Updated: Aug 31, 2021
I’ve been writing for most of my life.
I wrote my first “novel” when I was 9. It was a tale of unrequited love.
A girl liked a boy, but he was in love with her best friend.
This was a tale I wouldn’t become more intimately connected to until I was 14 and my serious crush Danny fell in love with my best friend, Javier. I think I cried every day for 2 weeks — Wondering if I could ever love again. (Spoiler alert: I did).
I was obsessed with romantic stories.
Likely because I watched my mom absorb romance novels by the dozens.
She was known to devour a book in a day, and I thankfully picked up that trait of voracious reading.
I have never known such glorious leisure time as when I would spend afternoons pouring through Judy Blume books stopping to circle words I didn’t know and dog earring what I felt like were scandalous pages to return to later.
My mom also shared with me her love of soap operas and every day when I got home from school, we would watch our favorite one together. Shout out to General Hospital who prepared me for insane drama well before I entered middle school!
The time we spent together watching stories about amnesia, evil twin sisters, thwarted murder plots, and salacious affairs might seem inappropriate, but this experience shaped my personal development (and life!), and it was one of my most favorite things to do with my mom.
She turned every episode into a conversation.
I could ask any question. Nothing was off limits.
I learned all about infidelity and how tender our hearts were and still nothing prepared me for the betrayal I felt when Danny and Javier started dating.
I was exposed to the most heightened (and exaggerated) of human reactions but somehow understood even then, at the core of every story, it was really about people wanting to be seen, heard, and understood.
Well, except for that one time this guy married his dead wife’s evil twin, but it turned out to be his “dead” wife pretending to be her own twin. That, I’m just gonna chalk up to really bad judgment, dude.
Most of all, I fell in love with telling stories at an early age.
I fell in love with the power to shape a narrative.
I fell in love with the idea that I could create a connection to people through my words.
I feel so grateful that I’ve spent almost three decades in a career where I can tell stories.
Whether it’s writing books about confidence and self-esteem, giving lectures on cultural insights and cultural trends, or teaching classes on success, professional development, and what it means to live a Good Life, I keep coming back to that core truth:
We all want to be seen, heard, and understood.
It wouldn’t be until I was in college and taking a class on advertising that I would learn the backstory of a soap opera. They were created literally to sell soap (and eventually other products) to housewives. These saucy tales were a dressed-up marketing effort.
Still to this day one of the biggest ways we tell stories is through our media, marketing, and advertising.
These stories do more than just sell us a product, they have the power to shape the way we feel about ourselves and they help to create those Dominant Stories.
Dominant Stories are the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves (whether they are true or not!)
We often pick up these stories by comparing ourselves to the image and representation we see in mainstream, dominant culture. That’s why our Dominant Stories can sound like:
“I’m not good enough”, “I’m not thin enough”, “I’m not pretty enough” ad infinitum.
And that’s one of the reasons why I work with the world’s biggest brands, like Dove and Barbie, to help change those stories.
To create more broad and inclusive representation so that everyone can feel seen.
To create more dynamic and intersectional stories so that everyone can feel heard.
And to create courses and content so that everyone can feel understood (and learn to better understand themselves).
It’s not lost on me that the most poignant themes of my childhood shaped the career I created. And now, I’m taking it back full circle to where it all began for me.
I'm launching this blog to create another space to share stories with you.
Here, you will find me writing more about my journey and the way I am challenging and changing my inner Dominant Stories.
You’ll find more behind-the-scenes of my work in action, more intel on the brands I advise and how that work is showing up in the world.
You’ll learn more about The Good Life courses I teach, where we practice practical tools to help shape our vision and values.