WRITTEN BY Brittney Winbush
Brittney Winbush is a serial entrepreneur currently following her dreams in Brooklyn, New York. Between acting classes and preparing for her latest project “Alexandra Winbush” you can find Brittney on a plane – wining and dining her way through a new city.
In March of 2014 what seemed like a dream quickly became a nightmare. My barely conscious body being dragged out my room by my dad as flames engulfed my room.
It was the tail end of Spring Break and I just returned home from a trip to Vegas with my parents and best friend. We got back to the house around 10pm and by 12am our house was burning to the ground. My house was in Southwest Atlanta, a little under two hours away from where I attended college, The University of Georgia in Athens, GA.
I struggled in college. Tests were never my strong suit and I always felt like my creativity was limited by the cookie cutter system of college. I spent the second semester of my freshman year applying for fashion schools in New York and California because I didn’t feel like I fit it in with my student body. Though I had friends and a social life, I still felt like an outsider. I had gotten into every fashion school I applied to but reality sunk in, I could not afford to uproot my life and neither could my parents. So I had to bloom were I was planted but that took time.
My displacement turned into anxiety and my anxiety turned into depression.
And my depression turned into twice a week visits at CAP’s – our University’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services center. But more than anything…. it all turned into 1 hour and 45 minute drives home to Atlanta every week to escape. I took 8 am classes with full schedules on Tuesday and Thursdays, got a job in Atlanta and spent Thursday – Monday back at home – in my room. In my comfort zone.
I remember standing in the driveway of my house watching the my room explode – there was a BOOM and my entire room flew up in flames, the glass of the windows broke and I saw my comfort zone burning right in front of my eyes. All the progress I had made in CAP’s was burning right in front of my eyes.
Reality sunk – in where would I go now – how could I escape?
Time passed and I tried my best to find my normal groove. From the outside, I guess it all appeared to be okay. No one even brought up the fire anymore. I don’t know if they had forgotten or found that it may be triggering to me. Either way life went on and on – the ups and the downs of it… just continued. Business as usual.
I looked for new outlets – in people, in clubs at school, in solitude with myself. Nothing cured the emptiness I felt but every day it got a little easier to bear. I couldn’t just be depressed because that wasn’t fair to my dad who saved my life or my mom who continued to help make life normal. It wasn’t fair to my 20-year-old self who still had so much life to live.
I was the phoenix that rose from the ashes. God has a plan and a story for me.
It was time for me to learn to be okay alone. It was time for me to find beauty and joy and peace and happiness in my moments of solitary. It took time, years… but here I am now.
I found comfort alone when I would play my favorite music and light a candle as I laid in my bed sipping tea or sank in the tub with a candle lit bath.
I would cry – that was therapy for me to let those same tears run down my skin and wash me clean. There was beauty in it all. There was beauty in me.
It is 5 years later and I excited to share this part of me that God had been working on that I couldn’t see then but I know now.
I present to you, Alexandra Winbush.
A collection inspired by the calm in the mist of the storm, a collection that is reflective of where we all were while also celebrating where we are headed. A collection that will evoke memories, emotions and most importantly peace.
Whether you are alone, around a friend, or with a lover – this is a reminder of how we rise.
Alexandra Winbush sells scented candles with messaging to evoke a mood, paired with fresh tea leaves, each purposeful in nature and lastly each set comes with a playlist for an overall captivating experience that can carry you throughout the day.
Alexandra Winbush wants to give back to the community by working closely with mental health awareness programs and events to help young adults RECOGNIZE and learn how to deal with mental illness.