We had the good fortune of connecting with Paulian Read and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paulian, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
When I think of this question; two transformative moments come to mind.
The first one is my dedication to personal growth and development. I made an oath to myself that I was going to become the best version of myself as I entered my roaring 20s. At the time my mental and emotional space wasn’t in tip top shape. I was sad, angry and confused for many years. I was tired of feeling that way because I knew that was no way to live my life. Shaking the burdens off wasn’t as easy as I thought. It was so heavy that I had no choice, but to turn to God. I didn’t know the first thing about connecting to God except going to church. I chose to listen to sermons on a podcast instead. It was the beginning towards a peaceful and healthful mind, heart body and soul. For seven years I looked in the mirror and didn’t understand what I saw. I constantly questioned myself. Who am I? Why do I love myself? How am I suppose to feed myself that love? What is life and what do I want to do with mine. Who or what am I doing this for. The questions didn’t stop there. My thoughts quickly started to pick up cues from the moment I decided to take an introspective look at my past behaviors and bad habits. For years I ripped myself apart just to put myself back together the way I was born to be. I thought to myself what habits do I need to break in order to live a peaceful life. It was easy for me to point out what didn’t serve my greater good. The releasing part was what made it a challenge. There were some personal tweaks that didn’t take to long to change. But when it came time to heal the relationships that left me broken, I was left to find closure in them by myself. That pain was the hardest and longest emotional burdens I had to release, but it had to be done. Over time my healing and teachings lead me to a spiritual path. Many times I thought how can this be reality. Even through the most joyful or heart wrenching moments I learned my self worth, unconditional love, forgiveness, discernment, and more importantly intentional truth. It took eight years to really fall in love with who I am and learn what it meant to look in the mirror and be proud of the woman staring back at me. It is about to be a ten year journey this year and I’ve discovered so much about how my body functions and what drives me to live a fulfilled life. Who knew that introspection is the guide to creating the life you want. I noticed that I lived my 20s the untraditional way. I didn’t let the pressure of social norms stop me from walking my own path. I didn’t let other peoples opinions keep me from listening to my own. Every step of the way, I let my intuition guide me, even when I questioned it. Believe me, there were times I wanted to give up because there were too many moments where I felt completely lost and that was painful to feel. During stages of despair I give myself pep talks because I know God is always listening. It works for me- I talk about my problems, I ask for guidance, I praise the Lord and give thanks. The outcome always feels like a miracle. I am reminded everyday why NOT to give up. I am so glad that I never gave up on my journey to self discovery. It was worth every trial and tribulation. It builds on my strength and wisdom. It opened my eyes to all the possibilities I have within me. When you know what you want out of life, you never give up on it.
My second dedication is my professional career. As a kid, it’s all I ever dreamed of. It’s what I look forward to in life. In a blink of an eye, I was 21 and there I was, a student learning all about the fashion industry. I never felt more dedicated to something in my life. I had two goals- graduate college with a bachelor’s degree in high honors consecutively for four years and to move out of New England. I worked two jobs and was a full time student, so it is safe to say that my social life was very limited. A year after I graduated college, I took a leap of faith and moved across the country. The next stepping stone towards my career and personal growth. I was still going through emotional healing at that time. I landed in LA and my first thoughts were, “You’re crazy, but I can’t go back now” and laughed at myself. At this point the last seven years prepared me mentally for this massive transformation I was about to embark. A strong mindset is everything when you want to survive, especially in a such a foreign place. I wouldn’t have made it a week, if I didn’t have a strong intuition and God by my side. In truth, it was the most challenging and most rewarding journey I have ever experienced. I wouldn’t even know where to begin, but all I can remember was feeling that I wasn’t going to give up. Two years in and I discovered a whole other side of me that I never knew. A powerful side, the one that kind that freaks you out a bit, but in a really good way. Something was tugging at my heart. For the first time in my life I didn’t know which step to take next. I was at a crossroads with my career path. New ideas were sprouting out of control and before I knew it was creating a new future for myself. Then the pandemic hit, but that didn’t stop me. I keep going because I know and believe in my mission. I keep going because I can feel it in my all of my senses and I love it! I keep going because sometimes my instincts choose for me and it always leads me in the right direction. I keep going for the valuable lessons. I know my purpose in this life. My purpose requires love, inspiration, discipline, perseverance, patience and morale.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I didn’t realize how much of my own personal development would influence the choices I made for my professional career. Seven months before the pandemic, I was laid off from my full time job. I took it as an opportunity to focus a little closer to my career goals and get to experience LA a little more. When I wasn’t sleeping long hours for a full recharge, I worked long hours researching, developing ideas, and reducing my stress through mediation, stretching, breath work and dancing. I walked my neighborhood a lot and visited landmarks around the city. LA changed my entire perspective on my career goals. There were days more challenging than others, but there wasn’t a day that passed me by where I wasn’t inspired. The time off was actually what I needed in order to sit with myself and gain a deeper insight. In one of my mediation practices I felt my heart being called to work with the youth. I had an opportunity to work with teens who wanted to pursue a career in modeling and acting. I had extra time in the week to work as an intern at a film production studio. I was living my best life. Sadly, three months later the pandemic hit.
Fast forward to todays world. I’ve been working with high school students on their academics and professional development by day and being an artist by night. Between my day job and my artistry I am non stop. Los Angeles opened my eyes to see that I don’t have to limit myself. I am in the beginning stages of building my own empire. I feel my entrepreneurial spirits at the fore, so there’s a lot of learning, writing down ideas and visualizations happening. Photo shoot and editing sessions and collaborating ideas with other artists are happening. Creative endeavors are happening. Growth is happening. Memories in the making are happening. It is an exciting time for me, I am living the dream (cautiously) during a pandemic and it’s because I am making life work for me. So, when it is REALLY safe again- I plan to travel a lot more than I used to, expand my network, educate and change lives, have fun and create art. I am something to the note of a professional visionary, fashion and music enthusiast, youth coach, and self healer.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
*Imagining this is a trip after the pandemic is over*
Hey Best Friend, I am so excited for you to come and visit! I want to make sure I give you a tour of the coolest spots I’ve enjoyed here. You will see in the itinerary below that I will giving us time to rest, I want to give us quality time to really chat it up in private. We will definitely try new things together, so get ready to relax and have some fun!
First thing is first, this is what you need to pack.
- Bathing suits
- Night outfits for dinner. Bring some super hip accessories.
- Don’t forget your perfume!
- Work out clothes ( yoga and trail activities)
- Comfy shoes for walks at the beach
- Shorts, tank tops and a couple stylish sweaters.
- Don’t forget your pjs and slippers!
Save some room for souvenirs!
Here are the spots we are going to visit if you want to check them out!
When you arrive, I am taking you to Venice beach for brunch at a place called
26 Beach. Then we will walk around Abbot Kinney.
We’ll head home to unpack, refresh ourselves and sit out on the balcony to watch the sunset. Wait until you see the view!
I was thinking of having dinner at Casa de Pizza because they have amazing Chicago style pizza!
A Day in Pasadena
Yoga @ Curative Yoga
Açaí bowls! @ Roots and Rye
We will walk the area in Colorado Boulevard and visit the shops there!
We might want to go on an drive and explore more of LA together.
After that we will head back to my place and have a “self care w/ champagne” date. It includes blasting our favorite songs, a facial, leg scrub, foot soak with epsom salt and possibly a mani/ pedi session.
Dinner at my place. Let’s cook our favorite meal!
Best Friends who cook together live forever!
Maybe we will be in the mood to watch a movie for bedtime.
A morning / noon trip at Huntington Beach
We are taking an early trip to Huntington Beach today!
I was thinking of having a beach picnic because this beach has super calming vibes. We can walk the coast and check out the shops while we are there.
We’ll soak up the sun and chat it up with some refreshing drinks.
After our festivities at the beach we have to get back in time to freshen up and catch our dinner reservations at Ysabel. I invited a couple of close friends to meet us at a bar called Hyde Lounge in the Staples Center. I can’t wait for you to meet them! They are so fun to hang out with. Get ready to laugh your face off.
Breakfast at home.
We will be out all day so we have to make sure we eat a big meal.
Surprise Activity! Wear something cute. We will be driving around to different destinations. I think our feet will need a break from walking.
Around 7pm we will be going to a Drive in Movie – we will pick up tacos from a truck nearby and grab snacks!
A day in Malibu
We will relax a little bit at the beach and then walk around the plaza to check out the stores.
Rum tasting at mid afternoon
Check it out below!
What’s for dinner? Maybe take out?
We will have French toast and strawberries for breakfast
Rest and Relaxation Time – Spa massages! You get a full hour before your 6 hour flight back home.
Best Friend’s Going away Lunch @ Isla Cuban Latin Kitchen
They have a live music and yummy food!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shout a thank you to my family, first and foremost. All my family members that open their heart to me for love and guidance. All my friends who I call family that support me, uplift me and respect my craft.
I also want to thank Voyage LA for giving me the opportunity again to have voice in this series!
These are some additional resources that I feel deserve recognition in my story. They influenced a big part of my journey as well.
The Art Institute of New England
Johnson & Wales University
Everyone I met at Barbizon + IMT
Notre Dame Cristo Rey Network
All the kind and generous people I met in Los Angeles
All the female chefs I met in Los Angeles, I never tasted better home cooked meals IN MY LIFE.
Photographer: Yaniery Martinez Editing Credits: Paulian Read