Happy Friday!! This week's Fabulous Female Friday features another amazing lady that I met in college, Vikki Bell! I met Vikki through my husband, because she was a fellow percussionist. One of my all time favorite Vikki quotes is "Life is too short to do the things you don't want to do." That quote is circa 2006, so this was WAY before any of that YOLO nonsense. She is someone I can rely on for honest, genuine advice, and she was one of the first people to really support me, when I decided to pursue my styling business! Love you, Vik!!
"I am currently the Assistant Manager at the Grounds For Sculpture Museum Shop. Before this, I was the Museum Shop Manager at the Old Barracks Museum. I have been at Grounds For Sculpture for nine months, and was at the Old Barracks Museum for three years. I do anything and everything there is to be done in the store--inventory management, merchandising, buying, special events planning, marketing, data analysis, planning proprietary and exhibit merchandise, cultivating relationships with local artisans, and whatever else night pop up!"
1. When do you feel your strongest?
I feel my strongest when I reflect on the tough times I have been through, and realize that I didn't crack. There have been some serious highs and lows throughout my professional life, and though I have indulged in moments of sadness and self pity (c'mon, who hasn't?), I never let them break me. People often don't expect me to be as tough as I am because I am very retiring and passive. Some even make the mistake of reading my nature as weakness, but I know my level-headedness and quiet resilience are strengths, even if they are less obvious strengths than others.
I also felt pretty darn strong when I finished running 100 miles in a month. That made me think I was basically invincible and could do whatever I put my mind to.
2. On your most difficult days, what keeps you going?
I have a list of life goals next to my mirror. Some specific, some broader. Every morning when I wake up and get ready for the day, I am confronted with that list. It helps me stay motivated and on track. When I feel like quitting or giving up in some way, I just think about that list next to my mirror and remind myself of what I actually want from life and what I need to do to achieve those things.
3. What do you value the most in yourself, you relationship with your spouse/partner, and your family?
In myself, I value my honesty with myself. I love the person I have become, but when I recognize something in my own character that needs work, I work on it. I don't run away from it--I meet it head on and try to correct it.
In my relationship with my husband, I value many things (our shared sense of humor, our love for each other, our intellectual debates), but I most value our honesty with each other. We don't hide anything from each other. I feel like our honesty reflects our mutual respect, and I appreciate that.
In my family, I appreciate how much we love each other even though we have ALL become very different people than who we were when we were all living in the same house. No matter what our quirks or oddities or differences, we can still get together and enjoy each other's company. There is real comfort in being with people who remember your younger self.
4. So far, what have been your greatest accomplishment(s)?
Hmm...that's a tough one. I don't have any one traditionally grand accomplishment that I can point to as a monument to my success, but I would say that my greatest accomplishment is my relationship with myself. Growing up, I used to struggle with self-esteem issues, always idolizing others and not appreciating who I was. I don't deal with that anymore. I know who I am, and I am not afraid to be who I am. Even when my life isn't going the way I want it to, I am always happy and confident in my own skin.
Oh, and that time I ran 100 miles in a month. I think that was a big deal for me, too. Did I mention that already?
5. What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell my younger self a number of things, but to quote Oscar Wilde, "Life is too short to be taken seriously." Not sure if that is a direct quote or not, but I still love it. Even now, I have to remind myself of this multiple times a week. My younger self would have benefitted from a little more humor and absurdity in her outlook on life, to have just relaxed and enjoyed the ride instead of trying to follow all of the rules and map out the future. As it is, nothing worked out the way I had expected anyway!
6. What has been your biggest failure, and how have you overcome it?
My biggest failure was probably not being honest with myself about who I was and what I wanted at a younger age. I know I am now who I was then, but if I had learned to let go of living up to the expectations of others--including an outdated younger self-- a little sooner, I would have saved myself some confusion, heartache, and probably a lot of money. But hindsight is 20/20 as they say, and I have overcome this by simply thinking about the present and broadening my future goals. The list next to my mirror is not specific. It is more about general happiness, and knowing what I want in my life to further my happiness. Enjoying the moment was never my strong suit, and moving forward I plan to do more of that!