I'm a 26-year-old femmepreneur who works a 9-5 as a Creative Insights Analyst for Group Nine Media while balancing a side hustle as a lifestyle influencer -- advocating for mental health, women empowerment, and wholehearted living. But really, in large part, I'm anything and everything my mind and heart wills for, with no true north other than a path of learning.
What inspires you? What gets you going and motivated to pursue your passions?
I’m inspired by anyone and everyone around me who persistently chases for their dreams and works hard to achieve their goals. It makes me believe in myself, too, that I can have those people in my life thoroughly inspire me daily and pave a path of genuine capability and determined will.
What advice would you tell your 15yr old self?
There will be pain and hardship and self-defeating obstacles, but in the pit of these moments, in the darkest of these hours, your life will born strength and resilience and beauty beyond what you thought you could grow. And it is in these times that you comprehensibly believe in the world you live in, the world you've created, and the world you're about to enter. So take the good moments with gratitude and love, but welcome the bad moments with wider arms and intentional embrace.
What is the scariest part of pursuing your passions and how do you work through it?
Vulnerability. I know that the more I put myself out there and share about my story, the more it exposes the deep and personal, and invites criticism and judgement. It's scary and daunting to put myself out there like that, especially since I'm already struggling to address certain parts of myself to my own self. And now, I'm speaking out about my journey out loud, letting people watch me grow and make mistakes along the way. Yet, this also is a source of empowerment in itself--to be so secure in my vulnerability that I am willing to welcome outside perceptions without letting them shake my drive and passion, but rather let them color my perspectives even more. I think what helps me get through the fear of vulnerability is knowing that I'm not alone. We all struggle with it and if I can offer a voice to our common fear, then it helps us come together and face it as one force.
What is your dream and how would you encourage others to go after theirs?
Hmm, I'm not even sure. It's not that I don't have dreams but I also don't have just one big dream I'm striving to achieve. I've reframed how I define my successes and measure my goals but celebrating every win, big or small, and I think in doing that, it's helped me believe that I am fulfilling my dreams every single day. It's helped me put less pressure on myself so that I don't think that I'm not good enough or that I need to do more but instead, I can believe that anything I put my heart into is a step forward into whatever I dream I'm pursuing, whether I know what that is or not. And I'd encourage others to do the same because we all deserve to give ourselves more credit for already doing so much and being so much more.
Share a failure and how you overcame it.
Oh man...I have so many and yet, I don't think I can even call them failures because if anything, they were more like guidelines or detour signs in my life. Or maybe, I've just learned to block them out really well haha. So while I can't pinpoint a failure to share, I can say that with every failure I've experienced, I've always looked at it as a launchpad for something better or greater to come along. And soon enough, they do at the time they present themselves. In fact, I think I invite failure as comic relief to my mostly-serious life and preparation for new realizations.
Check out her blog: www.littlemaisunshine.com! She shares everything from her own personal journey to sharing others' stories of overcoming their own mental obstacles.
She also just launched her own t-shirt created in collaboration with Alexis Damen called "Mind Over Madder" with the specific mission of breaking down the negative stigma of mental health and mental illnesses, and a portion of the proceeds are donated to NAMI
Follow Mai on instagram here