MEET MANDY

AN INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL who believes in finding the right balance between pushing past her comfort zone and PRACTICING self-care

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ON FORGING HER PATH as an independent professional:

"Starting The Glossary was a really large transition for me. Shortly after I moved to Chicago, I was working at a marketing firm and I felt overworked, stressed, and underwhelmed creatively. I knew I could not continue on that path, but I also knew that I had to find something exciting and inspirational that could be paired with freelance work. When most people graduate from college, they search for their dream job and get questioned by every person in their life about where they are working. Starting something of my own right after school seemed both unconventional and scary, but also so, so right.

"I REALLY ENJOY WORKING WITH PEOPLE, BUT NOT WORKING FOR PEOPLE... my love of independence and attention to detail drew me in the direction of creating my own business."

I really enjoy working with people, but not working for people. Maybe this stems from my personality type or that my mother has always owned her own business, but my love of independence and attention to detail drew me in the direction of creating my own business. Starting The Glossary has transformed my life into something truly beautiful. Yes, it is stressful and often times terrifying to solely trust in myself, but I have met so many incredible women. I get to travel to bring people together and I could not think of anything better than that."

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ON FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN LIVING OUTSIDE OF HER COMFORT ZONE AND GIVING HERSELF TIME TO REST & RECHARGE:

"With all of the upsides of running The Glossary, there is definitely a facet of operating outside of my comfort zone. I am an introvert that has suffered from anxiety most of my life. Panic attacks are a regular activity for me. Public speaking seems like the end of the world. Pajamas are my best friend and I love hanging out in my bed. Yet, The Glossary forces me (in a good way) to interact with large groups of people, speak at events, and create a space for women to meet all over the world. Those aren’t necessarily activities that my introverted self ever thought I would be doing.

"I AM AN INTROVERT THAT HAS SUFFERED FROM ANXIETY MOST OF MY LIFE. PANIC ATTACKS ARE A REGULAR ACTIVITY FOR ME. PUBLIC SPEAKING SEEMS LIKE THE END OF THE WORLD. PAJAMAS ARE MY BEST FRIEND AND I LOVE HANGING OUT IN MY BED."

I enjoy responsibility and constantly planning, I love meeting new women, and I feel an air of confidence in myself during events. However, it is not always easy. On a recent trip to New York to host a workshop, I had extreme panic attacks from traveling alone and feeling out of place. While I was able to turn them off during the event itself and I really did enjoy everything at the workshop, I cut my trip short by a day and grabbed a bus to Boston to go stay with a friend. I have learned when my body and mind have had enough, I need to respect those boundaries in order to continuously do what I do.

I think that living outside of my comfort zone has been incredible for me. My social skills have drastically improved, I have found happiness in activities that always seemed daunting to me, I have made powerful relationships, and I get to help people. But I do think that living outside of your comfort zone at all times is not the best thing to do and I am learning to find time to rest and recharge. Discovering the proper balance will always be a work in progress, but I’m enjoying learning along the way.

"I DO THINK THAT LIVING OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE AT ALL TIMES IS NOT THE BEST THING TO DO AND I AM LEARNING TO FIND TIME TO REST AND RECHARGE." 

I think that pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can lead to really amazing experiences, relationships, and successes, but it's all about balance. Personally, I know from experience, that operating outside of my comfort zone consistently for too long of a time can lead to excess stress, anxiety, and a decrease in my health. Sometimes I can't do everything that I would like to, and that's okay. I have come to realize that if I try my hardest then I am happy with that, but I also now know when my body is telling me to stop and I need to listen to that as well."

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ON BEING VULNERABLE AND THE pOSITIVE IMPACT IT HAS ON OTHERS:

"I feel extremely vulnerable by putting myself out there. I have always enjoyed being behind the scenes or working on something where I am not at the forefront. The online portion of The Glossary does not focus on me at all, which is great, but the in-person events revolve around me - at least at the beginning. After years of feeling anxious, self-conscious about my body, and uncomfortable opening up to anyone, the fact that I have created a career where I do have to be at the forefront at times is quite wild. Honestly, I don’t think I would have been able to do what I do even a year ago. By creating a space where I need to be vulnerable, it has taught me that vulnerability acts like a mirror. Once I open myself up to others, they do the same as well."

"BY CREATING A SPACE WHERE I NEED TO BE VULNERABLE, IT HAS TAUGHT ME THAT VULNERABILITY ACTS LIKE A MIRROR. ONCE I OPEN MYSELF UP TO OTHERS, THEY DO THE SAME AS WELL."

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ON true FRIENDSHIPs:

"Friendship breakups straight up suck. While vulnerability has been difficult for me, I have always been extremely open in a few core friendships over the years. I have had people in my life that are closer to me than family and I would do anything for them. I have always been described as the loyal friend, which sometimes comes back to bite me in the ass, because all people operate differently. While I know that some relationships aren’t meant to last forever, a few of my friendships that have ended have left me feeling disappointed, disrespected, and cynical about new people (none of which are things that I want to feel). Yet, when I really think about it, the people that I truly love have been with me for a long time. We understand each other and work at our friendships just like any other relationship. I have learned over the years that a lot of work has to go into creating friendship longevity, and I am grateful for the kind, generous, amazing people in my life. "

"I THINK IT IS SO IMPORTANT TO TRUST YOURSELF, YOUR IDEAS, AND YOUR PASSIONS. THEY MAY NOT ALL WORK OUT, AND I THINK THAT IS COMPLETELY FINE, BUT NOT TRYING AT ALL, IN MY OPINION, WOULD NOT BE BRAVE."

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ON SELF-CONFIDENCE AND BEING BRAVE:

"I don’t think I struggle with being brave, but I do struggle with my self-confidence a lot of the time. I have never been afraid to try and fail, which I equate to bravery. Whenever I have an idea, I make it happen. Once it is created, I can decide if I want to put it out in the world, but I always make it happen. I think that it is so important to trust yourself, your ideas, and your passions. They may not all work out, and I think that is completely fine, but not trying at all, in my opinion, would not be brave."

ON WISHING SHE HAD FOUND HER VOICE SOONER:

"I wish I had learned to find my voice sooner. I wish I didn’t spend years feeling so uncomfortable, unwanted, and undeserving. I wish I would have known that opening up and putting myself out there wasn’t going to be the end of the world. BUT I am discovering that now and it feels good.

Within the past three or four years, I have become more comfortable with myself, which has allowed me to share my voice and let more people into my life. I had an abusive childhood, which really made me close myself off from nearly everyone. I would barely talk and I would keep everything to myself. I felt ashamed and unwanted, living very much inside my head. 

"I WISH I HAD LEARNED TO FIND MY VOICE SOONER. I WISH I DIDN'T SPEND YEARS FEELING SO UNCOMFORTABLE, UNWANTED AND UNDESERVING. I WISH I WOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT OPENING UP AND PUTTING MYSELF OUT THERE WASN'T GOING TO BE THE END OF THE WORLD. I AM DISCOVERING THAT NOW AND IT FEELS GOOD."

When it was time for college, I wanted to get pretty far away from my life and ended up attending school in Boston. Not knowing anyone or the city at all, allowed me to have a fresh start. It definitely took some time, I didn't just show up in Boston and become an extrovert. But over the first few years, I let some really close friends into my life, got into a really amazing relationship, and began feeling much more comfortable in my skin. It's still a work in progress, but I am leaps and bounds ahead of where I was a few years ago.

Yes, I still question myself and I hear that little voice in my head, but I can recognize the successes I've achieved, how much I have grown, and the people who love me. It is still extremely important for me to have some alone time though, whether that be taking myself out to breakfast dates, cooking a great meal for myself, while my boyfriend is at work, or visiting my favorite local businesses."

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ON THE FEAR OF NOT DOING ENOUGH:

"Most of the work that I do is not for myself. I did not create The Glossary for myself, I created it for others. So at certain times in my day, I question if I am doing enough for them. However, I know that I am trying my hardest, so at the end of the day that is what I really reflect on. I’m someone who finishes something and immediately moves on to the next thing. I don’t take the time to feel the successes or marinate on my accomplishments. It is something that I am trying to work on, but there is always that voice in the back of my head saying that I’m not doing enough." 


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