Love Anyway & Accept Life’s Opportunities: A Candid Interview with Tricey
Life’s struggles do not define you. Every single person is given a dose of hardships and each individual must decide the type of impact their hardships will have on their destiny. If anything, trials and tribulations make your accomplishments and best days even more satisfying, and we are sure that today’s feature can attest to that.
Like all of us, Tricey did not come from a perfect family. Yet, she had to make the decision to love anyway. And, her “love anyway” mentality has fueled relationships that she is truly grateful for today. Her ability to embrace life to the fullest has also given her the opportunity to work for one of the top cancer centers in the country. In a very transparent interview, she certainly reminds us to let go of other’s mistakes and to always accept opportunities even if it comes through the backdoor.
Growing up, Tricey's mom was a young mom andher dad wasn’t quite there so she had a broken home. However, through maturity and learning from her mom’s mistakes she became a better person, in a way.
Her mom wasn’t as stable as Tricey would’ve preferred her to be and it impacted Tricey in a big way. She also switched schools a lot so she had to always meet new people and had to be a chameleon early on.
By getting involved in organizations, like cheerleading and other clubs and activities at school, Tricey met some of the people who she still calls family today. They primarily impacted her life. If it wasn’t for her cheer coach, Ms. Sheila; her second grade teacher, Ms. Payton; her godmother, Honey; and her god mom, who she calls nanny, Tricey basically wouldn’t be the type of person that she is today. She would be completely different – maybe somewhere with a kid or not as successful as she is today.
Dealing With Insecurities
Tricey had a lot of insecurities as a kid. Two of the main ones were her birthmark because it looked like a hairy mole on the back of her right arm and the fact that she was so hairy as a kid. She had a unibrow and had hair on her arms and legs, so that made her really insecure. And the boys that she would hang around in elementary school would always make jokes, like, “You’re a hairy Werewolf.” It was basically horrible, but it made her stronger in a way. Instead, I fired back with jokes alike, which ultimately built character and we’re all still friends ‘til this day.
A more serious insecurity was the fact that she didn’t grow up in a stable household. Like any other family, her family wasn’t perfect. In regards to her mom, when she was younger they were close but at the same time they weren’t. By the time Tricey graduated high school and went to college, her and her mom barely spoke. So, it was one of those things where everybody else in her life, including her closest friends, all had their parents there for support. They all had encouragement and constant advice from their mom. Their mom was that person that they could just call, talk to and vent about certain things – and she didn’t have that. Plus, at the time, her and her god mom were not on speaking terms, which was weird for them because they had never gone through anything like that. Basically, her freshmen year of college, Tricey felt like she had no one and that was a big insecurity for her. She made plans to transfer to a different university, so that she could be closer to home. But then, she realized that wouldn’t have solved anything.
Since she didn’t have that support system, Tricey found herself always questioning, “Can I do it?” She didn't have the one person or the two people who should’ve been by her side through this. She didn't have them in her life to help her make critical decisions and give her guidance. So it caused her to always question herself.
It took Tricey a long time to find peace with her reality. She remembers the summer of her sophomore year of college. She went back home, as she always did every summer, to work at a bakery called Ruggles Cake & Bakery. It was during that time that she stressed so much. She would cry, stress out, and even pray sometimes – but not as much as she should’ve been praying about the fact that her parents weren’t there for her. Tricey remembers calling her mom and literally breaking down. She felt so overwhelmed with emotions. She contacted her just to get it all out. She told her how she wanted to meet up with her just so that they could talk and become closer. She told her that she would – and she never did. Yet, regardless, Tricey learned to love her despite of everything, and doesn't love her any less – she may even love her more because without these lessons, she would not be who she is today! Despite having a rocky relationship with her mother, Tricey rekindled her relationship with her father and they are now closer than ever!
College and Career
Tricey's college experience taught her patience. It taught her the value of prayer and it strengthen her faith so much, because before college she was just a “Christian.” In college, she made it a point to attend church regularly. Tricey wanted to learn more about God and have a more positive outlook and impact on her life. That was the main things: her faith and her patience.
College also showed her the value of building relationships, and not just relationships through networking, but the value of actually building true relationships, not just the type solely for extrinsic benefit or personal gain.
While in college, Tricey had the opportunity to go to Costa Rica, where she volunteered with so many different people from so many different countries and places. It taught her a whole lot about other countries and cultures. It taught her how to embrace other people’s differences and that those differences can work for you –and sometimes can be very annoying – but still, in itself, it’s something that you have to understand, especially going into the working world. You have to understand how to deal with other people and you have to know how to be patient with other people.
Like every other recent college graduate, Tricey felt like she was either failing or not doing enough to get where she wanted to be. She felt like she was never going to get a job in her field and that worried her a lot! But at one point, she remembers just reaching out to one of her colleagues to see how everything was going for her. She happened to be in the process of completing her residency at MD Anderson Cancer Center and she longed to work there, to build her career and to get started in her field. When Tricey reached out to her, she learned that she had been having difficulty getting a regular position too, because at that time she was offered a temporary position. After an hour long conversation of just griping, encouraging and exchanging networking tips, she called Tricey about two weeks later saying that she was going for an interview at St. Luke’s Hospital. A week after that, Tricey's friend received an offer from St. Luke’s and she asked Tricey if she wanted to take over her temporary position at MD Anderson. Tricey happily agreed. She told her the pay wasn’t good but that she could possibly network around to figure out a permanent stay.
Tricey started as a temporary worker and then it just went up from there. Her boss was impressed by her; she just wanted to see her succeed and she’s honestly the biggest, most valuable mentor and influence at the institution, in addition to Tricey's first mentor. Her boss created a permanent position for Tricey. She’s taking her to travel domestically and internationally. She’s exposing her to different leaders and executives, doctors and different areas of health care that Tricey would’ve never imagined being able to experience so fresh out of college. It was just a blessing in disguise, the temporary position turned into something so much more.
Motivation and Success
On my worst day, Tricey's biggest motivator is knowing that tomorrow is another day. It sounds cliché, but when you realize that whatever you’re stressing about isn’t going to last too long, especially when you know you’ve gone through bigger obstacles, it’s uplifting.
Embrace the difficulty of that time. Work through it and know that when you wake up tomorrow, it’s a chance to make a better day. It’s a chance to recreate whatever was going wrong. You can make it into something that’s more positive and that works for you and then you learn from that experience and you continue to move on.
As far as success, to Tricey it means being well rounded. She doesn't necessarily agree with success correlating with money. But you do have to make a certain amount of money to live a certain kind of way. Tricey always ask God to guide her to the type of success where she will not only be able to afford the things that she needs to have, the things she need to pay for like rent and living expenses but also be able to help other people. She wants to be able to live a life joyfully without having to stress or worry. Success to Tricey means being grounded mentally, physically and spiritually. To be grounded physically means working out regularly, feeling physically healthy, doing the right things for your body. To be grounded mentally means having enough self-motivation and determination to achieve the plans you have for yourself, without being swayed by other people’s opinions. Also, to have strong values and beliefs, while remaining true to those personal customs. And lastly, spiritual success to me means making sure that you’re doing everything that you can to align yourself with His word. If you stay grounded in your thoughts, if you have faith and if you think of success in your own way then it will go up from there. You’ll be able to have success in your future, in your family, in your marriage, and mentally!