What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
Realizing that just because I am not doing what I set out to do, I have not failed anyone. I went to film school for 7 years with a focus on production design. I knew I could be one of the greats and nothing could stand in my way. When I graduated college I moved out to Los Angeles. Almost instantly I realized that I wasn’t truly passionate about it and you cannot preach passion. I was so nervous that my family, teachers and peers would think less of me since they were all so successful in their efforts and seemed to really enjoy what they were doing.
In what ways has that challenging situation changed your life for the better?
I wasn’t getting the jobs I wanted because in hindsight, I didn’t truly want them. I was forced to think outside the box and started to learn how my many skills could be translated to different positions. Working as a visual merchandiser, photographer, and now event designer, I feel like I have truly rounded myself out and am much more confident in myself because of it.
What are you most proud of when you think about how you handled that situation?
I didn’t back down. I knew that changing careers would put my back a few steps which was a terrifying thought but I knew that if I was going to do anything, it would have to be then. Life doesn’t stop for anyone and it’s NEVER too late to find your happiness.
Do you have a power phrase that helps when you are facing a difficult challenge?
“Know the trees because the dirt is temporary.”- TV on the Radio.
I love this quote because it really helps me remember where my roots are in my family and friends. Things come and go and it is essential to remember that everything happens for a reason and things always get better.
Did you have a mentor or someone who helped you on your journey to being confident?
My mom is my best friend and she has done everything in her power to remind me that I can do anything. When I was young, she let me be the dancer, the martial artist, the athlete, the artist and one thing that I know I will pass on to my children is the ability to not have to choose just one path. She reminded me that it was ok to have many talents and to celebrate all of them.
How did that person help you believe in yourself?
My mom has always reminded me that life is about choices. If I wasn’t happy doing something, I had the power to change it. She taught me how to take responsibility which I know has really pushed me to grow as a person. She always encouraged me to find my niche even if it was just for a week. She’s my favorite person in the world.
If you could whisper advice to your younger self what would it be?
“You is smart. You is kind. You is important.” The Help
What do you consider your three biggest strengths?
Empathy, balance and love.
When was the last time you laughed until you cried?
One of my best friends is living out in Los Angeles and working on films like I had been. Once a week we call each other and dish out all of the funny things that have happened and she never fails me in the ridiculous stories that she has from the sets. This past week was about a romantic encounter with one of the lead actors on set. She’s incredible.
What has been your proudest moment?
I recently bought my first condo in Chicago and really feel like I am finally taking steps to better myself and my future. It feels good to invest in something solid.
If you had the power to choose your forever age – what age would you pick?
I really love the age that I am at right now. Half of my friends are getting married and the other half are still trying to figure out how to iron a shirt. I feel like 24-25 is a very transitional period in people’s lives and I feel like I have learned more about myself this year than I have in a lifetime. Although, I can’t wait for my golden years, I’m going to be a fabulous grandmother.
When was the last time you tried something new that totally scared you?
I’ve recently been going dancing a lot. It was never something that I was good at and I’m not particularly graceful but I’ve found that when I’m dancing nothing else matters. If someone wants to laugh or judge me, go for it because I’m doing something that I enjoy and nothing can stop these dancing shoes.
What do you do to feel good after something challenging?
It sounds silly but I like to call my mom. She’s always been my biggest fan and no matter how big or little my accomplishment, she reminds me to always feel proud of myself which I think helps keep me motivated.