Welcome to This Is Me Thursdays! To read other posts in this series, click here. If you want to be involved, please email me for more details! Today, learn more about Athena Winterich, someone I’m so glad I connected with on social media in the last few months!
I honestly can’t remember exactly how we connected with each other, but I think it’s because we’re both part of the Patreon Facebook group for the Girl’s Girls Community of podcasts. I remember there had been a group post where people added their Instagram handles, and I followed her on there a while ago. We recently became Facebook friends officially. Yay for connections over technology/social media! I’m really excited for both you and me to learn more about her because I think she’s so genuine and lovely and wonderful and honest and vulnerable, which I truly, deeply appreciate. Visit her website, personal Instagram, business Instagram and Facebook page, and let her know you saw her post here!
This Is Me: Athena Winterich
Share a little about yourself and what you’re up to these days.
Hi there! I’m Athena Winterich, and I live in Houston, Texas with my husband, 15 year old daughter, 18 month old son (not a typo!), and our three dogs Molly, Phoebe and Jack White named after, you guessed it, the lead singer of the former White Stripes. I’m a busy entrepreneur, wedding photographer, avid runner and wanna be chef.
What does life purpose mean to you? Does it really exist for you/all of us, or is it just some pipe dream?
I was recently approached with this question from (another!) very wise woman I know, and gave it some serious thought. Why are we here? What is the point?
I mean. Reeeeally think about it. Why are *you* here? I sat alone with this thought for a while and determined that my life purpose is to Be The Example. Be the example of kindess. Compassion. Strength. Restraint. I want to be the example for everyone around me. In person, in text, offline and online.
And as for others, I do think everyone has a life purpose. I also think maybe other people become afraid of not fulfilling their “life’s purpose” because they have some grandiose idea of what that really is, when in reality it could be just as simple as being a really good human being.
What motivates and inspires you in your life?
I’m lucky to be friends with a group of successful women who always keep me motivated and inspired. I also want to be able to afford my lifestyle (which I constantly joke is a champagne taste on a beer budget) so that’s another motivational factor as well. I also want my kids to know their mother as a strong, successful, take no sh*t business lady. Basically I want to be Leslie Knope mixed with Kat Stratford from Ten Things I Hate About You.
Is what you do now what you always imagined doing? Why or why not, and what have you learned because of that?
Omg, no. I definitely NEVER thought I would be an entrepreneur and freelancer. To be fair though, as a child I never really nailed down a perfect career and instead dreamed of being a figure skater…as a Texan….so why not become self made? Equally as wild and (maybe? Probably not lol) almost as hard. Because being your own boss is SO, SO, SO hard y’all. Remember how it feels when you wake up at 8am under your warm blankies, and it’s raining and your cat is all snuggled at the foot of the bed and you’re like, “UGH. Why do we need paper money, society is a construct, let’s go back to the barter system” etc etc?
Well. As your own boss, guess what? Technically you don’t *have* to! Sounds great, right? IT IS! Until you can’t pay your light bill, you have no food and can’t afford new tires. Being in charge of finding your own money can be a daunting task, and I have definitely learned how to manage my time better, hustle up clients, and be patient.
What’s something you desperately want other people to know or realize that may help them in their lives?
That you’re allowed to change! Change is growth, and it’s so important for us to remain flexible and open. It’s okay to shed old ideas and mindsets, especially those we may have adopted from close minded people. Sometimes I feel like people cling to their outdated ideals because the thought of something new is scary – but it’s okay! Take a risk, try something new. It’s amazing how light you will feel after throwing off the weight of something that is no longer serving you.
How do you define belonging and connection, and how have your definitions changed over time?
To me, belonging and connection mean to be an active participant in the lives of people I’m a part of. I have a great network of close friends and family, and it’s very important to me to maintain those relationships. I think that even as a young child, I’ve always felt like I’ve been able to easily connect to most people, so forming friendships has typically come easy to me #humblebrag. Not that any of this means I was or am super popular –I was actually a weird kid who liked to hang out in the woods and play Little House on the Prairie BUT the important thing is that I found my little tribe of weirdos to play it with.
I also don’t, “Sit where I have to bring my own seat” – which, if you’re not familiar with the term, means to recognize your own self-worth. I learned early on that if we don’t vibe, or our relationship is forced or becomes one sided, it’s not worth my mental energy to chase you or force my way into your life.
What’s something you make sure to do every day/week/month that helps you practice self-care and self-love?
I sleep in till like, 11am once a week. My incredible husband wakes up with the kids, locks the bedroom door and I have the entire bed and all four of its pillows to myself and its amaaaazing. I also run, which is a love/hate thing but I truly do view it as self care because when I’m done I feel amazing and I don’t want to snap in a fit of road rage (traffic is so bad here y’all) as much. I also take time to have girl’s nights with friends at least twice a month which is pure and 100% nourishment for the soul.
How do you define success in your life and/or business?
I think I define success as being content. I can always be more successful, have more money, more status, etc but I’m beginning to realize I don’t want to participate in the never ending chase of More. Success to me is owning my own home, being able to feed and clothe my children, take a vacation once a year and being able to afford life’s little luxuries. Like wine with a screw cap (those are fancy now!), good bras and just some damn disposable income to throw away at Target once or twice a month. If I died tomorrow I would feel content in the knowledge that I did my very best to provide a great life for my kids and family.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Yes! My favorite quote. It goes like this:
“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”– Rumi
This is the next tattoo I’m going to get, but not the words. The pictures. You become a lamp to light the way for someone who is struggling in the dark. You become a lifeboat to help someone sinking down into the depths. And a ladder, to help someone climb out of a deep hole. These three things are a constant reminder in the back of my head to live my life as a compassionate, non judgmental human being who is just another person on this gigantic planet out in the middle of outer space. I hope someone else reads it and it resonates with them just as much!
Photo courtesy of Athena Winterich