Not smart enough. Not good enough. Not confident enough. At least that’s what I thought. I’d transferred to Indiana University to pursue by dream of fashion, but the party scene had left me lonely and my grades were heading in the wrong direction. There were some course corrections during those years, but my move to New York for Grad School only further exposed insecurities. That need for validation from relationships that were probably less than healthy.

Maybe an amazing job in New York would heal this wound? But no, just more rejection. No job offers. No opportunities. It’s funny how doors that close can actually lead us to where we’re supposed to be. Sometimes that’s an actual place, sometimes that’s a state of being. Sometimes it’s both.

The door would open to an amazing job with Adidas in Portland, but little did I know that the move here would open the door for me to be a part of a community that would help me grow and become who I was supposed to be. It’s amazing how the right relationships in your world can change the trajectory of life. I’ve seen evidence of it along this path.

What connects me? The fact that I can just be me with a community that’s become family. Laughing, loving and enjoying life, good times and bad.