. Camping at the lake, going out to Dickson Street, hiking, he taught me how to actually throw a frisbee, he was my knight in Vans and skater clothes. I was hooked.
One morning, while laying on his bed, he put on Dave Matthews for me (my faveeee). The song "Stay or Leave" came on and I couldn't help my emotions. It was speaking to me - "Stay or leave, I want you not to go but you should. It was good as good goes." I didn't want him to leave me, but I knew he would.
He was originally planning on leaving for Hawaii in July.. plans got pushed back further and further - I was holding on with everything I had. He ended up booking his ticket for Sept 28. Once there was a date set, my heart felt like it had been shattered. I didn't know what to do, I felt like I had nothing left going for me, until the day before he left.
I had already expressed to him how much I loved him. I knew it was fast, but I couldn't contain it. I wanted him to know my feelings. The day before he left for Hawaii he finally expressed his back. He felt the same way, and wanted a commitment! The day before he left?! What was I going to do?! A long distance relationship, while he was in HAWAII? I was scared to death, but I couldn't let him go, so I jumped.
That week was a horrible week for me. Mike left, my roommate at the time bailed and tried to sign herself off the lease, leaving me with an entire rent payment plus fees for breaking the lease. I had decided to move to my sister's in Ventura, California to help her out with the last few months of her pregnancy. I was in a whirlwind of emotions. I had never been farther West than Oklahoma, and I have never flown by myself. The adventure awaiting me was so unknown that I just went without thinking. That was the only way I could keep myself from freaking out. I never had plans to travel, never even thought it was possible for someone like me. I couldn't believe Mike just up and left on a whim and all of a sudden I was on my way to California.
I knew I was in good hands though, and that my sister would take care of me.
Quickly, I packed up my apartment, put everything in storage or at my parents house, packed a suitcase, and headed to Cali. My life has never been the same since that flight.
I ended up meeting a music video casting director on the flight from Arkansas to LA. He had family in the area where I'm from (small world right) and really wanted to get me some work while I was in CA. I really had no idea what to expect, or how any of that sort of thing worked.
We ended up exchanging numbers (after my sister and brother-in-law checked him out) and immediately he had a few jobs for me. California was starting to look promising. As soon as I arrived, I bagged a job at a local homestyle sports grill called Cronies. The manager didn't even have room for me on the schedule, but told me he really wanted me to work for them so fit me in anyway. I was only scheduled one day, but was able to pick up several shifts. It was all female workers (besides the kitchen) and I had a lot of fun working there. I made so much more money than I had ever in Arkansas. I was loving it.
Working the Christmas party at Cronies
The casting director kept his end of the bargain with getting me jobs. I was having the time of my life. Mike and I continued our relationship and things were really looking up. In early November of 2010, we decided I should move with him to Hawaii. I had to stay in Cali until my niece was born, but after that I was free to go to Hawaii and start my life in the man of my dreams.
I needed to save money though...
So with my first job in the film and entertainment industry, I was given a role in an American Music Awards promo featuring Justin Beiber. It was aired on prime time television leading up to the AMA's. There were three different variations of the commercial, and I had a cameo. The setting was a biker bar, and I got to meet a lot of actors that work on the set of Sons of Anarchy.
Catch my cameo at 1:07
Lauren and me with two of the bikers.
The jobs were long hours, but paid cash. And a good amount. It was so much fun seeing that side of the how the entertainment industry worked. I never imagined it like that, but have always had dreams of being a star :P
The next job I got was to be in a music video with DJ Tiesto featuring Busta Rhymes. Yup - I got to work with Busta Rhymes. Not only did I get to be in the music video, but I got to be featured. The set was in an old run down warehouse in downtown LA. I met so many people, including a girl named Ellanie who now does her own shows (she's a singer). You should look her up, she is amazing!
Catch my feature at 2:21
If you look closely, you can see me shakin' my thang in other parts of the video. I also got to be apart of another music video featuring a new artist named Eqah. I didn't get a cameo, or a feature, but I got to dance around and meet other nice people trying to make it in the industry. It had the main actor from Step Up 3 (hottie!!) and it was a lot of fun to work on.
You can catch me at 2:53, 3:11, 3:20 3:56 - look closely :)
Doing the commercial and two music videos, plus working at Cronies allowed me to save up money for a one way ticket to Hawaii. And that's exactly what I did.
After my beautiful niece was born, my mother, sister, and baby drove home to Arkansas for Christmas. My ticket was booked for Dec 27th, so I actually spend Christmas alone that year. It was definitely heart-wrenching, but I knew I was in for big adventures in Hawaii with the man I love.
Beautiful Alexa Baylee
I had such a blast in California - it gave me the courage to move forward and fly away to Hawaii. I was so nervous, I have never lived with a boy before (besides my brothers of course) but I knew I was following my heart. If it didn't work out, it was an awesome adventure for the books, but there was some part of me that had such an optimistic outlook on the situation, and I was determined to make it last. Mike opened my eyes to so many things, without him, none of the above would've happened. I wouldn't have had the courage to take the risks.
When I arrived in Honolulu, Mike greeted me with two leis and a giant hug. I was so happy, I thought my heart would burst.
I know this was another long post, so I'm sorry again :) But thanks so much for reading and I will continue later on with our learning and growing experience together in Hawaii. Stay tuned!