40 Over 40 for 2023
"Despite our societal norms, aging is beautiful.
The strength and confidence you earn
PROFESSION: Band Director
What is the best thing about being your age?
Knowing what I know. Being able to sit back and listen. When I was younger I was so eager to do more and learn more that listening wasn't always easy. I was so eager to prove myself that I always had to talk and share my ideas. I still get excited and hyper and can barely contain myself, but I also can sit back and listen to others more.
What hardships have you endured that you feel have made you stronger?
So many they are countless. I was told over and over that I wasn't good enough to major in music, that I wasn't talented enough and didn't have what it takes to succeed. Sometimes I think that made me work harder and harder. It has been fun to prove everyone wrong and to succeed in every way in my profession.
My Dad also always told me I would "be pretty if..." and it was always tied to my weight. I've never been small. I've worked really hard on my self-esteem in that regard. It doesn't help that societal beauty norms are always in your face telling you to be smaller. I also think this has contributed to women's self confidence and our ability to take up space when we are always told to be smaller.
What's your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?
Recently I took the high school band that I teach to New York to play at Carnegie Hall. It was an incredible experience. There were 101 of us on the trip, 86 were students. The process to get there was filled with challenges and there was such growth in the process. The trip was fantastic and my favorite part was being in the moment for the entire trip and soaking it all up. Then standing on stage in New York at Carnegie Hall was simply magical. The students and I were so present and connected it made making music so incredibly special. The concert went beautifully and will be something I will never forget.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Sitting on the beach, watching the ocean with my husband.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I have a son that is a feminist. He constantly teaches me new things and new ways of thinking. Having an adult child that you enjoy is an incredible gift and joy.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Love yourself unconditionally. You are beautiful, loving, strong, powerful and worth it. You are enough.
What is your motto or favorite quote?
"It's kinda fun to do the impossible" – Walt Disney
Words of wisdom to younger women...
Trust yourself. You know what to do and have all the answers. They are all inside you. Despite our societal norms, aging is beautiful. The strength and confidence you earn is invaluable. Don't be afraid to take up space, make your voice heard. You are not "a lot" or "too much," you are you and you are just right exactly how you are.