I am FEARLESS.
It has taken me a while to get to a point of calling myself FEARLESS.
For starters, I suffer with confidence issues. Stemming from being bullied as a child to rejection as an adult.
When I moved to Texas, I started bartending for quick cash. I was going to college at Texas State University and decided this was the easiest way for me to pay my own bills. Little did I know it would lead to a very slippery slope.
I stopped getting up for classes in the morning because I was tired and hungover. My grades suffered and I was placed on academic probation. I have always been a honor roll student and athlete, so to receive this news was disappointing. The only person I could blame was myself but at the time I didn't understand the consequences of my actions. Fast forward one year, I was kicked out of Texas State for not maintaining a certain GPA but was invited back when they realized they mixed up my GPA with someone else's.
At this very moment, I remember saying "screw college". Bartending was making me enough money and I was enjoying it. The lavish lifestyle. Always having cash on me, etc.
Wake up. Go to work. Drink. Next day, wake up & drink to cure my hangover. On my days off I would go out with friends and what do you know drink some more. I was addicted. I know this because I felt like I needed alcohol. I needed it to have a "fun" time. Vicodin and Adderall became a norm for getting me through the day.
I can't tell you what changed, but one day, 7 years into bartending, I woke up tired of it. Tired of the lifestyle. Tired of feeling like crap all the time. Tired of having to "flirt" for money. Tired. But I also felt stuck.
My mom encouraged me to get back into swim coaching. I applied at a few places and starting out at $8.50/hr just wasn't going to cut it. I couldn't leave bartending right away. For the next year I worked my butt off (coaching and bartending) to move up the ladder at the swim school. Finally I did it and hung up my bar key in 2013. I AM FREE.
This is not the end of my story. There are several other parts that have shaped me into who I AM today. All of which I AM grateful for.