Welcome to the first Real Women Wednesday. This is a new series I have started to empower and inspire women. Every Wednesday I will feature a Q&A with a remarkable woman who I’ve connected with. I hope this series will inspire women to ignite the fire within themselves and remind women that we’re all divine beings who should work together instead of against one another.
The first woman I am featuring is an east coast miss named Alyssa Walsh. Alyssa is from my hometown and she’s doing incredible things like starting her blog Life with Lyss. I admire how Alyssa speaks openly about life and what she’s going through. She is an amazing role model for women and girls and I can’t wait for you to meet her.
So, it’s my pleasure to introduce “life with lyss“
Tell me five things I don’t know about you
Oh man well for one I’m super glad this Q&A is via email and not in person so I can think about these questions…I.E.,
- I like having time to gather my thoughts, I’m not the best at thinking on my feet!
- I frickin love chocolate.
- I frickin love dogs
- I’m very easily pleased (smiles, free food (chocolate), animals (dogs), a hug)
- I love adventure! Travel and movement of all types, the best way to learn!
Where is home for you?
By any ocean in Nova Scotia. Ideally the south shore or Cape Breton but I feel at home by the salty water with my best and closest peeps.
You’re in need of some alone time, where do you go?
Probably the above! Or a nice run/workout with my headphones. I like to be moving when I’m having my alone time because it helps me think, as well as blocking out any unnecessary noise.
What has been the happiest moment of your life?
Frig. What hasn’t been…It sounds cliché but I have those moments a lot (refer to being easily pleased). I guess if I’d have to choose thus far it would be watching the sun go down over Budapest while enjoying a drink with my absolute best friend and soul mate.
In that moment everything was right, I had no worries, I was learning and traveling, just simple bliss. Also the day I finished my physics course was cool because I really struggled with that and felt uber triumphant.
Think back to your childhood… what memory came to mind?
Bonfires in my backyard with the other neighborhood kids. Smells of fresh cut grass and wood smoke, salty skin from the sun, water and sweat throughout the day, the mix of warm summer air turning into a cooler summer night, tangled hair and sore bellies from laughter.
Where do you feel the happiest?
Outdoors, amongst trees or by water, ideally with Colin (my boyfriend), my family, my best friends, or all of them. Ideally disconnected without cell service, nearing sundown with a picnic and lots of stories and connection.
What does being a woman mean to you?
I’ve thought about this question a lot (probably too much) and the thing that keeps coming to mind is that,
To me being a woman means being a frickin hybrid of a human. Especially in today’s day and age (not at an ideal place yet, of course, but growth for sure). Women are badass! We can grow humans for one (while doing a slew of other things at the same time), we are powerful business women and workers, artists, everything under the sun. We have the ability to go wherever and do whatever (almost) that anyone else can. Women’s fashion is at a peak (in my opinion) where we are able to express ourselves in so many different ways. And we’re specially engineered to be these caring, empathetic, multitasking, baby growing, and food producing geniuses.
Women are amazing to me, and as I grow older I’m just so proud to be one. I know a lot of women near and far (unfortunately) feel and are held back by society for a number of reasons and I believe we need to continue to push through that, but I’ve been so fortunate to have wonderful support groups and opportunities that as a woman I feel like the world is my oyster and I’m unstoppable! And I can’t wait for the day that all women feel that.
How do you think we (as women) can help build friendships/relationships instead of competition between ourselves?
- TALKING. This is something I’m really trying to advocate for via my own social media and actions recently. I think the best way to drive out competition (the unhealthy kind; jealousy etc.) is through honest conversation.
The more we focus on what’s real and what’s right, the less we’re driven to focus on a perfect body, pose, story, or life. I think there always needs to be an element of competition within you and throughout life. Always strive to do and be better of course, but that feeling shouldn’t be direct towards your allies, your fellow women, and men. The closer we can all connect the more we all grow and that comes when we strip it down to our core similarities and feelings.
She got a university degree at 65. Because she could. . To all women. Loud and shy, harmed or unharmed, those in power and those struggling to find their voice, those who have had continual support and those fighting to get it. To all women and their supporters, to those who identify as women or those who don’t. Thank you. I’m so endlessly thankful for all those who influence me to speak up, and fight back, those who have been able to show me what equality looks like, and what I’m capable of. I’m thankful for seeing both of my parents be successful, my grandmother, who stayed at home her whole life, go to school. But I’m also thankful for my boyfriend who treats me like gold, but can also treat me as an equal. I’m blessed that I’ve been able to live well as a woman, and experience minimal discrimination because of those around me and before me, and I’ll continue to strive for ZERO gender discrimination and speak for the millions who still experience it. ✊?❤️ . . #happyinternationalwomensday #influencers #leaders #strong #women
By this I mean things as simple as not hiding feelings, not pretending things are something other than/better than what they are, not feeling the need to fix yourself or hide something for fear of rejection. These things will drive more connection than separation and it’s in these days where we all have digital, enhanced personalities that this needs to be emphasized and exercised more than ever.
How do you work on yourself and improve your mental health?
Writing and asking for help. The worst thing I ever did for myself was hold off on asking for help for fear of feeling judged or stupid. I used to only text my boyfriend/friends about my feelings of anxiety/sadness late at night after I was alone at home, I thought that was talking about it. It wasn’t until Colin told me that he wouldn’t speak to me about it until I confronted him face to face that I was able to (very difficultly) speak my mind in front of him, and from there on it got easier bit by bit. I was able to begin talking about my days and feelings to my family, go see a therapist and get help, and now it’s second nature! I write every morning and night and I talk openly about situations that make me anxious, by handling it little by little every day instead of sitting heavy with my feelings I am able to improve so much more!
The worst thing I ever did for myself was hold off on asking for help for fear of feeling judged or stupid. I used to only text my boyfriend/friends about my feelings of anxiety/sadness late at night after I was alone at home, I thought that was talking about it. It wasn’t until Colin told me that he wouldn’t speak to me about it until I confronted him face to face that I was able to (very difficultly) speak my mind in front of him, and from there on it got easier bit by bit.
I was able to begin talking about my days and feelings to my family, go see a therapist and get help, and now it’s second nature! I write every morning and night and I talk openly about situations that make me anxious, by handling it little by little every day instead of sitting heavy with my feelings I am able to improve so much more!
Tell me about a woman that inspires you
I’m so lucky that I have a hard time answering this question! There are numerous inspiring women in my life. I have to go with the classic answer and say, my mother, Valda.
Although we can be rather opposite sometimes, it’s often her counter opinion that teaches me and broadens my views. My mom has always been a strong minded, caring, and hard working woman. Growing up in a home where both of my parents worked I think offered me a lot more than I knew. Seeing my mom working hard, applying knowledge and doing all other motherly things on top of that such as raising 3 kids, volunteering and driving me to every practice under the sun was inspiring to me to know that I too can do multiple amazing things and succeed. My mom will be the first person I turn to with anything, even when I know her opinion may be opposite of what I want to hear.
The thing I admire most is her ability to be slow to anger and to not pass judgment when you tell her something. She is able to step back and view things objectively a lot of the time and then bring subjective-ness/emotion in afterward which I admire.
My mom can handle so much emotionally at once and is such an anchor for our family and others that way. I could probably write about her forever so I’ll stop now but yeah, my mom inspires me every damn day.☺
What words of wisdom did someone important share with you?
My dad once told me “be confident, but never cocky” and it has stuck with me ever since. To me, it resonates as just never doubting yourself, knowing you can do anything and are capable, but also never thought you’re superior. Never doubting others in their ability to help you grow and learn, you can be confident in yourself and abilities but you can’t do most things without the help of others, even others you sometimes wouldn’t think of as being an asset.
What do you think the biggest challenge is that women face today?
Probably being taken seriously, unfortunately. There is no worse feeling of raising an idea or entering a conversation and being shut down or shut out because your opinion is “too ambitious” or your voice isn’t significant enough.
How can we change this?
Persistence (and a dash of grace)!
It can be awkward, it can be disheartening; to repeat yourself and call back and show up, but by refusing to be shut down and by working hard to show what you know you’re capable of, people will eventually listen. And when you do so in a respectful, kind, but powerful manner it makes an impact, no matter how big or small the situation. And I’m so thankful I’ve had strong influences that have allowed me to adopt that lesson and apply it.
If you could tell a teenage girl/young adult one thing, what would you say to them?
For the love of God be yourself and roll with it.
I think a main reason I’m the woman I am today; confident, and positive, and optimistic, is because I finally accepted who I was. Throughout my teenage years I always felt awkward, just always missing “something” that the other girls had, I’ve never felt like I’m a great “girl”, I’m not good at upkeep of my hair, I can’t spend money on good products or clothes and when I do I still feel out of place, I often feel too muscular, not dainty, I say things out of context, I laugh a lot and can be loud, I eat a ton.
I could go on, and we all could, but an important moment for me was accepting those things instead of trying to change them; growing and working on what I DO HAVE and focusing less and less on what I “lack”. And I’ve benefitted from it, I’ve noticed my social life become better, I realize I often only attract or meet like minded people because I’m no longer holding back my thoughts or trying to portray things I’m not.
I’m an open, loving, bubbly, excited, fit, adventure seeking, science loving/learning gal with a passion for life! And when you embrace who you are the world all of the sudden becomes one giant opportunity for you, because you have clear visions of what you want and who you are and the rest fades into the background.
Hello, Molly again. I just want to say the biggest thank you to Alyssa for wanting to take part in Real Women Wednesday. I’ve received so much positive feedback when I announced this series and it fills my heart with an overwhelming amount of joy. If you’d like to be featured on Real Women Wednesday, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to me on social media. My handle is @thebookofmolly.