Ever since I published Views From the 13th Floor: Conversations with My Mentor and started penning this blog, people have been interested in learning a little more about me. To answer the questions, I thought I'd publish this post with a little more information.
Today I live in Dallas, Texas. I've been in Dallas ever since I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelors of Humanities and Arts back in 2003. A little over three years ago, my brother, Leo, moved to Dallas from Atlanta and has been my roommate ever since.
Leo and I grew up in Greenwood, Mississippi, a small town in the Mississippi Delta nestled between the Tallahassee and Yazoo Rivers. We grew up in a Greek family with generations in the restaurant business.
Upon entering high school, I decided my calling in life was to be a professional opera singer. With that fire in my belly, I went off to Interlochen Arts Academy to spend my senior year of high school singing, acting and performing. At Interlochen I met my dear friend and concert pianist, Yana Reznik. Yana was my friend from the start. We were roommates, and shared one of the best years of my life together.
After Interlochen, I traveled to Cleveland, Ohio to attend the Cleveland Institute of Music. Though it was a good experience, it wasn't the right home for me, and in 2000, I transferred to Carnegie Mellon where I thrived and had an amazing experience.
In the fall of 2001, about two weeks after 9-11, I experienced a trauma to the brain, and had an emergency craniotomy to stop a bleed in my brain. The full story of the experience is recounted in my book. Since the rug was ripped out from under me, and my understanding of my direction in life was completely upside down, I took a bit of a turn from the opera career.
While I recovered, I did some soul searching, and moved to Dallas after graduation. I landed my first job in sales and marketing after arriving in Dallas. After some time I went back for my MBA at the University of Texas at Dallas, while working as a software consultant. After two and a half years of combined working and studying, I received my degree, and felt great accomplishment.
Ever since my surgery, and the personal epiphanies that came through the experience, I've had a passion for being the best person I can be and growing constantly in self-awareness and self-improvement. For that reason, I sought my mentor and sounding board, Rhonda Shasteen, for help with career guidance and career decisions. Rhonda has helped me achieve a great understanding of myself and my goals for my life and career. Through Rhonda's guidance, I've learned what work life balance means to me, and how I can achieve my goals with time, hard work, and patience.
This is just a small taste in to my life. If you have any questions, please post a comment.