Strength Has No Gender™

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I’m coming at you guys today with a really inspiring campaign I’m excited to share - and a personal story of my own.
I’m baring it all in the name of Brawny® and the amazing Strength Has No Gender™ campaign!
Brawny® is championing the Strength Has No Gender™ campaign, highlighting inspirational stories of everyday women in cities across America who have been breaking down barriers in traditionally male-dominated industries and empowering others. I’ve loved hearing all the stories of strength from SHEroes!
What’s a “SHEro” you ask? a SHEro is a courageous, strong, selfless and resilient woman. She’ll stand up for what she believes is right. She not only faces adversity, but thrives.
I’m proud to be partnering with Brawny® to tell my SHEro story of strength!
To start, let’s talk a little about me as a high schooler. Your typical Type A first born child - I was an overachiever. I mean I still am an overachiever, but I was really an overachiever. I had stellar grades, a long list of extra curriculars, and was headed to a good college. 
Coming from a family filled with doctors (my dad and uncle), engineers (my grandfather), and a long list of University of California alums - that’s exactly where I thought I was supposed to go and what I was supposed to do. I was UC bound. 
I landed on campus at a UC at age 17 and was immediately overwhelmed and confused. The excitement of starting college fizzled fast. I found myself in lecture halls with 600 students. I was taking Communications major classes and hating each topic. To round all that off, culturally I did not fit in. 
I found myself alienated and alone. I found myself bullied by my roommates, being invited places and ditched on the bus, having my belongings stolen and strangers in my room at all hours. 
I honestly could have gotten past the loneliness and bullying if I had loved what I was studying - but I didn’t. My classes didn’t excite me. 
I found myself dozing off in class, but staying up late to sketch designs while watching reruns of Project Runway. I wanted to write, to draw, to create. I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do. I wasn’t where I wanted to be.
I remember laying in bed one night when I had hit my peak level of internal confusion. I stared up at the ceiling, alone in my dark room, and begged into the nothingness.
“Please, give me a sign. Tell me what I’m supposed to do. Am I supposed to stay? If so, I’ll push through. But if I’m not supposed to be here, and I’m supposed to be doing something else with my life, please give me a sign.”
I drifted off to sleep…and my sign came mere hours later.
I woke up to a whole lot of nonsense happening in my room. My roommates had brought a host of strangers back for the night. Unable to sleep and feeling unsafe, I had the urge to run. 
And I realized that was my sign. I had to get the heck out of this situation and this entire place. 
I suddenly felt like I knew exactly what I needed to do.
I wanted to pursue a career in fashion and social media. I didn’t have my whole plan flushed out yet and I wasn’t sure if my family would understand.
I needed to build up the courage to tell my parents I needed to come home. I had to find the strength to not only admit to my parents, but to myself, that I had made a mistake. I had to be honest not only to them, but to myself, about what it was I wanted to study and do with my life. 
It was the hardest - but the best - phone call of my life. 
Listening to how I felt, admitting what I wanted to do, there was a moment of silence on the other end of the phone. And then my dad spoke.
He said how proud he was. He talked about the strength it takes to acknowledge you aren’t in a place that you want to be - in spite of what other people expect of you. He talked about the courage it takes to own your life and your choices, turning a blind eye to what others want from you or think of you. 
That Christmas break, my dad made the nine hour drive from our home town down to my campus with his pickup truck and a tiny U-Haul. He helped me pack up my room. 
As we drove down I-5, I knew I’d never look back. I felt stronger than ever.
The cool thing about life? There’s no such thing as a perfect path to success. Sometimes there are detours and sometimes it takes courage along the way to get where you want to go. 
Strength? It comes in all shapes, sizes, and opportunities. Strength doesn’t happen in the moments where you lift weights. Strength happens in the quiet moments when you make tough choices. Strength happens when you stand up for what you believe in, no matter what other people think. Strength happens when you defy expectations, focusing on what you know you need to do. Strength can happen at any age, any time, and can come from anyone.
Strength has no age, no race, and no size, and most importantly - Strength Has No Gender™.
I want to say the warmest thank you to Brawny for partnering on today’s post. The Strength Has No Gender™ campaign is so inspirational and I’m so honored to be a part of it!
We’re big fans of Brawny in my household because they work! Brawny® Paper towels have more sheets on every roll vs. the leading national brand. I love a brand that helps me clean up all of life’s little messes - because trust me, I have plenty of messes to clean.
I nabbed this limited-edition, exclusive to Walmart, Strength Has No Gender™ pack of the Brawny® Pick-a-Size 8 Giant Plus. My fave part? They replaced the man on the packaging with images of strong women. You can find this special edition pack at Walmart in the paper towel aisle!
I’m also so thankful to partner with a brand that has such an empowering mission. Brawny® is inspiring people to overcome life’s challenges with strength and resilience.
GIRLS INC. PARTNERSHIP MODULE SHEROES OF TOMORROW: Brawny® will donate a $100K and, will also give your SHEro stories to Girls Inc. to inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Let’s shape a better future and prove #StrengthHasNoGender!
Thank you, Brawny®, for helping me tell my SHEro story!

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One response to “Strength Has No Gender™”

  1. Lee T says:

    I had no idea what you went through with college girl! Good on ya for having such strength at such a young age to know what was best for you. XOXO
    Lee |

    LegalLee Blonde