Society has a lot of pitfalls. We're often forced into something that isn't working for us under the guise of it being the "norm." It made me feel mad, insane. As I got older I just didn't feel like I fit in, the 9-5 wasn't working for me. I felt constrained, like I wasn't allow to *live* and work.
I want to help artists, people with dreams, musicians, small businesses. I want people to feel like they can do what makes them happy, unconstrained by the "one-size-fits-all." I didn't fit in it and struggled to accept how I could break out and still feel full of purpose.
I found people who felt like me. We started making beautiful things together, putting together ideas. I started running art markets, giving artists a platform to sell their work. I found myself through art, community, collaboration.
It's taken years to recondition my idea of success and happiness. I'm young and I'm only just beginning. I really love it all. I really love you all.-@sweetheartpowder
Growing up where I did, school wasn’t a main priority. I dropped out of high school my senior year [after being sexually assaulted by a fellow student] and it was no big deal to those around me. But I knew I wanted more. I needed more. I did get my GED and then enrolled in community college. I was the first person on both sides of my family, cousins, aunts, uncles, to go to college. I married young and had kids with a man who was abusive, but I persisted. My 4th daughter was born 5 days before my last semester of nursing school started. I was back at school when she was 2 weeks old. My teachers were so afraid I was going to fail boards that they charged me with plagiarism twice! Both times I sat for the academic board and proved my innocence. I won. Then I passed state nursing boards with a perfect score. The day I found out, I left my now ex husband. That was 2014. Since then, I have spent every moment healing past traumas, and letting the woman of honor that lives inside of me, come alive. It has not been an easy journey, but every minute of the fight was worth it to end up where I am now, spiritually, mentally, and professionally. I believe people and situations are placed in our lives to help us learn lessons. Those who have wronged me, I thank you. Those who have stood by my side through thick and thin, I tell you everyday how grateful I am for your love. Those who were passing through to show me who I don’t want to be and who I can be, thank you. For all of you have helped mold me into who I am today, and I have to say, I like her, thank you! But the biggest shout outs go to my four amazing daughters. Everyday I strive to make a better life for us.
I was a "troubled" high schooler. Always cutting classes, making trouble, and being the "class clown." I have always craved making an impact on those who I was around, it just took me a little while to realize it feels better when it's a positive impact vs a negative one. After barely passing high school and trying one semester of college, I realized that route wasn't for me. I enlisted in the US Navy in 2014. I craved the structure and leaned into it. However, bad habits die hard. I still wanted to "be bad," and I had not learned habits that would help me reframe my mindset toward positive impact...yet. I worked my way up the ranks in my 5 years on active duty and ended up being the leader of my division in two years. Through this process I learned a lot about myself. I was in an organization called "CSADD," Coalition of Sailors against Destructive Decisions. We helped give other options to junior sailors, who, like myself at first, felt there was no other place to turn except toward destruction. During this process I found a mentor who helped me reframe that mindset within myself. Shortly after that I became the Vice President and then President of CSADD, mentoring others to become positive impacts on this world. This is where I felt fulfilled and had the biggest impact. I was dealing with some domestic violence trauma that I encountered in 2018, and shortly after that I went on deployment overseas for 9 months, finally embracing my sexuality, and realized that I was living a lie of being straight to adhere to society norms. Then I ended up transferring out of the military, moving my life back to my home state to acclimate to being around the ones that I had left for 5 years, and starting a new job in the corporate world as an engineer. Needless to say it was a LOT all at once. I was deflecting my Domestic Violence trauma that entire time and finding anything else to focus on. When I got settled in a house and in the first couple months of my new job, I finally had time to sit with myself and unpack what I had just been through. I looked at myself in the mirror and realized I was mentally, physically, & spiritually unhealthy. From 2018 to 2019, I gained over 50lbs. With the space I was giving myself, I realized I needed to channel my energy toward something, I started going to the gym. I was in a good groove, feeling better physically but still mentally carving my way out of my own way. I was drinking a lot and partying with my old friends from home that I had left all those years ago to join the Navy. I started to see progress in myself and learn more and more about physical health and decided to shape up some more. I dove head first into learning as much as I could about human body movement. I was pushing myself harder in the gym, then COVID-19 lock down happened. I had a choice here, use it as an excuse to crawl back to my comfort zone or push through and come out stronger. I chose the latter. I bought a pair of dumbbells online for a crazy COVID-19 price and continued my journey toward health and fitness. Long story short, I built a home gym in my apartment during the pandemic and never missed more than 3 days a week of working out to date even while taking care of my mother who suffers from MS and was having a year full of MS attacks, working full time as an engineer, starting my online coaching business and breaking off a marriage engagement. Here we are in 2021, I am 50 lbs of fat down and 10+ lbs of muscle up from my starting weight. I am mentally and physically healthier than ever before and getting more fit every single day. In March of 2019 I started my own online coaching company, guiding women like me to tap into their inner badass and learn to change their own lives in a sustainable way! I believe that changing the world starts from the foundation up. Changing people's lives through health and fitness not only changes their bodies but mindsets. That helps people create space between thoughts and response, this in turn changing the culture in their own lives which is infectious. My goal is to create a culture of positive influence all over this world. I have helped over a dozen people achieve sustainable lifestyle shifts through health and fitness, and I'm just getting started. I still currently work my 9-5 as an engineer but my goal is to be a full time online fitness coach in the next 2-4 months! I want my story to be a positive light for those that feel STUCK in their minds and bodies that aren't serving them in positive ways. -@alexgr.fit
I grew up in a little Texas town, where I was reared by hardworking parents. After high school, I moved to Houston, Texas, and started a new life there. My philosophy has always been to live life to the fullest. From traveling whenever I could to taking on new challenges in my job path, I've done it all. I've had several setbacks along the way, but I always get back up and keep going. - @jamikay1
Hey there! My name is Patrick Newell, also known as @thebostonbeerguy. I'm an outgoing, honest, and kind individual that makes friends with everyone I meet. But, there is always a backstory of how we each grew up. For me, I had two amazing parents and two incredible brothers that I loved so much but ever since before I can remember, my parents were divorced. It was hard growing up in a split household my entire life but we all pushed through and went on to do big things. My two brothers and I lived with our mother and saw our father most weekends. My mother worked three jobs just to put food on the table and shuttled us to games and practices every single day. I'm not sure when she slept! Seeing her be so strong and hardworking while growing up has driven me every day of my life to want better and to work my ass off. I've gone on to get my Bachelors degree and MBA and continue to learn every day. I have started multiple businesses on my own and have an entrepreneurial mindset that makes me want more and more everyday, sometimes too much. I've suffered from anxiety for years and used to need to be busy at all hours just to get through the day. I finally admitted to myself that I couldn't do it anymore and went and got help. The anxiety medication that I'm on has literally saved my life and I feel blessed every day to be alive. Over the past ten years, I watched my father slowly dwindle away fighting depression, anxiety, and multiple physical issues until this past year when his body couldn't hold on any longer. Even though we all knew he wouldn't live much longer, it still hurt to see him pass away at the young age of 58 knowing that we could never talk to him again. Right at the beginning of the pandemic, my wife and I bought our first house on the south shore in Massachusetts. My wife Amber has been my rock for the past 8 years and so far, we've traveled to 15 countries and 40 states together. Every time we travel, we engulf ourselves in the countries culture so that we can really learn and appreciate the country for how they live. In November 2021, our travels stopped and we were blessed with our first child, Wayland William, who is the cutest little boy ever. I didn't know you could love someone this much until he was brought into our lives. Now, everything I do is for you Wayland. One of my main passions besides fatherhood is trying new craft beers from all over the world. I am approaching 2,000 different beers tried and love everything about the beer industry. My dream is to eventually open a brewery in Massachusetts and obviously to have DREAMS AREN'T THIS GOOD chips and salsa in the taproom. Make sure to keep an eye out for my future brewery and I hope to see you all in my taproom someday! - @thebostonbeerguy
My parents got divorced when I was 2. I grew up thinking it was normal for kids to see their dads only on the weekends. Being a split family my parents always made it work though. In middle school I was an average student who talked to everything. Bubbly, friendly, and would hardly shut up. I got my first job when I was 14 bussing tables: it was a restaurant on the lake and was seasonal. I then quickly had to deal with how addiction first hand effects people. I couldn’t wrap my mind around how someone can lie, steal, and not care when they mean so much to you. We were learning about drug addiction in Heath class. So, I would stay after class and speak to my teacher on how to cope/learn with having one of my siblings under my roof going through this. Fast forward to high school, I would be great at a couple of classes then terrible at the rest. I wasn’t a good test taker to boot. I became numb to what was happening on and off in my household. My siblings were in and out of rehab, and kept getting kicked out for not staying clean. It was broken promises after broken promises. He even broke in at one point. I just wanted to get the f**k out. I always wanted to move to NY. My dad will tell you, since I’ve been 3, I always said I wanted to move to NY. I graduated class of 09. I did 3 and half semesters at Community College. I didn’t even know what I wanted to go for. My financial aid ran out in the middle of the third semester. I said screw it, I’m out. My best friend had already moved to the Bronx. I got a job working at night club called PACHA. I was 20. I worked their merchandise booth doing sales. It was my first job in the city and I was ecstatic! I also got to talk to people the whole time! I then moved towards working all over the hospitality industry from ages 21-28. In my early 20s I was partying a lot also and never really applied/thought about other fields. I was with my boyfriend [now ex fiancé] of 6 1/2 years [20-26 1/2] who had my future life figured out [to his world] I had lost a sense of independence and confidence while I was with him. My future life consisted of getting married, getting pregnant, and not working. So I kept working at jobs that I knew were in the hospitality field and never branched out. I worked at bars with nachos. The Barclays Center. At high end establishments with A-list clientele, and bartending late night bars—high volume events. I worked on a rooftop, literally you name it, I’ve probably done it. I always secretly wanted to get out of the restaurants. I’ve always craved the 9-5 more corporate life than nightlife. I wanted something more concrete and set. I just always felt like I was built for something more. I wanted to use all of my skills on a larger platform. COVID happened. When COVID died down a little I ended up getting a job as a sales rep for a Greek food company. I enjoyed my new found field and I was good at it! I did not agree with the way the company was run or how some of my team was treated. I know “corporate” is “corporate” but it’s hard to witness things or have gut feelings that can’t be ignored. I resigned after a little over 9 months. I went back to the restaurant full time to cover the gap of getting a new job in the field I just discovered. I now currently work for a different food company where the creator is genuine and cares about his team. My now boyfriend motivates me to be the best of my original ability, always supports me, and says the word CAN’T isn’t in my vocabulary. I am truly grateful for everyone who influenced me, cared for me, and taught me along the way. I believe in taking time to find yourself, see what motivates you, and what makes you happy. I am filled with glee that I never lost my joy. After all I’ve been through (this only scratches the surface) I never lost my glass half full mentality. My ability to naturally see the good in people or making my own happiness. What doesn’t kill us will make us stronger, what heals us should make us kinder. Always believe in yourself and don’t be the one that breaks your own promises. [My siblings are doing fantastic FYI]
Don’t let anything take the light from behind your eyes. - @jaqattack03