My only Sunshine. I have not met any another Sunshines. Have you?
One year ago, I attended a Jasmine Star Workshop at Big Daddy's Antique Shop in West Hollywood. We spent three amazing days with Jasmine Star and other amazing creatives in this hidden ad expansive warehouse containing old vintage Hollywood set backdrops, farmhouse tables, leather boxing punching bags shaped liked people, huge glass cabinets, lighting fixtures, flags and to plants and paintings. While back in L.A for a visit, I take Sunshine with me to visit Big Daddy's Antique Shop because we both need a little inspiration and creative appreciation. So much change has gone on in our lives and it was time to just drive around L.A. and have some fun!
Seventeen years ago, while working at Disney to on a marketing career track, I moved into my very first apartment on my own. I had been a serial “long term relationship" dater. I was struggling to find out who I was. Looking back, this is the time I learned what I was made of. It was just me and my dog Patch. At first, I slept on an air mattress, my couch and table were from the GoodWill and I listened to the radio because I couldn’t afford cable for my TV. BTW, shout out to 106.7 KROQ rules! Trying to juggle car payments, insurance, rent and utilities on a very small salary was difficult when all you want to do is go out eat out all the time. It was during this time in my life when the the light rays of Sunshine VanWagner shined warmly upon the land of Burbank, California.
Sunshine grew up in Hawaii, went to the same school that President Obama attended. Sunshine’s mom still works at the same school in the Drama Department. Sunshine landed in San Francisco and worked to pay for her college tuition all on her own. At the ALL girls, private school university, Sunshine completed her Bachelors degree for teaching. A move to L.A. Sunshine accepted a job working as a Preschool Teacher at a private Preschool facility in the fancy part of Old Town Pasadena. Later, Sunshine became the Head Mistress at this private Preschool facility. But at the time we met, Sunshine was pretty much going through the same struggles I was, but we found we had so much in common! She is my very strong German decent girl with a chilled, laid back island girl upbringing, who likes rice and fluent in speaking Pigeon (Hawaiian native slang talk).
Sunshine and I started sharing meals, more like splitting one dinner entree and eating all the garlic bread that came with the meal. We'd go golfing together, wearing our short shorts with tightly fitted polo's and our pink RL (Ralph Lauren) golf caps to potentially meet young & cute golfers. Sunshine and I spent many a late night watching DVD episodes of Sex In The City comparing which character we were most like that month. Before blow outs were on trend, we would go to Fantastic Sam's Hair Salon to have our hair wash & styled. One time, we spent two hours at the Glendale Galleria Mall parking lot, chatting & checking ourselves out in the car visor mirror, thinking about how pretty we thought we were. Not even setting foot in the mall that day. We were two girls full of our own self-esteem and confidence. What confirmed our thoughts was when we got a free ice cream cone at Foster Freeze. We thought we were everything. We ARE everything! Just kidding. lol :)
At my wedding, Sunshine was my Matron's of Honor. When we were ready for children, we dressed up our dogs up in costumes and walked them around the neighborhood on Halloween. Sunshine and I got pregnant with our sons at about the same time. Even after I left California, Sunshine made time to hang out with me and our kids call each other cousins. Sunshine and I have shared so much together, in what feels like so little time spent. Our bond is extremely special, in it’s own unique little way. Our friendship is forever, especially the bond that we possess. Life is a tough journey, our story will continue to grow because you are so dear to me, Sunshine. It’s a blessing to have a friend who will never judge you and always accepts you just as you are.
Sunshine is my California ray of light and my skies are blue when I'm around her. Thank you Sunshine for your friendship and I can't wait until our next adventure. Perhaps, it could be, "Sunshine & Jenna take on Chicago's" or "Jenna & Sunshine buy up Michigan Avenue Stores". Sunshine, may your days be brighter an all your wishes come true, as your smile warms other's hearts and your DIVA keeps SHINING through! Always remain open to new adventures and know you are exactly where you need to be. I love ya girlfriend - XO XO