Every morning, I’d wake up to the sound of my alarm, it’s shrill beeping a cruel reminder that another day had begun. Bleary-eyed and exhausted, I’d reach for my phone to silence the noise, only to be met with a barrage of notifications from the Flatbush Famous SLACK channel. Kevin Donaldson and the rest of the team were already up and at it, exchanging ideas and discussing the day’s agenda. In those early hours, my head throbbed from the previous night’s drinking, but the ache was dulled by the knowledge that I had a purpose to fulfill, even if it wasn’t the one I had always imagined. Slowly, I’d drag myself out of bed and stumble to the kitchen, where I’d fix myself a cup of coffee in an attempt to clear the fog from my mind. As the bitter liquid seeped into my veins, I could feel a semblance of life returning to my body. With every sip, the weight of my demons seemed to momentarily lift, giving me the strength to face another day. I’d take a seat at my workstation and open up the SLACK channel, scrolling through the multitude of messages that had accumulated overnight. The screen would fill with colorful avatars and excited voices, each one brimming with enthusiasm and ideas for the brand we were building. I’d feel a strange mix of pride and envy as I read their words – pride in the work we were doing together, but envy at the unburdened lives they seemed to lead. Every day, we’d brainstorm and strategize, tossing around concepts and sharing our visions for the future of Flatbush Famous. Kevin’s leadership was inspiring, and despite not knowing me long, he was always full of encouragement and support. I kept my demons hidden, refusing to let my personal struggles bleed into this budding business relationship. As I worked, I’d always have a beer within arm’s reach, it’s frosty can a constant companion as I struggled to create whatever vision Kevin had in mind. With every project, I felt my skills grow stronger, and yet the spotlight I so desperately craved always seemed just out of reach. I would suppress my longing, focusing on the task at hand while the storm within me continued to churn. Behind-the-scenes work was bittersweet, but I couldn’t let my personal desires get in the way of providing for my family. With each completed project, I reminded myself that I was doing what was necessary for their well-being, even as the demons inside me clawed at the walls of my mind, demanding to be released.


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