There are people in my life that I admire because they live their lives being true to who they are. At the same time are genuine, kind and live to be selfless. I can’t say enough about my, long time and dear friend Vanessa Barnett. The qualities that she embodies are rare.
Vanessa is a single mother raising three amazing children. Her priority is and has always been mom first. She is devoted to her children and I love seeing the love she has for her each of her children. I see how she sacrifices for them and she does it with a smile on her face. I certainly can’t say that I am always able to do that.
Vanessa is extremely intelligent and quite brilliant I might say. I learn so much from her, its quite fascinating listening to such an intellectual person. She loves to learn and is continually wanting to educate herself on so many things. I truly admire her for that, which explains why she decided to go back to graduate school in 2011… where she received her masters degree in Psychology. A full-time mom, and now full-time student she worked so hard to finish top in her class, all the while juggling her most important role, mom. I watched Vanessa as she was managing all of this and I was always amazed to see how she would just do it all without complaining.
After Vanessa finished with school I watched her move forward to start her own practice, which of course was helping others. Identifying clients issues and helping them find ways to cope from a place of wisdom and compassion . She continues her practice while cultivating her creative side, by creating a line of jewelry called “Ash+Element.” I wondered how she had time to create her own jewelry line, manage three kids and manage her thonerapy practice? Well,she does because she had too. I can not complain at all about my schedule when I think of her. She is also a phenomenal writer and I mean the girl can write. Her emotions flow effortless through her words. I have learned so much from her with my own writing and she has helped me immensely on how to be a better writer.
I admire how patient and loving she is. Vanessa is extremely tolerant of others. I can not say that about a lot of people. She has taught me to try to look for the best others while maintaining clear boundaries. That can be challenging at times,but it is something I continue to work on. One never knows the challenges someone has gone through in their life or what they may be dealing with at the present moment. Vanessa has really helped me to understand that I can’t let another’s behavior disturb my peace. I have to look at the whole picture, and even though I may not understand everything, find compassion and let it go, because it is truly not personal. Living with integrity and honesty and love is what she offers tome and what I recognize is what is most healing.
When I struggle with one of my kids or all of them, she is able to talk to me about it and help me work through the communication that needs to happen. There is never judgment, only love, and I appreciate that.
Vanessa has taught me to stay true to myself at every turn, and to feed what I believe in. She reminds me to realize that most things change and there are not a lot of things that stay constant, the one thing that should always should is the loving myself and holding my self accountable to my authentic self. She lives her life in this manner, and its a quality that I truly admire in her and I aspire to.
Our friendship has been firm from moment one, and her loyalty to me is unwavering. Vanessa inspires me everyday and for that I am so blessed to have her in my life.