Vanessa Bielecki is a woman who does it all. She’s a published author, a teacher, a trainer, and is a Miss Canada 2020 candidate. She runs an amazing YouTube channel, “My Teacher Vanessa”, where she helps people learn English.

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Alice: Hi everyone. I’m Alice, the social media manager for Jubilance. Today I’m talking with Vanessa Bielecki. Vanessa is a woman who does it all. She’s a published author, a teacher, a trainer, and is a Miss Canada 2020 candidate. She runs an amazing YouTube channel, “My Teacher Vanessa”, where she helps people learn English. Welcome Vanessa, thank you so much for joining us.

Vanessa:  Yes, thank you so much for having me. I’m really looking forward to this and I love what you’re doing with the podcast, it’s great

Alice:  Thank you. We’re just going to get started with some more fun questions. What is your favorite food?

Vanessa:  Okay. This is a good question, especially living in a big city where one of my favorite things to do is to just try different foods.

But one kick here is that I’m vegan. I didn’t mean to go vegan, it just kind of happened over the years. When I was a little bit younger, in elementary school, someone showed me a Youtube video called Meet Your Meat– M.E.E.T Your M.E.A.T. After that, I just couldn’t eat meat anymore. My mom would try to feed me fish even, and I didn’t like seafood. I started off vegetarian kind of by accident. Then, in high school, I had all sorts of stomach problems, and my doctor just suggested cutting out dairy. So, I cut out dairy, I cut out meat, I cut out a fish.  So, I guess, not sure, I kind of just became vegan. However, I do steal the eggs from happy chickens that I get from the farm, I eat honey from happy bees. It doesn’t have to be a big food discussion, I think it’s just being mindful about what you eat.

Here in Toronto there’s so many opportunities to try vegan food, especially now. There’re new places opening up everywhere. What I like to do is, well, I really like pizza and I really like nachos, that’s kind of my guilty things. This one place called Pizzeria Librettos, they make the best pizza that I always love to have. There is one nacho place called Wilbur’s, it’s pretty cheap, it’s quick, you can get your nachos, your guacamole, and they have all sorts of hot sauces, and I love hot sauce, it’s perfect.

Alice:  Sounds so good. Cool.

Vanessa:  Yes.  Kind of a longer answer to your question.

Alice:  Yes. What are you currently watching on TV?

Vanessa:  Lately I’ve been on a kick of bettering myself listening, to podcasts from doctors. I’m really about motivation, time management. So, I’ve been watching now is the one about Bill Gates, Inside Bill Gates’ Mind. It’s just a three-part series, they really just follow him throughout the day. My initial thing was, “Okay, yes, he created Windows, of course he’s a great philanthropist”, but what really stood out to me is just how structured and how he manages his time. Even if he’s traveling to work, he’s reviewing political documents just because he’s interested. Then, for lunch, he’s having a meeting with someone. How can us– These are things that he wants to do, and not only that, but he’s managing his time very wisely. That’s something that I’ve been trying to do, really manage my time so I can shape the life that ultimately I really want, right?

Alice: That’s awesome. Wow.  I’ll have to check that out.

Vanessa:  Yes, it’s pretty good. I think it’s still available on Netflix, at least in Canada it’s definitely available. I know the American one has a few more episodes, a few more shows than us.

Alice:  Okay. Oh, cool.  Oh, yes, I’ll have to check it out. That sounds really interesting. What is your must-have essential item in your purse?

Vanessa:  That’s a really good question. This is all year around, especially now in the winter, it’s lip balm. It’s something that I definitely need. It used to be my calendar, keeping organized, but now it’s lip balm. If it’s not in my purse, it’s in my pocket, or it’s in my car. I kind of have one everywhere. We actually just got snow last week. We had about maybe almost a foot here in Toronto, so I’m really getting ready to the winter season were we kind of skip fall and went right into winter here.

Alice:  Yes. Oh, that’s terrible. I’m from California originally, so I just can’t with weather.

Vanessa:  Well, my plan is to eventually structure my life so I can escape for the winters, come back for Christmas, and sneak back out.

Alice:  That sounds like the best idea I’ve ever heard. Where are you living now?

Vanessa:  Right now, I’m in Toronto. I was born and raised. I left a little bit for university. I went to Teacher’s College, I was really involved in my school there but I love this city. When people come here sometimes, it’s a little bit too much chaos, they call it the New York of Canada, but I love it. I love being around different people, I love meeting new people. When I ever come back and I’m taking a train that gets to Union Station I just take in the chaos, and it actually calms me weirdly.  Yes, I’m in Toronto. I plan on being here a little longer, unless, of course, I sneak away for the winters.

Alice:  That’s amazing. What’s your favorite part about the city?

Vanessa:  Definitely I’ve touched upon the food, but honestly it’s the people. Every time I leave and then come back, I find that this is an atmosphere, hate to use the word, but this is the vibe about Toronto. A perfect example I can use are the Raptors that happened recently, this whole city came alive. I’m definitely one of these people that will jump on the bandwagon and whenever one of our teams is doing great.

There’s just a sea of blue and white in this city, and there’s just this energy on game night. That’s something I really love about the city, is this energy it has on some things going on. On Friday night you can just feel this buzz. You can see traffic coming in, and that’s what I really love about it, which is the life that’s here.

Alice:  That’s amazing. I’ve never been to Toronto but I would love to go.

Vanessa:  Come in the summer.  Come in the sunshine month.

Alice:  Yes, I was going to ask about fall traditions, but since it’s winter, you have winter traditions?

Vanessa:  I think that’s a really important question because Winter blues is a thing here. Whether it’s a lack of vitamin D, or just not seeing friends as often, we go into this “hibernation mode”.  Definitely getting outside, getting a hobby during the winter is really important, especially for me. I love snowboarding, I have a husky, so it’s always doing something outside with him. I joke around that he gets activated when the snow comes around, he’s just itching to go out, which I love, yes. So, definitely I would say not so much a tradition, but definitely doing a little trip somewhere, just enjoy the winter. Whether it’s a snowboarding trip, or a trip to rent– like renting a chalet with some friends, and really just getting into the spirit and freezing a little bit.

Alice:  Wow.  That sounds so nice. I guess here in New York we have ice skating, but then that’s really the only like wintry thing. Sounds you can get out a little more. That’s great.

Vanessa:  Yes, especially because we’re close to Quebec, and you have a lot of ski hills ground. I’ve never been to New York in the winter, but for me it seems like a lot of slush, just because it’s the middle of the city, and we have that here, too. We love winter the first, like, two months and then just last way too long and we can get slushed during slush season that I just wish that it has gone.

Alice:  Why isn’t this gone yet?

Vanessa:  Exactly how I feel.

Alice:  Can you talk me through the step-by-step process of how you got to where you are today?

Vanessa:  Yes, absolutely. Over here, it is early as grade 11, your schools are asking, “What are you going to be when you grow up?”, “What are you going to be?” In grade 11- grade 12, I really don’t think that we know what we want to be, right? I just thought, “Oh, I enjoy helping people, I guess I’ll be a teacher”.

I went into Teachers College, I took that for five years. That was really the beginning of my journey. When I was in school I met many interesting people, and I was able to explore my interests a lot. I got really involved in the school gym there, I was the fitness coordinator where I– hired to manage 15 or so instructors that would design the classes, like you need a lot of room for creativity. Along the way, I found out things I like to do, and things I maybe don’t like to do. I know I like being creative, I know I like working with other like-minded people, that’s something I like to do.

After school, I went to online teaching, I started doing a lot online. Something actually happened in my life that changed kind of everything. It’s a happy story and I don’t mind talking about it. I think that everyone kind of goes through stuff in their life and it’s about how you deal with it, right? I was teaching online at the time, I was trying to work from home, getting a good schedule and leave it out there. There’s a lot you can do as a teacher that’s not in the classroom, we can talk about that later as well. My mom, she’s diagnosed with a brain tumor and given two months to live. It seems a crazy story, but it has a happy ending. My mom had a 10-hour brain surgery, long story short- full recovery. At that moment, life put on a hold, everything change, and it really put things into perspective for me. I just have a thought about my place in the world, what’s important to me, and I really didn’t want to feel like -I don’t know how to describe- maybe like a worker bee.

The nine-to-five isn’t for me, and I wanted to spend as much time as I could with my family. I wanted to create this life where I could spend time doing more of what I love, being more with the people that I love. This Western culture thing that says you have to work, work, work until your retirement, until I can go to California, right? I have to work my whole life and then maybe one day can come to California. I think that’s kind of a Western way of thinking, many other cultures they don’t think that way. I wanted to try to dot my life, had the ability to do that, so that’s why I started teaching online to companies in China, 12-hour time differences. There’s a big market for Canadians working with people from overseas just because they like our Western terminology, it’s very similar to the movies. Like we’ll say, “Pants” instead of trousers, you won’t say, “Knickers”, you’ll use other terminology. Our phonetics are very easy to understand, and our most movements, so yes, a lot of the opportunity for that.

I began working for a studio, where we make these pre-recorded English lessons for companies in China. For example, we have Google Maps pre-downloaded on our phones, phones in China will have these other apps, like learn English apps and learn other languages. We provide this third-party videos for these companies and had these learning language apps. For about three years, I was able to work full time from home doing my own schedule, and then I actually went back into teaching in a classroom. I’m actually a French teacher. I started teaching– supplying a bit, and then I started teaching a grade eight French. In Ontario, in Canada, we’re bilingual. I know in the State’s -I think- it’s more Spanish that they honing on, but for us it’s mandatory to take French all the way up until the beginning of high school.

I started teaching grade eight French, but again this was a school that was a little farther from a house.  I was driving an hour each way, I had to get a do– all these little things just kept piling up.  So, by last June I said no more of that and I went back to teaching half time at a school really close to my house, which gives me room in the mornings maybe to teach online, and then pursue other interests. That’s really kind of a step by step on how it played out. I’ve always had one foot in the door teaching, and then the other foot dabbling, and other things, just trying to see what my interests are. That answer your question?

Alice:  That’s great, thank you so much. Then, how did “My Teacher Vanessa” come about? Can you explain what it is to you so everyone listening can hear?

Vanessa:  Yes, totally. I had all this buildup of videos for my company, and we eventually started making these programs. How to be an online teacher and make money, and Know Phonograms, so “My Teacher Vanessa” kind of became the side project that I started doing with my company. We just started going through all the letters of the alphabet, I make all sorts of lessons. Again, they gave me a lot of room for creativity and to explore things I was interested in. We made the English alphabet, the French alphabet, and I just had all these videos and I had no where to put it, so I started putting them on YouTube. A lot of my friends, they teach younger grades, and they say, “You know what? These videos are great, can you post more for my students?”.

But this was a thing that was effortless at the time, right? I had the videos, I had somewhere to put them. I think when something flows effortlessly it’s something that it’s easier, it’s meant to happen. Things that, say, may stress someone out would be, “Creating content, creating content”, yes, sure that takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of time out of your day, but if it’s something you’re naturally doing it becomes a little bit easier. If you love baking, yes, start filming yourself while you bake and upload those videos, right?

I’ve been learning a lot about time management and how we can improve. There’s this one study done, it was a clay making class. The teacher said, “Half of your grade will be solely on how many clay pieces you produce, and the other 50% of your grade will be based on one piece of your choosing and that’ll be 50% on your mark”. They found this correlation between the people that had the most amount of clay pieces produce, that they also had the best final piece. So, it’s constant[?] correlation between the more work you do, the better your final product will be. The same with all the famous, say composers, like Beethoven, Mozart. Not only were they the best, but they actually have the most work out of everyone. Creativity it’s like a muscle and you have to practice, and you have to get to use it to develop it. My one suggestion would be, it’s never the right time to start, right? It’s never going to be perfect, that just shows you have to just put something out there. Even if you’re not posting it for everyone to see, just start challenging yourself to start doing something creative. Try a new recipe, or try a new ingredient, drive a different way home. Just trying something different in your life.

Alice: That’s great. How did you end up creating that curriculum for “My Teacher Vanessa”? Are you still doing it because you’re not with the company anymore?

Vanessa: Yes. I’m still with the company from here, time to time. “My Teacher Vanessa” was to show my students what I do, and show other people around me what I do. But you’re right, I haven’t really posted anything there in a while. I guess I’m struggling with what should I focus on as well, right? The creation of that was to show my videos, and then after that, yes, I found that maybe was more- For example, I’m wondering should I  be focusing more on this “Miss Canada” aspect?  Should I be focusing more on other things. Right now my energy is directed at teaching in the classroom.  But for this development, I actually– as a teacher there are many opportunities online. There was a company in Dubai and they say, “Hey, we have these materials and we need teacher guides. We need lesson plans”.  So, I got the materials and I formulated the lesson plans. It’s kind of like a contract deal. You can get all these little contracts, companies from all over the world try to put their books together to make teacher guides.

The book that I have is a phonograms book.  All the mouth movement, sounds, where you’re directing your breath when you’re speaking around, how your tongue should be moving. That’s the book that we created with a booklet that goes with it, with video component. I love that there’s a lot of room for creativity and I think it’s really just finding what works best for you. I think I find them really good, like, “Give me a project”, and I’ll complete it very well. But again with this nine to five, don’t make me sit somewhere from nine to five, I’ll probably end up staring at the clock. I find that what works for me is project-based. However, a lot of my friends stresses them out when I tell them what I do because they like having the consistency and knowing, “Okay, Monday to Friday, this is where I’ll be. I can structure my day around it”. Everyone is different and it’s definitely not for everyone.

Alice:  It’s good that you figure that out, too. Just sounds you have your hand in so many different things. Can you talk about your hand in pageants and Miss Canada 2020?

Vanessa:  Yes, absolutely. It’s kind of funny how I got into it. When I was in school I was thinking, “Should I do a fitness competition?”, and to me that seemed extreme. You cut out water for a bit, it’s extreme dieting towards the end, and it doesn’t seem to be the most positive thing for your mental health, right? Especially as a young woman, so I opted to not go to that. Still into fitness, and I always, again, bettering like well-balanced. Balance was kind of my important thing.

I have two cousins in high school at the time, we’re just watching Youtube videos, this was I think in January, just a few months ago, and we got to bloopers from Miss Universe, and everyone knows where the crown was put on the wrong, and then this got– terrible moment. When I was looking at these questions and I said, “I could do that”, I just said, “I could do that”. Right away there’s always this waterfall of doubt that comes, “No, I can’t. I’m not good enough at it”, just blocking those sounds I said, “I could do that”, and my cousin said, “Sure, do it”. I said, “I will, I’m going to do it. I’m going to prove to you that you can do anything you set your mind to”. That was the moment that sparked it.  Just to show my younger cousins– Going on the Internet you see all these great things, but I want to show them it takes hard work to do these things as well. But you can do anything you set your mind to.

So, that’s really where it started. I just started looking online at different pageants. I have no idea what I was getting myself into. I just tried filling out these applications and it’s actually a pretty long interview process as well, where you’ll have to apply online, send a bio in, and then answer five questions, write an essay. All these things are really just more of a balanced approach, and that’s what I really liked about it compared to other, say, like Fitness competitions that I was looking at. This really was about mental health. You also had to be intelligent to do it, you have to carry yourself well, you have to be part of a volunteer, all these things that just make you a well-rounded person. That’s why this specific pageant stood out to me. I was joking you around as well, “I just put on a dress and I walk back and forth. Anyone can do it”. I was downplaying it in my mind so it would take away the fear. Yes, I got accepted to do that. There’s so many more components to it that I had no idea would be a part of it.

It’s actually in Montreal, it’s in March. I think it might be 35 other people there, and it’s not just one night, it ends up being a week where I go to this events and you’re being watched, and it’s about your charisma, and this, and that, how you are with other people. I actually like that it’s a few days long because your true personality really shines through. I’ll be in a room with three other girls for three or four nights, with people watching you like something’s bound to happen, I think your true personality will come out. I always say you find someone’s true personality either when they’re driving, when they react to other people, or when they’re in stressful situations.

That’s really how I got involved with the Miss Canada thing again. Now, I’m still figuring out how it works, right? I’m wondering, “Do I need to get a coach? What should I–?”, all these things that they do as I go. So, I, by no means, grew up with a mom who pushed me to do pageants, and in fact she discouraged it because she thought it might promote a bad body image.  Now, I ran a marathon a few weeks ago, always just trying to challenge myself. I don’t want to talk too much about this just yet, but signing with a modeling agency, all these little things on the side that are kind of taking me farther away from my foot in the teaching door, and then closer to this life that I can create with my own schedule. Just creating the life that I want.

Alice:  Okay. Did you have to do Miss Toronto? Is that how it works? And then you move forward to the next?

Vanessa:  Yes, that’s a great question. There’s so many different pageants. There’s Miss Toronto, There’s Miss Toronto Tourism, there’s Miss Canada, there’s Miss World Canada, there’s Miss Canada Tourism. I apply to a few pageants and I got accepted as well for Miss Canada Tourism, which is just a side pageant. They all have different rules, they all are structured in different ways, and they all looks for different things. For example, I guess, Miss World Canada would go to Miss World. Then we have Miss Universe Canada, I guess, would you go to Miss Universe.  I didn’t have to do a Miss Toronto or Miss Ontario to get to Miss Canada. I applied and I got it. Now, I don’t know if that would have changed if there were more, I’m not sure how the selection process goes, but I do know it’s a fairly long process regardless of which one you’re doing.

But yes, some of them have Miss Toronto, and then it goes to Miss Ontario, and then it might go to Miss Universe Canada, which in turn will take you to Miss Universe, yes. We have all sorts of age restrictions like for “Miss” you can’t a kid/child because it’s M.I.S.S. or else you have to do the M.R.S.  What I really like now is that these pageants are becoming a little more whole-hearted. If you looked before, it was kind of like the body type they were looking for. But now, what I really like is I’m seeing what these pageants are more about, like your personality, being a good person, being well-rounded and actually being kind, which I think is important.

Alice:  Wow. That’s amazing, that’s really cool, break a leg for next year.

Vanessa:  Thank you.

Alice:  Good luck.

Vanessa:  Yes, totally thank you.

Alice:  Hope you keep us updated.

Vanessa:  Yes, definitely, I’ll let you know how it goes. I just think it’s important that, you know, people challenge themselves.  I didn’t just start one day and say, “Huh, well, you can definitely do that, yes. I can do it.” That’s the first thing, just believing in yourself, like, “Why not me?”

Alice:  You think it’s important for people to challenge themselves.

Vanessa:  Yes, absolutely. One day you might wake up and you say, “You know what?” Like I woke up one day and my friend said, “Would you like to run a marathon?” I said, “Why not?” That moment I signed up and then it held me accountable. I had to train because it was looming ahead of me.  Whether you signed up for something with someone else, and join like a class, having that accountability there is really important.

When I was even running the marathon, I would have stopped at fifteen kilometers if it wasn’t an event, I thought, “This is my war.” I had shin splints at 15 kilometers but you had the support around you that I think it’s really important as well. Like-minded people.

Alice:  That’s a feat.  That’s amazing.

Vanessa:  Thank you.

Alice:  What do you think it means to be a woman today?

Vanessa:  I think that’s a pretty loaded question but I think it’s a really good question, I think it’s great because as a teacher I see, with my students every day, they kind of navigating what does it mean to be me. As a woman, you’re a sister, you’re a daughter, you’re a friend, you’re a teacher and you’re a confidant, you’re all these identities but you’re also a woman.

When I’m with my students I’m not only teaching them French, but I find that I’m also teaching them the more important thing, I’m teaching them is how to be a good human. How to be strong but how to be humble. How to be assertive, how to stand up for themselves, in a way that’s perceived well.

What does it mean to be a woman in this world? Oh my goodness, we could say someone who wears all the hats. It could be a mom who’s at home working, cleaning, as well as taking care of the kids, it’s double burden but a Mom could also mean someone who’s a CEO in a company that’s doing it all. I think it’s just navigating and really finding our cheerleaders in society.

What does it mean to be a woman? Well, I think every man should also be a feminist, it doesn’t mean that he’s saying men are bad but he’s supporting equality, that’s not bad. Everyone should be supporting equality, it’s not so much to ask for. I think we also have to be a little bit more mindful in the way we navigate the world, for example, if a woman is too assertive, she might be seen as masculine or she might be seen as a- not a nice word. It’s also dealing with these stigmas and these preconceptions that we already have.

Although, one thing that does bother me is to say, “Well, at least we’re not like X, Y, Z. At least we’re not like this place, at least we’re not like that place.” Canada is a great place but I think we should be striving always to be better, not saying, “Well, at least we’re not that.” Or, “It could be worse.” Because to me, that  brushes away the situation as opposed to fighting the root cause of the problem.

Alice:  That makes a lot of sense. If you could give- like a woman on the street, just one piece of advice, one sentence or so or more. What would you say?

Vanessa:  I would say, “Just go for it. Just do it.” This is something that I struggle with all the time, and it seems so simple but it’s one of the hardest things I think you can do, because it’s never going to be the right time. “I didn’t want to do the podcast today because I woke up I had a pimple.” There’s always an excuse that I can’t do it, I need to put it apart– exactly, and it’s not even a big deal, that’s the thing.

All these things that seems so big in our minds, we think of all these reasons that why we can’t.  Start telling yourself, “Why not me?”  As we liken about this imposter theory were we sometimes feel like imposters when we’re somewhere else. I still feel like that when I’m teaching.  Sometimes in my classroom, I’m thinking, “Why am I allowed to take care of these students?” I still feel like a child myself sometimes, I still feel like I’m growing.

Of course, I deserve to be there, I went through school, I’m qualified, I have years of experience– It’s being your own cheerleader first and foremost. And it’s silencing that mind in your head that I can’t do it. Why not you? That’s one- and once you start doing these little things, it’s a great snowball effect, when we start realizing, “Hey, I can do this.” It doesn’t have to be a marathon tomorrow, just get off the couch and just take– go for a walk in a different place.

Maybe sign up for a five-kilometer walk, for sure you’re going to be out there that day doing this five-kilometer walk. Accountability piece, I think has to be there, just go for it and my quote is, “First they laughed at you and then they try to be like you.” When you’re doing something different, people might not understand it, which is okay because we’re all different, we’re all meant to be doing different things that resonate with us. I think that’s important.

Alice:  I think that’s so awesome, just go for it. I think that’s something.  We all feel imposter syndrome at some points in our lives.  I think that’s really important.  Thanks for sharing–

Vanessa:  Absolutely, thanks so much.

Alice:  What’s next for you? You said you have your Miss Canada pageant coming up, you’re signed with a modeling agency. What else is next for you?

Vanessa:  Well, maybe I can project my vision and make it happen ’cause I’m talking to you.

Alice:  Yes, just do it.

Vanessa:  Yes. I’m going to be gone for the winters.  I’m going to be traveling for this modeling agency. I’m going to be asked to be on more podcasts with yourselves, that would be the end goal, to be escaping my winters and really- I’m structuring my schedule right in a way that I intended to be.

What’s next for me? Always challenging myself– the marathon was one thing, now that’s out of the way, so now I can focus on Miss Canada coming up, but then again it’s always report card time just finished, I have parent/teacher interviews last night, with the work always just being there on the side. Well, next for me is always kind of on the side challenging myself by either doing something different and I think people get comfortable and it’s nice to be comfortable.

The human brain is naturally lazy, we always find a shortcut. We always say, “Oh, someone else will do it.” Or we want to do the least amount of work, so we got these thoughts patterns that just- it’s easier that way and we build these values that can’t be broken because our brain is- we just train it that way.

I think I always want to learn and grow, that’s great in the teaching profession because I’m learning something new every day. My first month was spent learning how to fix the photocopier, something different every day. Still, it’s learning, it’s growing and at this phase, creativity is just connecting to things.  So, the more experiences you have, the more you’ll be able to make these connections.

Alice:  Yes, that’s amazing. Thank you so much, Vanessa.

Vanessa:  Yes, absolutely.

Alice:  Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Vanessa:  Well, what I brought with me here was one of the books that I’m reading right now.

Alice:  Cool. I should have asked you about that.

Vanessa:  Yes, it’s okay. It’s cool because it’s not really a book, it’s a book of poems.  People say, “I don’t have time to read books.” I found that she’s actually Canadian, it’s called “The Sun and Her Flowers” by Rupi Kaur, I don’t think I spelled her name or said her name right. I think she’s from Brampton. It’s all about women and empowering women, some of it’s a little bit harder to read but it has some pictures and they were all really short.

So I’ve time to read poems. I’ll take it with me into the sauna, it’s okay if it gets ruined, at least I’m reading it. I’ll read a quote or two, then I’ll put it away when I get too hot and I can think about that quote, it’s this food for thought that I really like as well.

Alice:  That’s really cool, I’ll have to check it out.

Vanessa:  Yes, definitely. Series of little poems and it’s all about the lines of feminism as well, which is awesome.

Alice:  That’s so cool. Well, thank you so much for being on today, Vanessa.  It was so nice to get to talk to you.

Vanessa:  Yes, thank you so much for having me. I had a great time meeting you and also talking you about, I think, really important things, what it means to be a woman in today’s world is really important.

Alice:  Definitely. Food for thought for myself too of just going for it, trying your best in, like, a number of different aspects of life.

Vanessa:  Yes, absolutely. One more thing too was, what I found was, we need answers but we can’t wait for them to come to us, we had to actively look for them. It seems like I found these cool jobs, well, I was online every day, I [inaudible] jobs and indeed and I’m looking at what’s out there. It’s actually seek, like looking for what you don’t know because it won’t just be given to you. If you don’t ask also, the answer will always be, “No.” So, putting yourself out there.

Alice: That’s great, just going for it.

Vanessa: Exactly.

Alice: Thank you so much, Vanessa.