I went through the typical, awkward, early teenage phase.
Friendships were formed and broken so often that at one point, I felt like I didn't have any friends whatsoever. I was miserable and felt alone, and so I turned to the comfort of being immersed in movies, music, and television.
I eventually stumbled upon the popular work of Kellan Lutz and really grew to fancy his kind, admirable personality. I found comfort in watching Kellan's movies, such as A Warrior's Heart, Love, Wedding, Marriage, the Twilight films, and so many others. Watching him transform into different characters became a healthy distraction.
Kellan was a constant source of positivity and optimism in my life, and when I was 14 years old, I told my parents that one day I would meet him.
Four years later, that dream came true, and it started with a Vine.
When Kellan entered my backyard, the first words he said were, "Where is my beautiful date?" At that moment, I thought I was going to fall to my knees. KELLAN LUTZ REFERRED TO ME AS BEAUTIFUL!
It's important to know that I am not a touchy-feely person whatsoever. But after hugging Kellan for the first time, I had a hard time letting go.
After meeting all of my family and friends, and posing for photos, Kellan and I walked arm-in-arm to our awaiting chariot: A gorgeous Bentley.
When we walked into prom, all eyes were on us. I can't blame my peers -- my date and I looked amazing.
I was treated like a princess the entire night. I had every single door opened for me, I was escorted everywhere arm-in-arm, and, best of all, I danced with my Prince Charming.
Some of my favorite moments of the night happened on the dance floor.
Usually, I try to avoid the dance floor at all costs, because, to be honest, I'm terrible at dancing. Kellan tried to teach me, but I primarily kept to my corny and awkward one-step moves, while he and my friend Jaclyn battled in an incredible dance-off. And though my "singing" may sound more like an animal in pain, that didn't stop me from singing along to Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" with Kellan. (What is my life?!)
And when it came to slow dancing, experiencing that with Kellan felt so surreal. Though I am a confident and independent young woman, for the moment, I had suddenly spiraled back to those awkward teenage years. I often found myself breaking eye contact, not knowing what to do or where to look. I don't know if I will ever be able to listen to "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran without blushing again.
As the best night of my life came to an end, I couldn't help but think about the old Brianna, the little girl who was told to "dream big, but not too big." The little girl whose grandmother told her, "Everyone goes through both joyous and troubling stages of life. There will be times where life is challenging and there will be times where life is enjoyable."
Yes, I have gone through troubling times. I have struggled with self-confidence, and I have felt as though my life would never amount to anything.
But things have turned around. My grandmother was right. Surviving troubling times in life makes the enchanting life experiences so much more valuable.