I was on the phone the other day with Mark Kurian, the Founder and President of Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine, and he was telling me how much he genuinely likes my “Unsung Angels” feature in the magazine and how it resonates with the vision of where the magazine is headed…a celebration of people! He asked if I would be open to sharing a little bit of myself with the readers, and let them know more about me and who I am at this moment in my life. I thought about it for a few days…and, when I woke up this morning, it not only felt like the right thing to do, but I was invigorated and excited to expose myself and let the readers see me…truly SEE me!
12 years ago, my life changed forever. 12 years ago, by the Grace of God, I embarked on a new journey that has not only saved my life but has given me a NEW life! Every day for the past 12 years, I get to “suit up & show up” and do my absolute best to live a sober life of integrity, honesty, kindness and consideration. I’m not perfect and will continue to make mistakes, but every day I do my best to be my best.
This past year has truly been one of my most challenging yet. From the ending of a relationship, to falling down some stairs, which led to struggling with a life-threatening illness that not only put me in the hospital, but turned my entire world upside down… I was able to survive by God’s grace and the love and constant support of my friends…my true friends that have the actions to support their words.
In hindsight, my accident was a blessing on so many levels. It has taught me to NOT be a hero and that it’s okay to go to the hospital when you know that something is definitely wrong. It has taught me to reach out to my friends and not only fill them in on what’s happening but that it’s okay to ask for help. And finally, it has taught me what the true meaning of friendship is. It’s the friends that are with you through it all. Those individuals that will be right next to you, even through the rough patches. It’s those friends that stand by you when they see that you’re in trouble and run to support and carry you until you’re able to walk alone. Those are true friends. That’s your family.
This past year, some friendships have ended and that’s okay. I wasn’t easy. I was a different person. I was in a foreign space that was extremely scary and life changing. I’ve never been so physically impaired before and it was definitely altering me, my behavior and my spirit. I’m not going to lie, it was brutal and, on many levels, heartbreaking. BUT I came through it stronger and so much wiser. I’ve seen first-hand who’s in it with me and who’s not. And that’s okay. AND, most of all, it’s all in God’s hands. It always is.
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank my friends for holding my hand and taking care of me. I have never needed you more and have never been more grateful. Truly. You will never know the depth of gratitude I feel for you. Most of all, thank you, God, for divine LOVE. You are the true constant in my life.
The other constant in my life is that of my angel here on earth, my twin brother Gregory. Not only was I born with an identical twin brother, I was born with a best friend…my life’s wing-man. An angel that has been by my side every step of the way. It hasn’t always been easy in any way, shape or form. To live this life with your carbon copy can mean extraordinary challenges and, unless you’re a twin, there’s no way to fully comprehend this experience. We have definitely had our ups and downs. The struggles are real. We’ve fought. Fought hard – emotionally and physically. It’s been painful. Frustrating. Heartbreaking. And every time we hit rock bottom, we both fight just as hard and vigorously to find our own personal truth, LISTEN to one another, LEARN from the past and end up with a stronger foundation based in LOVE.
The day after our worst fight ever, Gregory and I had the extreme honor of shooting with famed photographer Tony Duran, a true genius! Tony is a brilliant photographer celebrated for his unique ability to uncover those hidden parts of you that have been lying dormant, just waiting to be exposed. That morning, the last thing we wanted was to see each other, let alone be exposed in an intimate photoshoot together. Well, the Universe had other plans and put us exactly where we needed to be…
We were vulnerable and raw. We needed a way to find our way back to each other and it was through Tony’s eye that we were able to do just that. He perfectly orchestrated a series of vignettes that forced Gregory and I to SEE one another through a different lens, but also share the same space and connect physically and emotionally. I’ll never forget that day and how we were able to start anew, from the bottom up. These profound images capture our journey back to one another.
Being an identical twin, in the same business, with the same friends, wants, passions and desires has been a definite roller coaster of adventure. And through it all, we always come out stronger, wiser and so much closer. No one celebrates me more than my twin brother. He’s always there to cheer me on, hold my hand and remind me that he’s “got me” and I’m never alone. EVER. From the moment we were born to those nights in the hospital this past summer, Gregory has held my hand every step of the way. He truly is my ANGEL.
I love you, kiddo. #myhome
“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
“Pooh!” he whispered.
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw.
“I just wanted to be sure of you.”
Photography – Tony Duran
Stylist – Toni Pickett
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