Invite Others In

Have you ever hit rock bottom in life?

He said, “I got to a point where I wasn't going to be able to pay my rent … I sat down and weighed my options … I said, ‘I could try to find a job real quick, Uber or something, but realized that it wasn’t going to be enough’ … I wasn't going to go to my parents, I told myself I am not going to do that … I realized that I was in a position … where I did need help …”

Who can you count on in your life no matter what the circumstances may be?

He continued by saying, “I looked at my brother … and I said, ‘Brandon, I need help financially … $2,000 is the amount that I need … would you be willing to help me with that?’ … It was not easy to approach and ask for money … there is a sense of pride within myself that did not want that to happen …”

Who are you grateful for in your life?


  • On Risk-Taking: “If you’re not taking risks, what growth is happening in your life?”

  • On Community: Invite others into your life that will help you reach your goals

  • On Vulnerability: “It shows others that they’re not alone”

  • On Life: Define the purpose for why you’re sharing certain aspects of your life

Breaking the Silence

It was hard.

She said, “… I was raised by generations who didn't air their dirty laundry … and they were raised by generations that didn't do that … So, we just didn't talk about it … we just tried to pretend it didn't happen … that conflict literally almost killed me … I needed to talk about it, I was grieving, I was suffering, but no one around me was willing to sit with me because it was too uncomfortable …”

How do you deal with uncomfortable situations?


  • On Loss: Find people who will talk to you about your loss

  • On Grief: Learn how to expand around the grief and coexist with it

  • On Community: Find people who will accept you for who you are

  • On Story: Inspire others by living a story that’s true to you

Learning to Be Comfortable While Being Uncomfortable

Are you intentional with the choices you make in life?

He said, “… The truth of the matter is we will drive right past the other side of the highway or the other side of the track … Never go anywhere close to East Austin or never go anywhere close to certain areas and pockets of Austin, or even the surrounding areas that I know are suffering … But, we’ll get on an airplane and fly all the way across the world … we’ll come back and go to our nice 500 thousand dollar home … we’ll get into our nice cars … and we’ll start our life all over again. We’ll even tell about going to Haiti, we’ll tell the story about going to Africa … and never do anything in our city to make ourselves uncomfortable …”

How often do you put yourself in uncomfortable situations?

He said, “The reason why we won’t do something is because it makes us uncomfortable … it makes us uncomfortable because familiarity breeds contempt … when we’re familiar with something, it makes us uncomfortable … I strive and love being uncomfortable because putting myself in uncomfortable situations allows me to grow …”

Learn to be comfortable while being uncomfortable.


  • On Belief: Find someone who will believe in you, even when you don't believe in yourself

  • On Familiarity: Familiarity breeds contempt

  • On Growth: Put yourself in uncomfortable situations

Identifying & Working Through Traumatic Experiences

Are you aware of the stories you tell yourself?

He said, “… I try to look at it from the biosocial perspective … that’s essentially, understanding where they got the narratives in the first place … So, this narrative that you currently have, is it something that you’ve always had or is it something that you’ve discovered for yourself through life experience?”

When you’re faced to deal with a traumatic experience from your life, what type of story do you tell yourself?

Do you look at the situation as if it happened to you or for you?


  • On Happiness: Identify what in your life is causing you stress

  • On Growth: “We’re a product of our environment”

  • On Narrative: “My narrative is constantly changing”

  • On Journey: Reflect on your progress

Letting Go of Things That No Longer Serve You

Have you ever been in a relationship that held you back from becoming who you wanted to become?

He said, “I came to a point of my life, in my teenage year, where I realized that this relationship that I had with this religion was kind of holding me back as a person … and what I wanted to become …”

How do you end relationships that no longer serve you?


  • On Acceptance: Accept others for who they are

  • On Family: “I found that the people I ended up calling people were people that accepted me for who I was …”

  • On Decision-Making: Stay true to who you are

  • On Definitions: Define how you view yourself

Using Creative Outlets to Deal with Pressure of Life

What do you do when the odds are completely against you?

He said, “Just after being introduced to the drums, I was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, which is a rare form of eye cancer … It required that in order to save my life, they had to remove my right eye … So, I’ve been blind in my right eye ever since … What they did is put a removable prosthetic in the socket, and in addition to that, when the surgeon was doing the operation to remove my eye, he made a mistake, and it happens sometimes in operations like this … and he clipped a muscle in my eye lid … So, I grew up … with my lid half-closed, without eyesight in my right eye, and a lot of hospital visits …”

How do you deal with adversity in life? Is it happening to you or for you?

He said, “… I had no awareness of just how deep that trauma was running. But, what I did … is I found music, I found drumming, I found collectables … I can’t tell you why because I’m 5, 6, 7, 8, years old … I just know that I found them in a way that was so important to me … They were such an important escape …”

What are the outlets that help escape from the pressures of life?


  • On Outlets: What are the outlets that help escape from the pressures of daily life?

  • On Adversity: Is it happening to you or for you?

  • On Mentorship: Find people who will help you exceed your limitations

  • On Gratitude: Who or what are you grateful for in your life?

Want to Connect with David?



What are marginalized populations?

He said, “ … They’re populations that for some reason or another are really on the margins of society … Often times it has to do with their … racial identity, gender, sexual orientation … that we as a society for different reasons place them on the margins … A lot of the work that I try to do is give a voice to some those experiences, so that we can better recognize some of the disparities … challenges … and some of the obstacles in discrimination or oppression that they might experience … But, also … recognize that for all of these populations given what they have to go through in terms of the challenges, the discrimination and the marginalization, they’re populations that despite all of the challenges … are populations with far more resilience … ”

Are you aware of how you treat and view those around you?

He continued by saying, “… My work with them has been to help normalize some of their experiences and externalize that many of the challenges that they face whether it’s youth in foster care … LGBTQ … refugee … migrant youth … are because of the actions and the intolerance of others … The more that we talk about these populations, the more that we give a voice to their experiences, the less stigma and marginalization that we’re going to see …”

Do you stand up for others who cannot stand up for themselves?


  • On Marginalized Populations: Groups excluded due to race, religion, age, gender, etc.

  • On Advocacy: Stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves

  • On Environment: Focus on finding ways to create accepting environments

  • On Relationships: Meet people where they are

How do you stay hopeful in life?

Have you ever wondered what your life would be without hope?

She said, “The idea that scares me the most is the idea that there is no hope … for society … for the world … for our individual selves …”

Hope, a state of mind that helps some, if not most of us, get through life’s toughest moments.

Hope, a state of mind that gives us a reason to believe that our lives will get better.

How do you find hope when you need it the most?

She said, “To me … it’s not an option to feel hopeless …”

How do you stay hopeful in life?


  • On Hope: It’s a choice

  • On Transparency: Own in knowing who you are

  • On Authentic Choices: Provide all possible options 

  • On Progress: Learn to reflect on your journey

Want to Connect with Brooke?