I’ve known Maggie since Middle School, we had classes and RENGA (Creative Writing Club) together. Maggie is such a bright spirit, her smile and laugh can energize any room and person. Maggie always knew how to make me smile, she was such a great friend. I am so happy to publish this interview. Maggie has grown up since I last saw her in 2012, She has graduated from college, fallen in love, and made a lovely group of friends. Enjoy the advice she shares, Maggie is a strong woman that I am thankful to know.
Do you have a personal mantra?
I don’t know if this really counts as a mantra, but I do have a quote that I really want to get as a tattoo because it has personal meaning to me. I want to get the words “with broken wings she flew” tattooed somewhere because I think it is a real quote of strength and endurance that has helped me through some tough times in my life.
· As a writer, how to you cultivate creativity?
I mean the answer to this question may seem a little obvious but I write. I’m the type of person that remembers random facts about people because that helps to build characters. I won’t remember a person’s birthday, but I will remember that the color mustard reminds them of their grandmother for whatever reason. Those kinds of small weird facts help to build characters in my stories. I also play the “what if” game a lot. So, if I am sitting on a train I work out a ton of different random scenarios that could potentially happen and somewhere somehow it leads to a story idea of some kind.
· As a college grad, what advice do you have for those graduating soon?
DON’T DO IT! Just kidding! Growing up is scary and everything don’t get me wrong, and officially becoming a big girl in the real world can really suck at moments, but I think the advice that I would give people is don’t let it make you feel old. Just because you’re an adult and work from 9-5 every day does not mean you can’t still go to midnight premiers on a Wednesday or a Thursday. You’ll be tired as hell the next day but it’s worth it. Also, relish in the weekends because they come and go way too quickly now. My biggest piece of advice though would be realize whatever company you get hired for, that is your new career, not just a job. This idea really helped open my eyes on how long I could really see myself working for a company or not. Also, if you don’t get a job right away don’t freak out! Take some vacations have some fun! Don’t overstress about it because a job will come (that’s what my dad kept telling me).
· Did you ever struggle with body image issues? How did you heal?
I still struggle with body image issues. It seems like a constant battle to be happy in my own skin and not get disappointed with myself. I was actually bullied for a very long time while I was growing up and it took quite a toll on me. I’m not sure if it was really purposefully healing or eventually just deciding to love myself, but I think two main factors really helped me to heal and they didn’t come until my sophomore and junior year in college. Sophomore year I joined the sorority Delta Zeta and the wonderful women I know call my sisters all taught me that I am beautiful and I had numerous people that thought that about me. Junior year I actually started dating my current boyfriend and I realized I could never fully love him until I loved myself, and I think that thought process really helped me a lot to get over some of my body image discomforts. On my own though, when I would have really bad days, as silly as this is going to sound, I would sit myself in front of a mirror and tell myself over and over and over again that I was beautiful. Eventually you just believe it.
· If you could go back in time and give advice to your high school self, what would it be?
I would tell myself to live it up a bit more. You know go to all the football games, go to some sports you really don’t care about, and go out on a school night with your friends. I would let myself know that a couple of bad grades really wouldn’t kill me, and I really think I would tell myself that all the things that people (bullies) said about me growing up wasn’t true. The real question is though would high school me believe current me haha.
· When it comes to taking care of yourself mentally & physically, what kind of things do you do?
Physically I try to eat healthy. I have been really focused on my diet lately and eating better and I have noticed a huge difference! High energy levels, less bloating, just an all around better feeling. I also workout! I haven’t been all too great about it this past week, but typically I try and workout (at least a little bit) 5-6 days a week, and I like to do active things with my boyfriend. We are definitely better at it in the summer because we can go for bike rides and run outside and go play volleyball on the beach or something. In Winter we both noticed we became a little more stagnant but we still try and go out and go dancing/clubbing or workout somehow together. Mentally, I actually play a lot of card and puzzle games, which kind of keeps me mentally attentive.
· What is one of your favorite books? How did it affect your life?
Some of my favorite books would have to be the Marked series by P.C. Cast. I got extremely attached to the characters and the storyline of the entire series. I don’t know if I would say it really affected my life (unless you count the number of nights it kept me up until 4 in the morning reading). I just think these books were always good to escape into and be a different person and live an adventure for a while when I was bored or something. I don’t really know any books that would have changed my life. I kind of just appreciate and experience every book as it plops into my hands. I think books have always been my escape, so I guess in a way they all have affected my life in some way.