40 Over 40 for 2023
"Take up space, don't let anyone dim your light. Advocate for yourself and your health, nobody knows you or your body better than you!"
PROFESSION: Associate Scientist
What is the best thing about being your age?
I have the knowledge and experiences to enjoy so much more of the world than I did when I was younger. I also play my own song and finally feel free to like the things I like, to be as goth as I want and still love all the brightest flowers. I am excited to revel in the dichotomies of life!
What hardships have you endured that you feel have made you stronger?
I experienced a tragedy that left me gifted with PTSD at 17 years old. I didn't know this and made a life for myself and a very successful career while not understanding a lot of the world around me (I didn't know exactly how much I didn't understand at the time). Approximately 10 years ago things started to unravel and I didn't know why. I found a therapist and started a journey of healing, self discovery and a lot of learning.
I found the strength to get through those 20 years of PTSD while still living a life with friendships and a career, but the real strength I've gained is all the work to look at the hard parts and not shut the door, to learn what life can be without hiding in the safe places, to fail and get back up and go to therapy again to do more of the hard work. I was always a strong person and carry a natural inner strength that can handle a lot, but nothing compares to the strength I've gotten from actively working towards a healthier and happier place for myself.
What's your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?
I don't think I could ever choose a favorite, but standing in the mist at Stonehenge and touching the stones was a major highlight. I am not the best traveler, however my trips to Europe were worth all the stress and difficulty.
What is your most treasured possession?
A quilt made of squares that were sent to all my family members on both my mother and fathers sides of the family when I was born, and then finished by my Grandmother. Its an heirloom I take out of its careful storage every once in a while and just stare at all the hand embroidered squares and soak up the love and time so many people put into a gift to celebrate my birth.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I worked very hard and made my way to Associate Scientist with no more education than a High School Diploma. It's nearly unheard of now and I'm so proud of the work I put out into the world.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Honestly, the care of my skin, hair and body in general. I'm a big fan of a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure and keeping my hair in a healthy state. You will have this skin and body your whole life and it's worth taking care of it.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be yourself, don't worry about others...and don't get bucked off the horses quite so much. We are paying for those injuries now.
What is your motto or favorite quote?
Take a lesson from the mountains, it is our birthright to take up space and be fucking majestic.
Words of wisdom to younger women...
Take up space, don't let anyone dim your light. Advocate for yourself and your health, nobody knows you or your body better than you!