Alexandra Vanegas, a 30 year old single om lives just outside of Boston, finds that she focus on the negatives when she is asked to talk about herself and she does not understand why. Solana, her daughter, is 10 and Alexandra gave birth to her when she was 19, just four days before her 20th birthday. She have a BS in Human Services and her professional experience is in Nonprofit Development and Fundraising. Alexandra will love to go on a shorter “Wild” solo hike, but she is not a fan of bugs, so that probably won’t happen. She is obsessed with knowledge and craves information. Just a few weeks back she bought 23 books from GoodWill! She hasn’t read one yet – whoops! She enjoys drawing outside the lines and carving her own path forward. Alexandra enjoys making people laugh and thinks she’s pretty hilarious. She is also a walking karaoke machine and loves to bust out in song (and dance) any chance she can. She also owns a lifestyle and parenting blog. She is a born connector and storyteller and enjoys using her vulnerabilities to create authentic relationships with diverse people. Passion seeps out of her pores. Dedicated to empowering single parents and helping disadvantaged populations. A fact about Alexandra, “If you ever visit Zimbabwe you’ll find a library named after me. Seriously!”.
Flaws. She knows she has a ton of them. She finds herself to be incredibly skilled at bullying herself and standing in her own way of happiness and success. She doesn’t think she is good at anything or have any skills, which is a little because her blog proves that she is an amazing woman. She says her body is a disaster. Her OCD makes her pull out her eyebrows. She walks around daily with a guard up because she has been hurt over and over, beginning with family as a child. She has a feeling of vomiting when someone gives me a compliment.
Because her flaws stunt her growth. “Imagine the power if we lived as if life was rigged in our favor. If we were able to take a step back and appreciate the challenges in our lives as moments of progression”. Alexandra feels by always being anxious and having self-doubt she is limiting her to how she interacts with others, how she parents her daughter and how she treats herself. It makes her feel like she’s stuck deep in a hole without the fight left to climb out.
Alexandra accepted her flaws for most of her life and is quite sure she was born broken. Last fall she broke down and took a month off of work to try to find HER and spent time with HER and be with HER. Slowly after that time she has begun to be more at ease with her vulnerabilities, choosing not to hide them anymore. She owns her story and it’s one that is messy and sad and challenging and joyous.
From a busy commute on the train at work, to a bustling office to friends and strangers online it’s hard to feel truly alone. But she still does. More than that she feels empty, sick and tired of being so damn sick and so damn tired. Part of being vulnerable has not only been sharing her story, but keeping her heart open to others stories and supporting and encouraging them. Because we are all fighting battles, just some of us are better at hiding it than others. We have to share and share again and again.
Advice from Alexandra, “Dear Beautiful Soul: Do you know how amazing you are? Before you try to cut me off please just listen and allow yourself to be present in this very moment. So often we are moving so fast, juggling families and work and friends that it’s hard to take a step back and breathe. I know at times your struggle feels like it’s going to suffocate you, that no matter how hard you’re fighting to stay afloat the waves keep crashing on top of you and the shore feels farther and farther away. I know because I have been there and I almost didn’t make it. It took six days of being hospitalized for me to begin the journey of accepting and celebrating myself. Don’t wait until you’re at the edge to make a change. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to feel impossible. You are going to want to give up. But can you for a second imagine if you didn’t? If you used those hurdles as stepping stones to something greater? It is possible, only once you give yourself a break. It’s going to be tough, but it will be worth it. We can get through this together. You are not alone”.
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