We had the good fortune of connecting with Angelika Eleni and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Angelika, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
When I was younger, and before having a child, I struggled immensely with time management. While I still have the tendency to procrastinate, I am more able to put it into perspective and get tasks done. Previously, I would put things off for so long that I would ultimately miss out on experiences and opportunities that I still regret and it would create this cloud of anxiety and dissatisfaction. Having a daughter now, who I know will learn from me for better or worse, has completely changed my perception of time and what to accomplish during it. If a task gets out of hand for me now, I can buckle down and just get it done without the fear of is not being ‘perfect’ or exactly how I imagined it. My time is not all my own now either, so when I get uninterrupted moments to myself I have extra motivation to work toward my goals. Before I used to see my goals as these huge, unsurmountable mountains but now I doggedly trudge through no matter what. One step closer is better than no step.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a musician and a dancer, of many genres and types but my studio focuses on the Irish traditional arts. I’m proud of my studio because it is something that I would not have been confident or brave enough to attempt before. I’ve always been surrounded by stellar artists in this genre so I always avoided any type of leadership, thinking ‘why me?’ It all changed after the building blocks of life events where I felt that something great was missing from my life. While I truly loved my academic and professional accomplishments, the arts were always the elusive love I longed for. We only have one life, and what I learned is that passions should become a way of life, not just checkmarks on a list or resume, or even some studio membership or intensive coaching, it’s all about incorporating what you love in the daily things you do. When I started accepting this, I found opportunities thrown my way that I may have otherwise missed or discounted- feeling not ready or not in the right place. If there’s a lesson I’d like to impart on anyone reading my story, it’s this: you don’t need to wait for the perfect circumstances, you don’t need to wait until the blogs ready, or until you have the space, or until you graduate, or until you check off whatever it is you’re telling yourself. Just start it, do it with love, make sure it’s a part of your life. Some chapters it may only look like a couple of hours a week and in other chapters it may turn into a full time thing. Don’t let the ‘planning’ process preoccupy you. As far as my brand in story, what I want to do is not just teach, but rather reach out and turn these gatherings into a community, a way to meet people you never otherwise would have met, and create art together. That’s what is most important.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The first things I do is go through social media and find all the current community events going on. Markets? Festivals? Exhibits? Then I turn toward friends for my ‘peer-reviewed’ lists of bars, cafes, and restaurants, because I also like to try something new along with my visitors. And if there is any natural element, like a hike or a lake, that is a definite on my list. Bringing nature into the visit is the purest way to experience a city. Arts, coffee, wine, nature- that’s my list!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to throw some love and encouragement to my arts-partner in crime, Victoria Lopez. I was lucky to find her for her talents and skills, but luckier to find her for her friendship. Through our friendship and work-style balance we’ve been able to accomplish things I wouldn’t have thought possible on my own. We get things done and still have a laugh. Victoria is a passionate and knowledgeable woman who I am proud to associate with, and a wonderful role model to show my daughter how women support women.
Other: Instagram @angelikaeleni
Photos by MichaelAngelo