*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.
“Don’t look at someone’s life and think you should be doing what they’re doing – you should do what makes you happy and what you are passionate about. I think life is too short not to live in a way that makes you approach each and every day with a full sense of joy and enthusiasm. There is always something to be grateful for and that can bring a smile to your face.” -Alysha
Q and A with Alysha, Berks County, Pennsylvania
Connect with Alysha:
Q: What are you passionate about?
A: In a broad sense, I am very passionate about helping individuals. More specifically, I have always believed that information is power. I knew that I wanted to work in a career that provided individuals with information so they could make the best well-informed decisions for themselves and their lives. This definitely intermingles with two things career-wise I am involved in: working as a clinical writer for a nonprofit organization in the healthcare field and as a recipe developer/food photographer for various projects that fall under my blog: The Kitchenologist©.
Read and see more at The Kitchenologist©.
As a food recipe developer /photographer, I love showing people what to do with a “mystery vegetable” they may have or how to make a dish they love in a healthier version. I believe if you are able to educate someone or expose someone to something they have never done before, it could change the way they think and affect the way they act, which may ultimately influence their lives as a whole in a potentially positive way. In regards to food, maybe someone could make a healthier diet change at home by cooking more now that they have some recipes they enjoy versus grabbing fast food or eating out. I was inspired by the impact nutrition can have on your life after taking a class entitled “Sustainable Food Systems” in college where I had the opportunity to read food system research and work in our community garden, in addition to living abroad in Australia for a semester where I ate a lot of very simplistic, fresh foods. I felt a completely new appreciation for food, where it comes from and how it affects our lives as a whole after these experiences. There are so many information gaps that exist in our world today, whether it be healthcare or food, and I love being able to help bridge some of those gaps through what I work in.
As a clinical writer, my career allows me to break down dense scientific information into key facts and data individuals can grasp and understand. I view what I do as “scientific translation” in a sense, and I love knowing the work I do helps individuals make better decisions for their hospitals and patients. I credit a speech I gave my sophomore year of college at Susquehanna University for the Honors Program as the reason why I was drawn to scientific translation and presentation. The speech was entitled: “Vaccines and the Childhood Autism Scare: Solely a Media-Generated Correlation.” A community member from the audience came up to me after the speech and thanked me,because she believed that she had given her son autism because she chose to vaccinate him and now knew that the facts proved otherwise. I later went on to work with Johns Hopkins Medicine on a research project looking at supplement manufacturer claims and was blown away by the evidence gaps existing. I have been incredibly excited to attend a few conferences for work this summer, allowing me to interact with a wider audience on these types of topics and facilitate these types of informative discussions.
Q: What were your younger years like?
A: I grew up in a very loving and nurturing environment. My parents really balanced each other out when I grew up, with my dad really encouraging my younger brother and I to do well in school and my mom always asking us if we were happy (and making sure we were) in addition to fostering other passions like reading and drawing. In retrospect, having both of those perspectives was incredibly important to where I am today,because I have realized how important it is to work hard to be able to succeed. However, I also know that happiness is truly the key to everything. And if you aren’t happy, nothing else really seems to matter.
Crater Lake, Oregon
My parents also made large decisions in regards to their careers before they started a family. My mom decided to leave her management job to raise a family full time, and my dad found a different executive position that would allow him to spend time with his family and not work 24/7. I did not realize how impactful that was in my life until I got older. My parents were at every soccer match, swim meet, softball game, honors ceremony, chorus concert, etc. I knew if I would look out in the stands, they would be there enthusiastically cheering me on. That really taught me the importance of supporting individuals you love. I have really strived to do that in my adult years by always making the trip to see a friend, visiting with family, sending out a check-in text or mailing off a snail mail letter. It truly means the world to know you have people who care about you and want to make that time to be with you and care about you.
I also would like to credit my parents for always showing my younger brother and I that money is not everything. My younger brother and I were incredibly fortunate to grow up in a home where we never needed for anything, but my parents were also not quick to buy us that “new thing.” Instead, they really emphasized the value of experiences by going on trips and going out to meals. As an adult, I find that I want to spend my money on travel and seeing the world. I would rather spend my money and time experiencing things and meeting new people versus getting a fancy car or new outfit. These experiences I find have made me grow and look at the world in ways I never thought I would, and it is a really beautiful and empowering thing.
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Moraine Lake in Banff, Canada
Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know?
A: The first thing I have learned is don’t be afraid of not living up to other’s expectations – at the end of the day, you should only be living up to your own. Especially in your 20s, I just find there are a lot of things being thrown at you question-wise from a variety of people or what you see on social media in regards to topics like getting married, having kids, buying a house, going back to school, switching careers, earning more money, etc. All I can say is to do what makes you happy! Don’t look at someone’s life and think you should be doing what they’re doing – you should do what makes you happy and what you are passionate about. I think life is too short not to live in a way that makes you approach each and every day with a full sense of joy and enthusiasm.
The second thing I have learned is to always try to understand and help people. People will have opposing views from you, different life stories, varying backgrounds, etc. but you should never miss out on the opportunity to have a conversation with someone who has different views than you or looks at something through a different perspective. Conversation and understanding is an opportunity to grow. Additionally, if someone needs a helping hand and you can provide it, don’t be afraid to pitch in and offer help. Doesn’t matter how simple it is. It could be just running to grab extra napkins for a coworker who spilled there coffee everywhere or helping to pick up someone’s spilledchange at the grocery store. Try to put out in the world what you want to receive back. I am always game for putting more goodout there.
Q: What would you like others to learn from your story?
A: I truly believe you attract the people and things you are supposed to in life through your actions and words. And I think that if you are doing what you love, you will attract the rightopportunities. I believe if you are a good friend, you will also attract great friends in your life. And I believe if you give love, you will receive it. I always think of this concept when I am having a really bad day. I always try to put positivity out there through my actions and words despite how bad things are. And I really do believe this has served me well in life. I know that it is definitely easier said than done, but I really have felt it has made such a huge impact on my life by acting in this fashion. Every day isn’t good, but I have always believed there is a piece of good in every day. And on days when it feels like absolutely nothing is going right, I am always thankful for my family, boyfriend, friends, pets and the good experiences I have had. There is always something to be grateful for and that can bring a smile to your face.
Zion National Park, Utah
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