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Episode 1 Transcript

Arivee Vargas: Hi I'm Arivee Vargas. I believe we're all so powerful beyond our wildest imaginations. We have the ability to overcome the fears, self-doubt, negative beliefs and all the other roadblocks that hold us back from having the life and career we really want and deserve. That's why I created the Humble Rising podcast.

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I want to help you get clear on what a joyful and fulfilling life and career looks like for you. And help you go after it with all you have. Each week, we'll talk to badass inspirational women sharing their journeys. We’ll dig into their successes, their failures, challenges, the different shifts, and their careers in their personal lives and so much more. Be inspired, get motivated, and get ready to rise. This is the Humble Rising Podcast.

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Hello my friends I'm Arivee Vargas. I'm a mom of two soon to be three, a former big law lawyer, a high-performance life coach for women, personal development nerd, and a big believer that as women were so much more powerful than we may think. To really go after the life out and career we want and deserve. What we want out of our lives and career just looks different to each one of us. There's really no one size fits all. And what you want and prioritize in your life changes and more since you grow and as you go through the different seasons of your life. So often, I find that we get stuck on what life should look like. Not based on what we really want and need, but on some other idea. We compare our lives and careers and where we are. To where others are. We think they have this, or they have that. Or we make up stories in our minds about what things should look like. But we don't realize that we have no idea what really goes on in other people's lives. You'll rarely see all of the sacrifices; all the choices people make along the way to get to where they are. And you'll rarely see all the tough decisions they made. All the failures they had and really tough stretches in their lives that they go through, but we do go through them, and we may go through them differently based on our backgrounds and how the world experiences and treats us. For black and Latin X women in particular, the struggles are exacerbated right. When you have to fight to just get the same starting line when it comes to education, financial strength and wealth representation and, and so much more.

I’m a proud daughter of Dominican immigrants my parents came here from the Dominican Republic. I saw first-hand what sacrifice, hard work and a strong work ethic meant. I, I didn't have to be told. Right. I saw the way my parents worked and what they sacrificed and how they sacrificed. My father was a dishwasher at one point, a factory worker, made his way to become a college admissions counselor at a Community College, and a probation officer and climbed the ranks in that profession till he retired. This is a man who didn't see a real car until he was eight or nine years old. Growing up in the Dominican Republic. He's the same man who worked full time to take care of his family. And studied full time to get his degree. My mother worked as a social worker and stayed in that profession until she retired. And if you were to ask her what she would have done if she could have, she would probably tell you that she wanted to be a doctor. She said they didn't have the money or the ability for her to do that. With two children at that time, because neither one of them had college degree. I mean obviously if you wanna be a doctor you have to go to college, you go to medical school and residency mean there's a whole slew of things you have to do that she felt like she couldn't do that at the time of her in her life. And you have to also keep in mind that when I was born, my parents were 22 years old. Do you remember what you were doing at 22? I definitely do not have, nor did I want any type of responsibility to a partner, a child, or any of that. So, you can imagine the weight of expectation I felt knowing I had to make good on my parent’s sacrifices.

Immigrants from Latin America come here for a better life. For many, they feel they have more of a fighting chance in the US. And for me, I knew I had to show my parents that their sacrifices were worth it. It's it's honestly a blessing and a burden.

I decided when I was maybe 11 that I wanted to be a lawyer, I didn't know anything about what being a lawyer really, really meant. I didn't have anyone in my family who was lawyer. And didn't have any family friends who could really help guide or mentor me or tell me what it was like or what the path was for getting there. I also didn't really ask, but I literally had to imagine who this lawyer was. Because I couldn't see it right, this person didn't exist. Lawyers that looked like me, I didn't see them, so I didn't know they were there. And last school exposed me to a world, really beyond my imagination. I was introduced to big law firms; I didn't realize these were actual places before. When you're not exposed to something, and you don't know anyone experiencing it you aren't going to know about it. You have no idea. And I I certainly had no idea. I went the big law firm route honestly because I wasn't sure what else to do. And stepped into a world. beyond my own possible comprehension before entering those stores. I worked long hours as you typically hear about big law firm environments. I was constantly pushing myself to be at my very best, introduce high quality work. But I was really insecure about my abilities. I always thought to myself, people like me aren't at law firms. We don't make it there for a lot of different reasons, and if we did, there would be more of us in the first place here. And I, for the record, I'm a recovering people pleaser and perfectionist. And as a people pleaser, I constantly sought the approval of others to feel validated and to feel like I was smart enough and I was capable enough to be a great lawyer. That I deserve to be there and to contribute to the team, I really thought the approval of others though to my own detriment. Umm I ended up equating the value of my job with my values a person, and I knew that wasn't right at that time, but I just couldn't articulate what the issue was precisely, and I put a lot of energy and time commitment into doing well the firm and to be well respected to learn my craft, pay off my student loans, travel, but I also kept hearing this voice that told me that this environment wasn't me and that I was supposed to make a greater impact and connect to my work in a more meaningful way. I mean, I could continue down this law firm path. This is what I thought a the time, but that voice was telling because you could do that. Doesn't mean that you should do that, so I ended up clerking for two different judges back to back which. Hands down, remains one of the greatest professional experiences I've ever had. That work was so meaningful and fulfilling. And I was so deeply inspired by the two judges I worked for. One And is the first African American federal judge in Massachusetts, and the other is the first African American female judge to sit on the first circuit. I had a great experience, but I did end up going back to a firm not the same one, but a different firm for several years, where again I had incredible mentors and advocates and I was learning, and I was growing and really refining my skills as a litigator. But remember that voice I just told you about? Well, that voice was doing fine during my clerkships, but I felt I felt an alignment liked it because I was doing work I felt connected to. That really lit me up. And., I worked hard, but I was doing work that made me feel really energized and connected, and despite the optimal firm environment, I went to after my clerkships. That voice came back and this time it was really loud. (laughs) It was really loud. It was clear it was telling me I was meant to do more than what I was doing, that I wasn't using all of my talents and my gifts that I had more to learn and more to do so much more to give than being at a firm right. That I was meant to do more than to be at a firm or to even be a litigator. And that is what I had been working for for over eight years, was to be a litigator, to be a trial lawyer. And around this time, I had my first child. My son, who is about to be 6 and I basically fell apart. I would think to myself and say to my husband in tears, like just crying and sobbing. Is all I am a mother? Like, that's it? I hadn't realized how much work had really defined me as a person and how much I need work and performing well at work to feel good about myself. And to feel like myself.

Now I'm a 100% love tour kind of person, right? Like I love tackling new problems, thinking creatively about moving something forward. And I love being challenged. But in the right way, right? Like at my clerkships I felt challenged in way that was meaningful and so connected. Now, I didn't have the baby Blues because I wasn’t at work. Let’s be honest I wasn’t at work. I was having them because I had underestimated just how much value I had placed on performing at work and doing well at work to feel good about myself. Right, like I needed the validation from others to feel good about myself. And this was the case even though that voice had been telling me you need to do something else. This was how strong it was I need for validation. Well, when you're with an infant all day every day and my son didn't sleep at four hours at a time until he was about four months. And that's only because we did sleep training. You're you're pretty much with yourself all day. You aren't getting validation from anything or anyone to feel good. At least that's how I had felt at the time. And in fact, having an infant without a, you know, a parent manual. Um. This is the opposite. You don't really know what you're doing. The job is to love the baby. Change that baby, feed the baby, bathe it, and make sure he is thriving and growing. So my maternity leave was personally very difficult and I have to say though I am fully appreciative of the fact that I even got a maternity leave. Right. A generous one in fact, when so many people get nothing, absolutely nothing. Or very little leave that's paid by their employer. But it was in that dark time in my life. Yes, it was dark, even though I was so grateful for my son, right. But I started to peel back the layers of myself. And I reflected on who I was my feelings of inadequacy and security, the need to prove and please, and honestly why I feel so low. I have to tell you I read Brene Brown, “Gifts of Imperfection” and “Daring Greatly”. And they helped me shift my perspective. It was like the beginning. I got help, I realized that I wasn't broken. I didn't need to be fixed. I. I didn't need all the things I thought I needed to feel complete and to feel adequate. I started understanding I was enough because I'm here. And I exist, and that my best is good enough because it has to be. And no one's perfect. And if I keep striving for that, I'll never be satisfied, because it's not something that anyone can ever reach. This was really the true start my personal development journey. My commitment to continuous growth and self-improvement.

I did a ton of work on myself at that time. Started my gratitude practice, which I still have today, and returned to the law firm with a renewed sense of myself and who I was. But remember I had gotten more clarity and we’ll talk a lot about clarity in this podcast, but I ended up leaving the firm a year later, a year after I had returned from maternity leave. And pursued a different career path, introductory. One that didn't have litigator in the mix. Um to grow a different set of skills and leverage and further explore all my strengths and I also became a coach for early to mid-career women in fast-paced environments to support them and slaying their own Dragons. And you know, to help them shift their mindset to overcome all their fears and the self-doubt and the limiting beliefs and the other roadblocks that come up to go after what they actually want and what they can actually have, and to really step into who they are. There are so many women I talk to who have so much potential and power they have this ability to do things they don't even realize they can do. And they're often stuck or at some type of crossroads. And almost get stuck in this analysis paralysis or they get stuck in beliefs they don't serve them until they stay where they are. A year or two later. Welp, still there. And not moving forward, right, so I started this podcast because I wanted to highlight the stories of women. Especially black and Latin X women. Who been through challenges have shifted careers, found their inner calling, found their purpose, live their purpose fully, really step into what they wanted, who they were, and they bet on themselves. Women who've dealt with fear. Like you may have right. Uncertainty and Pasha syndrome, all the challenges that led to such incredible growth. It's important to hear these stories so you know you're not alone. And so, you can apply some of the takeaways to your own life to really own your life and your career, and to drive towards what you actually want and who you really wanna be. Not based on what you should do. Not what you have to do, according to someone else’s agenda, or someone else’s expectations for what you feel energized to do. Like what really lights you up? What makes you feel like you? And what would make you feel more aligned with who you truly are? And I am so excited to share with you on this podcast each week and to walk this journey with you. So, my friends, let's get started.

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Thanks so much for listening. Don't forget to subscribe to this podcast so you don't miss an episode. If you want my weekly doses of inspiration and motivation, click the link in the show notes to subscribe. And if been asking yourself how to figure out that next step in your career. I've got a career clarity guide, just for you. Check out the show notes for the link. Until next time, my friends keep digging deep and keeps stepping into how incredibly powerful you are.


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