You know what they say, that friendship is beyond words, beyond language.
My life hasn’t been so easy and my paths weren’t that smooth … I think lots of people can relate. I was a lonely child, with no friends. My family hated the fact that I was a shy kid and kept pushing me to be more outgoing, more vocal. That only made me shut down more.
We’re afraid to let other people in our lives, fearing that they might hurt us, that opening up to someone would mean we’re fragile. But I can say that letting people in … has helped me so much as a person and professional.
Thinking back to my childhood, I realize that it’s amazing how I lived like that, with no friends and nobody close. It’s so strange to look at myself now, see the people around me and imagine my life without them.
You see, when I first came to Studio 20, my only goal was to become a cam model and to be successful, to earn a lot of money and that’s about it. A part of me thought that money could buy happiness and that I could become a great model in no time, with basically no one to help me.
Oh boy, was I wrong.
I struggled so much in the beginning and refused any kind of help anyone was trying to give me. I tried being a cam model from home, it didn’t go well for me and then I decided to try a studio. Of course, I thought I knew everything and thought that the trainers and admins were there just to mess up my day. I used to stay all day long in my room, with my guests and members, hating to talk about me or my feelings. I thought, “Who cares?” ... until my members left me and no matter how much the staff tried to help me, I always said “no” to it.
I was scared because I already felt the pressure and the laughs behind my back, like when I was just a child, or a teenager. My response to anyone who wanted to give me some help was “back off, I never wanted your opinion in the first place!”
Then Anelise Yoel, one of the #GirlsFromStudio20 said, “What the hell is wrong with you, girl? You’re not a savage and this is not every woman for herself. We are a family here and you have to let us help.” My eyes got big as I saw this beautiful, skinny woman talk to me like she knew me.
Every day since then, she introduced me to a new girl from Studio 20 and she acted like a mother hen to me. She didn’t want to stop, so whenever I went outside to have a break, she’d come with me, talk to me, force her infectious laughter on me. She broke me down.
Come to think about it, she saved me. She saw I was drowning and I was not able to scream for help, nor could I, so she just punched my face, knocked me out and saved my life … figuratively of course.
We’re afraid to let other people in our lives, fearing that they might hurt us, that opening up to someone would mean we’re fragile. But I can say that letting people in like Anelise and the #GirlsFromStudio20 has helped me so much as a person and professional.
We travel together to summits and conferences, we support each other and we encourage one another. You realize that you have a sister when you are rooting for her more than you’re rooting for yourself, when her success is yours, when you want to see her happy, when you’re no longer just you.
Being in a community as loving as the #GirlsFromStudio20 means being taken care of, protected and guided to reaching your full potential. Not just models, but the admins and trainers, the girls from the marketing department, the manager of the studio, etc. all form an irreplaceable family.
My name is Gabrielle Ocean … do you want to be friends?