One body-shaming boyfriend learned a hard lesson about respect when he crossed the wrong girl.
23-year-old Shelby Johnson has spent years struggling with her weight.
Things got so serious that as a teen, she had to be hospitalized after dropping down to a brittle 80 lbs. After that scare she managed to put on weight, along with self-esteem, she tells People.
“I haven’t been self-conscious in years. I was when I was underweight, but when I started getting to my goal weight my entire mindset changed”
– Shelby Johnson
“I felt more confident, more whole even. I knew that I was getting where I wanted to be and strived to be”
A devastating DM
Things were going so well that Johnson would even find a boyfriend who she thought loved and accepted her for who she was.
That was until one day, when he DM’ed her with a particular complaint.
“It’s not like I haven’t told you you’ve been gaining and needed to lose anyway. You’re definitely getting a beer gut babe.”
– Shelby Johnson’s boyfriend, per her Tweet
In that moment, all of her insecurities returned, she shared.
“His comments did make me self-conscious. I started trying to work out 24/7. A couple friends noticed and expressed concern in my sudden desire to be so fit. ”
As she began to question her own response to her boyfriend’s message, Johnson took to Twitter to ask her friends if she was overreacting for feeling hurt.
Dumping dead weight
She received more than just a second opinion.
Her tweet went viral, gaining nearly 39,500 likes and 5,200 from people telling her to dump her boyfriend, and that she’s beautiful already.
“He doesn’t deserve you. No need to keep that negativity around. You look great,” said one.
“Girl, dump him and find you someone who loves everything about you,” urged another.
Another commenter recommended an upgrade from her boyfriend.
“Dump him and buy a dog:)”
– @ktmlowe_ on Twitter
Johnson says that the overwhelming reaction “made me realize I wasn’t crazy for being hurt.” In another tweet, she announced that she dumped her boyfriend, joking that in doing so she was “dropping a hefty 180 lbs.”
Know your worth
Johnson says that although her now-ex-boyfriend was “really unhappy” about being dumped so publicly, he’ll use it as “a learning experience to be a better person.”
She just hopes that her painful experience serves as an eye-opener for women with similar experiences.
“Be careful, notice red flags and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and leave something that is no longer making you feel happy”
– Shelby Johnson
When it comes to relationships, compromises are important. It’s part of understanding, accepting and ultimately embracing one another.
However, one thing that’s non-negotiable is mutual respect. As Johnson’s story showed, anyone who disrespects or demeans you doesn’t deserve your time of day, let alone your love.
The owner of a restaurant in Georgia decided to practice humility rather than fury at a suspected burglar.
He offered the burglar a job
Security camera footage at a Diablo’s Southwest Grill in Georgia caught a man bursting into the restaurant and stealing what he could gather. But in a surprising twist, the owner wasn’t upset.
“Our burritos are such a smash hit we’ve got people breaking in at 4am for their fix,” wrote owner Carl Wallace in a Facebook post. “So if ya see our door looking hurricane fabulous at Wheeler Rd this is why.”
Wallace continued, offering compassion to the suspect. “To the would-be robber who is clearly struggling with life decisions or having money issues… please swing by for a job application. There are better opportunities out there than this path you’ve chosen.”
Wallace then offered his personal cell phone number and assured the burglar that police wouldn’t be called.
“Let’s sit down and talk about how we could help you and fix the road you’re on.”
Customers loved it
The post has received more than 4,500 reactions and an outpouring support from the public as well as customers.
“I saw a Facebook page on Connect Augusta, and I thought it was probably one of the best things that I had ever read,” customer Cher Best told WRDW. “So as a result of what I read and the compassion, that was part of that Facebook post, I wanted to support the business.”
A Facebook comment from Liz Bellmer read: “I know what I’m having for lunch….as a small business owner who recently had to close my doors because of loss of revenue due to COVID, I appreciate your civility and your way of seeing this. We need more people like you who try to put a positive spin on crappy situations. Positivity should always win.”
Turning the other cheek
Wallace said the burglar didn’t steal much — just some cash from the register. But the risk he took was extremely high.
“They’re risking so much every time they do this: to the business owner, to themselves, or what could happen if the police show up during the process of the break-in,” he told WRDW.
The break-in was on Easter weekend, and Wallace added that was one of the reasons that he and his team decided to be compassionate.
“Instead of having the normal response of being angry, we decided to reach out, and say this is a bad career path that you’re on, and we’re willing to offer you a job if you’re willing to change what you’re doing in life.”
Doing the right thing
Is one man’s compassion going to fix the systemic problems that led this burglar to want to rob a burrito restaurant — no. But it does have the capability to change the trajectory of a life, and at the end of the day, that’s all anyone can really hope for.
The documentary Framing Britney Spears has forced us to collectively reckon with how we’ve regarded Britney over the last 15 years. Mistakes have been exposed, apologies have been issued, and realizations are continuing to occur. In a way, the documentary encapsulates everything that is poisonous about mainstream media. It’s vicious, it’s relentless, and it doesn’t care about showing a semblance of respect to the parties involved.
While much has been and will continue to be said about Britney’s conservatorship, we can’t overlook her younger sister Jamie Lynn. She’s been Britney’s rock through the whole ordeal and doesn’t get enough credit for how she herself had to endure the media’s hostility during a very vulnerable period in her life.
The two sisters can be as different as chalk and cheese, but they’ve always stood by each other when the need arises. So let’s take a look at Jamie Lynn Spears and how she’s had to grow up under extremely toxic circumstances.
Jamie endeared herself to the public through a hit Nickelodeon show
Jamie Lynn was born to James and Lynne Spears on April 4, 1991, in McComb, Mississippi, making her nearly ten years younger than her big sister. Due to a rather large age difference, Jamie was only a child when Britney achieved global fame with her hit single, ‘Baby One More Time.’ The entire Spears family was thrust into the spotlight overnight and had to adapt to living in the public eye — with a bonafide superstar in their midst.
Jamie’s first acting role was a small cameo role in the 2002 film Crossroads, where she played a younger version of Britney, who starred in the film. She followed up the cameo with a two-year stint in the Nickelodeon sketch comedy show All That, where she played a variety of roles as well as herself on occasion.
But her biggest claim to fame was undoubtedly Zoey 101. Those who watched Nickelodeon in the mid-2000s would without question recognize her as Zoey Brooks, the sweet and confident teenager who attended a stunning, out-of-the-world boarding school by the beach.
It’s likely true that Jamie may have leveraged Britney’s celebrity to land herself minor acting roles up early on, but Zoey 101 was Jamie’s statement to the world that she was a stand-out performer in her own right. That she could inspire, excite, and entertain just as well as Britney. But there was no competition between the two siblings — Britney and Jamie co-wrote and sang the theme song of the show, ‘Follow Me.’
When speaking about her time on Nickelodeon and being Britney Spears’s younger sister, Jamie said that she might have chosen acting as a way to differentiate herself from her sister. Like many other teen performers, Jamie didn’t know how to process her growing stardom, even though she’d seen her sister go through the wringer over it.
I got very insecure about a lot of things, especially in young Hollywood, and that was the time where it was very heavy with the paparazzi […] I just remember being really, really self-conscious about a lot of things during that time.
Yet, Jamie tried her best to be appreciative to the fans and the press, that is, before a shocking announcement threw her career off course for once and for all.
She shocked the world with her pregnancy announcement at 16
Jamie incited a lot of controversy in the entertainment industry when she announced that she was pregnant with her first child at just 16. Jamie and her then-boyfriend Casey Aldridge confirmed the details in an interview with OK! Magazine on December 20, 2007. They became engaged in March 2008 and welcomed their daughter Maddie on June 19, 2008.
Jamie recently claimed that she had already wrapped the last season of Zoey 101 by the time she had become pregnant. But there was hesitation on the network’s part on releasing the unaired episodes. As one can imagine, Nickelodeon had to do a lot of damage control to tackle viewer complaints. All of a sudden, people just couldn’t believe how a “good girl” persona could go off the tracks and have a baby at such a young age. Jamie said that she was already in distress over dealing with her parents and Casey, so the media storm only exacerbated the situation and worsened her mental wellbeing.
I was judged for something that probably most everyone does. I was young. I was in love. I was like every other teenager, except I had this last name. And I made a decision that is forever my decision.
Instead of remaining in L.A., a paparazzi hotspot that was actively threatening her and Maddie’s safety, Jamie decided to pack her bags and move the family to Mississipi. She said that she bought a house “in the middle of nowhere,” put up huge fences, and decided that she was going to stay put in Mississipi. She didn’t want to deal with the media blitz, she didn’t want to deal with the judgment, she didn’t want to deal with fame in general, so she disappeared from the public eye very much “on purpose.”
Jamie said that she didn’t want her young age to be a detriment to motherhood, so she put her full attention to raising Maddie. Jamie and Casey separated in March 2009, at which Jamie moved yet again, this time to Nashville, Tennessee. This is where her love for country music blossomed. Jamie went on to learn more about songwriting and singing and even released her debut country album, The Journey, in May 2014.
Living in Nashville, Jamie met businessman Jamie Watson, who she went on to marry on March 14, 2014. The two had their baby girl, Ivey, on April 11, 2018. Looking back at her teenage pregnancy fiasco, Jamie maintains that she has no regrets. She’s also very grateful that she was able to move away and go into hiding, so to speak — a choice that wasn’t available to her older sister.
Seeing [Britney], I knew how far it could go. I’ve never wanted to be put under that kind of scrutiny. I just wanted to get away from it as much as I could, to just go away and be a mom and figure out what I wanted, and to earn a sense of respect back for myself.
Jamie doesn’t want “the past” to be repeated in regard to her sister’s conservatorship
Over the past year or so, a lot of misinformation, opinion, and judgment has been leveled at the Spears’ family with regard to Britney’s legal guardianship. Jamie has understandably been quiet about the whole situation, given the legal implications. But after the documentary aired, Jamie did post an Instagram story with the quote, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”
She added her own commentary to the quote, writing, “Dear media, try not to repeat the mistakes of your past. Look where that got us. Do better.” It’s anyone’s guess as to what Jamie was referring to or which “mistakes” she is speaking about, but it’s a safe bet that she wants to be careful when discussing Britney’s career or health.
Looking back, people forget that both sisters were fighting very similar battles at the same time but under different circumstances. In many ways, Britney’s mental health crisis may have deflected attention from Jamie’s own teen pregnancy turmoil. Jamie learned that her sister was suffering from this overwhelming deluge of attention and criticism, and realizing that she couldn’t help her sister effectively at the time, she just moved away and approached motherhood with a clean slate.
What’s commendable is that the sisters are still very close and have posted numerous birthday tributes to one another on Instagram. Britney, whether intentionally or unintentionally, has always taught Jamie about the illusions of fame and how it can completely unravel a person from the seams. Yet, at the same time, Jamie has also done her best to carve her own path within the industry. Zoey 101 may be behind her, but her country ambitions are on the up and up.
Seeing the way [Britney] handled it so honestly, to me, that was so brave. She was open with me about it. She taught me to protect myself. And I think that I learned how to be strong, but also keep it honest, and it was 100% helpful in every single way.
The past is always the past, and it has a tendency to weigh down on us. Jamie Lynn Spears will always reflect on her teens with a sense of trauma and frustration, but she did the best she could, even though her family was falling apart and the press was feeding them to the dogs daily. But she knew that she had to act fast if she wanted her daughter to be safe and protected.
Media has been circling their family like vultures for well over 20 years now, so it only makes sense that Jamie would have had to toughen to survive their attacks. She looked up to her sister, and her sister definitely didn’t disappoint.
To cope with the pain, Atkin increasingly turned to her fridge.
“The day he left I thought my world had ended – I cried for weeks and used food as my comfort”
– Jen Atkin
From couch to crown
Then, one day, Atkin decided to end her pity-party and get to work.
She started walking regularly, going to the gym and being vigilant about what she ate.
As the pounds dropped, her confidence soared. Atkin quickly gained momentum and over two years, she shed 112 pounds – half of her body weight!
Eventually, she built up the courage and charisma to enter the Miss Great Britain competition, the UK’s longest-running pageant.
The event consists of several rounds including fashion wear, evening wear, and swimsuit and culminates in a panel interview.
After finishing the contest as a runner-up, Atkin put her pageant pursuits aside to focus on herself until her name was put forward again.
She ended up winning Britain’s biggest beauty crown over 59 other contestants in the national final in Leicester.
For Atkin, the victory meant far more than a crown.
“Winning Miss Great Britain marks the end of a long and difficult, but also amazing, journey”
– Jen Atkin
There’s beauty in the struggle
Since winning the pageant, Atkin has only picked up the pace.
She launched a country singing career, with her debut single hitting No. 2 in the ReverbNation charts.
She’s also using her status to push for “clearer and easier” labeling on food to warn people if an item is unhealthy, which she says will “make it easier for everyone.”
Atkins now reflects on her difficult journey with gratitude.
“I was devastated but it ended up being the best thing that’s happened to me”
– Jen Atkin
While Atkin had painful experiences, they ultimately revealed what she’s truly capable of and her true worth. She used them to take her life in an amazing direction that even she didn’t know was possible.
Today, you can bet her shallow ex is probably sore from kicking himself.
The next time you feel like giving up, remember that your best is yet to come.
Hollywood is often notorious for giving glossy spins to not so glossy stories. While reality can be full of grit and harsh truths, a Hollywood version benefits from the ever-seductive editing process. That being said, when it comes to Demi Lovato’s new YouTube docuseries it’s no holds barred raw truth after raw truth. The emotional rollercoaster Demi takes the viewer on is an insight into that fateful July 23, 2018 day when her struggles with addiction came to a head and the superstar overdosed. With the intention of wanting to set the record straight, Lovato sits down and reveals all of her past demons for the world to see.
There is no sugar coating the issues in Dancing With The Devil, Season 1 Episodes 1 & 2. The talented songstress reveals the factors and intense pressure she was under, especially with regards to her mental health, leading up to the overdose.
Growing up, Demi Lovato experienced addiction in her family
Demi’s father struggled with addiction, mental health issues and was abusive towards her mother. His death weighs heavily on Demi’s heart and mind despite the estranged nature of their relationship for years prior. Demi felt a certain hypocrisy for representing mental health publicly and being there for others in a way that she was unwilling to be present for her father. This emotional turmoil contributed to Demi’s struggles even though she was clearly just trying to do the right thing for her wellbeing.
Lovato speaks on her past struggles with eating disorders fueled by low self-esteem beginning at a young age. As a child, Demi would participate in beauty pageants that are centered primarily on looks and talent. Demi pinpoints her issues with food beginning as early as even back then. Fast forward to just months before her life-threatening overdose, Demi’s environment was so controlled that it is understandable why she wanted to rebel. People were actively policing her food to try and prevent a relapse of an eating disorder. There was constant emphasis on her sobriety and intense pressure for her to stay on the straight and narrow at all times.
Demi hid her addiction from the people around her
Then during a photoshoot, Demi recalls questioning whether or not sobriety really was the right choice for her. She recognized that she was no longer happy and then after bumping into her former drug dealer Demi went “shopping” for drugs. She mixed meth, cocaine, molly, and finally began dabbling with heroin as well. Lovato thought that she had it under control until she realized during a trip to Bali that she was physically dependent on the drugs. When Demi returned from her trip, she continued with the drug use and developed a specific addiction to crack and heroin.
Lovato hid her drug use so well from everyone that no one knew she was using. Then after a night partying with friends, on July 23, 2018, at around 5:30 a.m., Demi said that she was going to bed when what she really did was call her drug dealer. Not only did her dealer supply her with the dangerous illicit substances that would lead to her overdose, but Demi reveals that he took advantage of her, and finally left her for dead.
The next morning Demi had a doctor’s appointment scheduled and her assistant came to wake her up. After a few attempts of knocking on her bedroom door and receiving no answer, her assistant decided to go in and that’s when she found Lovato unresponsive. Demi’s assistant immediately called security, and then went on to call 911 who dispatched an ambulance to Lovato’s home.
She experienced frightening symptoms
The overdose was so life-threatening that Demi experienced three strokes, a heart attack, brain damage, blind spots in vision, pneumonia and multiple organ failure. When she woke up, she was temporarily legally blind. Her sister who was sitting at her bedside recalls that Demi couldn’t even see her and did not know in the moment who she was.
The incredible insight that Demi has acquired since that dire summer 2018 day has led her to believe that she was looking for spiritual growth in all of the wrong places. Lovato’s candor in sharing her story is nothing short of courageous. She tells it like is without packaging the details in a pretty shiny bow and for that she stands apart from the rest.
Labels can have a huge impact on those who are the recipients of those titles. In Demi’s case, she was labelled an “addict” publicly and often criticized for her struggles. People were cruel in poking fun at her overdose and some even encouraged her to resume using drugs again. However, Demi demonstrated her resilience and rightfully put them in their place. Even in the face of backlash, Lovato is an advocate for those who have been through similar trials and tribulations to what she has. In sharing her story, Demi clearly doesn’t let the labels define her but she is committed to living a full life.
It is a miracle that Demi is alive and a blessing that she is sharing her very personal story in this intimate way. Dancing With The Devil is worth the watch not only because it dispels certain myths about addiction but because it enlightens us to its realities in the process.
Have the courage to be vulnerable
Despite the attempts of others to bring Lovato down, she continues to share her story. Stories of survival such as Demi’s are nothing short of divine intervention and sharing the tales of such close calls can quite literally save the lives of others who can relate. One person’s story of recovery can inspire millions to do the same.
Together we heal collectively through sharing our truths. Demi Lovato may be a celebrity, but in releasing her new docuseries she is now a bona fide hero as well. Share your story and heal yourself but in the process, you may just save someone else’s life. Not all heroes wear capes, some just really know how to rock a microphone.
A rude follower responded: “Says the women who can’t keep a man.”
But Berry didn’t let that rude person get her down and replied, “Who says I wanna keep the wrong man? Cuz…. I don’t.”
Of course, the commenting didn’t stop there, and another follower wrote “Geesh Halle, had some trouble with men in your life??”
Berry responded to that, “Nope, they had trouble with me.”
“No man has ever taken care of me… EVER!”
– Halle Berry
There’s no doubt that Berry has had some heartache in the public eye, from multiple divorces to a split with a partner just after they had a child. But her life is her business, no matter how famous she is – and that is an important message to us all.
Have faith in yourself
Relationships end, and they may end in a hard, sad, way – but that’s not a reflection on you or what you deserve, ever.
Toxic relationships and bad breakups happen very often, to many of us. It’s how you have faith in yourself and the promise of the future that you get past them.
While it’s sometimes true that it’s important to look at any unconscious patterns we may have if we keep ending up in one toxic relationship after the other, it’s no reason to victim-blame — ever. It’s simply part of the healing journey, and every human being is worthy of healthy love.
In just a few short years, Drake has cemented his status as one of the biggest celebrities in the world.
He’s more than a mere artist. He’s undoubtedly one of Canada’s national treasures and one of hip-hop’s most beloved and buzzworthy figures. He draws in attention wherever he goes, whenever he speaks — his voice and reach are unsurmountable in many ways.
Over the years, the rapper has maintained the narrative that he’s “started from the bottom” and has reached the upper echelons of fame and success through nothing but sheer hard work. While most of his fans adore him for being so earnest about his origins, many of his detractors peddle a different theory and propose that not everything about his life story is as authentic as it seems.
Seeing how Drake croons on and on about his humble beginnings, it’s worth examining what indeed occurred in his childhood, the impact his parents had had on his passions and character, and how his upbringing drives his relationship with his son Adonis.
Drake and his mom were “very poor” but she still encouraged him to follow his dreams
Aubrey ‘Drake’ Graham was born on October 24, 1986, in Toronto, Ontario, to Sandi and Dennis Graham. His African-American father originated from a musical family in Memphis, Tennessee, and had been a drummer for artist Jerry Lee Lewis at one point. He moved to Toronto in the eighties and had met Sandi Sher at a nightclub called Club Bluenote. Sandi, a Canadian woman of Ashkenazi Jewish background, had worked as an English teacher and occasionally as a florist at the time.
Unfortunately, Dennis and Sandi’s marriage didn’t last for a long time; the two divorced when Drake was just five, and Dennis proceed to move back to Tennessee. As a young Black Jewish boy, Drake felt out of place and misunderstood for most of his childhood.
Sandi tried her best to raise and support Drake as a single mother, but she faced several struggles financially and physically. For most of his young life, Drake grew up on Weston Road in Toronto, which he claims, was “not the nicest area in the world.” Sandi suffered from osteoporosis and joint pain, which left her isolated in her bedroom for most of Drake’s childhood. Her poor health drove her to smoke heavily and take an exorbitant amount of pain meds.
When Drake was in the sixth grade, his mother moved him to a wealthier part of town, Forest Hill, so they didn’t live in an “area that could create trouble for her son.” But Drake maintains that the family was still “broke” and had to rent the basement and the first floor of a house.
Everybody thinks I went to some private school and my family was rich. Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I haven’t talked enough about it, but I didn’t grow up happy. I wasn’t in a happy home. My mother was very sick. We were very poor, like broke.
Despite their tumultuous life, Sandi still managed to throw Drake a Bar Mitzvah and encouraged him to follow his dreams. She never forced him to live by a certain code or implement anything in particular, but she still wanted the best for him. For a brief period, Drake went to a Jewish day school, but nobody “understood” him or his identity as a young Black Jewish boy. Despite those challenges, Drake always felt uplifted by his mother, who celebrated him at every instance. Therefore, the rapper does his best to honour his mother on every occasion and show her a world of gratitude for everything she’s done for him.
My mother is an incredible woman. She’s always just told me, ‘You know, whatever you want to do, whatever you end up being, I’ll always love you. I’ll always support you.’
Drake claims to have had a deadbeat father, but his dad says otherwise
While Drake’s mother was bedridden and “deteriorating,” Drake’s father was in and out of jail. Dennis had had two stints in prison while Drake was growing up, leading him to miss massive chunks of his son’s childhood and adolescence. As a result, Drake believes he didn’t “have a father” growing up.
However, Dennis himself claimed that he brought Drake down to Memphis every year, “from the time he was a baby in the car seat to the time he was 17.” Additionally, it was through Dennis’s influence that Drake was able to nurture his passion for music. In fact, Drake recalled that Dennis’s prison roommate, who rapped to Drake over the phone, sparked his love for hip-hop.
Dennis claimed that Drake was using the “absentee-father” narrative to “sell records,” but Drake refused those accusations, saying on his Instagram, “My father will say anything to anyone that’s willing to listen to him.”
Though both Drake and his father’s testimonies don’t align in this case, it’s safe to say that Drake still didn’t grow up in the most stable household. Yet, at the same time, Drake still appreciates his father.
My father is an incredible man—charming, talented, and stylish—and I’m sort of living the dream he had for himself. But his actions served as that reverse role model for me. There are a lot of things that I don’t ever want to do. I don’t want to miss years of my child’s life. I don’t want to put a woman on a roller-coaster ride.
Though it’s hard to confirm whose account is accurate, it doesn’t really matter because both dad and son have a wonderful relationship at the moment. Yes, they have disagreements and still hurt each other now and then, but they still hang out with each other when they can. Drake’s posted many photo albums over the years in which Dennis and Drake are seen mingling or drinking together.
Coming from a broken home, Drake wants to “share memories” with his son Adonis
When Drake’s son Adonis was first born, the rapper was accused of “hiding” his son from the world. The media and the public didn’t know too much about Adonis’s first years, that is, until Drake chose to share his photos for the first time last year.
Since then, Drake hasn’t shied away from letting the whole world into his private life with Adonis. From dropping his son off on his first day of school to celebrating his third birthday, Drake is routinely shown showering his son with love on social media. A lot of the affection can be attributed to how he wants to build a different sort of relationship with his son than the one he shared with his own family.
I want to be able to go places with my son and share memories with my son. I don’t want to feel like just because of a life choice I made to be, you know, a ‘celebrity’ that I got to make everybody live under this blanket. I just wanted to free myself of that.
Though he’s not romantically involved with Adonis’ mother, Sophie Brussaux, Drake tries his best to co-parent with her. He knows all too well about what it’s like for the kid when the parents are constantly fighting or in different locations. Drake and Sophie didn’t expect to be in this particular position, but they have to make it work for Adonis’ sake.
I was really hard on my parents for giving me sort of a childhood that I had to wrap my mind around as I grew. Multiple times I sort of suggested that they could have done a better job at co-parenting, sticking together, not being so divided.
At the same time, Drake is appreciative of the values his parents had instilled in him. His mother taught him about surviving and holding hope for a better future, while his father told him about honing his craft and live out his dreams to the best of his ability. He said that he’s “all of the things I’ve learned from and through my father and the incredible things I’ve learned through my mother about patience, about unconditional love..”
Your struggles will drive you to be a better person
Drake’s upbringing could have spelled disaster for the rest of his life, yet he barrelled through and emerged victoriously on the other side. We’ll all have regrets about our upbringing and the conditions under which we were raised. We might feel that our parents could have done a better job and that we will forever remain scarred by their faults.
Yet, at the same time, it’s the same struggles that instill a drive in us that pushes us towards self-development and emotional fulfillment. Drake knew that it’s no use holding resentment for parents that tried to raise him the best given their circumstances. All he can do is set up a life for his son that’s vastly different from this own. Sometimes it’s best to lick our wounds and approach our future with some optimism despite the cards we’ve been dealt.
Offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif missed the season that took his team to their second Super Bowl in two years to work as a doctor in a Montreal hospital.
And despite his team’s chance to win it all again on February 7, he’s at peace with his decision to help others.
He opted out due to COVID-19
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif blocked for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes when their team won the Super Bowl in 2020, but when it came time to go for a repeat, he became the first NFL player to opt out of the season due to COVID-19.
“This is one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my life but I must follow my convictions and do what I believe is right for me personally,” Duvernay-Tardif said on Twitter.
“That is why I have decided to take the opt-out option.”
“If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients.”
He was on the frontlines
Before Duvernay-Tardif was drafted by the Chiefs in the sixth round, he studied medicine at McGill University in his hometown of Montreal.
When the pandemic hit, Duvernay-Tardif rushed home from a sailing trip in the Caribbean and volunteered to pitch in however he could. He was placed in a long-term care facility where he tended to patients who didn’t have coronavirus.
Since he hadn’t studied enough to be a full-on doctor, he did work that nurses do, like drawing blood, administering medications, and even feeding and bathing patients. He only worked a few days a week, but that’s all he could manage emotionally.
“I was working there two to three days a week, and I don’t see how I could have done more,” he told The Washington Post.
“Not necessarily from a scheduling standpoint but from an emotional standpoint. Those people that are there for the past 20 years, it’s crazy. I have so much respect for them. … The amount of sacrifice is unbelievable. I feel like I’m going to be a better physician down the road because of that experience. I understood what it was all about.”
Duvernay-Tardif recalled one young patient who had been in a terrible accident and due to COVID-19 protocols hadn’t been able to see family in months. Duvernay-Tardif noticed how not seeing his loved ones was hard on the patient, so he told him: “Come on, let’s find your wife’s number.”
He used his phone to call the man’s wife on FaceTime and when the couple saw each other’s faces for the first time in two months, they cried.
“You cry, too,” Duvernay-Tardif said. “What else is there to do?”
“The definition of what it means to be a hero changed because of those people.”
At peace with his decision
Despite the inherent risks of a football season — and the infections some teams, including his own, faced — Duvernay-Tardif always agreed that a season should take place, if only to simmer down the fierce political divisions in the United States. And it’s been hard to watch as his teammates reached the pinnacle of their sport yet again.
“It was never black or white,” he said of his decision to opt-out. “As the season progressed and the stakes are higher, I do miss football even more, especially now with the playoffs. There’s more than one way to look at it, and it’s not always simple.”
Duvernay-Tardif, who lost millions in contract money during the skipped season, wouldn’t say he has no regrets, but he is at peace with his decision.
“I felt it made sense to make that decision, in order to look back at 2020—five, 10 years from now—and be proud of myself,” he told TIME. “I’ve said no to money and the NFL season in order to care for patients.”
While Duvernay-Tardif is planning a long career in the medical field, he does hope to return to his team next season.
“I feel like something was taken a little bit away from me,” he said. “I still have some football left in me. I can be a doctor for the next 40 years. I still have the passion, and that’s why I’m working out on my patio at –15°[C].”
An honourable sacrifice
You can’t help but be in awe of Duvernay-Tardif, who is not only risking his career in the NFL, but also his own health being around a hospital taking in COVID-19 patients.
His sacrifice is yet another reminder to follow health guidelines and get vaccinated so we can bring an and to this pandemic and everybody can return to doing what they love.
It’s also a poignant testament to living with integrity, according to your own values and definition of success and excellence.
In just a few short years, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs has become the toast of the NFL.
At just 25, he has already built a reputation as one of the best, most dynamic, and skillful players in the league. He led the Chiefs to an enormous victory against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV and is set to lead the charge yet again this year against Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With two Super Bowl appearances in as many years, the odds are certainly in favor of the young Texan athlete.
Patrick’s rapid emergence to the top of the football pyramid has generated a high level of interest in his personal life. There’s no doubt that such a beloved athlete would have a swarm of gorgeous ladies lining up at the door, but Patrick doesn’t need to bother with any of their advances.
The man only has eyes for one woman. So as we prepare to see him throw exhilarating touchdown passes on the field, let’s take a closer look at the woman keeping him sane amidst the chaos and the fame.
Patrick’s fiancée Brittany is a former athlete and runs her own fitness empire
Normally you’d expect athletes to chase after supermodels or influencers, but Patrick has kept it real by sticking with his high school sweetheart through and through. Patrick and Brittany Matthews started seeing each other as students at Whitehouse High School in Whitehouse, Texas.
But not long after, the two went off to different colleges to pursue their respective fields. Brittany went off to play college soccer and study kinesiology at the University of Texas in Tyler, whereas Patrick, who graduated from high school a year later, moved to Lubbock, Texas, to play college football at Texas Tech University. The two towns were 440 miles away, which means the young couple had to give their all to make long-distance work.
In April 2017, Patrick was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs and moved to Missouri. At the same time, Brittany graduated from college and moved to Iceland to play soccer professionally at a club called UMF Afturelding/Fram. She called this move “an amazing experience to go do what I love.”
She remained in Iceland for about six months — she won the league with the team and then moved to Kansas City to be with her beau. While playing in Iceland, Brittany realized her passion wasn’t in sport but fitness.
Patrick works his a** off and is at the facility from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. There’s no excuse for me to be sitting on my butt at home doing nothing or not making a difference in this world or not being successful. I feel like we’re a team.
In 2019, Brittany founded her fitness company Brittany Lynne Fitness, where she offers training exercises, fitness regimens, and workout gear and merchandise. Her site’s About page reads that playing sports professionally has taught her all about “strength training, wellness, maintaining peak fitness.” So it’s safe to say that Patrick and Brittany bond over a number of passions, not least of which is fitness and athletics.
Patrick blocked off a section of the Arrowhead stadium to propose to Brittany
Having held on to their relationship through the long distances and their early careers, it was only time before Patrick sealed the deal with a ring on Brittany’s finger. He did so after receiving his Super Bowl championship ring in a ceremony. According to Brittany, a section of the Arrowhead Stadium at their home ground in Kansas City had been closed off and decked out in roses. A sign reading “Will You Marry Me?” sat at the forefront of the entire flower arrangement.
Patrick later revealed in a radio show that proposing to Brittany was more nerve-wracking than winning the Super Bowl.
You don’t think it’s going to be nerve-racking when you’ve been with someone for so long, but before you get on that knee, man, your heart’s racing. I promise you that.
He also admitted that his teammates had helped him out with the proposal. Afterward, Patrick and Brittany shared a lovely candlelit dinner, the photo of which Brittany captioned as “My heart is so full! I love this man so incredibly much, and today was so so special!”
They’re expecting a baby girl soon, but Brittany “freaked out” about the pregnancy at first
Less than a month after proposing, Brittany and Patrick announced that they’re taking a “detour” to the aisle and are expecting a baby. Brittany went on an Instagram Q&A to share details about the pregnancy and how they found out. She said that they weren’t actively trying for a pregnancy, so she took two tests after realizing she was late on her period. When the tests turned up positive, Brittany said she freaked out and started panicking.
I started crying and freaking out. [Patrick] was just so sweet and supportive and just so excited about it […] Yes, I was terrified, and no, I did not expect it at this point in my life but everything happens for a reason. Ultimately, this is one of the biggest blessings we will ever have.
Patrick himself has said that he’s “excited” to be a father and to be experiencing both fatherhood and football superstardom at the same time in his life. He said he wants to continue growing and being a better person for his family.
I think it’s just about growing up, about having the responsibility and evolving as a family. I think we’ve done that — me and Brittany, and the people around me — and I’m just excited for the future ahead of being able to keep building and keep becoming a better person for my family and this world.
Patrick Mahomes on 610 Sports Radio’s The Drive
Sometimes the long distances are well worth your time
Patrick and Brittany never lost their love for each other despite going off in different directions after high school. They knew that if their love were true and resilient, it would survive the long distances and the extensive time apart. Brittany was there for Patrick before he made it big; she’s seen through it all.
The media portrays her as the overenthusiastic girlfriend who’s always screaming at games and cheering on her man, who’s always posting her opinions and commentary on Twitter, who’s willing to defend her fiancé at any given moment, but she’s steadfast in her support and love. And he undoubtedly shares her same enthusiasm for her own passions. Patrick Mahomes may be winning games on the field, but he’s also won at home.
Sometimes it’s worth it to go through the longing, the pain, the loneliness of a long-distance relationship if it means there’s a brighter future to look forward to. Perhaps the future isn’t guaranteed, but you might be surprised how much absence makes the heart grow fonder.