Shrouded in Smiles, Selfie slightly featuring Molla Çelebi Mosque

Being unknown is lucky. I won the stroke of invisibility luck lottery thus far in life. I’m not some superstar, and my parents aren’t tabloid fodder, nor was anyone in many generations of my immediate family history known by the world at large. Most of us on this planet get to freely walk into any store, restaurant, or down the street without being mobbed. I don’t have paparazzi staking out in bushes or cars to photograph me suddenly anywhere I go. My friends and family aren’t thrown into the public eye because of anything I do. I can vacation to a foreign country, go to Burning Man and take lots of photos, date as often as I like and with whomever I like. I’m able to sunbathe nude in the French Riviera aboard a sailing yacht and never worry if I’ll be hired or fired in the coming days.

I started working with ‘very important people’ back when I was eighteen. Many are celebrities whose names you’d likely know. It’s partially anachronous, but wildly popular folks such as then unfamiliar Laura Linney and Halle Berry, along with Ozzie Davis, Kool & the Gang, Casey Kasem, Charo, Richard Pryor, Ray Charles, Val Kilmer, and Juliette Lewis have had starring roles or cameos in my life. I kept adding actors and actresses, comedians, radio personalities, bands, musicians, and others as time stretched on. I didn’t plot a path toward meeting any of them. I did choose the field of entertainment to embark on a career move out to the southwest from my southeast hub. It’s a glam-friendly Hollywood tale that a young woman from the south has had conversations, been paid to work with, shaken the hands of, and even hugged her share of big-wigs.

I think my invisibility streak by comparison to the celebrities I’ve known is monumentally advantageous. I’ve had my share of friends hoping to fame in their lifetime. Sure, I could turn out to be a global sensation in the latter half of my life. I feel my flexibility lends me a greater variety of living, despite all the special, secret, exclusive doors or other luminaries I’ve witnessed VIP’s gain access to by merely being ‘a name’. The cool catch is how I’ve defaulted to much of that first-class notables-only entrée being around such hotshots. I, too, have seen the insides of posh mansions, underground VIP passageways into many hotels or nightclubs, received entrance through many a velvet rope and boarded ritzy jets or yachts. All while maintaining my anonymity.

While I don’t tout or recommend typical vices (alcohol, smoking, hard drugs, etc), I’ve logged some serious years dabbling into such experimentation. I learned heaps and got out many moons ago for my own choices for better health. I have the luxury to venture into such territory at my personal whimsy, lacking any acute social media or international scrutiny. Here’s the thing though I could head to Peru for an ayahuasca trip tomorrow and I wouldn’t be front of Page Six news for doing so. It’s doubtful I’ll have to battle antiquity and my own country to choose my husband one day, like Meghan Markle with Prince Harry. Even though I once suffered a stalker relentlessly focused on hacking his way to making me a cyberporn star linked to politicians and celebrities alike, it didn’t happen. My invisibility cloak of luck maintained (with an abundant surplus of support from the likes of the LAPD, my local CA District Attorney, and Sojourn’s domestic violence counseling).

Superstardom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I have dramatic memories when split-second decisions mattered or minutes flowed like molasses as I attempted to distract a lookie-loo or genuine paparazzo. I remember the time my VIP actress boss called late night to tell me she’d called the police and had grabbed her rifle from its stash to cock it loudly when she detected on her security cameras that a man had climbed her fence and was coming towards her front door. There was the moment I’d been inches from my primary walking across a metropolitan street trying to get in the door of an event, but I was shoved feet away suddenly by three paparazzi’s camera stuffed in my face, as their arms and chests discarded me aiming for the VIP snap. Or, how about the time I caught a familiar TMZ reporter from the corner of my eyes acting incognito when I landed at LAX with my well-known client. I headed him off and tried to keep his video camera pointing to the ground literally with my hands until my client conceded giving the guy a snippet of on-camera chatter. I’ve seen the vigilance of VIP invasions at their homes, hotels, flights, filming, grocery stores, schools, anywhere they park, eat, sleep, try to rest, party, play with their kids, go with friends, or spend time with family.

Celebrity stardom has taught me the virtues of my privacy privilege. I like that fashionable for me is not the clothing I wear so much as the power my undiscovered name proposes. I can be heroic without contemplating comparison. My community might know me, but everyone else doesn’t have to weigh in. I don’t fear walking in the shadow of a famous relative, having to prove I’m just as worthy of mention by my name instead of theirs. If I want to ‘walk in the shoes’ of someone notorious, I’ve created a few honorable avenues in which to enlighten my myself. Sometimes a boss, friend, client, acquaintance or connection has an ‘in’. Periodically I’ve kept my contacts in good stead to allow my own admittance into the highly visible star sanctuaries. I’ve danced on VIP tables or the same crammed into socialites private bathrooms while everyone around me does lines of cocaine. I’ve seen first-time make-out sessions between two infamous people. Nobody was the wiser that I was there. Also, I don’t name drop much. I’m an eternal curiosity monger. I love to observe. It’s a wild life to be exposed 24/7 and I have zero interest in supporting a rough road for anyone’s existence.

I’m an Aquarius star sign, a Leo rising, a Capricorn according to the sidereal astrology charts, a number 4 birth year, and a Nine of Spades in the 52-deck cards. Yet, no one cares so much if I subscribe to that, buy meat or vegan items at the grocery store, if I’m bi-sexual or transgender, dye my hair, have a fitness regime, wear makeup, get Botox for my migraines, or trumpet Trump or Hilary or the #metoo movement, and how many pints of ice-creams I’ve ever consumed in one sitting. I can be a book nerd, science geek, really bad at math, speak in a southern dialect one moment or lose it the next largely lacking judgment. Inconspicuousness prevents a lot of pain I’ve seen. Equally, I wasn’t born into a culture expecting me to maintain any level of modest invisibility by its nature wearing a hijab for the sake of my religious respect.

Freedom’s just another word for everything you’ve got room to gain.

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