1. When is a time in your life you’ve been the most afraid?
When I was most afraid, I learned time can't always be on your side and a lot can happen in a year. 2012 was the scariest time of my life but those experiences have molded me into the person I am today. I cherish everyone close to me and value the life I was given.
That one year changed my life forever when I lost two people close to me a month apart. My father, Chris Lighty, and one of my best friends, Indigo Brooks. All of this happened at the start of my junior year of high school, a traumatizing time on its own. I wanted time to freeze over but the world didn't stop for me to gain control of my life back. I felt lost all day, every day, and was especially afraid of what a life without my dad would be like. It was a scary time to not feel safe inside your own skin, your school, your home. I always knew I had some sort of anxiety, but it really had a chance to make room in my mind with so much tragedy occurring around me. I projected my fear of never being me again with anger. I guess my attempt to protect myself. I was scatterbrained for years. It took a lot to finally find the courage to pick up the pieces and face my trauma. I had to deal with the anxiety I let consume me and face my fears.
2. When were you most proud of yourself?
Graduating college comes to mind immediately. Walking across the stage, hearing my name (pronounced correctly), and hearing everyone that was there for me screaming meant so much! I had battled my anxiety the most in college.
Obviously, graduating and being done with the school would make anyone feel accomplished but the proud feeling comes from so much more. After my dad and Indigo passed, all my focus went towards finishing school. I lost another close friend in my junior year of college, Noah Douglass. I experienced pushing my mourning to the side for good grades and to seem like a functioning, involved student. I pretended like I wasn't in my head 24/7 and since sleeping my problems away was much easier, I struggled to get out of bed. Somehow I had a 4.0 GPA during my first two years of college. But time doesn't stop for anyone and I had to keep living my life because everyone around me was too.
One day I decided I had to help myself. I didn't like the way I was thinking and using my time so I decided to take my power back. That's when my journey of learning to live with my anxiety really started. I was so lost but didn't lose hope of wanting to be found. Reflecting and finding the words to really fully explain what I experienced internally even makes me proud of how far I've come. So getting that freakin' diploma and hearing my family and friends scream for me, is such an unmatched proud feeling for myself.
3. How do you handle comparing yourself to people on social media?
Perspective is key!! When I look at my timeline, I want positivity, not to be envious of the things I don't have or eager to compare the looks/body/clothes I want to have. I find it much easier to be inspired and appreciative of someone's beauty/vibe rather than compare myself. I handle it by being grateful for what I do have and using certain items as motivation. I just don't let Instagram control me or consume me in general. I realized I control the narrative of what my followers (and lurkers) see and know about me. People think they know me because of some pictures and you just have to laugh at that. I live a great life that Instagram doesn't see. We can like something but we don't have to be it. You have to stay true to you and what you like. Nothing wrong with loving an aesthetic! But don't let it consume you. There is so much more to life than fitting into the Instagram norm. I think it is much easier to be yourself because I bet you, it is great. Stop letting the beautiful girl who's pictures you like to make you feel bad about yourself. We're so social media crazy we don't realize how simple it is to step back and recognize everyone's life is just different. Seriously, you really don't know someone's life because of their Instagram.
People care about the wrong things anyway, revisit what's important to you. You control your narrative!
It is easier said than done for some, but you need to know yourself. Instagram isn't my calling, I think it will come in handy with what I want to accomplish in life but it isn't my top priority at the moment. If you feel yourself becoming unhealthy with your comparison, my advice is to simply log off and practice self-love/ gratitude. Go easy on yourself. We were not all brought on this Earth to gracefully express ourselves on Instagram. Your influence and impact on this Earth can be so much greater. It is all about perspective.
"Another women's beauty is not the absence of your own."
4. Go-to karaoke song?
Beauty and A Beat by Justin Bieber Ft Nicki Minaj
5. Who are some women you look up to and why?
Other than my mother and sister for obvious reasons because they're so fabulous, I would say Rihanna. I love Bad Gal RiRi so much. She is unapologetically herself and makes money off her passions. She gives back to her community and is an inspiration for all types of women. I want to be more like Rihanna in everything I do. More me, more creative, more giving. I want to turn my passions to money especially.
6. Do you have a mantra you live by? or a favorite quote?
I have a list of mantras and quotes I like to keep track of/refer to. I believe self-growth is forever evolving so what I live by is always evolving as well. The following mantra and quotes are most relevant to me at the moment:
Mantra - "I AM filled with love, surrounded by love and guided by love."
Quotes - "How liberating it is to pursue wholeness instead of perfection." - Morgan Harper Nichols
"Focus on the step in front of you, not the whole staircase."
7. What was your go-to outfit in elementary school? Jr high? High school? Now?
I went to private school my entire life so I was stuck in a dress code! It was a cold world putting on dry khakis and a button-down every day. I crave warmth and comfort when it comes to clothing. Any chance I got, I was in an oversized T-Shirt or Crewneck. Now that I dress code free, it is all about being cozy! A sweatsuit combo is my happy place. Anything baggy at that. A long sleeve with sleeves long enough for my lanky arms. Or boyfriend jeans that allow me to move freely. If you catch me walking my dog Pablo or hanging with friends, I'll be in baggy pants and a T-Shirt too big for me!
8. What is an unpopular opinion you have?
Unpopular Opinion: Gemini's are just understood and one of the realest signs out there and people who don't like them, can't handle them or anything exciting at that.
9. Describe a perfect day?
A perfect day would start by waking up to a view and an entire kettle of green tea to myself. Be able to experience stillness and embrace the beautiful scenery of somewhere I've never been before. Get a hug from someone I love, then go on an adventure! Whether big or small, just something that brings me excitement and is new. Maybe even a chance to ride an ATV, jet ski or foreign car really, really fast to another location. A picnic on the beach or at the top of a hill with music playing in the background. Lots and lots of food and dessert have to be involved. I love bonfires too, so if that can be thrown in there somewhere. And a massage! Ending the day off by catching the sunset with The Office playing on a huge projector with a ton of blankets to keep me warm.
10. If you could have a billboard with any quote or saying on it - what would you say?
The billboard would say - "As Bright As A Lighty" with a lightning bolt running through it.
11. Who makes you laugh the hardest?
Everyone in my life are comedians; I love to laugh but Taylor Webster holds the crown. She's my best friend for a reason. (Shout out Jordan Wood and Amir Bryant for always making me laugh though by just being them).
12. What is the feeling you miss?
I miss the feeling I get when I'm seeing a new place abroad for the first time. I get this sense of urgency but also appreciation. There is something about seeing new places that makes me feel recharged. I just fall in love with the beauty of the world and what God has created for us. I'm big on views!
13. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
How strong I am. I have been through a lot of traumatic situations but I'm still here standing and I love myself for that.