The Comeback Victory Against Defeat

Hello, my name is Ryan Kubanka, and thank you for taking the time to read this. I am the CEO and owner of Lozana. My brand represents you by delivering high-quality clothes, having faith in people, and actively living a lifestyle of kindness, gratitude, and self-improvement. Before discussing my life, I want to discuss a word we often use: trauma

When we suffer from trauma, we change dramatically as people, each in our own way. What I realized about trauma later in life is it’s a choice. We don’t get to choose what happens to us. That’s out of our control. However, we get to choose the way we respond to it. We can let trauma dictate our future or use it to protect our unknown future. What do I mean by “protect our unknown future?” In the words of Matt Higgins: “The consolation prize of early trauma is refined pattern recognition skills. I know this from experience. Because you spent so much time early on scanning the environment for danger, you tend to see the unseen and hear the unsaid before others do.” 

Now, with that said, I will begin my story where I came back from defeat. 

When I was younger, I was fearless, so it often scared my mom. My mom tells me the story of when I was four and first learning to ride a bike. That’s a cool experience for every child, right?

For me, it was a fight. My mom tried forcing me to use training wheels. My mom says she argued with me for nearly an hour, and I refused the training wheels. 

I told her, no, I could ride the bike without the training wheels. Eventually, my mom gave up and said, “Fine, if you fall, don’t come crying to me.” She went into the house. She comes back outside to check on me.

There I was, riding the bike, racing around the street. My mom was amazed. 

I’ve always embraced challenges from a young age and believed nothing is impossible. My curiosity often led me to take risks, and a love for people came with that. I believe in helping people realize their potential and being kind to others. I believe every person has meaning and is meant to do great things. Despite acting with good intentions, my ambition was sometimes misunderstood.  

Curiosity can become annoying. Fearlessness can become scary. Stubbornness can become impossible. These traits are my greatest gifts, but to others, they were my greatest curse growing up. So I started to blame myself for who I was. Why? This is where my story begins. 

Around the age of 8, someone I loved began to tell me to take my own life frequently. To everyone reading this, if this is a sensitive topic, I understand the difficulty of it. Every life matters, and it’s never the answer. So, keep reading; I promise it will all be important. 

When I first heard this, I asked myself, “Why is he telling me to take my life?” It didn’t bother me much initially, but I was a child. Our experiences, what we hear, see, do, and what others do to us dictate how we see the world around us. So the more he said it, the more it was imprinted in my brain. The more I began seeing the world as against me. The more I stopped being myself until it got to the point where I had completely lost myself by the time I was 12. I continued to hear this until I was about 16. 

While this was happening, loved ones around me were dying. My family was fairly close growing up. I had two aunts suffering from cancer, and the chemo wasn’t working. They passed unfairly; it was not quick. Cancer is brutal to watch, as many people know. I was a kid when this happened, so I didn’t fully understand it. I only knew I watched them lose their spirit and slowly drift away. The sounds they made before they passed have never left my head. 

Then I lost my grandfather. Then I lost a 1-year-old little cousin unexpectedly. As such a curious individual, I didn’t understand life for a second when I lost my baby cousin. He was perfectly healthy, but sometimes God has other plans. Alcoholics who commit crimes can live full lives; this innocent little one-year-old didn’t even get to ride a bike like I did. Life doesn’t make sense until it all does. 

Trauma for me wasn’t a singular event but a series of distressing experiences that consistently wore me down.  People I cherished drifted away, and the traits that define me– my curiosity, fearlessness, and passion– were labeled as flaws. At 13, while I was dreaming of entrepreneurship, mansions, fast cars, and luxury, many couldn’t relate to my ambitions. This distinction often led to criticism, making me feel isolated for simply being different. 

By the time I got to high school, I was broken and completely lost. I was left out of most things. I knew four kids from travel basketball at my high school during my freshman year. I didn’t know who I was, and I didn’t know who these people were. Returning to Mr. Higgins's quote: “The consolation prize of early trauma is refined pattern recognition skills. I know this from experience. Because you spent so much time early on scanning the environment for danger, you tend to see the unseen and hear the unsaid before others do.” 

I never felt I belonged in high school; it was like navigating a perilous, unfamiliar terrain. My anxiety spiked, making me feel constantly under threat and surrounded by insincerity. Damaged and anxious, I wasn’t the popular kid. I struggled with self-confidence, especially around girls. I did not know how to talk to girls. My past had left me desiring affection, but desperation is a turnoff when it comes to finding a romantic partner. Although I had a good heart, my mind was lost and broken. I kept going back to those terrible thoughts of “everyone hates me, I don’t know why I am here” because of what I heard growing up. Rather than making friends, I became an easy target. Guys tease each other, but i needed a little less of that and a lot more encouragement. Instead of getting encouragement, they echoed similar criticism I had always heard. Jokes stop being jokes when someone is lost. 

I couldn’t figure out how to develop a better mindset and learn to love myself. Looking back, I don’t know how I was supposed to if I am being honest. I wanted to be left alone by others, but I wasn’t being left alone. So I chased girls so that maybe I wouldn’t feel alone (the biggest mistake of my life). Throughout all of this, with all the pent-up anger and frustration, I learned the importance of kindness–to uplift others and avoid unintended conflicts. Despite being labeled the weird kid because I lost myself, I never lost my love for others.

In high school, basketball and fitness became my refuge. I transformed from a 6’2” skinny freshman to a 6’5” and 210-pound muscular sophomore. I took out most of my frustration through workouts. I’d spend 2 hours a day lifting weights and 5 hours playing basketball. While I often felt provoked and wanted to fight kids who wouldn’t leave me alone, I chose discipline at the gym over retaliation. My parents did their best for me, loved me, and provided for me. I was very blessed to have them, and I regret focusing on the bad instead of what they did for me. It’s all part of growing up. 

In addition to basketball and fitness, I developed a passion for stocks. By sophomore year, I prioritized stock analysis over regular classes. I got good enough grades for my parents, but I didn’t enjoy school. It never felt right to me, so I focused on stocks more. I leveraged some of my inheritance to make successful investments and tripled my first investment, Shopify. I viewed stocks as a way for me to run away from the pain, and at that time, I didn’t know it was the key to God’s purpose for me—the key to starting Lozana and attempting to change the world. Driven by curiosity and determination, I delved deep into the financial system, embracing continuous learning. 

Junior year of high school rolled around, and I was in bad shape. I grappled with my past and the realization that basketball was just an escape. I realized finance was my future, but I was uncertain due to my growing skepticism about the system as I learned more. Overwhelmed by past traumas and current struggles, I spiraled into sleepless nights and isolation. I remember spending about three weeks in my basement in the dark watching Person of Interest. I was broken, and more long-term damage was being created. During this low point, a girl named Jenna helped me. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for her. She renewed my perspective on life. She showed me that God sends messengers when we’re far from reality. I began to move forward, and refocus on finance but overlooked the crucial step of healing. 

Senior year was my best year because I started to avoid people. I ate lunch in the hallway, did my thing, and finally started to focus on myself. I had college to look forward to as well. 

I went to High Point University to pursue my finance degree. I saw an opportunity for a fresh start. Despite being 6’5” and muscular, internally I still struggled. My college years mirrored my previous challenges with relationships. I wasn’t a frat guy because it wasn’t my personality. I still didn’t trust most guys and didn’t have confidence with girls. I started partying excessively like the other students around me. I contemplated dropping out after my freshman year, feeling it wasn’t true to who I was, but I preserved due to my parents’ wishes. By my junior year, post-COVID, I was 245 pounds and battled severe anxiety and depression. I was drifting without purpose. 

That year, I reached my lowest point, compounded by the loss of my grandmothers. My health physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually deteriorated. College was not for me, and if anyone ever asks me, “What is the worst advice you can give to a child?” I can honestly say the worst advice is to go to college. It’s expensive, has a terrible culture, and is more of a risk than an asset because people are there for a few reasons, and the last reason on the list is education. It is a way to be controlled. I hope to provide an alternative with a few ideas I have. 

During this junior year, as I hit rock bottom, I broke through that floor, and found out that rock bottom had a basement. This is where I became defeated. I partied hard 13 nights in a row during that October. I was completely lost, terrible habits, I was not working out, and I was not healthy. 

With that said, my purpose was born in this rock bottom. So while college was not for me, would I have found this purpose? I don’t know; everyone’s journey is different. I know I wouldn’t have the knowledge from my own failures while I attended there. But I may have had more initial success if I had dropped out. That is something I will never know. 

After 13 nights of partying, waking up in a daze, I looked in the mirror and said, “This is not me. I am going to start a clothing company and help people.” Most people wake up and say, “I need water and food.” I decided to start a company at 9:30 am during my lowest point in life. 

As I embarked on this new risk, I turned to Twitter. I loved Twitter most of my life. I went there searching for answers to my problems and came across a man named Zach Homol. He talked about Jesus, improving his life, lifting weights, and living a healthy lifestyle. It was exactly what I needed. Zach’s words rekindled my connection to God– a bond I had turned my back on during difficult high school years, which was a mistake. I should have run towards God more. I realize now that, despite my distance, God remained by my side, merciful and protective, guiding me when I felt lost. I couldn’t see it then, but I see it now. God always has a plan. 

As I dove into my entrepreneurial journey, I began researching clothes, started my website, connected to manufacturers, and had absolutely no clue of what I was doing. Balancing business and school in my junior year was stressful, especially with unresolved personal issues. As I navigated the unfamiliar entrepreneurial terrain, I faced frequent setbacks. I lost “friends” and had such extreme anxiety after COVID that I struggled to sit in a classroom. I was having frequent breakdowns. In the midst of these challenges, I reached out to a college peer, Jamie. She became an unexpected beacon of support. Her genuine empathy and willingness to listen and share her own stories was instrumental in guiding me through tumultuous times. It wasn’t just her support, but the consistent care she displayed that marked the beginning of my healing journey. She did what no one else was willing to do; genuinely care. 

Another influential girl was Alyssa. We weren’t really friends, but I always thought she was cool. She said things no other girl said, but it was the truth. She once called me out during a party on my poor habits and decisions. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it was what I needed to hear. I don’t know if she cared about me, but she cared enough to speak the truth and say the hard thing my “friends” weren’t saying. That was more than 90% of girls did for me. Her honesty taught me to discern between genuine and misleading relationships, leading me to make more informed decisions. Throughout my life, until recently, I had trusted women more than men because they treated me as a person and with kindness. As Mr. Higgins said: “The consolation prize of early trauma is refined pattern recognition skills.” Although I made many mistakes and lost myself, I also look back to realize how many people I truly avoided for the better. That was God’s way of protecting me while teaching and letting me fail. 

Thanks to Alyssa and Jamie, after I realized how many people had lied to me. I learned the only person you truly have is yourself. You’re responsible for everything that happens. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, take responsibility, own your mistakes, and improve yourself. No one is coming to save you. 

My senior year of college, I hired Joey Devlin to coach me. I had been following him on Twitter because of Zach Homol. With his guidance, I started developing a better mindset, losing the weight I had put on during college, and getting myself together. Meanwhile, Jamie, who had graduated, remained a pillar of support from the distance. Although we grew apart as time went by, her impact is undeniable. 

After completing my finance degree, I paused my business, moved back home with my parents, and began trading stocks. Since high school and college were never right for me, and I did it my parent's way for years, I asked them to let me do it my way for a year. They agreed to let me live with them, pursue my dream, and help me with expenses. 

I paused Lozana after graduation because I wanted to get the trademark. Building trust with my customers for the mortgage program I wanted to do was important to me due to the number of scams out there. I also paused it because I needed to learn more about the financial system through stocks since I was attempting something new, a different way to view money and a different way to use it. Most importantly, I needed to grow more as an individual and learn more about people. They always say, “The time will never be right to start a business and market it, so just start.” They are right, but many fail to mention that everyone’s journey is different.You have to have the skill set necessary to accomplish your goals. You also have to have stability for the problems that arise. I did not have either. 

I was not ready to start because of my past and my mistakes. I had to work on myself, get rid of the weak version, undo 12+ years of thought processes, and re-write my brain. I had to finish losing the 45 pounds I had gained during college, quit smoking, and develop new habits. I had to learn about people, build relationships, and learn that not everyone is trying to hurt me if I wanted to build connections. And most importantly, I had to move closer to God and heal spiritually. 

Here I am at 23, 1 year later, and running Lozana after accomplishing all of that. I have lost 45 pounds and added 15-20 pounds of muscle. I walk 10,000 steps a day. I pray every day, I say thank you every day for my life. I have quit smoking and cut back on drinking substantially. I have re-wired my brain to develop more positive thoughts and to have fewer outbursts than I used to. I am cool, calm, and collected now as an individual, but determined to create a better future. God has protected, forgiven, guided, and led me down a path toward redemption. 

I want to help people because few were there to help me. I have gone through pain and struggles out of my control, but I also failed miserably on my own. It was all necessary and part of my life process. I used those failures to learn a great deal about the world and people. I used those failures to learn about money and our financial system. I used everything thrown at me throughout my life to make a comeback. 

I was once defeated but I found the fearlessness, curiosity, ambition, and stubbornness I had once lost. Thanks to God and my experiences, I have learned to balance those gifts with my love for people and have channeled them in a way that can provide tremendous value to the world. I have gone from defeated to a comeback story. 

That is why I named my company Lozana. I stumbled upon it accidentally. I was struggling to find a name, so I just started pressing random letters on my keyboard for 15 minutes. Out came the word “lozianao.” That’s not a real word, but I googled it like the rest and found the word Lozano. I changed it to the word Lozana after further research. It helped me realize there are no accidents. Everyone is an unfinished story. 

The name Ryan means “little king.” I believe all people are little kings and queens if they choose to be, recognize the purpose given to them, and heal from their past. Lozana means “lush.” But it also means “exuberant” and “good health.” It represents energy, courage, and determination. 

It represents my personality and how I want to serve the world. It represents my comeback story. Now I am here to help others do the same with energy, courage, determination, curiosity, and fearlessness. 

Thank you for reading my story, and God bless you! 

Note: we need steady and consistent sales before we launch the Lozana mortgage program due to the cost to launch it (legal fees, initial payout, etc.) We will announce it once it is live!