What is it that empowers you most?
One of the things I find most empowering is the idea that, even with all the random events and occurrences that act as agents of change in my life, I can choose to be the most active agent in my own life. We often can’t control the things that happen to us, but we can control how we choose to respond to them. And, in that, acknowledging and letting go of what I can’t control is enormously freeing as well.
What is it that you love most about yourself?
I feel like I’m good at making people feel good about themselves. That’s really special.
What makes you feel most beautiful?
Being outside and in nature. Everything natural is beautiful, and when I’m surrounded by and physically connected to it, it’s impossible to not feel a part of that beauty.
Who is your biggest role model and why?
I’d have to say my mother and father equally, but for the purpose of this blog I’ll reflect on my mother. She was an artist, a writer, a teacher and a homemaker for almost 20 years. She taught me to create, to have a voice, to travel and to find beauty and adventures in the everyday. Then, at the age of 40, when we her four children were starting to leave the nest, she decided to pursue post-secondary education for the first time in her life. After four years studying history and teaching in university, she made the bold decision to take a run at med school. Fast-forward five more years and she has graduated as an MD. She is a family medicine resident in Red Deer, AB – she and my father sold their family home and moved across the country together on their brave new adventure. She has taught me that you can pursue your dreams (and, in fact, pick up new dreams) at any point in your life, and to not be afraid of hard work. She has modelled artistry and sacrifice and grace under pressure. She and my father have modelled the commitment and compromise it takes to make a relationship work. They’ve taught me that unconditional love is a choice; to respect oneself and honour one’s partner, and to weather the storm. I could go on and on ad infinitum. It’s really incredible to me.
Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
Tina Fey would be my favourite pop-cultural heroine - it takes guts to make it as a woman in a male-dominated worlds of business and mainstream comedy, and especially in the business of media/arts and entertainment. Her comedy is a wicked triple-threat of managing to be empowering WHILE self-depricating AND pant-wettingly hilarious. Pfff. Ridiculous.
I also have a pretty big crush on Margaret Atwood. And Harper Lee.
If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Princess Leia - intergalactic bad-ass.
What is your biggest life goal?
I believe every person, in recognizing his or her gifts, must then choose what exactly they’d like to do with each, and to what degree. I have always taken great joy in the art of communication, and I feel I express myself best through written and spoken word, and illustration. I also feel strongly compelled toward charitable, social, environmental and humanitarian causes (what good are my gifts if not applied full-bore to doing good?). My ultimate goal is to dedicate my life and talents to educating, informing and inspiring public action for positive change through the multimedia and channels of advertising. To me, advertising is an incredibly powerful vehicle that marries imagery with the written word to communicate complex ideas, bring people together and inspire action. I’m still learning the ropes and working out the bits & bolts, but at this time I believe the long-game ultimately manifests in my owning a (likely nonprofit) advertising/branding/creative agency working for non-profit organizations.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
I’m very proud to be an accomplished solo (budget) traveller. I’ve lived and worked in many areas of the world with very little money and have seen myself out of many difficult situations. I’m very excited to continue my journeys with a new adventure to Morocco next month.
What is your favourite quote?
“Don’t panic” - Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
"Do more of what makes you happy" - Anonymous
If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
It’s okay to make mistakes and not be perfect. It’s not up to you to make everyone happy. Love yourself, it’s okay to fail.
What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism to me means not being afraid to take up space in the world, and to set my moral and ethical and physical boundaries and live by them, not forcing them on others but not allowing them to be trampled or compromised along the way.
Veronica is the Marketing Manager in Winnipeg, Manitoba.