It's part two in my 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”. Check out the first interview with Andrea here.
My second interviewee is Anne! She is a professional grant writer, fundraiser, travel enthusiast, and peace pursuer. I'm thrilled to share our conversation here.
Katie: Hello Anne! How are you?
Anne: I'm fine, happy to be here!
In my blog, I talk about three things: authenticity, peacefulness, and productivity. Which of those three stands out the most to you?
Anne: I would definitely say peacefulness, because it's what I'm trying achieve these days!
Of those three, would you say peacefulness is the most challenging? Why is that?
Absolutely. I'm in the midst of a lot of life changes right now, I'm buying a house and planning a wedding. I recognize that these are all very big blessings, but they're also very stressful. I'm trying to let go of control right now, and enjoy the waves of my life more than I have in the past. Trying not to be so anxious! I'm doing a lot of yoga.
That's perfect for my next question! Because when do you feel the most peaceful?
Practicing yoga has really been helpful, I'm trying to do it every single day. Breathing techniques really help too. And I've also taken up needle point! Which is very zen for me. You can just sit in front of a movie and do that, and you're not just in front of a computer.
What are three words that’d you pick for this time in your life?
I would say Dynamic, Challenging, and Gratitude.
What three would you pick for your focus today?
Today is more about Productivity, Enjoyment (because it's Sunday) and Focus. I'm going on a business trip soon, so I have a lot of things to do!
What was the first book that really affected you? Why?
Well, I remember James and Giant Peach being the first book that I read in one day. I think it took me 8 hours and I just laid on the couch all day and read it. It was the first book that I was obsessively reading and I couldn't put it down. I think was probably 7 or 8. As more of an adult, Kate Chopin's The Awakening was really big for me. It was the first feminist book I had read. I was in high school, and it really blew me away. It was the first story I had read of a woman who took a different and unconventional path. So much of the books that we were assigned growing up were the classics with male protagonists, and [The Awakening] was such a change from the standard women's role. It definitely opened my eyes to a different point of view.
What is a book that you just read or that you're reading that you recommend? Why?
One of my favorite books in the last couple years was Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart. I recommend it to pretty much every person I meet. It's a dystopian novel, so funny, and so smart. It really nails it on the head of where our society is going. Our use of technology, our focus on money, looks, and materialism.
What do you listen to when you want to feel unstoppable? Why?
*Laughs* That's a really good question! Music for me is a lot of dream pop and folk, stuff that doesn't really feel unstoppable. But, oh ... Prince! It's hard not to feel amazing when you're listening to Prince.
If you knew you couldn't fail, what would you try to do?
I actually feel very strongly that failure is important, and making mistakes is an incredibly important part of life's journey. One of my life philosophies is to do the thing that scares you, regardless of failure. But, if I knew I couldn't fail, I would probably open up a thrift store! That would be my dream life. Own a thrift store and shop for vintage clothes all day.
What is your goal for 2015?
Be the best partner I can be.
This is an imagining question! If your life up to this point was a road, what would it be like, what does it look like?
Very up and down, but going up. Upwards in elevation, and becoming ever more expansive.
Looking forward, can you see what the road looks like?
I see it expanding in front of me! As you grow older, and you know yourself better, you have self confidence and there's more and more in front of you that you can choose from. Your life gets more expansive and richer.
What do you most admire about yourself?
I'm pretty comfortable in my own skin. I think that women in general struggle with self esteem, and there's so much pressure on us to fit into certain boxes. Since I've been in my 30's, I feel happy with where I am.
Who is a formidable woman (fictional/real) that you’d like to be friends with?
*Laughs* I would love to be friends with Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer from Broad City. They bring a lot of joy to my world.
What woman in your life should I interview next?
Thank you so much Anne for sharing your road with me! It was a joy to chat and learn about you. Can't wait to talk to you, Adrienne!