What is it that empowers you the most?
There are a few things that I find empowering, but what empowers me the most is being able to take care of myself and make my dreams come true. I am proud to be an independent woman, and know that I am able to do everything for myself. If I don’t know how to do something, I figure it out. Such as learning to jump-start a car in the middle of winter in Winnipeg. Being independent pushes me to follow my dreams, which has led me to move to Toronto alone to follow my dream of dancing. Having a constant support system of my family allows me to have the courage believe in these large-scale dreams for my life, and do what it takes to get there.
What is it that you love most about yourself?
I had a tough time answering this question to be honest. I don’t think there is something specific that I “love” about myself. I need to work on this concept of loving things about myself. I do however like certain personality traits that I work hard to achieve and believe I possess.
I like to help others. I always want to make people feel better. Whether it’s sitting and listening to a friend vent, or taking them out to celebrate an accomplishment of theirs, or helping a friend out in any way I can with a project.
I like to experience new things. Whether it’s a new city and culture, a new activity, doing something new that scares me, making a new friend, and I try to be spontaneous and enjoy things in the moment (something I think myself and everyone needs to work on).
I like that I know how to be a loyal friend. I work hard to be a good friend to others and always support them. I am always my friends’ #1 fan in everything they do.
I like that I understand music. I am grateful that my mom put me in music classes at a very young age, and that I understand music in many forms. I hear music and understand its composition from years of musical training of playing piano, and participating in band, but also from the level of dancing and movement. From this form I can understand music through movement, and portray the sounds through the style of dance.
What makes you feel the most beautiful?
Two situations come to mind. When I am laughing with my friends and family. Nothing feels greater then laughing so hard you can barely breathe with the people you love. =)
The second is when I’m dancing and get completely lost in the moment. The feeling of the movement and music combined is like no other. In these moments, I could be in a packed room and be so invested in the emotions and movement of the piece that I feel completely alone in that room. In that moment it doesn’t matter who is watching or what anyone is thinking, that moment is for myself, and nothing feels quite like it.
Who is your biggest role model and why?
My mom. I know everyone says it for themselves but… I have the best mom in the world. She raised my sister and me to dream big and to work hard to achieve those dreams. She is independent, strong, hard working, smart, funny, beautiful, kind, and has the soft soothing storytelling voice that makes you want to hear a bedtime story and go to sleep. My mom is always there for me whenever I need, whether its encouraging talks, or celebrating a success in my life. She is everything I hope to be when I grow up.
If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Haha! My friends who know me well are going to roll their eyes and shake their head at me for this answer. But I wish I could be Hermione Granger. I want to have magical powers and be a witch in the world of Harry Potter!! But what I love about the character of Hermione, is that she is not afraid to be herself. She doesn’t care how many times people call her a “know it all”, she continues to be a “nerd” and proves time and time again her brilliance. I also would just love to go on adventures with my best friends.
What is your biggest life goal?
To be happy and content with the life I have lived and the choices I have made.
To travel around the world and experience first hand all different cultures. I love traveling to a city or country and “getting lost” in the culture of that place, experiencing a culture shock, and seeing what everyday life is like for the locals there. My goal is to visit every continent, and see all the wonders of the world.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment would be graduating from University with my Nursing degree. It was a tough 5 years of school with many ups and downs, but to persevere and come out in the end with a degree and career that is well respected and recognized everywhere is an amazing thing. I am so grateful to have completed this program, to have met amazing friends, and to have this career to carry me throughout my life.
What is your favorite quote?
“You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” – Jim Carrey
If you could tell your 12 year old self one thing what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to be different. Being different is what makes you beautiful.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. That is where you grow the most as a person, and mistakes are where creativity is born. But to always learn from your mistakes.
What does feminism mean to you?
I don’t know if I have something specific that overall describes what feminism means to me. I think its is such a broad topic that could be used in many ways. But what feminism means most to me is in terms of equality. That men and women be treated as equals.
Mandy is a dance, choreographer and registered nurse in Toronto, Ontario, Canada