Today I’m kicking off a new series that I’m super duper excited about, and I can’t wait to tell you more about it and get started!
I’ve been wanting to do more collaboration and features on my blog like I used to for Self-Love Saturday, but I wasn’t sure how to do it until a few months ago. I decided I wanted to focus on connecting people and sharing our stories because I firmly believe we’re all much more alike than different.
So welcome to my newest series, This Is Me! These posts will come out every other Saturday, and I’m so excited to introduce (or maybe reintroduce) some awesome people that I know from real life or the internet in general. Some are people I know really well, and some are people I haven’t talked to much but have creeped on from afar (#sorrynotsorry).
I think it’s really cool that I’m interviewing my sister, Emily Ballou, first. We’ve been through a lot together in our lives, especially being seven years apart, but I’m really grateful for how our relationship has grown. We’re opposites in a lot of ways, but I think we’re getting more similar in other ways as we both get older. Ladies and gents, this is my sister!
This Is Me: Emily Ballou
Share a little about yourself, your background and what you’re doing now.
When I thought about what I wanted to say about myself, my job was the first thing that came to my mind. For those of you who don’t know I work with kids/adults who have cognitive/developmental deficits that cause them to have severe behavioral issues. It’s the most difficult but most amazing thing I’ve ever done. I also really really like tacos.
Have you discovered your purpose, or what keeps you focused on potentially discovering it?
I don’t really think anyone has one single purpose but if we’re really being technical here, the biggest one for me is making a difference and always doing something that matters. I have the opportunity every day in my job and just in life in general and it helps me tremendously to help other people.
Thinking about your life now, is it what you always imagined you’d be doing? Why or why not, and what have you learned because of that?
Absolutely. I think most people in my life know how important what I do is for me. The biggest passion in my life has always been the field I work in. I’ve been told a million times from people I know that they couldn’t do my job. But I have the ability to help people who desperately need it and that’s so fucking cool.
What’s something you desperately want other people to know or realize that may help them in their lives?
I typed and retyped this over 15 times. There’s so many things I could say but I think I’ll stick with this: Don’t spend your life chasing people. It is so easy to think that you NEED someone, I’ve struggled with that for a long time. But at the end of the day, you are the only one who decides your worth. Not a significant other, not your parents, not your boss. We accept what we think we deserve. You deserve more than people who leave. Don’t chase them, find people who deserve everything you have to offer.
When we encounter challenges in our lives, we can choose to run from them or to them. What have you learned from either of those ways of thinking in your own life?
Honestly, I’ve done both. It’s so much easier to ignore them and that’s what I’ve done for a long time. But that doesn’t fix the issue, does it? You will spend so much more time worrying about what could happen than you ever will just owning up to your shit and doing what you can to change a bad situation.
What do belonging and connection mean to you, and how do you incorporate that into your life and/or business?
We all have an innate want to belong and connect with those around us, it’s human instinct really. I guess I might have a different opinion than most on this but I don’t think it matters to belong anywhere. We try so hard to fit in and connect with people that we aren’t even authentic with ourselves. Honestly, people are shit. I’ve found that just being happy and content with myself is enough for me. Obviously I have connections in my life and that’s great but I also don’t need validation from anyone or anything. That took a long time but trying to fit in or belong somewhere is just a band aid. Rip it off.
How have self-care and self-love played a part in your journey so far?
I don’t like to shove myself in a box and try to be a certain way. That’s been the biggest thing for my growth. Knowing who I am and what I’m capable of. I don’t think I would call anything I’ve done “part of my journey,” though. I’m just here, living and doing what I can to really question myself and understand why I do something or what made me feel that way.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Always be doing something that matters.
Photo courtesy of Emily Ballou