Angie - 38
"I think my happiest memory overall is probably when I knew I was going to marry my husband. We dated briefly in high school and it didn't fly because we were going different places. But my freshman year in college, we went out to dinner and afterward were driving for forever and we just clicked. We clicked like we'd never been apart. And it sounds so incredibly corny, but afterward he kissed me goodbye and it was like you hear in all the goofy fairy tales. It was like lightning. That's the best way I can describe it. And then, maybe 3 or 4 months later my dad went into a hospital with a massive stroke and I was devastated. I thought he was going to die. And my now husband was like, 'I'm here. What can I do?' I knew then, I was going to marry that guy.
My biggest struggle or obstacle has been, being real. Being vulnerable and not caring what people say or what they or and even if they are judging, so what? Being able to be real and getting a good handle on that, that's something I now I actually do that for a living and I show other people how to do that. It took a long time and I didn't trust a lot of people to be real around. When I finally had real friends, when I didn't have to be a loner any more and I felt safe - that was my biggest obstacle to overcome.
I have done a lot of stupid shit in my time and thankfully it was all before Facebook and cell phone videos, but I wouldn't change any of it. I've had a lot of pain in my life and a lot of loss, but I don't think I would change any of it. I don't think I would because that would not have brought me to this point. It forced me into a corner where I knew I had to change something and it gave me a lot of insight and a lot of empathy toward other people and it's made me what I am.
We all carry our pain differently, but I wear mine now as tiger stripes. I'm very proud of my scars. I'm very proud of what I've become."