Since launching our blog Apart of It, back in April, we have heard from so many incredible individuals. Seeing such incredible members of our 8apart community open up and share their struggles, accomplishments, and perspectives on current events has made me feel beyond inspired to open up myself. So here it goes, this week I want to share a bit about my journey evolving as a woman over time and how my own experiences helped shape the brand.
Growing up, I had the quintessential awkward middle school years; one bad haircut left me with a bob and a mouth full of braces. Oh, and I can’t forget the bright blue glasses that completed my look. I couldn’t tell you where it came from, probably the handful of strong, self-made women in my life, but despite being in what may be considered my “ugly duckling phase,” I possessed an inner confidence that I don’t think I even realized at the time. I walked around the middle school hallways with my head held high and wayyyy too much sass. This was of course a gift that, in hindsight, I see clearly now. However, this confidence came with a bit of a negative underbelly. As I continued to evolve and enter my high school years, my strong sense of self, made me feel, at times, that I was superior to other girls. Whether this reared its head via dirty glares at girls in younger grades or playing into the cliquey behavior, it was something that I was almost proud of at the time. The feeling that girls were afraid or intimidated by me felt exciting, “cool.”
Fast forward to college...it was the first time in my life where I was forced to make my own friends from the start. Before college, I had gone to the same school since Junior Kindergarten and my friendships were basically cemented at birth. I found myself in New York City in a far more socially vulnerable place than I had ever been before. No one was intimated or afraid of me. I was merely one in a class of thousands, no time was wasted thinking about my judgement or RBF. It wasn’t long until I made my first small group of friends at NYU. I watched how my new friends, one of them in particular, had an electric friendliness to her that was infectious. She was literally a magnet for people, everyone wanted to hang out with her and she wanted to hang out with everyone, as well. There was no “too cool for school” here; what was the point in that? Everyone was looking for their family away from home. This revelation certainly seems obvious, but it really changed the game for me. I went abroad my sophomore year of college and again, I found myself needing to make new friends. This time, I embraced this new friendly energetic and well, just generally happy side of me. I put positive and inclusive energy into the world as I ventured into meeting new people. It was insane. I was a social butterfly unlike any other time in my life before.
After my college years, I had more character building experiences through my young twenties. More professional experience under my belt and I found myself craving building a community of young women, who are growing up and into themselves, as I still very much still was (and am). I wanted there to be a brand that represented the positivity, the kindness AND, the confidence that I had grown obsessed with. I wanted 8apart to inspire other girls to emulate this positive and supported mentality that my friend inspired in me. Girls inspiring girls! Clearly, I have grown, changed and evolved with time and will continue to do so, as will 8apart. 8apart is meant to be a living, breathing and evolving creature just like all of us women are. This is just one of many reasons that 8apart means so much to me.
Absolutely beautiful post….couldn’t be more proud of my girl!!!!😘😘😘❤️❤️❤️
You are such an inspiration my love! Beautifully written!! Love you 😘