It’s the last month of 2018 and I have some catching up to do with my #WCW series. So for the month of December I am going to feature a new woman crush of mine every week! The Women Crush Wednesday hashtag and social media trend is nothing new. But I am trying to reclaim that title not just for half naked celebrities or women you actually know nothing about. The women I crush over are using their womenhood, their voice and their passions to make our world brighter. I have some incredible women in my life so I am honored to share them with you. I hope you find them as inspiring as I do.
Lauren and I met on Instagram. What!? Another social media friend? I know! But as a traveling nomad/expat you gotta connect to likeminded people somehow and I am so happy we did. Lauren is a fellow American who moved to the UK for graduate school! When I met her for our first IRL brunch date we instantly clicked on our passion for fitness and nutrition, traveling and mental health!
I was so impressed with her adventurous spirit and quickly found out that we were both Geminis! OBVIOUSLY I loved her! Now she is back in the states slaying medical school! We don’t talk nearly as much as we should but I know she is trying to focus on med school so I’ll cut her a break 😉 I’ll let her take it from here!
- What do you think makes a woman worth “crushing” over?
Any woman who is unafraid to be herself unapologetically.
- What do you do for a living? What is the most challenging part about it?
I am currently a first year medical student and the most challenging part about it is finding time for myself. Medical school is incredibly busy- I’m usually on campus studying or in class from 7-6 each day, then go home and continue to study until at least 11PM. It is difficult to find time to balance studying with the things I love (blogging, cooking, photography, yoga, etc.). But, I believe in the next few weeks as I get into more of a groove I’ll be able to re-introduce some of my hobbies that have had to sit on the back burner during this first month.
- Who are three women that you look up to and have inspired you the most in your career/life ?
Without a doubt my mother is #1. She inspires me constantly with her resilience, positivity, and unconditional love. She was one of the small handful of women in her dentistry class (I believe there were four) and has always fought to both have a successful career in healthcare while still being a dedicated mom. She was always there to pick me up from cheerleading practice in high school and never forget to wish me luck in an exam in college. She is my biggest inspiration.
I also greatly look up to lead investigator of the research lab I worked at during college. Her dedication to our lab, our school and her students has always inspired me. And last but not least, I’d honestly say my girlfriends from college and graduate school. I admire them greatly for going out there in the working world and fighting for epic careers.
- What is one topic you wish more women knew about on a global scale? Why?
Mental Health. Although I think awareness is beginning to be raised, I still feel that there is a stigma against mental health in our society. I believe that if we continue to raise awareness and education about mental health and the resources that are out there, then more people who are struggling would be more willing to reach out to others to get the help that they need. Additionally, even those who may not be currently struggling would be more comfortable reaching out to people who need someone to ask how they’re doing.
- What advice do you give to women who feel that they are constantly surrounded by drama in their group of friends?
If the only thing someone is adding to your life is negatively, then they should not be in your life at all. Period. Energy is contagious and time is precious. Not a minute should be wasted doing anything other than looking up.
- Do you believe being a strong woman with a passion for her career takes away from a woman’s ability to be a loving partner/mother/friend/sister ?
Absolutely not! I already touched on this a bit when I talked about my mother but I fully believe that a woman absolutely smashing it in her career does not have to settle for being any less of a partner/mother/friend/sister. Of course, sacrifices are inevitable. You’ve just got to pick your poison on where you are going to make those sacrifices. But, at the end of the day if you want it enough- whether that’s to be a dedicated mother with a 9-5 career or a full-time entrepreneur in a loving and dedicated relationship- you’ll make it work.
- What is something you are really excited about currently in your own life?
Not to be a total nerd but medical school! We just finished our first class (biochemistry) and so now we’re really getting to the true medical school stuff- like anatomy and learning about the body’s systems, patient encounters, and more! It is incredibly rewarding to finally be studying what I love and what will prepare me for my career as a physician.
- Why is self love an important part of being a modern day woman?
I fully believe that we cannot live until we love ourselves, our unapologetic selves. I believe that once we embrace ourselves in our entirety- with all of our quirks and silly habits and love those things that once made us “weird”- then and only then, are we truly living.
- If you could have a lunch date with any woman on the planet, who would it be?
Taylor Swift! I’ve had such a girl crush on her since I was a teenager. Her music is awesome and I love how every time she falls, she gets back up again stronger than before.
- How can anyone reading this keep up with you and what you’re doing in the future?
I love new friends!! Follow me on instagram (@sweetpotatoscrubs), check out my blog (BalancewithLo.com), or shoot me an email (BalancewithLo@gmail.com)!
Bonus: What is one question you have for me?
If you could go back in time 10 years, what advice would you give yourself?
I love this question. If I could go back 10 year in time I would tell myself to trust the process of my life and be open to new and exciting paths. Stop blowing your refund checks like it’s fake money. Student loans suck. I would tell myself it is okay to be different. It’s okay to follow what lights you up instead of the latest fashion trends (or both if that’s your jam.) At 18 years old, I had already been through a lot with losing my best friend and severe struggles with my mother and her undiagnosed BPD but I had a lot of learning and grief to come. Overall, I trust and believe fully that every single mistake, bad habit and good habit I adopted along those years was for a reason. I would definitely tell my 18 year old self to seek out therapy and learn more about my own mental health struggles instead of taking care of everyone elses. To any 18 year old girl reading this, you are worth your time, love and attention. It’s okay not to be okay and it’s more than okay to ask for help.
Thank you for coming into my life, Lauren! Your recipes keep my mouth watering and your go get it attitude is seriously inspiring. I hope you get some time off this holiday season to relax and take a break from studying but just know, it’s all going to be worth it in the end and you are going to make an amazing doctor. Until our travels bring us together again, keep shining my friend! You are definitely a woman worth crushing over.