"I would instantly tell my younger self to start loving yourself immediately because you won't grow unless you do. You'll never know what love is (as much as you may want it) until you start loving yourself. The process of loving myself has been the best!
I believe there's this secret ingredient to life which is simply making time for YOU. Even when you don't know what you want to do or what your purpose is in life; go figure it out! Go out there! Get a book, go to a park, read it! Once you're done with that, go get some coffee. Just keep "doing". I feel a lot of us are lost. Like, we aren't connected with ourselves. And unfortunately, we try to fill our voids with objects, things and even people. But we can't fill it that way, we can only fill it by nurturing ourselves."
"This is something that still on going. So, I was originally born in Mexico City, so I'm undocumented. Because of that people have always thought I wouldn't be able to achieve much to get very far in life. But a few years ago, Obama passed a law where I can apply for a work permit and be here legally to work. So ever since then I've been working at least 2 jobs at a time and going to school. I remember, summer of 2014 I was working at a Papa Johns, a place called Zuma fun center and doing non Profit work for the governor race that year as well as attending school full time. Still to this day I only have one day off out of the week cause I want to be someone some day, you know? In high school I got left out of so many opportunities for that reason. I couldn't study abroad, I couldn't apply for certain programs cause of my status. So now I'm working towards something great, I don't know what it is just yet, but it's going to happen. I will prove them wrong, and the best part about it Is that I'm going to do it my way. I don't mind taking the roads less traveled. I just want to make sure I don't follow anyone's footsteps. I don't want people to tell me, you're the next so and so. I want them to say you're the first David Briceño."- Dave
"I paint, draw and I have recently been working on different sculptures. I'm always looking for opportunities to expand my knowledge. I am always looking to improve my art,I have been drawing since I was a kid. Most of my pieces are re-created from my art work as a child. Art is the only way that I have ever been able to express myself, so you can imagine how much joy it brings to me. I am not very good at communicating but my art says everything I've ever needed to."- Kayla
"I'm 54 right now and if I could speak to the 20 year old younger version of myself, I would say: 'do everything the same exact way. Take the chances and if you make any mistakes along the way, it'll only make you stronger. When I look at all of my mistakes and achievements, they all even out and I wouldn't be the man I am without them.'"- Ralph
My dream is to go into sports marketing one day and hopefully one day work for a professional sport and move up in the ranks. My aspirations come from my love for sports. I remember when my dad took me to an Astros game. This was when the Astros were playing in the Astrodome. It was probably the only memory that I can actually still have a vision of from when I was younger. I had such a great time. It was just me and my Dad. I think that's how good memories start. It starts with people you look up to. I always looked up to my Dad. So I'll never forget when he took me to my first baseball game. Ever since then, I've been a huge fan of sports.
I think the biggest fear that I have is not knowing what you're going to run into as life goes on. But that's life, you know? That's why you have to make each day worth it. Just live life and don't rush into things. So yea, it's definitely the fear of the unknown. But that's what makes life exciting (smiles)."- James
"I have a son. He's 33 right now. When I was raised up, my parents didn't give me everything. So I had to work for it. This taught me a lot of discipline. But when I had a kid, my thing was that I didn't want him to have to go through the things I went through. So I tried to give him everything. And when I did this I realized I bread in him impatience, I bread in him the 'I want it right now' attitude. But I was only doing what I thought was right at the time. But I do feel like it was a mistake on my part for not allowing him to go through some things.
So what I would tell you is: We sow and we reap. And we have to understand that in between the sowing and the reaping, we will spend most of the time contemplating and nurturing our crop before it harvest. And we have to trust and be patient with the process."- Raymond
"I feel like my purpose has shifted. Like, I still have my dreams and passions but I also have a family as well. So the challenge always comes from balancing the two.
What I want to do is get into a creative space where I can do the things I'm truly passionate about. Like right now, I'm viewed as just the "finance lady", but the truth is, I'm far much more than just that. I'm a visionary and an artist of many kinds.
I'm optimistic about everything right now, but I'm very optimistic about my marriage and my kids. And lately I've been feeling so awakened in my life in general. Like, I'm becoming more true to myself. And because I'm beginning to not really care about the "what if's" like I use to in my earlier years, I'm really optimistic about what my life will grow into years later."- Seba
"I take pride in my role of being a justice warrior. I am thankful that God has given me this passion to pursue justice for the sex-trafficked victims in Houston. I consider it to be a gift to serve the voiceless everyday.
When it comes to struggles, I would say I struggle with insecurity and comparison of myself to others. I find that I am prone to ranking my looks, my efforts, failures and successes to other people. It's unhealthy and I hope to grow in my security; to know that my value isn't dependent on the perception of people." - Chelsea
I was born in Nigeria, and the Nigerian way to say my name is "Eh-Boon" and it means "gift". And I also have a longer name which is Ebunoluwa and that means "Gift of God".
I hope to be a lawyer years from now. I'm still trying to figure out what kind of lawyer at the moment but definitely somewhere in the office for sure. I've always grew up wanting to be a debater. Like I feel like I have the ability to win people over kind of sort of, ya know?
I'm really big on helping the homeless. Like for some reason whenever homelessness is brought up, I get really emotional. So when it comes to making my contribution to the world, I'm hoping to not only help the homeless but also helping those who are underprivileged.
When it comes to fears, I just fear that I might live my life not knowing what I truly want. Like you know, living for what society says is better for me or living for what my parents want from me and not truly being happy with who I am. Like don't get me wrong, my parents never said 'you need to be this or you need to be that'. But they do have their way of thinking and it's how I was raised to think. Now that I'm in my freshman year of college, I'm just now beginning to think differently. I don't know, I just feel like my mind has been wrapped around their way of thinking which makes it so hard to make my own decisions in life and find out who I truly am. Like I really find myself not doing a lot of things because I know my parents won't like it.
But I have to tell myself that I won't be living with my parents forever so eventually I'm going to have make my own decisions anyway, ya know?"- Ebun
I was originally born in Detroit, Michigan. I moved out here in Houston after my father and stepmother separated. I decided to follow my own path. Making this move taught me how to be a man.
I paint and I draw. I have the ability to use my third eye and create visuals of our ancient Egyptian ancestors and show you what they look like today. I've created an art collection that's revolutionary and I'm very proud and honored of that. However, after working 4 years on it, I'm ready to move to the next level and start another collection.
I'm 26 years old now and looking back in my younger stages, I probably would've told myself to not worry about what anyone thinks and follow your own path. Growing up in the hood of Detroit, no one in my family really did anything and I really wanted to do something and that seemed to had been an issue (which is odd). So trying to overcome those trials and tribulations while trying to do something at the same time was a battle for me.
In order for me to have faith and believe that this was my path, I had to put all of my trust in God. Many people feel that's partial of what's necessary but the reality is, it's everything."- Stuart
"...I don't know, I guess the older you get, the more you realize that you could've done so much more when you were younger.
But yea, at the moment, I'm really optimistic about my design career. I have an artistic family and a background in marketing. Soooo, I think like the visual aspect of things is something that's really prevalent in today's society. I mean, you look at something before you buy it and I like that."- Errika
"I'm working on an album entitled "The Eviction Notice". It's based off a true story. It covers some of the main events that me and my girlfriend went through from being homeless and sleeping in a car with my daughter to living in a condo driving a foreign car. It was all by the grace of God.
It's like, right now I'm at a point where I'm actually fighting with myself. It's two sides. Like, this is who I really am and on the other hand, this is who I'm betraying to be. If I continue to fight who I truly am and continue to be who I'm betraying to be, I won't be as successful as I want to be. You know? Everybody say, you can't fight who you're built to be in life. If your destiny is to be a dude on the corner slanging all day long, you can't fight that because one way or another that lifestyle is going to track you down and pull you right back.
So that's where I'm at right now. I'm a crossroad with a 4 way stop sign. I can go left, I can go right, I can go forward, and I can even turn around and go back. It's like, which direction do I go? "- Antoine
"I don't care if someone asks me about my age. I tend to think that you get happier as you get older because you know yourself better. You know more about what you want. I mean God, I wouldn't go back to my 20's for anything! Like, I was so happy when I turned 30. It's like life just keeps getting better and better! It's a hard year to do the math, but let me see... I turn 59 in November. And I really don't care.
Let me ask you this: If you didn't know how old you were, how old would you think you are? If you ask me, I would think I'm still in my 40's (laughs)"- Lee
I'm originally from India. I moved to America during the Fall of 2010. Coming from a different culture, it was a challenge. But after adapting and interacting with more people, I've learned that people are all the same. We just live in different cultures. After growing and developing myself, I recognized how my viewpoints and perspective on life changed. Social interactions are so important. I made the effort to keep meeting new people to make more connections.
I also discovered a love for reading more books and a love for self-improvement. A book that really changed my life was a book called "The Compound Effect". The concept of the book is basically saying that anything that you want to do in your life, you have to do it everyday consistently. After a few weeks of doing it, it develops into a strong habit. I feel like I've always had this instilled in me because I'm more of a marathon runner instead of a sprinter. But after reading that book I came face to face with my internal philosophy. I use to stay away from consistency because I had this fear of success. But the book really helped me get past that.
America is a country where you have resources for everything. So if there's anything that you want to learn or improve on, you can do it here. That is one thing about this country that I think a lot of people overlook. India is filled with a lot of intelligent people, but there isn't as much freedom there as it is in America. When it comes to learning new things or developing new perspectives, India can be kind of conservative at times. But it's getting better though.
I'm honestly ok with everything I've done from the past to now. Had I not been who I was back then, I would've never made it out here. I can honestly say that I'm proud of myself. Even though I haven't had any big success yet, I'm happy with who I'm becoming."- Parth
"One thing that I thought I could do after having a child is to live the life I had before having a child. And I must say, it was quite the rude awakening. There's no way I could live the way I did before. You know, in a way, it's like you have to surrender that power for a little bit. It's no longer about you anymore. Of course, i think as she (baby) gets older; I'll be able to get that power back but as of right now I'm on a 24 hour mommy job"- Brenda
"Whatever you thought of when you was a kid, don't forget it and work towards it. I think when we get older, we forget what we once thought was achievable as a kid. That's when we end up letting go of our dreams."
"(Reshana)Three things we have in common? Let's see... Commitment, creativity, and... snacks (laughs).
(Stormy) I would say... an appreciation for spices, wanting to be everywhere but here, and smelling good! (laughs)
(Stormy) When it comes to setting goals as a couple, often we encounter some difficult obstacles while trying to achieve them. Especially when you're trying to take care of a family, being creative and maintaining your individuality all at the same time. But to reach a goal collectively, it's an everyday sacrifice. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing either. But we feel like it's very important to be open to compromise. You really have to appreciate the tough s*** to get to the goal with that person you're with.
(Reshana) You have to be selfless. Something we always talk about is being able to communicate effectively but also approaching all relationships like it's a group project. And as much as we hate group projects, we have to be able to identify the strengths of each person to be able to achieve goals together."- Reshana & Stormy
"At first I thought I would want to time travel to my past to change s***. Although that would be pretty awesome to just time travel in general (laughs). At least at this point, I've learned to Love where I'm at, the people I'm surrounded with and the new energies that are forever growing. Me and friends talk about this all the time. Like, we don't even know what the future holds but I feel like this is just the beginning. We're already speaking things into the universe and watching spoken words turn to reality. Knowing that we have that kind of power helps me Love where I'm at right now without wanting to look back with regrets of wanting change the past." - Chi Chi
"If I could talk to my past self, I would tell myself 'Everything will be ok. You will eventually be able to be yourself'.
See, I was an only child with very strict parents back then and wasn't really able to do much during my youth. When I turned 17, they put me out the house because they found out that I was dating this girl. But no matter what... after that... I stayed true to myself. I could've conformed to their expectations of me but instead I followed my heart.
Later on my mother told me 'You're not the daughter I asked for but you're the daughter that God gave me...'. As rude as that sounded, it was the most liberating thing she told me because it was the truth."- Janelle