I wanted to start a project that highlights our awkward years. The idea all started with a conversation I had with a good friend that I’ve known a couple years now. She wasn’t convinced that I had any awkward years, but she didn’t know me back then! From grades 3 to 7, I was queen of the nerds. Although I was a fashion victim of the late 80’s, I still didn’t have a clue how to do my hair and didn’t have money to buy the latest styles. I had to wear glasses because of my poor eyesight. And I was very gangly and shy. And sadly, I was bullied in result. If it wasn’t how boney I was, it was my four-eyes, or my unfashionable clothes. I came home crying on more than one occasion. Especially after going to those forced-attendance school dances and not getting asked to dance while watching all my pretty friends from the sidelines getting asked to dance. Luckily I pulled through most of it by the 8th grade thanks to my loving & supportive parents and my few close friends.

So anyway, since my friend had to see “proof” of my nerdy past, I sent her a picture. But I made her promise not to show anyone. I realize that picture was taken 20+ years ago, but the past still affects me. You know that mentality of overweight people who have lost so much weight but they still see themselves as fat? That’s how I feel. I may look normal now, but I still see myself as an awkward nerd. I wanted to take a picture of myself then & now, as if I had to hold my 5th grade self’s hand before giving it to my friend.

Then it sparked this idea. Why not show a before & after? I would feel proud to show how far I’ve come. And why not extend this out to family, friends, and strangers? We’ve all had those awkward years in one form or another. Whether it was braces, big glasses, zits, awfully-styled hair, or victims of terrible fashion, we can all think back to at least one photo that is especially incriminating. I have several! I will show more of myself as time goes on. In a way, it’s very healing for me.

So here we are today. My goal is to make this blog fun. I want people to be proud of who they’ve become. I want youth, especially those who are currently going through a rough time, to know that they are great people in the making. I want to show them that their lives are only just beginning, to see their potential, and to not let bullies get to them. It’s the differences that set us apart from everyone else and we should celebrate that. Great and many things are in store for all of us. I want this blog to show the “aftermath” of my subjects, and how they not only survived their awkward years, but how great of people they turned out to be!

I’ve been featured on The DoctorsThe Huffington Post, Yahoo!, UK Daily Mail, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Laughing Squid, Instagram, Buzzfeed, all my local news stations, and so many more! Check out my press page to see them all! I am so thankful to be a part of something that is resonating with so many people. It is something I never dreamed could happen and I feel so grateful for all of it. I could not have done this without the support of my family, friends, and all my subjects!