We are so very excited to be back again with a new Be YOUnique … and another remarkable woman for you all to meet.
If you don’t remember, or maybe you missed our last post about it … our Be YOUnique project is something that we have been dreaming about and working on for a long time. We got the inspiration to start this project from you. All of you beautiful BOOSHES.
You see … we here at Beck & Boosh are lucky enough to have had so many inspiring, amazing and beautiful conversations with so many amazing women over the years. It has been extraordinary … but we also know … it is not common. It’s rare for women to talk about certain issues. To open up. To share. To be honest with ourselves and each other. And be proud of it and comfortable with it.
So that’s why we decided to start the Be YOUnique project. To sit down with some amazing women and talk with them about real things. Things that we may not get a chance to talk about normally. Things that we might be a little scared to talk about. Things that we might think we are alone in feeling. All in a safe and caring space.
So now … the fun part! We get to introduce you to Alana Hirtle.
Alana is from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia originally, but now works in Truro as a Business Analyst at CBDC NOBL. We were lucky enough to get her to take some time out from her insanely busy work schedule to sit down with us and have a chat. We talked about everything from her strong female influences to her internal monologue. And let me tell you – it was an absolute treat!
When we asked about what challenges or struggles she has faced on her path to becoming the person she is now, she spoke about the difficulty she experienced in understanding her parents divorce when she was younger.
“ I had some challenges as a child. You know. I had divorced parents. And all the fun that comes with that. The wondering if you were to blame. Wondering about the part you played in it. Did your parents not love you anymore because … you know… they couldn’t live with you. It’s only after you go through stuff as an adult that you realize that you had nothing to do with it. But. As a kid you have all of those thoughts and insecurities.”
She also shared about some “challenging” relationships she experienced in her life. She has had two marriages, both ending but, as she says “not as failures”. She openly acknowledged that there was a lot of positive that came from the experiences. There was a lot of growth that came from them, for all involved. And she happily says that she is not the same person she was 25 years ago … and she’s better for it.
“There’s that saying ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ … and it is true. I used to say at one point, if I get any more character, no one will be able to live with me. Haha. I still have it and I keep getting more haha. So you know, what doesn’t kill you does make you stronger. And if you learn the lesson and continue forward – you’ve done the work!”
We asked Alana some more questions and are so excited to share them with you.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME 10 YEARS AND SAY SOMETHING TO YOURSELF WHAT WOULD IT BE?
“ hummm … if I could go back 10 years and say something to myself … it would probably be … ‘smarten the hell up – you got this’.
I’ve done a lot in my career and in my life, and I’m proud of all I have accomplished. But … at many times during it all, I have had those moments of
‘what are you doing?’
Someone is going to find out you’re a fraud. That you don’t know what you’re doing. That you shouldn’t be doing this … and it’s ridiculous. It’s just so ridiculous! You wouldn’t get to the point where you are in a position to do a job, if people didn’t trust that you knew how to do it. But we all have this voice in our head that tells us …
‘you’re not worth it. You’re not worthy. You don’t know what you’re doing. Why would you think you could do this?’
…and it’s about telling that voice to shut-up. Really. So if I could go back and tell myself anything it would be – you got this – you’re good.”
WHAT DOES BEING A ‘BOOSH’ MEAN TO YOU?
“ Oh wow! That’s a big question. Big question.
Well you know … if you don’t love yourself, how can you love anyone else? People say that all the time and I used to think it was right. But it’s so true. Sometimes you have to take time for you. Whether that’s a soak in a hot tub at the end of the day. Or meditation. For me meditation is very important. It centers me. Sometimes even in the middle of a crazy work day I will just mute the phone and close the door for a few minutes and … breathe.
Listen to my body and what it’s telling me. And if I’m starting to feel one of those anxious moments and start to ramp up, then I can just be
‘ok let’s breathe into this … figure it out … it’s all good … you got this’
And… yeah… so … just having those moments. For me the biggest thing, I think in the last decade is self awareness. It’s been about figuring out ‘how am I feeling right now?’ . Not pushing things aside. Honoring the emotion that is coming forward. If I need to go have a little cry and stamp my feet … I’ll do it privately. But sometimes you need to just step away from whatever life is throwing at you, and have that reaction. Whether it’s anger, or nervousness, or sadness – whatever it is – it’s important. And I’ve learned to honor that and allow the feelings to come out.
Rebecca – AND THAT IT’S OK. YOU DON’T HAVE TO FEEL GUILTY ABOUT THOSE FEELINGS.
Right. Or let it ruin your day because you are trying to *squash* it down so you can do the other 15 things you have to get done in the next 3 hours. If you just take 5 minutes and allow yourself to feel it, then move on. I mean it changes my whole outlook on things half the time. It’s just a matter of saying ‘I need to honor this – I need to do it now’ and then move forward. So yeah, looking after yourself – for me meditation is a huge thing. And sometimes it’s as simple as, you know I get home from work and ‘I’m going to need 5 to 10 minutes before you talk to me. The cat is going to come up stairs with me and we’re gonna snuggle on the bed’ … I’m a cat lady. And sometimes that’s all you need. And that’s what I do. My little Nutmeg comes with me and we snuggle up and everything is good. And then I can face whatever is happening after that.
And empowering women. As far as empowering other women … I think that’s our job! To raise one another up. There is so much cattiness in the public, mass media, online … you know the ‘what is SHE wearing today?’. That kind of stuff. And not to say that we don’t fall into that trap once in awhile, but, it’s so important to be kind to one another. Especially as women.
What are we doing when we’re not being kind and generous to one another. It just drives me crazy to see it. So, I’ll be in the grocery store and say ‘oh my god, I love that bag!’ or ‘I really love your hair!’ … and women will stop and look at you like you’re nuts. And then they realize, oh she’s being nice to me. Oh! She’s being nice to me!
It’s so simple.
Let’s celebrate. We are all beautiful.
We are all beautiful in our own way. So lets celebrate what makes us all unique and fabulous!
We are so very happy every chance we get to work on this project and we are so excited to do more! Having the opportunity to talk to empowering and inspirational women in our community, plus getting to share all of their stories and life lessons with you all is such an amazing treat!
We will be working on our Be YOUnique project regularly, so keep checking in to meet more amazing women.
If you have a story you want to share, let us know! Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org , and thank you so much for joining the conversation.
the Beck & Boosh team