This is a story. You’ll want to sit down for this.
“Virgo is blessed with the ability to serve. The ability to work. The ability to make a masterpiece out of a mess. Virgo is blessed with a relentless drive to get it right. To get it working. To get it to those who need it. Virgo is blessed with the ability to see what doesn’t fit. What doesn’t add to the situation. What doesn’t lift up the meaning of what it is making. Virgo is blessed with the natural ability to understand the systems of the body. To trust nature. To tune into the rhythms of life. Virgo is blessed with the desire to heal. To eliminate what is toxic. To digest and integrate what will restore it to health. Blessed with the knowledge that sincere efforts help to assuage our anxieties, Virgo knows that using its abilities is imperative to experiencing any kind of calm.” - Chani Nicholas
Sunday marked the full moon in Virgo, which is personally a weird point for me, as I am a cusp of Leo-Virgo. Moon moving out of Leo and into Virgo can sometimes be awkward - this weekend was no different. I’m going to tell you what happened this weekend and how I plan to deal with it.
I woke up feeling a little “eh” and knew that I was shooting still and video on Sunday so I decided to stay home, relax, eat things with cheese, and watch Numbers for the 5th time. By the time I got around to packing and organizing for my shoot Sunday, I realized my makeup bag and contents inside (literally, my whole “model face”) were nowhere to be found. I tore apart my car and my apartment with no avail. I texted Samantha (my bestie and temporary roomie while she is in town) furiously asking if she had seen in. I went over the last time I had it and used it. I retraced my steps. Nothing. Fairly positive it has been stolen from me, I went online to Target in hopes of ordering “Pick-up In Store” everything I would need to beat my face Sunday. It was fairly successful, and I knew I could just run in and pick up my things Sunday morning before heading out to the shoot. (Side note: thank you to everyone who helped me out in replacing my snatched makeup.)
I tried to sleep in - knowing my anxiety kept me up until 3 am and that I didn’t have to be on the road until 11:30 am - it didn’t work. I finally got out of bed, showered, and set my hair in foam rollers. Then, I spent nearly 30 minutes trying to get fucking wrinkles out of a satin robe. Made me late, but Samantha didn’t seem to mind. I was ready to head out on my adventure, and had errands to run before picking her up at the train station.
Target on Sunday is a madhouse. I was so glad to have already purchased my makeup. In and out, hardly anytime at all. Next on my list is coffee at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Orange before I pick Sam up, because who doesn’t love free coffee? Coffee Bean was offering free coffee for the time change at a handful of locations; I made it to one of these locations….about 10 mins after they stopped doing the promotion. I did buy coffee and made it to Samantha at the train station about 1 pm, which is what I told her after I fought with the fucking robe wrinkles. We were off to get gas and go find some poppies!
The drive was pretty, and congested. I mean, it was the 15 on the weekend, so I didn’t expect a completely clear route. We rolled up on the exit and noticed cars parked everywhere immediately. My heart sank. The whole idea was that Samantha and I would shoot nudes in the poppies and be in a somewhat private location. Managing to get to the dead end of the road, we noticed there was kind of a “back entrance” to the park the poppies were in and there was much less foot traffic. It was only about 2 pm, so we decided to hop out and scout for our shoot later. We soon realized this might actually work, and that it was hot as hell. AC was needed for me to put my makeup on, so into a town we went. Once we were at McDonald’s, Samantha went to grab her debit card only to realize the pouch it was in (as well as her license and portable charger) was missing. Then, she tore apart my car. (My poor car this weekend…) No luck. So, we worked on how to fix her missing info card issue while enjoying a greasy burger, and unwrapping new makeup.
The makeup. I love NYX makeup; I’ve never had a bad product. Until now. Do not buy the contour palette. Don’t. It made me look horrendous. I quickly had to figure out how to fix my face. Literally. There happen to be a Target sharing the McDonald’s parking lot so guess who was making a return. I told Sam, “it’ll be quick, I know exactly what I need.” I lied. Not only was I forced to wait for the Guest Services clerk, but once I got into the checkout line, it was nearly a 20 minute wait. This put Samantha and I back about 45 mins total, and I still had to redo my makeup and take my rollers out.
There was still traffic on the 15 at 6 pm headed to the poppies. What should have been a 5 minute drive was 15. Now, we were really pushed back on time. Once at the poppies again, I had to do my hair. Easier said than done apparently because the hair gods were not smiling down on me Sunday. Vintage brushed curls were out of the question. A rat’s nest is what ended up happening. “Oh cool!” came out of Sam’s mouth, so that is what stuck. We finally hit the trail and discovered a man in the first area we scouted. No worries, Samantha turned around and said “but this is cool. I can photoshop the background.” Wardrobe Change #1. We start shooting and all is good.
Until I see the man that was in our location hiding behind a tree. I thought “maybe he was just embarrassed for me, didn’t want to be seen” but that’s when I saw his pants down around his knees. This fucker was masturbating. I could see him behind Sam a few hundred feet. I tell her, and she tries to see him, but is at the wrong angle. We wrap at location one, and move to location two. It isn’t far, but the trees are cool. Guess who shows up? About 200 feet from us this time, and we can hear him. Samantha was taking video of me and I’m positive you can hear his voice on the audio in the playback. By this time, I’m just disgusted, and pissed, and wishing I had a taser or pepper spray. You don’t do shit like that. I was trying to work, and this fucker invaded my space and used me as his porn.
Samantha can see I’m obviously not on my game, and we move to the poppy field which is location three. We talk about calling the cops, but know it will take them forever to get to us, and where will he be by then? Not to mention, how do you explain to (most likely male) police officers two (fat) women are in a wildlife reserve shooting nudes? We did tell the group of females we met on the trail about the pervert up ahead and they changed courses. Good thinking, ladies!
By this time, my paranoia is at peak performance so my modeling is not. That PTSD demon starts showing his face and I’m trying to shake him off. Location three is beautiful, but the poppies have already closed, as we are definitely at, or past sunset at this point in time. This only upsets and frustrates me more, as I get the feeling of “I’ve just wasted my time.” Between us, Samantha is definitely the more “lets make lemonade out of lemons” than I am, so she keeps me shooting. I see the pervert again, but this time much further away, and there is nothing for him to hide in as we are in the middle of a field. He does leave, but after I’ve already experienced my trauma. Thanks, dickhole.
It’s dark. Like, there is no more light. Sam is trying everything to use all the light possible. We were convinced we might get 3 photos to use from the whole shoot. So, we end up packing up before we were actually done, because I’m complaining, paranoid, and pissed, and there is no light for Samantha. The whole walk back to the car, I’m waiting for this pervert to pop out of the brush. Again, thanks, dickhole. Super glad you got off on retraumatizing me. Loading the car and getting the fuck outta there was definitely what I wanted to do.
We stop at a cafe in Corona and eat too much mediocre food, with a too-big dessert, and find that we actually have about 12 good photos! Hallelujah! By this time, it is past 9 pm, and we are both done. Just done. The weekend kicked my ass. The full moon tried me. If I hadn’t had Samantha with me, things could have been significantly different. Someone who didn’t know my PTSD past and experiences, someone who wasn’t as experienced shooting in low (no) light, someone who was more shook up than I was could have resulted in a much worse experience. On the bright side, I have a great story. Samantha and I have some beautiful photographs. I know how to cope with my PTSD - paranoia and anxiety, included. The universe may have had it out for me, but I trusted nature and myself.