We want to share a letter we received from a very inspirational young woman who we are proud to say is going to be a Natural Life intern this summer. We hope it inspires you too…not only by her incredible story (get ready for goosebumps) but by her initiative to set goals, take action…and make her dreams come true.
Dear Ms. Hughes,
Hello! My name is Sophie Barry, and I have been eagerly waiting to write this email for about two years now.
First, let me tell you a little about myself. I am a junior at Duke University majoring in Psychology with minors in Spanish and Cultural Anthropology. I grew up in Miami, Florida. I love people (hence the academic focuses on psychology and cultural anthropology), writing, drawing, traveling, sports, the New York Times crossword puzzle (especially Thursdays because they’re always tricky), and I really love dogs
I have been waiting to write this for two years. Here’s why. In August of 2018, two days before I was supposed to start my first year of college, I woke up completely unable to move the lower half of my body. I was quickly taken to the hospital, stuck in an MRI, and diagnosed with transverse myelitis, which causes spinal inflammation and, thus, paralysis. It was the type of freak thing you could never imagine happening to yourself, and yet it was happening to me.
I had so little agency—I couldn’t do anything without help from my parents or nurses—but I knew there were some things I still had control over, and one of those things was my attitude. I never used to care much for inspirational quotes or sayings. But during a time like this, I was looking for anything to lift my spirits. I came across the Natural Life Instagram and I was instantly obsessed. The positive energy, the good vibes, not to mention the ADORABLE merchandise… I immediately followed the account. I remember scrolling back to see if anything had been posted on the day I was brought to the hospital, and sure enough there was a picture of a blanket that read “Life is tough, but so are you” and the caption said “The one who falls and gets up is so much stronger than the one who never fell”. I couldn’t help but feel that this message was meant for me. That was exactly what I needed to hear. And it was true! I am tough, and I got up (quite literally, actually) as a much stronger person than I ever would have been otherwise. I’ve been following the Natural Life Instagram account for two years now, I’m a very happy customer, I’m registered for Daily Chirps, and I never cease to be amazed by the powerful positivity that this company brings into my life and the lives of so many others.
Because I’m a junior in college, people are constantly asking me what career I want to pursue. And although I don’t quite know yet, I do know that my dream job or internship would be at a company that inspires people with words, art, and kindness — as all of these things have helped me get through the darkest days of my life. I want to help do the same for others. Your mantra says it all: “We believe it’s the little things that mean the most, that kindness really does matter, you should always be yourself, do what you love and try to make the world a better place!”
Sophie visited our corporate office on her way home for Thanksgiving and we greeted her with a big Happy Box!