Empowerment Session/Rebranding -Virginia’s Interview
Alicia-What is one thing that you’ve learned about life that somebody can benefit from?
Virginia-One specific thing I have learned through networking is to identify shame that doesn’t belong to you. Be open and vulnerable to the shame that doesn’t belong to you.
Virginia-Putting myself out there became less scary when I realized it’s okay to share what I’ve been through because it literally affects how I approach life and it’s okay to open yourself up and let people know you what know this happened but it’s okay I’m alive. I am progressing, and I’m learning everyday to take a step forward. That process really started for me when I realized that it’s okay to let people know you feel broken, but I also felt like I needed to hide that.
Virginia- The energy it took to hide something that I shouldn’t have been hiding, I had no need to hide. It was so emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually draining.
Virginia-Just those first steps. Saying it’s okay to give light to this thing that is my truth. That’s something I learned from reading “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown. She speaks about bringing light to all the negative things we try to hide. I learned it’s okay to share your experience and it’s helped me to not feel like I’m drowning trying to hide things.
Alicia- There two things that stood out to me, you said not carrying the shame. Being able to let that go and understanding that it doesn’t belong to you. That’s huge. Also, you said the energy it takes to hide, wow. That’s beautiful. I’m so thankful that you shared that. I think we hide because it’s scary to talk about things that we feel vulnerable about. I just feel like that’s a very freeing and loving thing to do for us.
Virginia-And you have to find a safe place to say it and also be ready for pushback from ears that don’t want to hear it. But I’m no longer holding it in for fear of what they might think about me. They are the people who are not safe to share. Why engage with someone who doesn’t want to understand.
Alicia- Okay, what’s one thing that you’re very proud of?
Virginia- I’m really proud of the fact that I’m still married.
Alicia- Yeah, it’s hard.
Virginia- 20 years with another imperfect person. I’m really proud of that and enjoying it because we are so different.
Alicia- Wow, yeah. Agree to disagree. My husband is reading Dave Ramsey and he’s shared with me that if two people who are alike married, one person would no longer be necessary. It brings balance. Okay, the last thing because you are in the financial industry. What’s the best advice you can give to women about finances? What are some of the most important things to know about finances?
Virginia- Sit down with someone have a conversation. You will find you may need to start in a different area than you’d think. Some people are just frozen, stuck in debt. Just sit down with someone and answer honestly. I need to know everything, no hiding. I want my advice to be valuable. People get ashamed of finances, there’s a lot of vulnerability in opening up about them. There are so many negative feelings when it comes to finances. That needs to change.
Alicia-Yes there is. What is the biggest thing you find women have trouble with in finances?
Virginia-Thinking they don’t have enough money to save. You don’t set aside for yourself, what’s left for you? You can’t wait until retirement to pay yourself. Start now. No matter if you’re 20 or 50. We all have the money. It’s just a matter of sitting with someone to say here’s what you have and here’s what you can do. Don’t think you have to wait to have more money to start saving.
Alicia- Yes, when you think too much about it you start thinking you can use that money for this or that.
Alicia- So the last question. Did the photo shoot meet your expectations? I know you were a little nervous.
Virginia-I was a lot nervous!
Alicia- Most women are. We don’t have pictures of ourselves up, family vacations everyone else is in them except us. It’s like our history doesn’t exists. I feel like we need to change that, we deserve to exist. So how did this experience change your thoughts about “Oh I can’t do this.”
Virginia- When you posted my two teaser pictures I was like “Oh no!” But so many people commented on them saying I looked beautiful. And I noticed the next few days in the mirror I told myself “Yeah I am cute!” It was nerve-wracking to be out there but the compliments just made me feel like okay it’s not that bad.
We cover up things we are ashamed of like maybe our mom bodies, our finances or some traumatic event. We fear being judged or looked down on. But letting go of that fear and accepting things as they are, ourselves as we are and moving past some more difficult parts life takes courage. Putting yourself out there, in the spotlight and being open and vulnerable isn’t as bad as we make it up in our minds. Looking into the camera, head held high because even though we have felt broken and have things we ‘ve gone through we may feel nobody relates to we are still here today standing with more wisdom and strength than before. If you are nervous or hesitant to want to get that new business portrait done or haven’t been in front of a camera in a while. Why are you hiding? You will see yourself in a whole new light. We are allowed to take up space and exist!
Edited and Summarized by Raquel Solorio