Ed Razek. A man unknown to most, Ed Razek is responsible for many of the supermodel careers that only need one name for recognition: Tyra, Gisele, Heidi… the list goes on. He is the senior creative at Victoria’s Secret and the imagined hero in my personal fantasy, who was supposed to pluck me out of the obscurity that is being a model from Alaska (which is almost an oxymoron) and thrust me into the limelight of the Victoria’s Secret runway and box seats at least 6 of the last 10 Super Bowls (but probably not this next one, Gisele… make other plans!). For years, I have been vying for Ed Razek’s attention. I have traveled all over the world in pursuit of my dream of being a supermodel, shaved inches from every part of my body, spent entirely too much time in gyms or sucking down smoothies that taste like sadness. I have worked hard with the intention of getting noticed by Ed Razek, and last year – I was – not because of my modeling, but because of my writing.
Writing has always been a passive interest, something that I might get better at when I have the time like yoga or rock climbing. It has also been a place of extreme vulnerability, an opening of my world that I might not be ready for. To peel back the layers of wallpaper on this old house seems like a daunting and exposing task, so I slap on another design, a new coat and polish and hope the light doesn’t expose any flaws.
I’m scared. There. I said it.
I’m scared to show too much. Skin is much easier.
I’m scared I’ll ruin the illusion. I’ve mastered smoke and mirrors.
But… I have something to say. I have a lot of somethings to say.
Part of me feels inadequate. I boast no English degree and I haven’t published much of anything since the 3rdgrade, when a haiku I wrote somehow made the district’s writing collection (a huge honor for 9-year-old me). Diving headfirst into a world of literary experts and people who seem to have been given syntax from God up above seems ill-advised, or, I don’t know… stupid?
Even now, writing this, I’m constantly battling negative thoughts. From where I sit, every sign of my self-perceived failure stares me in the face: I’m 25 and in my parents’ basement. Cardboard boxes and a lack of paint on the walls reminds me of my impermanence, but I can’t neglect that I have been here on and off since April. I’ve gotten comfortable and now I’m scared.
For years, I wanted Ed Razek to discover me and he did – for my writing. Sometimes doors close and windows open, giving you no option but to jump. And I’m scared.