Over the past five years, what is the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself? What happened and what made it a significant moment?

I’m a risk taker.

Five years ago I became an adult (in the eyes of the law). I was able to buy liquor, legally, and if I wanted to, I could’ve applied to adopt a child in the U.K.

2012-2013 was a significant year for me; I turned 21 and acquired a lot of bravery. I took so many risks not knowing how anything would turn out. Looking back, I’m proud because through those risks I was introduced to my true self.

I was someone who was extremely shy and not too outgoing, but in spite of that, I accepted every challenge that came along with transitioning from a child/teen (dependent) to a responsible young adult (independent).

I’ve been on a roll ever since. Instead of being scared of change, I accept it with open arms.

I find comfort in forming new ideas and taking the risks of creating opportunities for myself. I’ve grown to be openminded, brave, and a young professional. Like Beyonce said: “I dream it, I work hard, I grind till I own it.”

I moved out of my momma’s house in Philly and got my very first apartment about 45 mins away in Upper Darby (an unfamiliar place but a closer distance to work). I was alone, and although the feeling wasn’t always good, I learned the importance of solitude. I started inviting toxic company in my life, and I suffered my first real heartbreak. I thought with a new place by myself I would finally get privacy to be the wild girl I always wanted to be, but that place didn’t make me free as I thought.

I leaped, in faith, and quit my job at UPenn (my very first full-time position) and started a brand new career at CHOP. I even took on a second job working as a sales associate at Express (never working in retail before). Being independent, I had to learn how to manage my money and time properly; I learned lessons in sacrifice.

That’s when I found comfort in writing, considered pursuing journalism, and I began writing poetry. I started brainstorming ideas for writing a book. In my toughest moments, I would grab a pen and paper; I used writing as a crutch, and I am grateful because putting my ideas and feelings down on paper helped me develop a plan. Over the past five years, I’ve identified my passion.

“An Ode to the Good Girl” is in the works. My forthcoming book has changed so many times over the past five years and is entirely different from the first draft.

I took a risk in creating Young Loud Proud. I’m passionate about my people and have identified a need for spreading love and positivity in the community.

Social media brainwashing is in full effect. I want in on media and news production; I want to change the narrative. I’ve learned to be the change I want to see. Although I don’t know the direction Young Loud Proud will take me, I’m excited about the future.

I am determined to continue to follow my passion instead of accepting the social norm (get a “good” job, go to work, make money, and look forward to Friday).

I learned that I am my best self when I see others happy and thriving.

I like that I’m a risk taker.

I like me.