My #BeReal guest today is Jacqueline Cioffa.
I first noticed this lovely lady on the The Lithium Chronicles. She is another mental health advocate.
It’s hard enough for most of us to piece together the real us but imagine being in the modeling industry. An industry dressing you up and asking you to portray their vision. Then imagine trying to function with a mental health issue you barely understand.
Thank you Jacqueline for sharing your real with us today!
When Hastywords invited me to participate in her #BeReal campaign I was of course honored, jazzed and excited to be in such stellar company.
“…give us an idea who you really are” was the direction. Jeez, that is a loaded brilliant question, which requires a thoughtful answer.
I am Jacqueline Ann Cioffa and that is a fine place to start, with my beginnings.
I am the luckiest, unlucky girl on the planet, born out of deep love, desire and devotion. I learned kindness, compassion, humor, loyalty, faith, stubbornness, empathy and hunger (not the physical, but the curious kind) from my parents. I am inquisitive, over-emotional, an observer, rebel, dreamer and profound lover of words. I have a short temper, and am brutally, painfully honest. I can be loud mouthed, full of potty.
I am learning to love and honor these qualities and traits because in the end, I live with them. I’m not always right, I’m only right about what I believe to be true. I suck at Math, Science, and the mysteries of the mind. I have no concrete answers. Ask me to add 34 plus13 and I have to take out a pen and paper.
I was born privileged in so many ways with a physically appealing face and body that granted me freedom, a cushy life of travel and exposure to different cultures shaping and expanding this simple girls narrow thinking. I am not cushy at all; I trip a lot. I’m aspiring to be the real me, plain and simple.
My father and mother instilled all the right values and gave me a wide berth and the necessary space to grow. I like dirty brown boys (not smelly) that always get me into trouble. I love Stone Crabs, all things Mystic, Miami Beach memories, Chrome Hearts Fuck You rings, biker boots, how effortless being submersed in one trillion gallons of water feels, my tribe, and Lupita lovely, my five-year-old Aussie born blind in one eye but sees, feels and loves everything about me. That is real; that is love. Love is reality.
I am fiercely loyal and will stick up for the underdog, disabled, oddball every single time… I hate bullies, racists, ignorance of any kind and mice. Terrifying, hyperventilating types of beasts.
Oh yeah, I have this brain thing that’s complicated but not everything about me.
What does It mean to you to be real?
Being real has little to do with how you’d like to be perceived (designer duds, fancy cars, material stuff) and everything to do with who you are naked and exposed. I struggle with the ‘who are you really’ concept. Sure, I’d like to be rich, look like Charlize Theron (she’s actually mad cool I knew her once), live in a Malibu dream beach house with prince Charlie Hunnam kicking back beer in hand and bike in the driveway. Who wouldn’t?
Movie star dreams are nice, but they’re not real. I would be them and not me. So…back to this life, the only one I am living right now.
It’s not always pretty and it’s mostly messy, but staying true/real is replenishing and refreshing, 100% pure oxygen. You might lose people along your truth quest (I did, and yes it hurts) but by owning your reality in every aspect, even the painful parts you win. I am winning even when I lose. Mindfulness matters.
What do you think most people think about you by just seeing your picture?
My face. Ha, that’s hard, the two dueling personalities. There’s my model face that must be pleasing to some because it granted me a twenty-year successful International modeling career. And then there’s my normal, everyday, bare, puffy, dark circles picture. I cannot tell you what other people think about seeing my picture. That perception, or misperception is up to them. I’m good, okay, happy, proud of this today face, we’ve been through a lot.
And what would people be most surprised to learn about you?
Most people who haven’t read my books or are unfamiliar with my writing might be surprised to learn I am a deep thinker. Because in the #BeReal best kind of everyday way, I’m goofy. A plain and simple girl willing to try her best. Life is about transitioning, and I am a work in progress.
“Truth is universal, truth always wins.”
Jacqueline Cioffa was an international model for 17 years and celebrity makeup artist. She is a dog lover, crystal collector and Stone Crab enthusiast. Her work has been featured in “Brainstorms, the Anthology” and numerous literary magazines. Living with manic depression, Jacqueline is an advocate for mental health awareness. She’s a storyteller, observer, essayist, potty mouth and film lover who’s traveled the world.
Her poignant, literary fiction debut THE VAST LANDSCAPE gives new meaning to intense, raw and heartfelt.
Fans of the emotional, soul stirring first novel will not be able to put GEORGIA PINE the exciting sequel down.
The essence continues because you do. Harrison leaves the door open a crack. I seize the opportunity to revisit my whole, healthy self a bit longer, live in the mystic beach home I adore, dream eyes open. Hope is our greatest asset. To choose hope against the worst possible odds is the true measure of life. ~ The Vast Landscape by Jacqueline Cioffa