What do you do for work?
I tell stories—my own and others’. Through my personal essays, I’ve explored divorce, death, mental illness, grief, trauma, and motherhood. Light stuff!
I’ve also had the opportunity to write about my experiences with a Syrian refugee family I befriended when they resettled in my Atlanta neighborhood, and have enjoyed writing profile pieces spotlighting the work of some truly amazing women in the health industry who are working on behalf of underserved communities.
Through my brand storytelling agency, Good Egg Branding, I work with people who are interested in making a difference not just a profit, by helping them translate their passion and purpose onto the page. I’m also the Content Concierge at Well Said, Well Said, where I help people in high-stakes, deadline-driven scenarios capture, in writing, the essence of who they are and why they are exceptional (think private school applications, performance reviews, co-op applications, adoption applications, and any sort of personal statement that will be used to make life-changing decisions about someone’s future).
More words? I love writing short fiction and am working on a book-length nonfiction project exploring family and identity. I’m hopeful I can raise funds in the next two years to travel to Israel, Romania, and Vienna to trace my unreliable narrator father’s roots!
Prowling bookstores is my absolute favorite pastime. There is nothing like spending hours roaming shelves (preferably with a cup of coffee in hand). When I can pry myself away from the page, I enjoy indoor rowing, eating delicious food, gorging on a new-to-me tv series, helping my Syrian friends with their cookie business, and spending time with the people who are important to me.
None. I know that sounds cavalier, but every step and “misstep” has shaped who I am and where I’ve come to be. I treasure all my experiences—from the triumphs to the traumas. I will say I’m action-driven. So when that looming feeling of regret sometimes creeps in, it’s because I’m treading water in a place of inaction. I’m not sure how much sense that makes to anyone but me! As long as I’m moving forward and staying positive—regardless of the outcome—there’s no room for regret.
Can you describe your fantasy version of your older self?
Oooh! Let’s see. I’m writing full time, often from my studio apartment getaway in NY. When I’m not working on my latest book, I publish essays and short fiction. Occasionally I teach, in intimate, retreat settings. I’m also collaborating with creative partners on various artistic endeavors that stretch me outside my discipline. My children and I have solidified a deep, meaningful, relationship. And there is a man who fully appreciates me for the rabid creative beast I am. He not only supports me, but challenges me. And I not only support him, but challenge him. We become better, together. I travel at least three times a year, at least one trip a year by myself, at least one trip a year with my children so they can see the world outside their world, and at least one trip a year with my romantic partner, because who doesn’t want to wake up with someone you love, having coffee in a new city? I’m so happy because I’m doing the work that makes me happy, surrounding myself with the people I love, and leaving room to evolve.
What’s your biggest fear?
Death. Right?! But really stagnating, which is its own kind of living death.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
It’s a toss up. Justin’s peanut butter cups. Or, a nap, at 4:00, on a weekday.
What does to group mean to you?
Everything? My friend Lizzy kept asking when I was turning 40. She had a birthday present for me. Best. Gift. Ever. I was working up the courage to leave my 20-year relationship/15-year marriage. There was nothing horrific about the marriage, or my ex, I was just deeply unhappy. The group really helped me find the resolve to leave my “good enough” life; to fully embrace the idea that I deserve my “best” life (as does my ex). Would I have gotten a divorce without the help of the group? Absolutely. But having this chorus of woman at my fingertips made me feel so incredibly supported, and I will always be grateful for the added strength they gave me at a time when I needed it most. In whatever ways I can, I try to give back, too. We are all—at any point in time—going through so much. A simple heart, or comment, or private message can be the gesture that helps you take a breath, sit up a little straighter, and plod through the rest of your day. I’m eternally grateful to Nina for bringing all these personalities and all this collective wisdom into one “room.”
Where can we find you?
Instagram & Twitter: @amandaavutu