i grew up just down the street from lauren. i remember playing pogs in her living room as a kid [dating myself here]. her house was filled with love. she was the oldest of four, with three younger brothers. lauren’s whole family was into wrestling. their basement was converted to a wrestling area and they had pull up bars in their doorways. i always looked up to lauren. as a matter of fact, i think the whole school did. she was fun, nice, athletic, beautiful, smart...the kind of girl who you just knew would do great things. and that she has.
what is the biggest challenge or opportunity you’ve faced and how did it shape who you are?
one of the biggest challenges i’ve ever faced was letting go of my career to support my husband and our family. we live in a society that teaches women to be independent, strong, and never take a back seat to a man. my parents taught me that if i worked hard, i could become anything i wanted. i had big dreams. sure, a family would be nice. but that was far from my priorities.
as a little girl i have this vivid memory of my mom making my dad a plate of food for dinner and bringing it to him in our living room. i thought to myself — “i never want to be just a wife.” so after high school i went to college, earned straight As, and then put myself through grad school at columbia university. i excelled, and when i came home i landed a job as a reporter at the buffalo news. i was well on my way to the successful career i always imagined.
fast forward three years and enter future husband. oh, love, how you completely change a woman’s perspective. not lust, but real love. it’s easy to confuse the two when you’re young. but once you know you find the person you want to spend your life with, it’s incredible how your view of the world changes. things become less about yourself (hopefully) and more about doing what’s best for the both of you. since i met my husband jordan, i truly believe that if there’s one thing more motivating than having a dream, it’s sharing one. he was born to be great; to use his platform to influence young men all around the world. i feel honored to be able to help him do that.
i think back to that little girl who didn’t want to be “just a wife” and i can’t help but laugh thinking that’s exactly who i’ve become. it’s such beautiful irony. someday i will teach my daughter ora and son beacon that they can be anything they dream to be. they can be a writer, an artist, a musician, a chef, a wife, a husband or all of them at once! well, maybe not all of them. women are pretty great multitaskers! i pray that they understand that no matter what they do, they should never allow herself to be defined by the world.
what’s one word, thought, or philosophy that you live by?
romans 12:2 : do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
i’ll teach my daughter to believe in her gifts, love people, and never waiver in her beliefs. the world can be a scary, ever-changing place. we must keep true to ourselves and our standards.
who is an amazing woman that we should know about?
one of the most inspiring women i’ve ever met, and one of my friends, helen maroulis, was the first american woman to win an olympic gold medal (rio 2016) in women’s wrestling. she has made history in a sport dominated by men while still upholding the values that make us women. she encourages young girls to be trailblazers, to believe in themselves, and to honor god above all. she is a true hero to women all around the world.
our gritbabe journal features ladies from all walks of life who have persevered, overcome, and achieved great success. if you have a story to share, get in touch.