9to9 Girls: meet Emily

9to9 Girls is a new section and short portraits of strong and creative women who have all, in their own rights and on their own terms defined what a successful life was to them.

emily

I am so excited for this interview. You just need to have a dose of Emily in your life. I met Em recently in Oslo at a conference on female entrepreneurship. It was the day I lost my job and felt hopeless. She turned to me and introduced herself and with few words and a big smile, she brought hope back. Em is full of life, overflowing with kindness and positivity. American raised gone Oslo based, Em works in marketing.

Where can we find you on Instagram?

@emilynway and @ems_north

What is the thing you love most about yourself?

I'd have to say my sense of adventure. I've created a lot of exciting possibilities for myself, and I'm always open to new ones. I think that part of the reason for this is after losing two family members in a plane crash, I became more aware of the short and precious nature of life and often feel a sense of urgency inside of me to live the best life I could possibly live. 

What holds you back in life?

Self-limiting thoughts. The ones that say, you're not good enough, that dream is far too big, you'll never be able to accomplish that, etc. I'm trying to become more patient with myself and quieting those thoughts with more positive self-talk. 

What advice would you give your 23-year-old self?

Don't worry so much. I look back and wish I hadn't spent so much of my time stressing out about trivial things, like what others think of me; worrying about if things will work out or not; if I was good enough, etc. I've learned that things always have a way of working out, especially if you stay positive. 

´My life is successful because...´

I am happy, healthy and surrounded by light and love. To me, success is defined by continuously improving who I am, how I live, and how I contribute. 

What is always in your bag from 9 to 9?

Ooh let's take a look: iPhone and earbuds, a portable charger, my wallet, Korres lip butter, notebook and pen, the book I'm reading (currently How to Love Yourself and Sometimes Other People) and usually some sort of tea - yes, I carry tea bags in my wallet. 

What did you dream to become growing up?

I'm a real animal lover so naturally, I wanted to be a veterinarian. However, when I learned that part of the job is to put animals 'to sleep' I cried for a good hour and decided I could not do that. I also dreamt of being the first female president of the United States, a ballerina, a chef and a dolphin trainer. When the corporate world loses its finesse, I will likely revert to one of these professions. Putting money on dolphin trainer ha.

What is women empowerment to you?

Finding and cultivating a strong sense of identity and independence, free of anyone or anything else. 

3 women who have marked your life and why.

My mom. She has had the biggest impact on my life. No matter what decisions I've made, she supports me and is there for me when the going gets tough. Some of the greatest pieces of advice she has given me are to be grateful for what you have and the power of forgiveness. She inspires me to follow my heart, stay true to myself, and to laugh often. 

Maya Angelou. She simply cannot be summed up in a sentence or two. Not only a civil rights activist and survivor, but a quietly powerful (a rare and beautiful combination) woman who changed the world with her poetry and writing. 

Kim Johns. My middle school band teacher. On the last day of school, she told us that if she could give us one piece of advice to remember for the rest of our lives, it was to be kind. I've carried this with me since then and still believe it is the number one piece of advice. 

How do you create your own space, your personal chamber?

By lighting a few candles, playing my 'Light and clear classical' playlist on Spotify, 

What is your self-care routine?

I'd have to say one of my favourite things is throwing on my running shoes, putting on a good playlist and running like there's no tomorrow.  This clears my head and there's nothing quite like that runner's high. I also get a lot of energy from journaling, reading and meditating. 

Interview by EF.