I'm thrilled to introduce my newest semi-regular series: "A Road of Her Own - Interviews". In this space I'll be speaking with amazing and interesting women. With each interview, I'll be following a chain of admiration, as each friend will pick the next person in line. My blog is all about finding your own path, and I want to talk to these women about their "own road".
Our first interviewee is my dear friend Andrea of The Everyday Soiree. She's a self described "Artist, Cyclist, Feminist, Mother", and is 100% rad. I'm excited to share our conversation here!
Katie: In my blog, I try to focus on three things: authenticity, peacefulness, and productivity. Which of those three stands out the most to you? What does it make you think of?
Andrea: Authenticity. It seems like if you're not authentic, then the other two don't matter.
Of those three, which is the biggest challenge? Why is that?
Authenticity. Being authentic has always been a challenge for me because of insecurities, or being afraid of failure. Also I see how other people are and become enamored with them and how they are. I think "I want that, I want to be like that". But it doesn't work, because it's not true for me.
When do you feel the most authentic?
I don't think it's so much certain times of the day, or certain days, or certain places. It's more there are times in my life when I find a balance and a peacefulness with being myself; and it'll last for however long I allow it to last. A month, a week, 6 months, but I'll always lose it, and then have to re-find it.
What are three words that'd you pick for this time in your life?
Wow, that's a big question ... Creation, truthfulness, and magic.
What three would you pick for your focus today?
Today I was searching. I was calm, and I was wondering.
What was the first book that really affected you?
You know, there were a few. My first that I noticed that I loved reading was Gone With the Wind, and I was 18. I didn't read before that.
Why did it affect you?
Because it the was the first book that made me realize that I liked reading. I fell into the land. I fell into the enchantment of the book, and I read it in two days. I didn't sleep for two days, and I did nothing but read it. I had the first 150 pages down, because I had read those about 6 times, and then I read the last 1500 or so all in once. I haven't re-read it. I claim it as my favorite book and I haven't re-read it. I should really do that!
What is a great book that you just read that you're recommending? Why?
Last summer I read The Cider House Rules for the first time. It was beautifully written and captivating, but more than that it's shocking that the stories are still so relevant, so long after when the book is placed. We're still fighting for access to safe affordable abortions. It's a beautiful story that I highly recommend.
What do you listen to when you want to feel unstoppable? Why?
I listen to Girl Talk, or I listen to Salt n' Pepa. It depends on what kind of unstoppable. If it's a happy unstoppable, then I'll listen to The Ramones, or The Clash. But if I'm feeling like I need to search through it, then I'm not sure. Different things.
If you knew you couldn't fail, what would you try to do?
...so many things. I would try to make a living as an artist. I would open up my own small business. I would probably run away and live in the woods! That was the first thing I thought of.
What's your goal for 2015?
To be happy. To be happy with where I am and what I'm doing. AND, to be places and doing things that make me happy. Both of them, because I feel like they're different.
If your life up to this point was a road, what would it be like, what would it look like?
Traffic. Not other cars, but just lots of obstacles, not letting you go fast, making you take turns. Twists and turns, and maybe fog. It was hard to see where you were going, and you couldn't see what was happening next. But you just kind of hoped the road would still be there.
Looking forward, can you see what the road looks like?
I think it feels open, and a little desolate and scary. But it isn't really foggy anymore.
What do you most admire about yourself?
Probably the things that other people don't like about me! But I admire my passion, and my quickness to react. That I'm very very easily excitable.
Who is a formidable woman (fictional/real) that you'd like to be friends with?
*Laughs* You know who I thought of? I wish I was friends with Ellen DeGeneres! Because she's had such a hard life, and she has the best outlook. She keeps it real and she keeps it positive. She manages to sway people to her beliefs, without being mean. Just slowly and sweetly. I don't know how to be that way. I yell and am like 'listen to me! Why don't you understand!' and you're never going to win anyone over that way.
What woman in your life should I interview next?
The first person who comes to mind is my cousin in New York. She is the toughest person that I know. But I want to pick someone in Austin, so that you're staying here. I don't want you to have a circle of people far away. So, I pick Anne. She's great. She's awesome, and happy in her skin and happy with her life. I admire her a lot.
Thank you SO MUCH for participating Andrea! It was really lovely to chat, and to learn these things about you. Thank you for sharing.