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travel through time with me to find out how I I zigged 🔀 and zagged 🔂 all the way to this moment, this job, and this haircut ↘
Little Me is an artist, loves fashion, and can't decide between being a writer, editor of the Delia's catalog, or psychologist when she grows up. (Narrator Voice: Alexis would go on to do a little of all of that.)
After earning a degree in Fashion Design and getting three-quarters of the way to another (a BA in Fine Art), I'm frustrated. Even though my grades are excellent, I'm being forced to repeat classes because of my transfers—and this is getting expensive.
Let's jump into the mid-2000s, shall we? My college years involve five promotions, four cities, three university transfers, two countries, one fashion blog, and plenty of adventure mixed with privilege and confusion.
tiny dreamer & sheltered teen
artsy college kid
Over the next few years, I am thriving: making art and getting promoted. Leading teams and designing stores. Styling and merchandising. Traveling for work and climbing that corporate ladder. Feelin' fancy.
So...I decide to drop out of my second degree program to work as a full-time commercial artist, instead.
Meanwhile, to keep my love of travel alive, I start a blog called "Local (Tourist)" and use all my vacation days to explore any place I can.
In 2015, I'm promoted to my dream job: overseeing the creative side of double-digit millions of dollars in annual business and co-leading huge teams of talented humans in visual merchandising.
I'm just 28 years old—in the peak of my career, in a happy relationship, good friends, nice apartment, beautiful city...I bet you know where this is going.
Fast forward one year later. I should be happy, but I'm exhausted, anxious, and lost. I've I girlbossed too close to the sun, accidentally tangled up my identity in my work and fully burnt myself out in the process.
the dream job
Cue: very millennial-white-woman existential crisis. Read allllllll the trending self-help books. Attend digital career-focused women's conferences. Attempt yoga. Journal. Try meditation. Binge tv. Write a letter from myself, to myself, telling myself to let myself BE myself. Cry. UGGGHHHHHhhh.
Cue: very deep psychology and neuroscience rabbit hole. Read allllll the pop-science books. Trace their citations. Rind those academic journals. Stumble upon positive psychology. Make obsessive notes. Apply what I'm learning. Wait, am I less anxious? Holy shit, is this helping?!
But wait. WAIT. Where was the science in all this fluffy advice I'm soaking in? and why were the people telling me to "practice self-care" also trying to sell me something?
Suddenly on my first big break from work since I was 16-years-old, I feel a mix of summer-vacation-relief and who-am-I existential dread. I decide to throw myself into travel blogging, only to realize...oh god, I do NOT want to have to monetize travel blogging, oh nooo...
It's Spring of 2017; the company downsizes and gives me a choice. Option A: take a different job within the brand. Option B: take severance, quit, and reinvent my life. (I went with Option B.)
Instead, I decide to make my obsession with learning official by going back to school remotely, earning my Specialization Certificate in Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. And while I'm at it, waking up early everyday to work on "the book I'm apparently writing."
who am I, again?
hit the books, round 1
A lot happens in the fall of 2018. I teach my first ever workshop based on the material in my manuscript and reappear on social media after a long hiatus to announce I'm "self-publishing it this fall."
In the Winter of 2018, I launch the Call Me When You Get This podcast, describing it to friends with "It's like getting a 12-minute voice note from your psychology-obsessed and anticapitalist best friend."
And then, just eight weeks later, I'm offered a book deal with Chronicle Books, on their Prism Imprint (!?!?)
Behind the scenes, my editor and I (Hey, Eva!) are working through final details of Find Your FuckYeah and I'm taking on my first coaching clients: creatives and entrepreneurs hoping to find some joy in their work again.
Cut to early 2019. I'm suddenly invited to speak on panels, co-lead events, and teach workshops on the science of goal-setting and our cultural obsession with "purpose"—events that unexpectedly help me overcome my fear of public speaking and plant seeds of "wait, do we love edutainment?!" in me.
edutainment & coaching seeds
It's the Fall of 2019; one year after getting the book deal, and Chronicle releases the hardcover of Find Your FuckYeah worldwide. The whole thing feels surreal. I have to advocate pretty hard for the chance to narrate my own audiobook, but ultimately, I get the opportunity—and love every second of the process.
We wrap 2019 with a mini book tour, and I get to do a reading in the local bookstore I had daydreamed my work might be sold in one day. PINCH ME.
the "pinch me" era
Plot twist! The pandemic changes everything. I start actively seeking and sharing coping tools in attempt to manage stress; some of those resources unexpectedly go very viral.
2020 is off to an epic start: I get to lead one of my workshops at a retreat in Iceland (!?!) and experience bucket-list, life-altering events like witnessing the Northern Lights in person (!?!?!)
pandemic plot twist
As my coaching work expands, I'm feeling great about my specialization training, but unnerved by how much of a "wild west" the life & career coaching industries are. I decide to enroll in my second certification program: a 500-hour PCC from the International Coaching Federation, led by positive psychology professors and ethics experts in the field of coaching.
The epic internet response reminds me: we don't need rescuing, we need resources. In August 2020, I host the Take Back 2020 virtual retreat; it raises $3.7k for The Loveland Foundation, becomes a mini-community, and changes lives (including mine).
hit the books, round 2
In other ways, my life contracts: I move to a more isolated city while social distancing, undergo surgery for a chronic condition, and grapple with physical and mental health struggles that slow my "productivity" in a major way. I'm learning about energy budgeting and my personal seasons—while redefining my concepts of rest, ambition, and embodied activism.
Cut to 2021: As the pandemic changes the world, it changes me, too.
In some ways, my life expands: I take on more coaching clients and find myself researching, creating, and hosting more virtual workshops than ever for public and corporate audiences alike.
slow ALLLLL the way down
2022 is full of behind-the-scenes growth. Coaching, teaching, and content creation continue—but I find myself hungry for books, classes, and perspectives that highlight systemic influences on mental health while de-centering whiteness, patriarchy, and individualism. My library (and brain) expands.
Endlessly curious, I decide to enroll in my third certification, earning my Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy Certificate from The Embody Lab in February 2023.
I was lucky enough to study under both the pioneers of somatic psychology and practitioners devoted to decolonizing the fields of trauma research and traditional psychology.
hit the books, round 3
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