EXPOSÉ: Stefania Brandner

// What does it mean to you to be a woman today?

Being a woman means to embrace yourself fully. Embracing not only your mistakes but bragging about your accomplishments too. We've spent years believing that we have to keep quiet about what we do well, and improve ourselves when we haven't done as great. Today, being a woman, means owning who you are in this moment and loving every bit of it. 

// Do you have a life mantra/motto that you live by? 

"FUCK UP FAST" - I don't fear failure at all because I believe that the sooner you mess up, the sooner you can learn from it. Why delay that learning? 

// In an effort to be vulnerable and true to yourself what do you want to expose to the world? 

I have spent my entire life working to change the colour of my collar at the expense of my mental health. An expense I cannot afford as I am already genetically dispositioned to bi-polar and schizophrenia disorders. 

// What is something you’ve sacrificed in order to achieve success? 

My sanity. It wasn't worth it.

Jokes aside, I am still very serious. I grew up in a small town and felt very much like a big fish in a small pond. So I would constantly say YES to every opportunity that came my way- even ones that didn't quite align to the future I wanted for myself. I am a text-book overachiever, which meant that I would choose work over my mental health time and time again until I would eventually crack. Sure I had a great paying job, but was that worth the utter unhappiness? No. The answer will always be no.

I definite success very differently now. Success to me is having everything you want without sacrificing a thing, and I sure as heck am successful now. 

// What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? 

"The fact you think you're going crazy, is enough evidence that you're not." A psychologist at Burnaby General said this to me after I had been admitted post-nervous breakdown. I was fully convinced I was losing my mind. The moment he said this to me, my entire body relaxed and I realized that there I had a higher intelligence beyond "having my shit together". In fact, it made it okay for me not to have my shit together and be normal for a little while. 

// What are 3 things you are grateful for? 

My People: My friends and family have always stood for me to  always "be a leader and not a follower" and do things my own way and beat to my own drum. No matter what weird roads I decide to take - they're always saying "can't wait to hear about this one" 

My Adventure:  I wouldn't be as self-expressed if it wasn't for the adventures I've had and continue to have. I fully believe that the best life is one worth reading about.

My Growth: I have spent the last few years really focusing on my personal growth and development. I am grateful for it because of the humans it brought into my life, and the experiences that have floated my way. 


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