Pale white tiles guide you through the entrance. Windows enclose around you, bathing your soul with raw sunlight, and a smooth hum of music vibrates your body. Finally, a seat is found as you adjust yourself in this home- like environment, with a hand wrapped around the glass mug of coffee.
I only saw this place as home, my home. Not as a business, not as a public space for people with unfamiliar faces to meet and sip coffee together, not as my mother’s coffee shop. This area was me.
We called our home the Gypsy House Cafe. After a year long journey to France, London, and my native land, Lebanon, my mother and her twin set action into making their dream into a reality. We were unsure of the location, but there were no amount of challenges that could shoot us down. I was six years old when the place was finished and ready for me to take on the world, while gaining and giving inspiration.
It was this very place, where I received the opportunity to meet a woman I would grow up admiring, and dreaming to work with. Her petite figure, cheerful personality, and wildly creative fashion sense were things that caught my attention immediately. Her name was just as unique; Brandi Shigley. I was eight years old at the time; her bright charisma and energetic communication was something that seemed familiar.
As a kid I had always thought of myself to be shy, until I felt comfortable enough, then that whole shy act flew out the window. It was hard for me to discover a way to break out of my tough shell I often hid behind, due to fear of rejection. But I grew, observed, and learned from people like Brandi Shigley. Watching her come in three or four times a week started to create a spark in me. She was one person I distinctly remember where conversation was lucid and easy for me to continue on. I looked up to this woman because she was everything I ever dreamed of myself to be.
Since that moment, I followed everything Brandi created, designed, hosted, etc… She was like a guiding reflection for me! As time grew, Brandi began to impact me more and more each year. Now we’ve reached ten years of our soul- sistah relationship, and I have finally broken out of my shell. I was granted the opportunity to intern for one person who has inspired me to break free of my own chains.
Being 18, I am starting to realize life is a giant piece of wet clay. With everything we learn, it becomes another indent, curve, whole, lump, etc.. into what the sculpture will look like in the end.
Society projects this image of becoming an “adult” as soon as you turn 18. Your responsibility is to the next future steps in this world, living independently, knowing who you are, and what your destined goal is supposed to be for the REST of your life. Well, I am 18. So far, the only things I know are my name, Olivia Symone, I am a Taurus, I am going to Metro State, January of 2016, I work at California Pizza Kitchen and I am doing this Internship with Brandi because I love to write and working with anything fashion.
My sculpture sort of looks like a pile of curves and bumps. But I love it. Your age does not define your position in life, you define it. I am comfortable with things I know, things I’m learning, and things I have no idea about. I am not a projector, shining this pre- planed lifestyle on a giant screen for everyone to see. I am just me, living and learning to the rhythm I create for myself.