Little Miss Sunshine. Besides being a movie, that's what they used to call me... and sometimes they still do, but there was a period of time in my life when I felt so eternally faraway from the sun and too ashamed to let them know why.
It was 2006, my freshman year of college. It was the first time I didn't have a curfew, the first time in a while that I didn't have a boyfriend and really the first time in my life that I had no rules whatsoever. To an 18 year old Brittany that translated into one thing: FREEDOM aka. PARTY TIME.
Now all this will make a lot more sense if I fill you in on a bit on my childhood, but let's get one thing straight first: I absolutely love my parents. I will forever be a daddy's girl and my mom will always be my angel. Alright, we can continue with the story.
My parents divorced before I was a year old. My mom worked multiple jobs and I hardly remember being with her as a child. The one vivid memory I have is of her putting her beautiful red lipstick on my little 2 year old lips in the car. As I grew older, mom grew more protective, more controlling and less able to let me grow up. This led to a lot of arguments, a lot of resentment and a lot of searching for any and EVERY way out.
Now for my dad. I was scheduled to see him on weekends, but with him living in AZ, NY, CA and Brazil the time we were able to spend together was few and far between with limited depth. This meant that he didn't really have the chance to be my dad, which ultimately left an empty hole in my heart, a hole I didn't find until I started to discover myself when I left for college.
Growing up I spent a lot of time with my grandmother, my only cousin and my friends. We didn't have any extra funds laying around and understandably so, mom didn't have any extra time, so all extra-curricular activities were off limits for me. My 18 year old talents included: doing well in school, being cute, being small (I am 4'11" after all), being happy, being nice to everyone always, being fun, funny, never being needy and basically, ALWAYS. BEING. PERFECT.
Flash forward to college: I craved a sense of belonging. I craved love, attention and being seen as perfect in the eyes of everyone around. As a kid with emotionally-distant parents I was never just given these things, I was taught to earn them, and the price was perfection. So naturally, I set out to be PERFECT. With no one imposing their own set of rules on me I was free to create my own, and I knew I was damn good at following the rules. Too good.
"heARTfully healed" is my first published book, the first of many to come. It illustrates how I pulled myself out of the pounds of darkness that my eating disorder draped over me, it shows readers what I had to envision and what I had to train myself to think in order to create a bright place in my mind again, a place that I could find and follow back to the sun.
Scroll down to learn more about my life today (I travel the world with my fiance in our van!) and see how you can get your own personalized, signed copy of my first book.
Thank you for supporting my journey and for your bravery in BELIEVING that anything is possible as long as YOU are brave enough to CREATE YOUR OWN WAY.