When I was 15 years old, a store opened up called Hot Topic. Hot Topic brought wild, crazy, and previously unique peices to the mass market. I was always obsessed with fashion and love being on the cutting edge, but my junior league mother was not too crazy about the new look I was adopting. She made it pretty clear that as long as it was on her dime, it was Limited Too all the way. So, I did what any stifled fashionista would do at age 16-I started selling GHB at the gay clubs in the industrial parks of Nashville, Tennessee. Because no one was going to tell me I couldn’t wear Mary Janes and tutus to school. And thus became the illustrious career of an ex communicated debutante. Growing up in the south at a certain socio economic level came with certain expectations. I was to join cotillion, wear a white gown made of satin that touched the floor and revealed no clavicle paired with full white satin gloves and escorted by my father to be introduced in to southern society at age 15. I wish I could tell you that’s what happened. Maybe some of you I have told that. But the truth is cotillion rebuffed my best friends Annette and Cassandra’s application because they were sluts. If they couldn’t join, I said I wouldn’t either and ignored my mothers pleas and promises of regret one day. The thought of subverting to the dominant paradigm was equivalent to death at age 16, and I did all I could to express my individuality. The principal hated me and the football coach forbade the players to associate with me. Didn’t stop them. I had the best weed come on. And a 25 year old married boyfriend with the promising career of an acid dealer. I was practically a celebrity way to cool to attend high school parties. Me and Heath (boyfriend) would make a token appearance at events like prom and homecoming just to unload a couple of sheets of acid before taking off to the city. I look back and wonder how my mother survived my teenage years. Sorry Mama. I know you tried. But it was those teenage years that cultivated the survival skills that came in to play later in life. Selling drugs taught me about risk versus reward, profit margins and target markets. Boycotting cotillion taught me loyalty, to stand up to bullies and never conform. And Heath, Annette and Cassandra taught me that you can really only count on yourself in this life-and that is OK. The woman that left TN at 19 with nothing more than a few pairs of jeans and sweaters to a place where she knew no one or nothing is the woman/women you know as Brooke Banks, Dr Mea Luv, and Mia Malone. Everything I have, I built it all by myself armed with little more than my wit and a set of tits. And haters-they can say what they want-because I know I have made some people smile along the way. So to all of you that have made something of nothing, beat the odds, and will grind until you die-KEEP HUSTLING. And to the pretty girls out there working late nights, early mornings and long hours with clear visions and big dreams-keep shining my future queens and never let them see you sweat💋