October has hit home for me. Literally. I have been having a hard time processing what happened back home earlier in the month. I mean, how do you handle tragedy when you're away from home? I grew up in Las Vegas and have lived there my entire life. I will, without a doubt, always be a Vegas girl. But the minute I heard the news about all of what happened, I wanted to run home and hug every single one of the people in the community.
Community. Such an important and strong word in Las Vegas right now. I have seen the entire community come together with UTTER LOVE. Donation lines for blood banks wrapped around hospitals. Food banks were overflowing. Vigils, donations, tattoos, love love love. It has been such a heartwarming experience, even from the other side of the country, to see Vegas unite as one.
The day I heard I was an absolute wreck. I can't even fathom how everybody at home must have felt. I was on social media every second of the day watching out for updates and more news. We were all so confused. I was terrified. I woke up to a text saying people were dead in Vegas and I shot up like a rocket. I was honestly never very prideful in Vegas, growing up, it's not a thing that you really shout from the rooftops. The Vegas gear is all for tourists. Every single vacation or trip you take, you're the "Vegas" girl. But having this whole thing happen back home, I realized how much I really do fucking love Las Vegas and how much it is in my heart and soul. It destroyed me not being home. So, in New York, I did my best spreading news. I updated with all the information I had. I spoke to everybody that would listen to me. I was a wreck, but I wasn't going to be helpless.
To be honest, I don't really know how to handle it, still. I go home in 2 weeks and I'm overjoyed. I'm going to see the memorials and all and pay my respects and I hope to donate blood. I feel so bad for being such a wreck out here when other people in Vegas are fucking suffering. It's so odd being away. I've talked to a load of different people and they told me similar things. When friends from PI were away during the tsunami, it was hard. For friends who are from Orlando when the shooting happened, it was hard. I am away from my home, freshly in a new city, and being away during tragedy is fucking hard. But it makes my heart so happy to see strength in my family and friends. Vegas is made of gold. In the casinos and the people. Literal gold. I guess it's okay to feel like a wreck, as long as you continue to do your very best to spread awareness, push for change with officials, and spread love. Vegas is in my heart and soul and I know it will always be. So no matter how far I am from home, I know it's right with me.
I didn't really edit this or anything and I'm still a little lost for words, so I'm sorry if I sound like an asshole in any form. It's a ramble of me trying to figure things out.
I posted this about Vegas a few days after it happened, I think it's the most accurate description of Vegas I can come up with:
Las Vegas is an odd place. We live in limbo, where everybody's weekend is our Tuesday. Everything is far apart, with miles of sand and dirt and offices and casino in between. We grow up passing by strip clubs on the way to grade school. We either work on the strip or stay as far away from it as we can. Every place around us is at least a 3 hour drive. We live in a small community, full of people who have known each other since we were 5 years old, transplants, and a melting pot of generations and ethnicities, suits and blue collars. Our walk to school usually involved hiking some block of dirt. Our education system isn't the best, but the hospitality sure is. We have 3 highways that get packed during EDC and fight night. Things are open 24/7 and the best adventures often start at 3am. The food is good, the buildings get fancy, and the pride is strong. The people in it are my lifelong friends, my family, my role models, my lovers, my castmates, my all. When you grow up in Vegas, it stays in your soul. We are a strong, small community, and I am so proud to call 702 my home. I love you, Las Vegas.
PLEASE DONATE TO THE VEGAS VICTIMS FUND.