Be careful when it comes to rebounds. This one is huge for me! Your instincts aren’t on point when your heart in shattered, and people that may not be the healthiest to be around can infiltrate when your guard is down.
As part of my series about the “5 Things You Need To Know To Survive And Thrive After A Divorce Or Breakup” I had the pleasure of interviewing Brittani Louise Taylor. Brittani is a YouTube Star with over 1.2 million subscribers and videos that have accumulated more than 240 million views. Her devoted fans had been following the rom-com worthy romance of Brittani and her boyfriend for almost 2 years before he was mysteriously gone from her life. The details and explanation to this intriguing story will all be revealed when her book hits bookshelves on December 4, 2018. A Sucky Love Story: Overcoming Unhappily Ever After tells Brittani’s deeply personal story of falling in love with a handsome ER doctor from San Diego only to learn that everything she thought she knew about him was a lie. The true but harrowing tale, written with humor and honesty, is an unconventional story of love lost and survival in our digital age.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I have always been obsessed with film and TV, even as a small child. The tiny video store close to my house had $1 rentals every Wednesday, and I would load up on VHS tapes. It has never been a question that I wanted to become an actress, getting to Los Angeles was the complicated part! Finally, at eighteen, I moved by myself to Hollywood and then spent three grueling years full of rejection and odd jobs to pay the bills. Once I discovered YouTube, the rest was history!
Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about “divorce”?
Let’s see. I met a guy on Tinder, feel in love, started financially supporting him, later found out he was already “fake” married for a green card, accidentally got pregnant, then had to flee the relationship to protect my son and myself. I could write an encyclopedia on dating, and the mistakes I made.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
When you first move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment, a lot of people audition for student films. Having USC, UCLA, Champan University, many prestigious programs close by. It is a good way to network and build up your reel, plus gain valuable on-set experience. I auditioned for, no joke, one-hundred-and fifty student films before booking my first one. Having saved ever script, in a sad pile in my apartment, I counted the stack when it finally happened. And you don’t get paid to do the student films, most of the time, so I couldn’t even get hired to work for free! It made me seriously question whether I had chosen the right career path. But once I was on set, I was asked to do another senior thesis film. Then on the senior thesis, another project. Fifteen in a row. Goes to show, you have you sometimes hear “no” a lot before achieving anything worthwhile.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
This is so embarrassing. My first major audition was for a gothic girl in a night club, maybe three lines? It was a network TV opportunity, and I was a nervous wreck. Sure, I looked the part, coated in heavy liner and spiked jewelry. Even had my three lines down pat. But when I got into the audition, the casting director wanted to talk first and asked me to have a seat. She proceeded to ask me questions like “where are you from?” and “how long have you been in L.A.?”. I kept giving her short, one word answers, wanting to stay in gothic mode. In the scene, my character was supposed to be standing and dancing. Did I stand up after our chat? Nope, kept sitting, trying to awkwardly dance in the chair while delivering my three, lines. Needless to say, I didn’t get the part.
What did I learn? Go in and give the audition you want. Risk is easier to live with than regret. Make bold choices and then forget about them, for not every decision is going to be a home run.
If you had a close friend come to you for advice after a divorce, what are 5 things you would advise in order to survive and thrive after the divorce? Can you please give a story or example for each?
Number one, stop obsessing. No insta-stalking, checking your ex’s Facebook every five minutes. Are they out there dating already after you break-up? Probably, but the relationship ended for a reason, even if it wasn’t your choice.
Number two, exercise. Workout your feelings in a healthy way, that also makes you feel better about yourself.
Number three, be careful when it comes to rebounds. This one is huge for me! Your instincts aren’t on point when your heart in shattered, and people that may not be the healthiest to be around can infiltrate when your guard is down.
Number four, re-focus on your dreams and goals. A lot of times, we put so much into dating and maintaining that we forget about the things that we want out of life. Do you want to own your own business? Get scuba certified? Become a contortionist and move to Vegas? No matter how wild, extreme, or crazy, if it is in your heart you should pursue it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to come to the end of my life and look back and wonder, what would have happened if I wouldn’t have been so afraid and just went for it?
What are the most common mistakes people make after they go through a divorce? What can be done to avoid that?
Any kind of substance abuse to dull the pain usually isn’t the smartest. And see five tips above! Besides that, you are going to hurt, even if it was your choice to end things. And you can’t rush the healing process. But just because you loved big, and lost big, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try again. I personally want crazy love or nothing. If you settle, you will always know that you have settled, and it is better to not have a plus one that someone you know isn’t right for you.
Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources related to this topic that you would recommend to our readers?
Why Men Love Bitches by Sherry Argov. Not only is it hilarious, but informative. The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout, a good read just to know what to look out for.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that helped you in this work? Can you share how that was relevant in your real life?
“Do one things that scares you every day.” and I don’t mean scary, as in “I’m in danger, there is a dinosaur, run for your lives” scary. I mean scary because there is something you truly want. Writing my memoir terrified me, but I sat down, on the same couch for a month, and I didn’t back down. Scary sometimes means you are close to your destiny, and you won’t know what you are capable of If you stop before you finish.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
The first meeting I took after I left my ex was about starting my own kids clothing company. My son, Rex, was the inspiration. Not only do we use high quality cotton, a fair wage factory, custom prints, but it was really important to me that we had a mission and “why”. Ten percent of every sale goes directly to Watoto, helping vulnerable woman and orphans in Uganda. Not only that, we are gifting boxes of our onesies to their orphanage with each new product launch. It is the most beautiful organization, and truly deserving.
Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Besides Watoto, just raising awareness about abuse and removing the stigma. Victims of domestic violence often feel embarrassed, or ashamed. They stay in a relationship out of fear, and the hope that anyone can change. I know this, because I have been there. I was that girl, in love and tolerating sometimes daily verbal and physical abuse, hoping that things would get better. We need to educate our children, our friends, our colleagues. Speak up when we survive it, and show others how not to fall into the same traps we did.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)
Oprah. Can I say Oprah? Oprah, hands down. She is a powerful inspiration, the perfect example of someone who with poise and grace who used their past to educate and connect with her audience. And I just want her to record my voicemail greeting, so I will forever have bragging rights.