We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Charanza and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Laura, what matters most to you?
First of all, thank you for allowing me to be here! It’s a pleasure to share part of an arduous journey that now continues in happiness.

Authenticity is a principle that matters most to me. I believe authenticity includes integrity, trustworthiness, honesty, and credibility.

In the age of social media, we are leaning away from being our real selves. We use a filter to make it beautiful if it’s a lousy photograph. We use that one good photo out of three hundred that appears to show perfection. It’s all about presenting a highlight reel of our lives for everyone to covet and envy. In truth, there was only one Holiday photograph in which everyone was smiling. Why? Yesterday mom and dad were discussing a possible divorce. The older teenager had wrecked a car, and the younger child has been failing math.

I think more people than not are craving the real story. When I first brought my story of 40-plus years of narcissistic abuse to light, I had friends who criticized me and family members who disowned me. Never mind that my entire book on my past was the truth as I experienced it. I even ran it by my counselor of 25 years to ensure I didn’t wrongly interpret my experiences.

Yet, my book “Ugly Love; A Survivor’s Story of Narcissistic Abuse” was an Amazon best seller in the first few hours it was published! We are craving the truth! I was honest and raw in my manuscript, so much so that men and women reached out to me from around the world and said, “Finally. Someone understands what I have been going through. I know that I am not alone.”

I encourage everyone to be more authentic. When someone says, “You look sad,” instead of replying that you’re okay, you could say, “I have had a bad day, but I know I’ll turn the corner in a few minutes!”

Think about the popular phrase “perfectly imperfect.” It’s a beautiful thing.

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 have two careers. The first is my professional career as a biotech sales representative. Wait to get impressed – this is a fancy title for a specialty pharmaceutical sales representative. In this role, I work with pediatric hepatologists, neurologists, ophthalmologists and genetics to help young patients with rare liver diseases. I can say I have met some of the most intelligent people in the world who are dedicating their careers to helping children live healthy, long lives.

Secondly is my writing career. I was in television news right after graduating college, and even then, it was about the writing, not the on-camera work. I can get lost by shaping the written word into powerful, straightforward stories that resonate and even change people.

My first book was on surviving narcissistic abuse, and my second book has just been released. It’s called “The New Truth About Dating.” There’s something in each of these books that you can relate to, whether you are single or dating. They are both about navigating life’s beautiful and terrible parts yet still coming out whole.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Dallas has so much to offer! My best friend is much like me, so I would first ask her to come in the hot, Texas summer. Yes, really!

We would first hit Lake Grapevine for some wake surfing and water skiing. There’s nothing like a cool, refreshing dip in a Texas lake when it’s 110 degrees outside. Afterward, we would hit Esparza’s or Mi Dia down the street for some Tex-Mex. That evening would call for some live music at Dos Equis Pavilion (I am a country music fan). If no one were playing there, we would go to Legacy Hall or Lava Cantina. If my BFF times it right, she can hear Kenny Chesney at AT&T Stadium. I don’t think I’ve missed his concert in a decade. By the way, Morgan Wallen plays in Dallas, I will camp out to get tickets, like waiting on the new version of X Box at Christmas.

The rest of the week would entail shopping at NorthPark, Southlake Town Square, or Highland Park Village. After a busy day of shopping, there’s a big reason to refuel at Nick and Sam’s, Uchi, Dee Lincoln’s, or Javier’s, among others. We would run on the Katy Trail, visit the Perot Museum or the DMA, and hang out by my pool. I make great margaritas.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Would you like me to shout out to only ONE person? I have two people to thank and put on their well-deserved pedestals.

First, there’s my mentor and life coach, Rebecca Lynn Pope. This spiritual healer is Atlanta-based and has been featured on the OWN network with her television show and taken part in Bishop TD Jakes’s “Megafest.”

Rebecca encouraged me to feel my pain and work through it instead of avoiding it. And I had a lot of pain from years of verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse!

The second person to thank is my sweet father. I am fortunate still to have him as a part of my life, and we talk several times a week. Daddy Bryan can speak with anyone since he was the mayor of the small town where I grew up. His advice is God-based and solid. I love you, Dad. I get my values, kindness, and integrity from you.

Website: https://www.lauracharanza.com/

Instagram: @lauracharanza

Twitter: @laura_charanza

Facebook: bit.ly/3yH6AlK

Youtube: @laura.charanza

Other: TikTok : @lauracharanza

Image Credits
Photographer Jen Bertrand and Makeup Artist Cher Hukill

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