Hello I'm Bianca
and there are two things you should know about me.
#1: I took this gorgeous sunset photo in 2016 when I was living in a trailer that had a hole in the roof so big you could shower when it rained. My brother had just died, I’d recently left a 3½ year relationship, and I still remember that sunset.
#2: Every negative experience in my life (and there have been a considerable few) has come with the most positive lessons. Each one has been a blessing. Really.
I had someone ask me once: How did you get to be so resilient?
My answer? Really shitty situations.
In 2016, on an snowy-icy morning at 2am, the water heater in the trailer broke. As a single mother, I didn’t have childcare (and certainly not at 2am), so I put my 6-year-old daughter on my back and went to Wal-Mart to pick up the part I needed to repair it myself.
Fun fact: I took construction classes when I was 15 because I figured it might come in handy. It did.
I fixed the water heater. The hole in the roof of the bathroom was a bit above my skill set. And we would have managed pretty well for ourselves if a few things hadn’t happened:
My ex wouldn’t sign his crappy trailer over (even though we’d agreed I’d get it as payment for money he owed me)
Even though I’d graduated beauty school in record time and loved my new job as a hairstylist, I was diagnosed with arthritis in my hands. Styling hair was out.
My brother died of suicide, which made me question everything I was doing in my life.
I held myself together enough to fight the school system in court for my daughter, who has autism and special needs that weren’t being attended to. But honestly, I was a wreck. Every single one of my plans hadn’t worked out. My 3½ year relationship ended with a shoddy trailer. The career I was so excited about as a means to support myself and my daughter was suddenly no longer an option.
We moved from West Virgina to New York to be closer to family, but then my sister was dating a sex offender who started stalking me and… we moved back to West Virginia. I know, right?
By then I’d given up the trailer, to move to New York, so we were effectively homeless.
That’s when I started taking seriously the idea that
I needed to be Happy no matter what else was happening in my life.
I took a medical assisting course, shortly after I began dating Nick, this person who listened to me talk about life, parenting, my philosophy and values for 24-hours straight without making a move. I had no idea Nick was a therapist when I was spilling all of my deepest thoughts. But, far from running in the opposite direction, Nick encouraged me, paid my rent for the year, and I’d never felt so supported.
And I encouraged Nick to start their own therapy practice. We had a lot in common. From when I was 18 to 26, I had volunteered with the National Association for Mental Illness, and am passionate about eliminating the stigma around mental health. (The first step is to talk about it - Hi, I’m bipolar with PTSD, and how are you today?)
So when I said “Hey, start your own therapy practice Nick!” his reply was: “Okay, and why don’t you run it?”
That’s how we created Nurture & Balance where we specialize in mental healthcare for LGBT+ populations. Fun fact: West Virginia has one of the highest trans-teens populations in the world. I get to be the the first point of contact when a client calls, and I love that I can create a safe space for them to just be themselves. For the record, Nick and I identify as gender neutral; and it has always been my goal to work with this population.
Once our practice was running smoothly, I expanded my medical billing services to more clients. For my first client, I found $35,000 they were owed! I decided that once that part of my business was running smoothly, I would follow my passion: Coaching through positive psychology.
I am a big fan of therapy. But therapy is meant to teach people how to survive; it’s a medical based model. Coaching, especially positive psychology coaching, teaches you how to thrive.
Listen, we all have our challenges. Some of us have a few, some of us have a pile. And all of us, at sometime or another, have focused on what’s broken, felt pessimistic about the future, had toxic people in our circle, developed habits that hurt us, and compromised ourselves for others.
And most of us are waiting for more money or new opportunities to fall from the clear blue sky to make us happy.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to wait to be happy.
You can thrive no matter what life throws at you.
I believe that happiness can be enjoyed wherever you are, even in a trailer, in winter, with a leaky roof. And with practice, happiness becomes easier.
It becomes a habit.
I believe that every shitty situation carries a lesson, and if you learn the lesson, your life will blossom in unexpected ways.
Also, no knowledge is ever wasted. So keep learning. It will come in handy someday. Especially when it comes to home repairs.