peyton santiago.

Crafting myself to be unforgettable.

Austin, Texas, Influencer Style Board. Peyton Santiago for UNDISCOVERED.

I watched from the sidelines as my teammates worked their way down the field, easily passing the soccer ball back and forth until they were in position to score. I longed to be out there with them, but my chances of seeing playing time were pretty slim; I was awful at shooting the ball into the goal, and I couldn’t even fathom the thought of hitting a flying ball with my head for fear that I might split in two.

Growing up I was always interested in what others were doing, especially my big sister. She was incredibly athletic, and I wanted more than anything to follow in her footsteps.

Over the years I tried almost every sport imaginable hoping each time that it would be ‘the one,’ but after a while it became clear that I wasn’t meant to play sports. What I didn’t know at the time, however, was that I was a flower continuing to undergo what seemed like a never-ending cycle of photosynthesis, not realizing the benefits I would reap later on.

Sometime during my freshman year in high school I began to understand the lesson in my failures; these experiences had taught me the true value of determination.

Determination is, by definition, a ‘firmness of purpose’ and ‘resoluteness,’ the willingness to never give up no matter how many obstacles one experiences. I chose to see my lack of success in the past as a driving force, compelling me to keep trying new things until I discover what it is I am truly passionate about.

Photography: Kelly Booth
Photography: Kelly Booth
Photography: Jen Basford
Photography: Jen Basford
Photography: Jen Basford
Photography: Jen Basford

Failure is a negative term that equates to a lack of success, but I choose not to see my experiences as failures. By embracing my struggles and transforming them into positivity I have instead been able to pick myself back up with grace and confidence, and continue my journey on a different path.

The setbacks I experience only serve to set me up for future success by showing me when to change course. I may not have been meant to play soccer or any other sport, but those experiences gave me something to build on as I tested the waters elsewhere.

I am focused on using the obstacles and trials in my day-to-day life to improve my character, because through them I have discovered a new kind of determination: to craft myself each and every day to be unforgettable.

Photography: Matthew Koller
Photography: Matthew Koller
Photography: Kara Zollos
Photography: Kelly Booth
Photography: Jen Basford
Photography: Kelly Booth
Photography: Kelly Booth
Photography: Renee Bowen
Photography: Renee Bowen
Photography: Renee Bowen
Photography: Renee Bowen
Photography: Renee Bowen
Photography: Kelly Booth
Photography: Ivy Towler
Photography: Kelly Booth
Photography: Jen Basford
Photography: Jen Basford
Photography: Jen Basford
Photography: Gretchen Higgins
Photography: Ivy Towler
Photography: Gretchen Higgins
Photography: Ivy Towler
Photography: Gretchen Higgins
Photography: Kelly Booth
Photography: Kelly Booth
Photography: Kara Zollos
Photography: Ivy Towler
Photography: Kara Zollos
Photography: Jen Basford
Photography: Kara Zollos
Photography: Kelly Booth
Photography: Kelly Booth
Photography: Kelly Booth
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