We are thrilled to have D.C. based Event Planner Aysia Woods sharing how she lives an intentional life and cultivates joy outside of work!
I have always admired women who have strong identities outside of their careers. Women like my late grandmother Christine, who was successful in the corporate world, but was known amongst her friends as a talented seamstress. Women like Oprah, who shares with the world that she enjoys gardening just as much as being – well, Oprah.
Women are multifaceted and I am no exception. Although I’ve started to find ways to incorporate my hobbies into my career, there are certainly things that bring me joy outside of work. Since I was young, consuming all things fashion has been my ultimate past time. From fashion YouTube videos, Netflix documentaries, coffee table books, television shows, blogs, and magazines – I study them all. I also do my best to stay in tune with what and who is relevant in the industry. I’ve never been talented with the fine arts, so sewing and expressing myself through clothing has always fulfilled my strong creative streak. A killer look has the power to change my entire mood and I love that. Today, whenever I have an opportunity to do something related to fashion I jump at the opportunity!
When I graduated college and moved into my own apartment, another major passion surfaced – cooking. Growing up, my dad was quite the high-quality home chef and I’ve always loved eating well. It wasn’t until I had to cook for myself and could do it in the comfort of my own clean kitchen (5 girls to a senior college dorm is not glamorous) that I realized just how much I enjoyed it. My residential DC neighborhood has the cutest Saturday morning farmer’s market and a highlight of my weekend is strolling the booths, gathering produce for my dinner, and chatting up the vendors. Cooking makes me feel more connected to the local community, myself as I improve my techniques, and the cultures of which my favorite recipes come from. As a lifelong anthropologist, this is my joy.
Fashion and cooking bring me excitement and relaxation that I absolutely need. My mind runs a mile a minute and I am an inwardly intense person. Balancing my office job, Art of the Journey, event collaborations and consulting, and regularly dog-sitting is exhausting. It not only takes a toll on my body, but it also takes a toll on my mind. I have about 10 notes on my iPhone of to-do lists and half-baked ideas that would easily give anyone trying to decipher them a conniption. My Google calendar is madness and unless I add an event titled “Aysia, Don’t Schedule Anything This Day,” I will overbook myself silly. Although I love working hard to grow my brand, it can be addicting to the point of unhealthiness.
This year, I have learned how to better identify when I’m overworked and understand how to get back in balance. Balance for me is putting equal effort into my career as I do into my other hobbies. I am better now at disconnecting and diving into an activity that will rejuvenate me. Fashion and cooking certainly aren’t the only hobbies I enjoy outside of work (there’s also listening to podcasts, going to the movies with my boyfriend, browsing furniture stores, etc.), but for this chapter in my life they have been my crutch when I need it most. For that, I am eternally grateful and I can’t wait to see what new passions arise in the future.
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