I swapped out leggings for sweatpants at the gym… here’s what happened.

LIVE FROM NEW YORK, ITS….. ME!

If you’re reading this, first off, thank you for your patience. Basically the last few months I’ve been taking a bit of a hiatus at home to regroup and collect myself after the past year away, so I decided to go a bit off the radar.

The next adventure begins in a little over a week and I could not be more excited to share my experiences with you all. However, in the mean time, I have a few fun posts up ahead. Beginning with this one!

For the past week I decided to conduct a bit of a social experiment. It’s no secret that I love the gym. But to my detriment, I seem to consistently pick gyms where the free weight section is occupied primarily by neanderthals.

Before you close out this tab absolutely insulted by that statement, let me clarify that not every human being in this area is a primate. I have made fantastic friendships and had great workouts with guys who have been more than courteous and have even gone as far as become protective over me whenever some guy tries to cross the line with me. But I think I speak for most girls who lift weights that simply entering that area can be terrifying. (Ever wonder why there are “Women’s Only” sections at some gyms?) I would also like to point out that this section of the gym is not just filled with men. However, for the purposes of my little experiment, I solely focused on male behavior.

So for the sake of science, I put aside my v-pricey but v-worth it for being “squat proof” leggings and embraced my inner grub. Here’s what I found.

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I was a WHOLE lot less self aware.

When I go to the gym, I’m there to get a job done. I enjoy every second of it, but I’m zeroed in, focused, and ready to get shit done. By putting away my cute workout outfits, I found I really couldn’t care less what I looked like during my workout. No crop top or snug leggings meant that whenever I was looking in a mirror I wasn’t checking myself out (oh hush, you do it too). I was actually checking my form and paying better attention to what I was doing. Not just that, but I didn’t care about anyone looking at me because I knew they couldn’t possibly be looking at my body considering there was no body to look at. Less looking around meant more time to focus on what I came for: me.

I became one of “the boys”.

When guys approached me, it wasn’t to hit on me or get a better look at me deadlifting. Instead, it was to show me a small tweak I could make to a move I was doing, or to ask if they could share the barbell with me. My favorite thing that happened though is all of a sudden, catcalls were swapped out for encouragement. Whenever I was wiped out and decided to tap out, all of a sudden I had guys cheering me on for one more set. I became an equal. REVOLUTIONARY CONCEPT.

My walks to and from home felt hella safer.

9/10 times whenever I’m heading to the gym, its dark out. Whether that’s really early early morning or 4PM (shoutout to winter round 2 for me) depends on my mood. Either way, there’s something about looking like a complete grub that makes you feel like less of a target. Walking by the construction sight, along busy streets, or just by some men on stoops was so much more of a breeze and silent??? No howling or yelling??? I felt… like a human being and not an object??? Truly wild.

IT DOESN’T MATTER. AT ALL.

Here’s the thing. There were days where I was left in peace, and others where some rude human being still watched me bend over to grab a barbell. Basically, there wasn’t a huge difference.

What I want people to take away from this is at the end of the day: do whatever the hell you want and whatever makes you feel phenomenal. We are not in the 1960’s, trying to be seen as equal by “blending in” with all the other men in the workplace. I am a woman. I am not a man. I enjoy looking the way I do and highlighting those differences.

I found that personally, I felt like a trash can. Does this mean everyone who chooses to wear baggy t-shirts and sweatpants to the gym is garbage? Absolutely not. But my personal experience was that I found myself feeling less like myself. I go to the gym for a confidence boost- not just because of the way I look, but because of how I feel and how I perform. Sometimes tight leggings or a crop top might help with mind-muscle connection. Sometimes you feel a little more aerodynamic when you have tighter clothes. Sometimes I just like how confident I feel in a cute workout outfit. There’s nothing wrong with any of those reasons.

So will I be swapping out my Gymshark for sweatpants anytime soon? Sometimes, when I feel like it! One thing is for sure: my body is still mine to have, enjoy, and feel proud of, and yours to respect. Because no matter what I’m wearing, I am not asking for it. 

Stay kind xx

Things I Learned While Hiring my Replacement

Recently I was asked what it is that I look for in a boss. Well, I look for someone who respects their employees, acknowledges their passion for what they do, and values their knowledge of their role within a company. My current employer is all of these things and so much more, and so when she asked me if I wanted to participate in interviewing candidates to fill my position once I left, I jumped at the opportunity.

I’ve been speaking to a few of my friends who are currently on the job hunt, and many have become so discouraged as they face one rejection after another. Believe me I’ve been there, sending out CV after CV wondering if my degree even means anything. But this was the first time I’ve been on the other side of the interviewing table, and there were a few things that stood out to me that I wanted to highlight.

Everyone is really freaking impressive.

I shit you not. If you’ve been selected to go on to the interviewing stage, pat yourself on the back. The people I interviewed were beyond talented and very qualified for the job, to the point where I was questioning my own qualifications to even be interviewing them. During the screening process, this made it even harder to where we legitimately had to ask almost all of them back for a second interview. As you can tell, I’m really bad at screening.

Interview questions MAKE or BREAK YOU.

As I mentioned before, everyone is so dang impressive. So as an interviewer for a position, you have to find a way to narrow the candidates down. Considering everyone’s answers to my screening questions were so fantastic, I had to make it tougher on the second round. The second I turned up the heat, I knew candidates who had gone through interviews before and handled my questions with ease, and others who were a little more out of practice.

One thing to keep in mind: given that I am so passionate about Diversity and Inclusion, I read up on unconscious bias during interviews before interviewing these candidates and found out that if a hiring professional feels a sense of familiarity with the candidate (ex. similar interests to the person hiring, or someone they know), then they will automatically have an unconscious bias and may ask questions that they forget to ask other candidates, which doesn’t give candidates a fair playing field because someone else might have shined in that particular response if they had received that question. So next time you face a rejection, know that it might not have even been something you said, but maybe something you didn’t get the chance to say.

Don’t be afraid to admit you’re flawed.

Don’t know something about the job? Admit it. Don’t understand a certain term that was used in a question? Ask about it. Unaware of how you’d handle a certain obstacle presented in a situational question? Just say so! You do not currently hold this position. Therefore, there are certain things that you will not intuitively know how to handle just yet. That’s okay! Its not about how quick you are to make something up on the fly. Its about your willingness to learn from you superior or your predecessor, and how ready you are to ask for help when you need it.

One of my questions asked candidates to tell me about a time they were faced with one of their unconscious biases and what they learned from it. I prefaced this with saying that the question was not aimed to have a racially fueled response, but it was okay if that was how they chose to answer it. Some examples I gave them were “Maybe you were walking down the street one night and crossed because you saw a man walking your way; or maybe you were on a plane and felt your ride might be smoother or more turbulent because you realized a woman was the head pilot.”

Many candidates impressed me with their responses, but one candidate truly stood out to me. She insisted she had never had an unconscious bias. This surprised me because she was very knowledgeable about Diversity and Inclusion, , but this answer did not reflect that knowledge. I asked her to reflect a little longer (because it is only human nature to have unconscious biases. Its inevitable). She continued to insist that she did not have any and we moved on.

The reason this was not the ideal answer is because I wanted to find someone who knew they were flawed, able to recognize where it was that they fell short, and find out whether or not they were able to learn something from the experience. Someone who is knowledgeable about themselves in this way and is knowledgable about Diversity and Inclusion is not someone who never has any biases towards any group. Its someone who is able to recognize those biases, catch themselves when they are acting on them, and is willing to relearn what is so deeply ingrained in them to where is has become unconscious.

“You can teach skills, but you can’t teach someone to be a culture fit.”- The Best Boss Ever. 

This is something that my employer put into my head on multiple occasions, and I think its the best thing she has ever taught me.

When I first got my current job, I had known Melbourne a grand total of one week. And now, I was being asked to show people from different countries around this city and answer all of their questions about it. Needless to say, I spent that first week with my phone charged at 100% so that I can google any question that came flying my way. (February arrivals, you hold a special place in my heart for dealing with me and loving me anyways.) In addition to that, my degree was not in this field, I knew what it entailed only on a very superficial level, and I just had really big dreams and high hopes. I was hired.

At the end of the day, I go into every interview being true to myself. Like I mentioned in my last post, if you want to work somewhere where you are paid to be yourself, you have to just be yourself. Its hard! I know! Because that means if you are rejected, its not just your resume they’re dissing anymore. But know that if this job follows your truth, people will want to hire you because you are the job. For me, I need to work somewhere where I walk in and its not just an office, its home; and my family is waiting for me in there.

Hiring is not easy.

Not just for the person being interviewed, but for the interviewer as well. For me, it was like finding another mom to hand my children off to so that I can have peace of mind that they’ll be okay. Ask your mom how she’d feel about that. Yeah, not easy.

Everyone is so incredible, and can bring so much to any office. The question at the end of the day is what can the office bring to you. In order for there to be a successful placement, the person being hired needs to feel six months down the road that they are getting just as much out of this job as they are putting into it, and sometimes more. So maybe your last rejection wasn’t even about your answers, or your qualifications. Maybe you wouldn’t have gotten as much out of the position as you were able to put into it.

At the end of two weeks, we found my perfect replacement, and somehow my relationship with my boss grew even stronger through it. I was able to see how much she really valued everything I gave to the company over the past 6 months, and how much she cared for me not just as an employee, but as a member of the family. I would highly encourage any higher-up to allow their employee to get a say in their replacement if you want to show them how much they are valued.

I’ll save my goodbyes for next week, but for now I’ll just say this: Pip, thank you so much for taking a chance on a girl with big eyes and bigger dreams. I will never be able to put into words all you have done for me, taught me, and given me. You truly are superwoman, sunshine, and above all else, my mentor and role model. I hope I can be for someone else half the person you are for our entire team. Keep being the strong, empowered, inspiring boss lady you are. 

Good luck to my TIG Aus Fam, and your new, wonderful Experience Coordinator. Continue to change lives the way you did mine and so many others. And remember, its not goodbye, its see you later.

Stay kind x

 

 

Where have I been?

“Isis. You started a blog, wrote one blog post, then disappeared for a month. What the heck.”

I know, I know. The thing is, I didn’t want to write a blog post with so many things in the air. But I guess that’s kind of the life you choose when you choose this lifestyle, so its time to get real.

Okay, well everyone, after nine beautiful, inspiring, challenging, wild months in Melbourne, its officially time to say goodbye to my wonderful city. I plan on writing a post right before I leave detailing the things I’ll miss most and a brief recap of my experience, but for now I want to fill everyone in on my reasoning behind my departure and my plans for the near future.

I am a firm believer in sticking to your truth. I encourage everyone I meet to take a deep dive inside yourself and look your truth dead in the eye. Ask yourself “WHY am I here? WHY am I on this earth in THIS lifetime?” and only then should you ask yourself “WHAT can I do to fulfill that truth?”. Neal Donald Walsch put it perfectly in the book Conversations with God (which you should read for your own personal development and use whatever terminology you’d like for the word “God”) when he said that if you want to be paid to do what you love, first focus on “being” and then focus on “doing”. What I took this to mean is that first, you need to be certain of who you are and being that person. Not just in certain situations, or around certain groups of people, no. This means every day, every minute, every second,  and around every person and in every situation, you are you. Truly you, consistently and unapologetically. Once you have experienced this, fumbled with it, lost many who needed to be shedded, gained many who contribute to your growth, and finally mastered it, only then can you begin to shine. Trust me, when you do, you’ll find that your so damn bright. You’ll realize that you’re valuable, and so will others. And when others see your light, they will want to encourage you to keep doing that, and they will value it too.

All that to say that I found that opportunity. I looked my truth in the eye and found my reason for being and found the job that allowed me to live that truth everyday and be paid for it. So when my time ran out with my current position due to visa restrictions, I knew that I couldn’t simply pursue a new career path to complete my time in Melbourne. This job was the reason I moved here. This job is what my gut pulled me to and fulfilled my truth. I was being paid to literally be myself and do what I would do for free.

So as much as it pains me to leave my city, it would be a disservice to myself and the life I have set out to live to settle for anything that does not align with my truth. I put in my paperwork for my Irish Work Authorization, and began putting in motion my plan for Dublin in 2019.

And in the meantime? Well, I took another deep dive within me and saw that as much as this adventure has given me, there is a lot of deep healing I need to do if I am going to make the most out of my next adventure. I have decided to recharge in San Fransisco.

I’ll be wrapping up my adventure down under next week with a trip to Sydney along with my partner in crime, Courtney, and then setting off to San Fran from there (with an 8 hour layover in Hawaii because why not?). This is most definitely not the end of my adventure, simply a small stop on the way to Ireland.

I have some very exciting opportunities awaiting in California, and I cannot wait to see what Dublin has in store.

But a girl needs her Pumpkin Spice, ya know?

Stay kind x

My Travel Story

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Lets start with where my life is currently at:

I am currently living in Melbourne, Australia after moving here about 8 months ago with nothing but my suitcase and my keyboard. Yes, you read that correctly. You see, I have this wild 5 year plan to work and live in country after country, so traveling with much else wouldn’t be very practical.

So lets back it up.

Travel is not foreign to me.  I was raised bicultural with deep roots both in Uruguay and the U.S., having had the opportunity to live in both countries as I grew up. Once I got to college, it came as a surprise to absolutely nobody that I began working in the Study Abroad office. This eventually led to my own study abroad experience in the form of an international internship in London.

It was in London that I met some people that truly changed my perspective on every aspect of my life. They opened my eyes to so many new points of view that I came back to the States with a new plan for my life. I knew I needed to travel again.

Later that year, I decided to visit some of the Australian friends I made during my London program. I spent 3 out of my 4 weeks in Brisbane, and just one week in Melbourne. Well, one week was all it took. To put it into perspective: I left Melbourne with a tattoo of bridge in the city and a plan to get a visa and move here.

A few short months later as I began to get ready to graduate with my degree in Music Industry, I sold all of my belongings, found someone to take over my lease for my apartment, said goodbye to everyone and everything I called home, and bought a one way ticket to the city I had only known for 7 days.

Now, lucky for me that I already had an incredible support system waiting for me and a job in the field of experiential education where I get to meet people from all over the globe who end up being life long friends. But all of the experiences that I have had since moving here are things that I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams (both in beautiful and not so wonderful ways). I spent my 22nd birthday back in Brisbane, followed by Byron Bay and finally a solo trip to Ubud, Bali. I’ve met soul mates, formed meaningful connections with so many people, and learned an immense amount about my place in this world. I’ve spoken my truth, listened to others, learned, and changed my views. And its all just the very beginning.

I already have plans to move to Dublin at the end of this year, and continue to travel and experience as much as I can in the following years. I’m hoping that through this blog I can share my stories with you all, and maybe even convince you that your dreams may not be as impossible as you think.

Dream big, be kind, and stay tuned. I promise- there’s always a plot twist xx