“Sometimes it’s the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine.” -Christopher Morcom, The Imitation Game
Tell us a little about yourself along with a fun fact:
Hi, everyone! My name is Natalia Brody and I am a sophomore at Emory University studying Neuroscience & Behavioral Biology. I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia but I’ve visited 13 different countries around the world. In addition to being a world traveler, I’m a big sister, piano player, coffee addict, and proud introvert.
What # (hashtag) would define your life journey?
Favorite website / app:
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
The person in my life who has made the deepest and most lasting impact on my life is undoubtedly my grandma. My grandma is one of the most kind and selfless people I have ever known. A few years ago, she was diagnosed with the severest form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease. As tragic as this diagnosis has been, it has only made her character more transparent. Although her identity and memories are fading, her kind nature and compassionate tendencies pervade through. Whether or not she remembers how old I am, where I go to school, or even my name, I can always count on her to ask how my day has been or try to put a smile on my face (her ability to do this is actually quite impressive). In light of faces forgotten, names gone unrecognized, and a weaning capacity to perform, comprehend, and participate in some of life’s simplest things, she never fails to put others first. It is during these bittersweet moments that my grandma has taught me the most about life.
Through these moments, my grandma showed me that life is about more than achievements, awards, and material gain. A good life is a meaningful one, whether or not it abides by the conventional definition of success. To live life to the fullest is to channel that which makes us most human— to listen with compassion, to speak with kindness, and to act with strength; it is to think, to dream, to laugh and cry, to make friendships, to fall in love, and to live every day as if it’s your last.
In life’s most vulnerable moments, there are no job titles, varsity letters, or good grades to help you along—you are revealed exactly for who you are, completely raw and at your very essence. Who do I want to be in these moments? My grandma helped me answer this question, and, maybe in reading this, you’ll begin to answer it too.
Ideal job / where you see yourself in 10 years:
In ten years, I hope to be some sort of physician—the specialty is something I’m still deciding on, but I’ve got plenty of time (~7+ years, ugh!). When I was in high school, I fell in love with neuroscience and decided I was meant to be a neurosurgeon. However, as I’ve been exposed to more fields of medicine I’ve developed a terrible tendency of falling in love with any and everything. Rather than narrowing down exactly what I want to do with my life, I’ve drastically expanded my options—maybe I’ll do cardiothoracics, plastic surgery, or dermatology. There’s so much within science to get excited about, and sometimes I have to take a second to simply fall in love with it all over again. Oh (neuro)science, you give me butterflies!
At some point, I’d also like to live abroad. There is so much of the world to see— I want to experience it all!
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Embrace failure, it will teach you more than success ever will.
Failure can sting—correction, it can really, really hurt. But, sometimes, not getting what you want is a gift. Failure and rejection have pushed me to explore so many more paths than I would have known to take on my own. I have been exposed to so many more experiences, places, people, and viewpoints because of it.
I’m so fortunate to have had so many incredible opportunities in my life thus far, but anytime something I’ve done elicits praise or a positive reaction, I can’t help but laugh to myself. Most people don’t know all the rejections I’ve received or the numerous no’s I’ve heard. They only see the end result. Success does not self-materialize; it is more of a shot in the dark than a straight shoot, and it is anything but a clear cut journey. It is the staggered and rugged product of resilience, drive, and passion. Yes, success and all its perks are wonderful, but it is failure that will teach you to work harder, to work smarter, and to work differently.
To quote one of my favorite movies (Whiplash), “there are no two words in the English language more harmful than ‘good job.’” This is a harsh but deeply true principle— few impulses will shift you towards productivity like the sting of rejection or a heart-wrenching disappointment. Some of my proudest accomplishments were achieved because I learned to pick myself up and not take no for an answer.
But remember, embrace failure cautiously. Do not ever become comfortable with doing less than you are capable of; leave your comfort zone often, hold yourself to high standards, and never stop dreaming. Use your failures as stepping stones to success and, one day, you will hear those two dangerous words, “good job,”— except they won’t be dangerous, they’ll be empowering, and they will make you feel like you can conquer the world and not care what anyone thinks.