What does Kobe mean to you?
I remember distinctly the moment that I truly and genuinely fell in love with basketball, but more specifically Kobe Bryant. Growing up in Los Angeles, the Lakers were very much the one thing that brought my family together. While broken, our family truly found joy in basketball. But there was something in Kobe Bryant and his beliefs and work ethic that really resonated with me on a very personal level. In 2005, I survived an attempted suicide after years of domestic violence. And to this day, I always tell myself that the bravest thing that I’ve ever done in my life was to continue living even when my body didn’t want to. I think that’s why Kobe felt so personal to me. I looked at Kobe. I saw his work ethic, and how he worked hard every single day. Those days when thought I couldn’t find it in me to get up, eat, go to school, or go to work. When I didn’t feel like going and I was tired, but I did it anyway. Some days, you feel invincible. Other days, you might want to be here. So often I find myself desperately trying to put myself back together, piece by piece, reminding myself that it is a process with a trajectory, but no real end. As I find that there is never an end, or a completion to a journey of achieving happiness or fulfillment. But like he said once, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” It’s the little things, the small victories that you accomplish day in and day out that make the process what it is. And when you understand that, that’s when real change, real progress happens. And maybe for you, it’s getting in bed and being able to wake up the next day. And that’s okay.
We recently had the good fortune to work with Anna, a creative strategist, loyal member of the Mamba Army and strong woman voice for mental health awareness.