I met Kierra at our alma mater , GMU. We weren’t as close in school but every time we crossed paths I was intrigued by her energy. I don’t remember exactly how we reconnected but I somehow attended her birthday party at a winery and we both stuck to our word to stay in touch. Fast forward to now and I’m so grateful we did. She’s one of the most eloquent , authentic, conscious & thought provoking people I know. I really appreciate the friendship and Sunflower sisterhood we have developed. I know you’ll thoroughly enjoy this interview as much as I did and take away MANY gems !
1. How old are you and what is one word that describes this age /time of your life?
By the grace of God, I am still standing at 25 years old. One word that would describe this time in my life is REFLECTIVE.
2. How have you bloomed? What is the biggest change you’ve made in your 20’s so far?
My favorite quote by Alex Elle is “There will be moments when you will bloom fully and then wilt, only to bloom again.” I am constantly evolving and redefining myS.E.L.F through seasons of my life. Some seasons I feel like a beautiful flower that is planted firmly in the ground under the warmth of the Sun, knowing her purpose. Other seasons when the Sun is gone, I wilt, feeling confused. I replant my seeds and allow the rain to water them. The biggest change I’ve made in my twenties so far, has been my ability to self-soothe in healthy ways. After reading “Defining Decade” by Dr. Meg Jay, I realized I lacked the patience and accountability to navigate through tough situations. In my mind it was easier to numb my feelings through distractions, get angry, call a friend or lean in on my mom to validate and give me the “clarity” I needed. At 23, I finally realized that keeping my faith in God and viewing challenges as springboards towards my goals, rather than setbacks, will help me get through. I now take the seasons without the Sun, as time to reflect on what God is trying to teach me, so I won’t be presented with the same lessons again.
3. Who or what inspired you to start podcasting?
In my free time I would always listen to podcasts that I found thought provoking and empowering. I started podcasting as a creative and emotional outlet to help get me through. I found myself constantly trying to have conversations with friends, family and strangers about topics that made them “dig deeper.” I started these conversations out of pure curiosity, so I could get out of my head and look at the world from other’s perspective. When I finally took the leap of faith to become a podcaster, I was going through therapy. Therapy made me reflect more on why I view the world the way I do. Our “reality” is shaped by our experiences in life. On my podcast I share my experience of navigating different areas of life and cultivating tools are helping me get through my twenties.
4. What are some podcasts that you listen to and we should check out?
The list is long, but my fave podcasts are Super Soul Conversations, Myleik Teele, Grapes for Dinner, Frequency 528, Passing Through…Don’t judge me on this last one, but Black Widow (for all my Erotica enthusiast out there!).
5. How do you keep up the momentum of going after your dreams?
This is a good question because I’m still figuring that out. I try to break down my goals into daily, weekly and monthly steps that help me get to my end goal. I’m a huge procrastinator when my anxiety kicks in, so I really try to manage time by keeping due date reminders on my calendar, phone and cute little agenda. I also prioritize what’s more important and reward myself (with my fave wine) when the tasks are completed.
6. Best relationship (romantic, family, or friend) lesson you’ve learned so far?
The best relationship (in all relationships) lesson that I’ve learned is to create boundaries not walls. Boundaries are permeable, walls are not. I used to shut people out because they hurt me and out of retaliation, I hurt them. I finally started to understand the saying, “Hurt people, hurt people.” I understand now, that everyone has shadow parts of themselves that come out when triggered. Once I understood that, I began to set boundaries to set the tone when interacting with people I crossed paths with. I no longer build walls (or burn bridges).
7. Greatest advice you have received in your 20’s?
Shit happens… Life is going to happen regardless. You can either lay down or stand up. You can cry in the process (I do all the time) but you have to face your lessons and grow from them.
8. Currently, what is your biggest hurdle & how do you plan to overcome it?
Hurdles only seem big until you overcome them. Redirecting the vision of how I thought my 2019 would go has been somewhat of a difficult time. I really had to get out of my head and allow God to order my steps. After six years of living in the DMV, I was done, I listened to God and moved back home to Florida. I was going through a tough time and I needed my support system more than ever.
9. How does a sunflower/twenty something make it out the middle or embrace being in their twenties?
That’s just it… embracing your twenties (all of it, not just some parts) will help you make it through. If you keep trying to wish away your situation, you won’t enjoy where you are now. So, enjoy all that life has to offer, explore your passions, just remember that this is a time to build your foundation.
Follow & Support this Sunflower !
Podcaster, Kierra Parent
Pieces of herS.E.L.F the Podcast
Streaming on Apple Podcast & Soundcloud