Kendal is proof that there is life after loss.

We believe your story matters. We will be periodically featuring twenty-somethings and their incredible stories. 


 

Meet Kendal.

An undergraduate student studying Theatre Performance, she knows what it is to struggle, strive, and ultimately succeed. From losing a parent at a young age, to promoting an alternative fuel initiative, her list of life experiences is extensive and diverse.

Yet through the good, the bad, and the in-between, she continually chooses happiness, and is leaving her unique footprint on the world. In short, she’s an inspiration. Keep reading to learn more about this incredible go-getter!


Name: Kendal R.
Age: 25
Occupation: Student
Area of Study: Theatre Performance
Relationship Status: Married
Hobbies: Business, snowboarding, softball, reading, writing, cooking, healthy eating, working out, and conversation

What past life experience(s) would you consider to be the most defining?

I am easily defined by what’s around me; it’s a daily transformation. But I don’t know if anything trumps losing my mom to cancer when I was 12. It felt like it burned out pieces of me and pushed me forward into a strong kind of existence.

What do you currently view as challenging?

Eating. It’s the worst addiction to have (and trust me, I’ve had just about all the mainstream addictive possibilities). With alcohol, tobacco, sex, etc. you can leave environments that trigger you and go on your merry way. But with food, you have to encounter your addiction every day and so you constantly are battling to choose strong, healthy choices in the face of negative alternatives.

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My second great challenge is marriage. I don’t make a very good wife but my husband is my best friend so we’re figuring out what works for us!

How do you deal with disappointment, negative thoughts, and struggle?

I honestly get pissed. I know that’s not the most eloquent or inspirational of suggestions, but I got so fed up with self-deprecating internal monologues that I just snapped and ever since, I can’t stand doubting myself. I deserve the same understanding treatment that I give to others.

What are some future goals you have for yourself?

That’s too long of a list! But the immediate ones are that I want to be nominated for an Irene Ryan acting award ([a] collegiate acting competition), start a ski/snowboard rental business, push forward this social enterprise I’m working on with alternative fuel in Uganda, have a stronger marriage, and graduate college!

How do you stay motivated to reach those goals?

What’s the point of living if all you do is watch Netflix? As silly as this sounds, ever since I was a little girl and watched “You’ve Got Mail”, I couldn’t stop thinking about the scene where Meg Ryan’s character says, “So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around?”

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I don’t want to watch movies wishing my life was like that. I want stories to reflect my own, incredible experiences. Living a full life keeps me motivated to reach those goals!

What person/people come to mind in terms of molding you into the person you are today?

My dad has shaped me into a more open-minded individual; the man understands people, especially those living on the fringes of society. I’ve also been amazingly influenced by teachers in my life who refused to see me settle for second best. They called me out when I wanted to slip into mediocrity.

How do you choose to give back and better the world around you?

I’ve been volunteering with Operation Underground Railroad which is a non-profit devoted to rescuing children from the sex trafficking industry. Once I learned about it in a social business class, I realized I couldn’t go back. I give a monthly donation and then volunteer for various fundraising events. It’s not much, but it’s what I can realistically do at this time.

The second focus I do is I just try to listen to people. Opportunities to give back usually come up just by listening.

What advice do you have for twenty-somethings about achieving goals, staying positive, and loving/living life to the fullest?

It’s amazing what you can do when you stop inhaling so much media and actually do some of your own living! I challenged myself this past year to step out of my comfort zone and I will have started a business, directed a play, been cast as one of my all-time dream lead roles, transformed my eating, traveled to Barcelona and Paris for the World Summit of Nobel Laureates, and begun a social enterprise to transform the fuel industry in Uganda.

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And I’m an incredibly average gal.

I just stopped making excuses and wasting time and I love where I’m going. There’s so much to tackle and change, but I’m a huge believer that if you stop getting in your own way, you can become the kind of person you desperately want to be, even if you’re not perfect. Anyone can change!

To learn more about Operation Underground Railroad, visit their website at: www.ourrescue.org


Are you a twenty-something go-getter? We’d love to feature you! Please contact Nicole at nicole@gentwenty.com.