Chapter 1Why Stories Matter

Meet Holley

Twenty-seven years ago, I was just an introverted kid being tossed around the heart of New York City. As the middle child of five, in the custody of two drug-addicted-soon-to-be-separated parents, I was no stranger to the muffling of my own voice amongst my family, or in a crowd.

Actions, conversations, decisions—all of these things were happening around me, and as a six-year-old with very little agency, when it came to grown-up life topics, I was fairly practiced in opting out of all of the above.

While it’s true that, early on, I often played the role of fly on the wall in most conversations, over time, I developed a knack for building genuine and meaningful connections with people through empathy and ...

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