You know those two rad, curly haired sisters? Well, they came from a rad, curly haired mom. When I asked Bianca to interview and then her sister Olivia, I thought, "Hey. Why not mom too?" Mom is my friend, Mindy. Mindy and met the same day that I met Pennywise...(Or Bianca). It wasn't until this year though, that we really solidified a friendship.
Apples don't fall far from the trees. These are good lady apples and mom and dad are good trees. (I'd also like to add they have a lovely son too). This year, Zoey my eldest and Bianca her youngest aren't in the same class. Mindy and I have made the effort to make sure that the girls stay buddies. With that, it's allowed me more time to get to know Mindy. She kind. She is welcoming. She is generous. Best of all she has had unexpected surprises of really funny one liners. Although she'd tell you otherwise, she is a working mom who is super involved with her kid's lives. Every other weekend, they are traveling to different parts of the state for one of their kids for lacrosse or soccer. She gets to school to be a volunteer when she has any free moments. Being as involved in her kids lives as much as possible is something she does regardless of her heavy work schedule. I am constantly wowed at how much she can get accomplished despite being pulled in ten different directions. She has a potty mouth and heart of gold. I always enjoy spending time with her and the whole family. In addition to the great company, there is always a glass of wine and good food too. The queen of the family holds it down and I am so glad I get to be a jester with them every now and then.
What is your name and how do we know each other?
"Mindy Villalba.. A fellow mom from school."
How old are you?
What are you currently doing with yourself?
"Parenting and career. My official job title is so unsexy. I am a 'Project Manager'. I work for a petroleum testing lab. We provide testing services for various sectors of the petroleum industry. My job is a technical liaison for the customer to provide proposals, data and report interpretation. I went to school for Chemical Engineering. I love what I do and I am good at what I do. I’m happy with my status. I feel very fortunate in that I get to do what I do from home/remotely and I can do that as I need to take care of my children."
Are you where you hoped you would be? If not/ Why? If so-what do you love about it and could you see yourself doing anything else?
"I certainly didn’t expect to be in California. I had a different path when I was in Texas. I had a different professional plan. That being said, being in California has been such a blessing. It has been such a welcoming experience. It’s one I can’t imagine leaving behind. All of my family is Texas but even with that, California still feels like home."
Women are becoming a resilient sound that cannot be silenced. What are you doing to contribute that sound?
"I’m doing it professionally. I am in charge of a lot of technical organizations which traditionally have been headed by men because of the nature of that industry. Over the last 10 years, I’ve seen the growth of women in my industry. I am keeping the doors open by staying in this position. I’m allowing other women to become involved by climbing in the drivers seat."
What is something you learned from a younger age that has stuck with you?
"My grandmother always told me to 'think ahead of my nose'. We can’t focus on what’s exactly in front of us. We need to see into the events of the future. I teach my children that it means 'life has consequences'. I think I use that daily to try to solve problems whether it’s at work or home. That means realizing my goals and figuring out how I am going to accomplish them."
What is a weakness or something that exposes your vulnerability and what do you do to combat/embrace it in order to grow?
""I think that professionally, if you hear my speaking voice that it can be difficult to get a word in edgewise. I need to choose my words carefully. My physical speaking voice was 'super cute' when I was younger. As I got older and it didn’t change and therefore people interpret me as 'meek and irrelevant.' I hate speaking in front of others because of that factor. To combat that fear, I do it. I do presentations. I do seminars and workshops. I hate it. But I do it. The hard part is I don’t hate talking to people but I hate how someone may interpret the way I sound."
What is something that you want to accomplish and what are you doing to get to that place, if anything?
"I would love to take more time and do some more charity work because I don’t do that enough now. If money didn’t matter, I would spend more time volunteering for the community or be involved in things that matter/influence my kids. The medical industry is big passion of mine that I never got to explore but something I would like to get myself involved in. Offering my time to those who may need it. Right now, my family needs my time and I’m ok with that. I’m looking forward to a time when I can do that."
And now..a few questions to lighten the mood...
Dogs or Cats?
Cheeseburgers or Salad?
Beach or Mountains?
"Neither...but I don’t know where the happy place is."
Sweet or Salty?
Lose all of your old memories or never make new ones?
"Never make new ones"
Disney..or is there any alternative?
"Disney all the way."
What is a fun fact that someone may not know about you?
I had a “Flock of Seagulls” haircut when I was in the 9th grade."
(To which my response was YES).
And the final two important questions...
What is a common misconception about you that people make based on your appearance? What is your truth and how do you personify strength?
"They think I’m SO sweet. I have a really big potty mouth. It doesn’t quite go with the look or sound." (She says with a laugh).
You have inspired me. What about yourself do you hope to put out in order to inspire other young people?
"This whole week at work was all about team meetings and inspirations. It was so much lip service. I was thinking 'yes, but how?' I am genuine and I feel like people respond to that in best way. People respond to that well, including my kids. They are the best versions of themselves. It’s how you can get the best versions out."
I am constantly wowed at how much she can get accomplished despite being pulled in ten different directions