I will never forget looking out of a plane window with tears in my eyes as the plane landed in New York City. Sure, I’d been there just a month before, but this time was different. This time I was moving there, and I was moving there by myself to pursue a career in musical theater.
As I waited for my three monstrous suitcases at baggage claim, my dad made sure our Uber was on the way and held the carryon bags. I’ve always known it, but it was in this moment that I began to realize just how much of who I am and who I was becoming was all because of this man. He always taught our family not to be afraid of taking risks and pursuing big dreams, and a big move to New York City from Cincinnati was certainly that. He had arranged every step of this move for me, and had encouraged me the entire way; even if it felt extremely counterintuitive to his “Papa-Bear” instincts to leave his 21 year-old daughter in New York City. There was another lesson: always be prepared. Flights booked, Uber ordered, apartment rented, subway map firmly in hand and memorized. Off we went!
Over the following three days, we rode that subway system together, learning how to make a big city seem much smaller and more familiar. He even rode the train with me to my first job interview and waited a few streets over taking in views and mapping out good running routes for me to try. He checked in frequently with how I was feeling and was always willing to go somewhere again just to make sure I knew the way. He was there to ensure I felt safe, motivated, and prepared. It was during this experience that I really knew I wanted to carry the lessons he’d been teaching me throughout my own life forward to positively impact others. I was learning in real time to always be there for those you love when it counts.
My dad has the ability to see strengths in others that they may not always see themselves. His confidence in me instilled belief in myself that allowed me to repeatedly step outside my comfort zone. Sometimes on a stage, sometimes in an office, or even in my daily life, and ultimately making me believe that helping people reach their full potential comes from believing in them and equipping them to be their best selves even when the future seems daunting. I believe that’s what happens every day here at Braintrust. People are equipped to realize their full ability in the workplace, and see the full potential in others. That’s a powerful force for change.