This blog is something fun I’ve created to share things like my love for wine, recipes for my sweet tooth, crafting with my Cricut and the travel bug I’ve caught. As much as I love sharing those things, for this to be worth my own time and effort put in; I need to get something out of it- not something tangible like money, but something more meaningful… so I created The Girl Power Series. I kicked off my very first segment with a little introduction “about me.” Writing about yourself is always difficult, but I wanted to share the things that inspire me in hopes that the other ladies in my life would want to do the same. I truly believe I am surrounded by some of the most amazing women, each in their own individual ways. I feel like I’ve cracked the code when it comes to adult, female friendships. At some point we all let go of our own insecurities and reservations, we stop being competitive and secretive (Kaitlin’s words) and we are able to grow quality relationships with one another. The ladies in my girl gang have completely changed my mentality on friendships. Its not just about gathering to have a good time, in fact, that just comes naturally when you’re comfortable being yourselves. Friendships can (and should) be encouraging and supportive, bring validation and positivity and even help through difficult seasons just by having someone there to talk to or listen. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the same goals or the same personality types; when a group of individuals comes together to support one another, they are unstoppable. Over the course of this series you’ll get to know my thrive tribe and I know you’ll love them just as much as I do!
My first friend brave enough to let me experiment with their thoughts is one of my best friends here in Austin, Kaitlin Antonides. In fact, this blog was Kaitlin’s idea. Any time we would be discussing what to do, where to go, what to eat and, most importantly, what to drink- she would always tell me I needed to start a blog about it. So who better to feature first in this series than the one who encouraged me to start it all?! Also, we may have drank two bottles of wine, hugged and planned a trip to Spain in the duration of this two hour chat…
BG: Kaitlin, to start please state where you’re from, what you do and a fun fact about yourself!
KA: I have lived in five states; I was born in Virginia, moved to Florida, California, then to Pennsylvania and now live in Texas. I’m a Physical Therapist (she’s almost finished with her fellowship!!). Fun fact, I’m left handed.
BG: What is something you’re passionate about?
KA: Health and fitness are my passion, its my job to help people and increase their quality of life. My work is really rewarding but it can also be challenging for patients because there’s so much information available about health and fitness. It can be confusing for patients to navigate and it’s my job to help them be successful and reach their goals. I value relationships and connections with people and what makes each connection special.
BG: Have you experienced a difficult season in life and how has that shaped who you are today?
KA: Moving to Austin (from San Antonio) was exciting. A new city, a new house, a new job and new friends. After a few months I entered a new relationship which quickly became toxic and I lingered too long. I learned a lot about myself from the struggles of getting over that relationship. With the support of my friends and a therapist, I was able to see things for what they were and I learned a lot about myself for a future relationship.
BG: That’s got to be a difficult thing to hear.
KA: It was difficult to talk about and to realize the part I played in those situations. But therapy is helping.
BG: What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received?
KA: I can instantly think of three things my parents have always told me. My dad would tell me it’s important to take responsibility, for my part in the issue and for resolving it. My mom would always tell me to treat others as you want to be treated and if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. She would not tolerate gossip, she shut it down. I think I turned out so well because my parents are great people.
BG: That’s solid advice I think everyone has heard from their parents once or twice before, especially the “If you don’t have anything nice to say…” piece.
BG: What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever given?
KA: I’m an advocate to be smart, be happy and do what’s right. Do and be what is right for YOU. It can be really challenging with all the messages from media and society about what we’re supposed to do and be. I think letting go of what others expect and really live your own truth. What matters to you, do it for you.
BG: I love that!
BG: What would you go back and tell your younger self?
KA: I craved love and validation, I would give myself that.
BG: Such a quick and simple answer.
BG: What’s something you’re happy you did for yourself?
KA: I’ve done a lot for myself; PT school, my career, buying a house. My biggest challenge is relationships. I’m investing in learning to love myself and practicing positive self talk, even the harder parts so I can be more successful in a relationship in the future.
BG: Positive self talk, yes, I totally agree. I recently heard an example from a woman who made a tiny little mistake at work that took ten minutes to fix and she treated herself like, “How could you? How could you do that?” And then she realized, if that were a coworker or someone else who had made that tiny little ten minute mistake, she would have said, “Oh, no worries, its not a big deal at all.” And I think that speaks volumes for how we treat ourselves.
KA: Exactly, they say you should treat yourself how you would treat your best friends.
BG: What is your ultimate dream, if given no limitations?
KA: Travel. I’d like to travel for several months, with no agenda- just meeting new people around the world and living their culture. Social Media has created a highlight reel. It’s all about what people are doing and where people are going and it creates a way of living for others- posting certain things at the judgement of others, trying to impress them or wondering if they will like it. I want to live my life for me, their opinion doesn’t matter, those people don’t matter.
BG: Wow. I love that. I would argue this is the best piece of advice you’ve ever given. And I agree on the social media piece, I’m definitely one of those “highlight reel” posters on Instagram- intentionally. I don’t like to bring negativity to social media and also, no one wants to hear it. No one wants to deal with people complaining on the internet all of the time- we all have problems and things we’re dealing with. That is the main reason I deactivated Facebook a year ago.
BG: How do you want to make a difference in the world, what is the legacy you want to leave behind?
KA: Through PT, although my job can be very difficult to see how I’ve helped a patient and I often don’t get to witness their gratitude. I also want to make a difference through a family, I want to raise quality humans, support people and friendships.
BG: Quality humans, I so agree with that!
BG: What are some future goals you have set for yourself?
KA: My PT Fellowship is almost finished! I could go onto OCS and take the Ortho Exam. In the future I want a family and I also want to see my little brother succeed.
BG: Awwwww, Logan! I want to see him grow and succeed too!! (Fun Fact: Kaitlin and I both have younger siblings with a 7-8 year age gap!)
BG: What advice would you give to a younger female (of any age)?
KA: Emotional abuse in a relationship- “Just don’t do that. No matter who you are, you’re too good for that. Find relationships that remind you you’re good enough.”
BG: Girl, Preach.
BG: Who is a woman that is inspiring you today?
KA: I have two. Of course my mom. She raised us as a single mom and it’s hard to provide stability and emotional support for your kids, she did the best she could with what she had when I was growing up. Also, Liz (you’ll get to meet her later on in this series!) Liz is kind, she has overcome trials and tribulations of her own, she is sweet and engaging with other people. She inspires me to be a nicer and better person!
BG: Aw, I love Liz! She is amazing, and I’m so happy she wants to be my friend! I can’t wait to ask her this question when its her turn!
KA: She’s going to say her grandmother!
Y’all, how awesome is my friend Kaitlin?! She expresses kindness and vulnerability and preaches being your true self. I love that. I am so grateful Kaitlin allowed me to share with you her passions, dreams, challenges and advice. There’s a special place in my heart for Kaitlin, I joke that I love her unconditionally because she’s just like me, but taller. Kaitlin and I have very similar personalities. Our Meyers- Briggs results are almost identical. I am ISTJ (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging) and Kaitlin is ISFJ (Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging). We often challenge each other with that “missing” piece. She is a great listener when you need someone to talk to, she doesn’t try to solve your problems and does her best to make you feel like you’ve been heard. She brings me the validation I didn’t know I was searching for. And I just love that she is a part of my girl gang. Fun fact: we actually met through mutual friends! We both lived in Pennsylvania at one point, so my college friends are her friends from high school. I’m so thankful they introduced us, you will get a chance to meet them later on in the series as well… they’ve got good taste in friends 😉
If you have any comments, suggestions or more questions you would like me to ask in the future of this series please feel free to leave them below!