Interview w/ the Visionary

I realized that I haven’t really introduced myself properly so I asked my bestie Dani G. to interview me so y’all could get a better idea of who I am and what my goals are.

Without further ado let me introduce myself…

A photo from my 30th bday shoot

What are your goals for HER?

This is a great question! I’ve never really posted about it, why? Fear. My ultimate goal is to host workshops and conferences educating and encouraging women to not follow their dreams but chase them actively. Women are born multitaskers. They can feed a baby, read to an older child while cooking dinner-I literally did this yesterday lol. I’ve met so many women who do great things for everyone else and not themselves ( I’m guilty of doing this). I want to create a space where women aren’t lost in their roles but strengthened and refreshed.

When the word woman comes to mind, what emotions are evoked?

Woman= life giver. I equate women to life and I don’t mean just because we can give birth. Women are usually the first teachers children know. Before I became a mother, I spent years working with children in my community. I imparted love and wisdom to all of those children. I would have done that even if I never birthed my own children. As a wife, I encourage my husband I breathe life into his dreams, I encourage him through hard times(as he does me).

The emotions I feel are pride, love and peace…I guess peace is an emotion LOL.

Your perfectionism is a ruse.

Me and my hubby😍

How do you handle being a mom, wife, and a working woman?

How?? I still don’t know honestly lol. I just do. I’m learning more how to balance because when I was a single mom…I was a bit off balance. I was trying to outwork not having another involved parent. I was fueled by guilt. It took years (and sometimes this feeling rears it’s ugly head even now) to move pass that and be fueled by love,goals and passion. It helps that I married a very, very supportive partner who has helped reshape my negative thoughts and encourages me to put myself and my dreams first. It’s hard for me not to just dive deep into motherhood and lose myself. My husband often brings me back and helps me balance things. Yes, being a mother is important, but showing my boys how I still followed my passions while loving on them I think is extremely powerful.

I also leave work…at work. Working with people in crisis can really weigh on you. Even after you do all you can, it’s their life. A dv victim might choose to go back to the perpetrator, a person with severe depression may refuse to take their medication or someone with a life-ending health issue may refuse medical intervention. I have to respect their journey and assist where I can…and leave all that there. I used to carry it all home and I’ve learned now to do as much as I can on the clock and leave the rest to God.

Who inspires you?

Simply put: mom. Yes, it sounds cliche’ but my mom really does inspire me.

My momma and my baby boy

I didn’t appreciate the woman my mother is/was until I became a mother. When I was in middle and high school we had a rough patch. Typical of the angsty teenager I just didn’t get her and felt she didn’t get me. My mom was diagnosed with cancer my senior year of high school. She sat me down to go over her final wishes…it really hit me. You get one mother. And I had spent so much time judging her..that I didn’t appreciate her. That shook me to my core and made me grow up and refocus on what’s important. God healed her physically from cancer and our relationship as mother and daughter. When I became a mother, I realized how thankless this job is. All the late nights. Cleaning up dirty diapers, hosptial stays..the changes your body takes…all for a person to still want and need something from you…it’s alot. Also as much as I try I still make mistakes. Being an imperfect mother doing my best makes me appreciate her humaness even more. My mom never judged me. When I made mistakes she simply helped me. I will always be grateful that she let me be me..even if she didn’t agree. I hope to guide my boys the same way. She never lied to me…even when I wanted her to LOL and she allowed me to make “safe” mistakes. I could always come home…and that I knew for a fact.

Woman= life giver.

What do you want your blog readers to take away from HER?

I want them to identify with me. I’d like them to see me stepping out into the unknown and be inspired. I want them to read an interview and say, “today is the day I start working my own vision”.

I know you have longevity in the non profit sector, what major lessons have you learned?

1. Never stop learning

One thing about this sector is there are usually tons of conferences, workshops, monthly meetings etc that you can join if you’re interested. They are also usually pretty economical, because…the base usually isn’t high paid. Also, many of those learning opportunities are lead by inspiring people. It’s great to hear from people that have overcome and learn from their successes and mistakes.

2. Value your team.

I’ve seen the mistakes that can happen when a director doesn’t listen to the team. Many times those in upper management have amazing ideas and goals, but don’t always know how this can be implemented. Top down approaches rarely work; trust that the people who do the work and have ideas that can really make changes work.

3. Lead…even when it’s hard.

Being a leader is difficult. It’s much like being a parent. You want people to do right. Come to work on time, dress and act appropriately, focus on the mission and grow the team. This does not always happen. I was put into a leadership position fairly young and although one coworker respected the position, they didn’t respect me. This was very difficult because I was young and really wanted everyone under me to like me. I had to have tough conversations a few times with that subordinate and although it never got easier…it was my job. Had I not corrected their behaviors my boss would have gotten me together.

I also experienced a job where the supervisor was essentially afraid to lead. All kind of chaos abounded because those who want to disrupt the system can smell fear. They smell it and manipulate the leader and the situation. It makes a hostile work environment.

If anyone knows anything about you is how much you love your boys. What lessons are you instilling in them about life, love, and women?

1. Be your own person before joining with someone else. Relationships are so important and if you don’t partner with the right person it can make your life miserable. It can also sidetrack you from your purpose so take that seriously. Who you spend time with ultimately shapes who you become.

2. Follow God. I pray with and over my children ever single day. It’s why I put partnering first as well. We partner with God, He doesn’t do anything without our permission. It’s a choice to go through life following His Word.

3. Try your best, do your best.

When things are difficult for us we tend to either totally avoid it or begrudgingly start the task. I’m working on getting the boys focused on going into tasks with a positive mindset.

Also, the opposite is true when tasks appear to be eaiser for us. We tend to rush through those tasks taking them for granted because they are “easy”. This can lead to unnecessary mistakes.

The four kings!! My boys!

What advice would you give to your 21 year old self?

Your perfectionism is a ruse. You think of yourself in terms of grades and accolades but those are truly small tenets of who you are and your capability. Stop trying to make others proud of you; focus on what you feel God is telling you. Stop being so judgemental. Being humble is a gift…and being humbled by God will come quicker than you can know if you don’t rethink some things.

How has relationships with women impacted who you are as a person?

When I was in middle and high school…I hated women Lol I believed all the negative stereotypes about women and only had a handful of female friends during that timeperiod. When I arrived in college (being baptized just the summer before at 17), I came seeking positive female friendships. Why? Because I spent the summer before studying the Bible with a friend and also being mentored by an older woman. I saw the value and power of having healthy, whole women speak into my life. I wanted to challenge and completely dismantle my old thoughtlife and gift that to other women. That started out as HIS (Heavenly Inspired Sisters) Bible Study. HIS turned into life-long or at least life-altering friendships that I always cherish.

“today is the day I start working my own vision”.

Where do you see HER in 5 years?

As I stated earlier, I want to have a full fledged business empowering women. I became a certifed life coach in 2016. I have worked in various capacities empowering women and teens, but always worked for other organizations. I loved what I did, but also was bound by certain restrictions because it was never mine. I helped create a lot of programs from the ground up (which I am extremely proud of), but I’d like to create something and execute it fully how I think and believe it should be done. I would like to host an annual empowerment conference. Host quarterly workshops and write at least two books over the next five years.

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