For the month of December, I’ll be shining light each day on some extraordinary women I know. They represent various fields and backgrounds, and I admire each for their passion and strength. These are bold, beautiful, brave women — artists, businesswomen, union organizers, nurses, writers, teachers, movie makers, designers, reporters, and all-around badasses.
Christina Gutierrez-Dennehy is an Assistant Professor of Theater and Performance at Northern Arizona University, a Shakespeare scholar, a director, a runner, and a mama.
1. What did you want to be “when you grew up?” A lawyer, for a long time. I think I liked the idea that I’d get paid to talk, haha. I did know pretty early that I wanted a Ph.D., although I’m not sure I always knew what that meant—just that it meant a lot of learning, which I loved. There was a brief moment in which I wanted to be an actor, but that ended pretty early when I realized I was better at telling other actors what to do than I was at taking direction myself.
2. What makes you the most proud of yourself? The fact that I work hard in any situation I find myself in. I worked through both my MA and my Ph.D. without ever really looking back or thinking that I wasn’t up to the task. I tent to approach big projects or daunting tasks with an attitude that I WILL get them done, rather than worrying if I can.
3. What darkness have you overcome? How did you find strength? In July of 2018, I suffered a miscarriage after trying very deliberately to get pregnant. It was the darkest time I can remember since I felt that my own body was betraying me and that there was nothing I could do—no matter how hard I worked or what I did—to stop it. I’ve very rarely ever felt that hopeless. I found strength in my partner and my amazing friends. I’m still mourning the loss, and I think it will be part of me forever. It was an experience that defined me as a woman, a mother, and a partner.
4. Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.? Hanging out with my awesome daughter Stella (born June 2018), coffee in hand. Either that or at a rehearsal for one of the shows I’m directing.
5. What makes you smile the most? My kiddo for sure, as she learns how to navigate the world. If I get more than one thing, it’s also my students when they come to those beautiful moments in which they understand their own voices and power. That and my goofball of a husband.
Bonus: What advice would you give your younger self? Always trust yourself. Your instincts about people and situations will be right more often than not, and you will save yourself a lot of time and heartache when you listen to the voice within.
Today’s #OneGoodThing is sharing this extraordinary woman, Christina Gutierrez-Dennehy, with all of you! We are stronger together, so let’s shine a light on our extraordinary sisters! If you’d like to participate or nominate a woman to participate, please send me a note or leave a comment! What was your #OneGoodThing today? Please share in the comments! Kindness is Everything.
1 year ago today: Hilarious animal videos
2 years ago today: Beautiful brunch for Mama
3 years ago today: Best walk yet