I met Caroline
earlier this year through the non-profit
Girls on the Run
. We were both first season coaches and I can tell you we both
learned a lot through the process.
Caroline has a zest for life. She’s got a ton of energy and
excitement for the things that make her happy. Sure, at first it can feel
slightly overwhelming, but the more time I spent with her the more I saw that
Caroline is incredibly genuine, she is unapologetically herself, and her energy
is contagious. Caroline is the first one who took me up on my recent promotion as a paid photographer. The whole experience was a beautiful soft landing for my first professional photography job. Her excitement for the project, the ideas I had, the shots I was capturing...it gave me so much confidence and reassurance that what I was passionate about was also a talent of mine. I could never thank her enough for the way she made me feel in that experience.
Keep reading on to see exactly what I mean when I say that Caroline is passionate and real. You can also find her website here
to read her personal essays and work that's been published.
(If you'd like to hear to the full interview, head over to Soundcloud
to give it a listen.)
What is the most
recent book or article you’ve read that has influenced, encouraged, or
challenged your thinking?
I’m currently reading Big
Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s about living creatively, and being open
to living a creative life. I guess as a freelance writer I feel like I need to
be writing a personal essay every single day or I’m not being productive, and I
need to have my blog constantly updated. This book has taught be to be open,
and that the ideas will come. Elizabeth Gilbert is just a goddess.
Who is an influencer
in your life?
My mom is my everything. She is also sober, and she’s taught
me a lot along that journey. She was an attorney and married to my father. When
my father passed away from cancer she grieved. But then she knew my dad wouldn’t
want to see her in this perpetual state of sadness. So she reevaluated her life,
picked herself up, found love again, found a new passion…They moved to Georgia
on a farm and they rescue animals. She was in a situation where she could have
wallowed and said, “That was my one true
love and now I’m done.” But instead she realized she had a lot of life left
to live and said, “Let’s do this thing.”
My mom is just the greatest person in the entire world.
How do you see her
influence in your everyday life?
Well, I try not to feel sorry for myself. That’s a huge
thing. When I was drinking I definitely got into a hole of thinking, “I’m the girl with no dad. Why me?” My
mom kind of reminds me that everyone has his or her own shit, and that I’m not
any different. She reminds me that I’m not benefiting anyone by using your
dad’s death to feel sorry for yourself.
And she’s just a badass. She’s an attorney turned animal
activist. She could have been happy to go retire on the beach but instead she
wanted to go adopt a bunch of elderly cows!
What does feminism
mean to you?
I was turned off by the word feminism at first. I think it can have a really bad connotation. I
think some people think it means being one of the guys, and I don’t see it that
way at all. It’s being treated equal to men, but still owning that you’re a
Someone once told me I needed to stop wearing pink to work
if I wanted to be taken seriously. And I thought that was so silly. I’m
feminine. I’m giong wear lipstick and pink and I’m still really smart. So I
think feminism is embracing your womanhood.
I think there are a lot of things that guys can do really
well. There are a lot of things women can do really well. I think we’re equal,
and we have these incredible strengths. I think a lot of women feel like they
have to become more masculine to be as good as men. But it’s about owning your
femininity. Or, if you have a masculine side, own that if that’s what’s
comfortable for you. But you don’t need to change to be more manly to be treated
Do you have a
favorite quote or mantra that you live your life by?
I have two right now that are always in my head. One of them
is “every situation is temporary”. I used to look at it through the lens of
having a really bad day, or I was broke to remind myself that the struggle is
temporary. But now, I’m in a very good season of my life. I have a job I love.
I’m planning a wedding. There are these exciting things going on in my life. I
feel very blessed. So now I remind myself that even the good stuff is
temporary, so get off your phone, don’t take things for granted, this moment is
fleeting. I’m learning to be present.
The other quote is, “if it costs you your peace, it’s too
expensive”. I was in a job I didn’t like for a very long time, simply because
it made financial sense. I had an office job like all my friends and I was
trying to be this big city professional. And I was more comfortable financially
then, but so unhappy everywhere else. All I did was wait for the evening when I
was done with work. Sunday nights I would dread going to work on Monday.
Right now I’m writing, and working at a fitness studio that
I love, and I’m so happy and at peace. I feel like I’m doing exactly what I
want to be doing. And I don’t have as much money, but it’s not costing me my
peace. It’s so important to love what you’re doing. Your job is a big part of
your life. Do something that you love. This year I realized I’d take happiness
over a huge salary any day.
What are you most
One thing I’m extremely passionate about is fitness. When I
got sober I kind of fell into exercise. At first it was out of necessity. My
skin was crawling. I didn’t know how to unwind without wine or vodka. I started
running, and running, and running, and then I was too tired for wine or vodka.
And then I discovered what my body was capable of. I started running half
marathons; I started feeling fit. I’m passionate about teaching people what
their bodies are capable of.
How will you be an
agent for encouraging other people’s health and wellness?
I recently took a part time job at a fitness studio. And now being around people like
trainers and the studio owner-exercise is their life. There’s a mindset of
motivation and high energy. I don’t know in what capacity I want to work within
fitness, but I’m interested in growing in that field.
I have had a lot of friends reach out to ask about exercise
and the studio I work at. But they tell me they want to lose thirty pounds
before they come in to the gym. What I try to do is encourage them to show up
as they are, and to let the exercise change them. You don’t need to change
yourself to start. I want to be a cheerleader for exercise, and show people
that eating healthy is not just to lose weight; it’s to fuel your self with the
right stuff. You don’t have to be in shape to show up at a gym. Come as you
are. Do what you can. And you’ll feel amazing. Just try something. You’ll
discover your power if you just show up and try.
Fill in the blank: I
I am sincere.