Here we go! I’m incredibly proud to finally launch the No Evil Movement. After working long & hard to develop this project for the past 5+ years, it’s surreal to be sharing this with you.
Each week, Hear Cee Speak will be featuring kickass women, along with their own stories and experiences. No topic is off-limits here. My hope is to bring people together by sharing unique, real, and raw stories from people of all backgrounds. By opening ourselves up to vulnerability, we can create something beautiful together.
To kick it off, I’ve asked Lisa, 29, five questions about what inspires her – and also about some of her biggest fears.
What’s the 1 thing that keeps you up at night?
Right now, in the wake of a historical election that has deeply divided our country, empathy is what keeps me up at night. From thinking about my own ability to be empathetic to different opinions, lifestyles, and needs, to realizing the world’s seeming inability to see past their own needs and truly be empathetic to others.
I carry a lot around in my head and in my heart all day long. My environments show me struggle and success daily in the form of talking heads on TV and in podcasts, to reading Facebook posts and RSS feeds – both scare me and inspire me regularly. But none of those particular things keep me up at night in the way that my own thoughts do as I consider the state of humanity’s ability to care for one another in a meaningful way.
Who’s your biggest inspiration and why?
This may seem corny, but I have to say my husband, Nick. He is the polar opposite of me in some ways that bring out the best in me, and he supports me in ways that no one ever has (thanks to his wonderful family for raising him to be this person, you’re the real MVPs).
I look up to so many strong leaders in business, tough females that I can only hope to be one day, writers, musicians, and I feel inspired by them daily in various ways. But if I had to pick one person who embodies true love for this Earth, for the people in it, for tolerance, for art and creativity, I’d have to say it’s Nick. He is my biggest inspiration because I spend every day growing because of him, his good heart, and kind soul.
If you could go back in time at any point in your life, what words of advice would you give yourself?
Dear past-Lisa, You can’t control everything! Life is going to happen in ways that make no sense, no matter how much you plan for them.
You’d have less gray hair at 29 if you stopped worrying about what car you were going to buy at the same age 3 years too early. You’d have fewer migraines all throughout college if you stopped worrying about what job you were going to have after graduation (and you’re going to have about 5 different jobs between then and now anyway). Future Lisa is still learning this, but it may be easier if you start teaching yourself to remain as inwardly confident as you are outwardly.
Control the things you can – your diet, your drinking, your budget – and let go of the things you can’t – other people’s emotions and decisions, the weather, the new Coheed & Cambria album – and you’ll be a happier and better person to yourself and your friends in the long run.
Talk about the three products that automatically make you feel confident.
My number one is a great pair of heels. I’m only 5’3″, and nothing makes me feel like a badass babe the way a great pair of shoes does. Give me a high knee boot, a leather bootie, a summertime wedge, or a strappy stiletto – anything will do.
My number two is Mademoiselle by Chanel, gifted to me by my college roommate and long-time best friend for my wedding day.
And my number three is deodorant – because nothing kills confidence like a stinky pit.
What’s a difficult time that you had to overcome, which you originally thought you couldn’t? How did you overcome it/learn to live with it?
I alluded to this above, but I’ve struggled with knowing what my career path would be for a long time. I’d had so many experiences in college causing me to switch my major. I thought I needed something where I can have practical skills with job-flexibility because I didn’t know what I wanted out of my education (or my life) at 22 years old. With that uncertainty came unhappiness, and I’ve struggled to stay happy at any career I’ve had since graduation.
Call it a privilege, call it millennial irrationality (or a combination of the two, which I would agree with), or whatever you would like. Whatever its identity is, it’s not a good feeling.
The most difficult time of my career came with a decision to quit a corporate job with no backup plan almost two years ago. I chose to resign from the job after seeking counsel from my fiance (now husband) who assured me that I could do it and it would be okay for my family right now. Having a fully employed partner, no children, low bills, and access to his company’s healthcare, I was lucky enough to make that decision.
The tough time didn’t come from finding a new job – I found a company that aligns with my views, with respectful, intelligent employees from different experiences who have taught me so much. I repeat, I am lucky.
The tough time surrounded my decision in the first place. What was I doing? Who was I letting down? What would people say about me, especially the people I respect and look up to? What about people who don’t have this option, am I offending them? I didn’t tell anyone for 3 days due to embarrassment and guilt. I felt like I wouldn’t be understood, and could barely understand who I was at that time. I suppose I haven’t fully overcome this, but I live with it every day with open eyes and an open mind. I console friends who are going through similar things, and I stay aware of my ability to change my life and do positive things for those who don’t always have that opportunity.
Lisa is 29 and lives by the beach with her husband and cat named Maebe. When she’s not working for a small start-up in Red Bank, NJ, she’s kicking back with dark beers & friends, tinkering with her fantasy team, or testing out a great recipe.