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  • Writer's pictureSJ Marcotte

Erica Featured!

"When I see progress I get really enthused! Success doesn't always happen overnight. Continued hope is a promising thing."

Empathetic, tenacious, imaginative, loyal, resilient, self-reliant, self-sufficient, aware, protective, charismatic, eager to learn and understand.

What is your purpose? To inspire, encourage and empower people to live their best life possible.

What is at the core of your being? Transparency, determination and defying odds.

What does society say about what it means to be feminine? Society defines femininity through specific gender roles given to females. Society says females should comply with traditional gender roles - which vary culturally. It is assumed that femininity includes being compliant, polite, lady-like, nurturing, accommodating. Society says to be feminine is to exhibit specific personality traits and domestic behaviors, to pursue specific occupations, and fulfill certain physical appearance expectations.

How have societal messages about femininity changed in your lifetime? It is forever evolving. There are no right or wrong definitions on individual femininity. Today, we see, know, and understand that both males and females can exhibit feminine and masculine traits; the way we express, communicate, and handle ourselves is part of our individuality. People are eager to point out someone or something they do not understand and that is still happening.

How do you define femininity? Femininity is individual expression, beliefs, and self-loving. No one should define femininity for me. And I should not define it for them. I accept others for who they choose to be. I value individualism and self expression.

Talk about a way in which you choose to influence the world around you for the better. I have a positive outlook and I choose to listen to understand, not to react. I influence through conversation, understanding, research, questions, learning, and by helping to discover solutions - when it's appropriate.

How do you play to your strengths on a daily basis?

I work in the hospital system. I have the opportunity to influence lives on a daily basis. 

Every day I interact with colleagues, patients, and others who face challenges and obstacles. 

People love to talk, I love to listen. I give motivational speeches in and outside of classes, in seminars, and during one-on-ones...but my favorite part of any day is seeing people have ‘aha’ moments - when information is linked and pieces come together and click. When people can acquire knowledge and understand different points of view it boosts their confidence.

Strong Beautiful Woman, Erica Hersh

Describe a time when you felt totally badass. Recently, I was talking with a stroke patient in rehab. "Bill" is a retired professor at a local university here in Tucson, AZ. Because of the stroke, he lost use of most of the left side of his body. With the support of his doctors, therapist, wife, and family, he has been working really hard to move and walk again. I sat down with "Bill" and his wife just to chat about what he was experiencing. His mental faculties were still there, but he didn't understand that his brain and body were not working like they used to, and depression was setting in. We talked through it. I have been through this process - not because of a stroke, but as a result of two brain surgeries. We talked about lessons I learned in recovery. A couple days after our discussion, I went back to say hello and he had the biggest smile on his face. He was excited to tell me that he had taken three full steps in therapy and could sit up by himself! When I see progress I get really enthused. Success doesn't always happen overnight. Continued hope is a promising thing.

Who inspires you? Anyone who notices, realizes and defines a personal issue, creates a game plan, pushes through obstacles (with or without help or intervention from others) is someone who inspires me...always. If you are putting in effort, talking about the situation, and implementing inspire me!

You've navigates some obstacles. How have your experiences influenced your perspective?

I have been sick for over forty years - since I was five months old! I don’t know how to live any other way, so I just do it. I was the first child diagnosed with Lyme Disease in December 1978. I diagnosed with Type II Diabetes when I was 23 years old. I've had anemia, cirrhosis of the liver, and two brain surgeries to extract a grapefruit sized brain tumor. The causes? No one knows beyond ticks and genetics.

My Mom taught me to not take"no" for an answer and to be persistent with my gut feelings. If you don’t feel something is right, act - go about it a different way, and keep on pushing until you are satisfied. I question everything. I choose to be positive and present. I prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Super power? Warrior.

What does "warrior" mean to you?

A warrior is a person who is hit with various obstacles, navigates them, and still manages to be successful at what ever they do, no matter how long it takes. They do what they have to do in order to move forward in life.

At the heart of a strong beautiful woman is: Self-love. She knows her worth.

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