Diary of a Model Chapter 11: Rebirth

Text and Model –  Jasmine Alleva
photography by Thuy Vo of Vo Photography

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In less than three weeks, I’ll be gone.

About 22 hours of flying separates me from my next destination, which is right where I started: Australia. Its difficult to believe I was there two years ago. The months seemed to have slipped by and come back again. I’m sure it is a different place now, but I’m a different person.

Crows feet are starting to dig their toes into the skin next to my eyes and my hair has changed colors at least six times. I have suffered the throes of constant movement, limbo, and confusion. My face and esteem have been a testament to such.

For the sake of being boldly and wildly honest, I lost myself. It is difficult to admit that. Its difficult to admit I fell off course of my original intentions and that I didn’t enjoy who I saw in the mirror. That wasn’t me for a long while. I never wanted to be the girl harping on her glory days or listening to Bob Dylan with a sigh of defeat, but I really felt like I have been.

Shock came in March. I had decided to move my entire life, compromise my familial relationships, and cut my ties with “home” once and for all. I was in a hairdresser’s chair, dyeing my blonde strands back to the natural chocolate brown I was born with, when the agency who told me to do so sent an e-mail informing me I had been released. I was crushed. I was more than crushed. Floyd Mayweather, in the form of a really great booker (agent), had come to blindside me, knock me to my knees, and then speedbag my stomach. I didn’t eat for two days. My plans of moving were cancelled and flights refunded. Only the people closest to me knew. I would never let the fact that I felt like a failure get away from my circle… until now.

 

We cannot control what happens to us, but we can control how respond. We have choices, which might be the most relieving part of the human condition. We have choices.

 

I felt like a failure.

These past several months of absolute confusion have been a rebirth for me. Two years ago, I was much thinner, had a boyfriend who I thought would be my husband, and was internationally modeling. I thought I was happy. I felt like I was on top of the world. When all of that was taken away from me, I was left by myself and I was angry.

I’ve put the air between that time and now; mulled over the details until my vision went blurry. I’ve spent nights with tear soaked pillows and screamed into empty buildings, hoping an echo would give me an answer as to what the hell I’m doing. I’ve been lost and suffering has never been in short supply.

Outwardly, I know it looked like nothing was wrong. Inwardly, I was on fire, my temple burning to the ground. Why had I worked so hard?

We cannot control what happens to us, but we can control how respond. We have choices, which might be the most relieving part of the human condition. We have choices.

 

“Losing myself was the one of the best things to happen because I didn’t like that person, but better than that was the realization that I have no idea who I am…”

 

Losing myself was the one of the best things to happen because I didn’t like that person, but better than that was the realization that I have no idea who I am – and that’s great. Knowing who you are and cementing yourself into a fixed idea can be horrible, as it was for me. I was “Jasmine the Model” and attached to a man. When those fixed attributes didn’t work out as planned, I had an identity crisis. Now I understand that I don’t know who I am and I shouldn’t because not knowing opens doors to opportunities and experiences that I may have never experienced had I stuck with the girl I thought I was, the girl I didn’t like, and the girl I lost.

This is why I’m going back to Australia.

I am excited for the adventure in front of me. I know its going to suck. I know its going to be hard and trying and arduous and sometimes, downright fucking horrible. But I will learn and move forward and some days, I know I will cock my head backwards in laughter and find the sky and know the suffering was all worth it for that brief moment – if only that brief moment.

In less than three weeks, I’ll be gone.

22 hours of flying will land me on a different hemisphere, in a different time zone, with a different perspective. There is familiarity with Australia and I’m sure it’s a different place now, but I’m a different person.

 

 

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