“I’ve just been struggling to survive. To figure out how to survive. I want people to see me and say, ‘OK, let’s not look at what we think people are.’ Because everybody has their own struggles. Life is tough!”
Earlier this month, I found myself glued to my phone, rabidly refreshing the Humans of New York Instagram account, waiting for updates in the 13-part story about a woman in Augusta, GA. The woman was Venus Morris Griffin. Today, she’s a hugely successful realtor and mom of seven. But the road to becoming one of Meybohm Real Estate‘s leading agents (Venus has closed more than $500 million in sales she she started with the agency) has been anything but easy. In fact, it still isn’t easy, Venus says.
In this conversation, Venus talks about her difficult childhood, about falling in love with a man at USC, and about having six children together. She talks about being home with the kids — the youngest was just one year old, and the oldest was 15 — while her husband was away on a work trip, and getting a call in the middle of the night from a sex worker. A call that changed everything. Not only was Venus’s husband, Tripp, sleeping with sex workers, Venus also learned that there was sexual abuse within the home. Today, Tripp is serving a 45-year sentence for child molestation. Here, Venus talks about how she kept moving forward, how she showed up for her children and for herself, and why she started running to get through it all. Plus, she talks about what it was like having her story shared widely through Humans of New York, and both the amazing (a book! a movie!) and less-amazing (losing clients and sales) responses.
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What you’ll get on this episode:
- How Venus is celebrating her 50th birthday (5:20)
- All about being featured on Humans of New York (8:00)
- On vulnerability, and how Venus started running (15:15)
- What Venus’s childhood was like (21:20)
- Meeting Tripp (23:30)
- The role of faith in Venus’s life (31:40)
- The scary moments in Venus and Tripp’s marriage, and why Venus decided to get her real estate license in 2008 (33:50)
- The middle-of-the-night phone call that changed everything (43:00)
- What life looked like after Tripp went to prison (52:30)
- How Venus navigated motherhood (1:02:40)
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