Janine, we are loving your chosen #WomanWarrior !

Brene Brown is a research professor who studies courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy of human beings. She’s also a friend of Oprah Winfrey which matters to me because Oprah is absolutely wonderful. As a health science student, I find it super inspiring that Brene strives to understand such complex traits. As somebody that loves to learn, I am grateful that I found her book “Braving the Wilderness”. I was away from home for the first time and living in Australia. I gave myself the daunting task of finding myself, and losing every quality that I thought no longer served me. This was quite the journey- and I have a feeling the process isn’t over. The book mentions that true belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are, it requires us to be who we are. I tried to find the places I felt alive with connection and where I could truly be me. Instead I ended up feeling empty and lonely. Then I was exposed to another quote that would change everything.. This time from Maya Angelou.. “You are only free when you realize you belong no place-you belong every place-no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.” Once you read that at least three times you begin to realize that true belonging comes from within. You belong to you. I remember that realization was the first time I felt self growth.. And making small decisions with the intention to belong to myself was the first step I made to living a more authentic life. Since then I haven’t been able to stop the desire to learn and grow. I’m grateful for the experiences (good and bad) that continue to spark this desire in me.

I would also love to extend my appreciation for the very supportive people that exist in my life- my mother especially. My mother is the strongest person I know and it’s almost daily i am in awe of her resilience. No matter what life throws at her she wakes up every day carrying a positive light. She taught me what it means to unconditionally love, and inspires me to display my strength with a soft heart. For her and for so many other empowering women and men that happen to cross my path THANK YOU.



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