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.
Jesica Ryzenberg is a dynamic storyteller and mental health advocate who works at one of the largest synagogues in Southern California. Born and raised in Lima, Peru, she moved to Florida with her family at age 11 and attended Syracuse University. After graduating with a journalism degree, Jesica worked in television and digital production for nearly a decade in Miami and the Bay Area. In 2011, she started Ryzenberg On, a lifestyle blog with a personal take on a myriad of topics such as fashion, travel, and home décor. Currently, Jesica lives in Los Angeles with her husband Charlie, and puppy Tank.
1. What did you want to be “when you grew up?” I always wanted to be either a writer or a journalist. As a child growing up in Peru, I put together magazines using different newspaper and magazine articles and pictures to visibly tell a story. Also, I was obsessed with countries and history, something I still value today.
2. What makes you the most proud of yourself? After high school, I went to Syracuse University with fewer than 4 days of snow under my skin. Then in 2006, I fulfilled my life-long dream and moved across the country to California despite only a layover at LAX. Thirteen years later, I’ve called Monterey, San Francisco, and Los Angeles home. These definitely are my proudest moments, as I easily adapt and embrace new environments.
3. What darkness have you overcome? How did you find strength? Tackling chronic anxiety is a beast. Sometimes the simplest of tasks are daunting and seem impossible. Combined with depression, which in my case is situational, it can be physically and emotionally debilitating, and it’s been a culprit of days spent in bed feeling restless and in fear of the future. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychoanalysis combined with medications significantly alter this. Changing my mindset and lifestyle—something that’s taken me years—is where I get strength from. I take everyday day by day and remind myself daily that some things truly are beyond my control—and that’s OK.
4. Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m.? Normally, I’m back from Pilates getting ready to start my day and make it a point to relax at home. My weekends used to be packed from start to finish leaving me overwhelmed but R&R are now on top of my weekend to-do list!
5. What makes you smile the most? My husband Charlie has a witty sense of humor and magical ability to make me smile. We recently adopted Tank, our six-month-old puppy who is a ball of energy that keeps us going 24/7. My family and childhood friends also keep me smiling daily – and when we get together it really becomes hours of endless laughs and unforgettable memories.
Bonus: What advice would you give your younger self? Patience is the key to life! Assess the situation prior to jumping to conclusions, and do not sweat the small stuff – that’s a big one to remember!
Today’s #OneGoodThing is sharing this extraordinary woman and my friend, Jesica Ryzenberg, 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: Be still my heart
2 years ago today: Vertical for the first time in days
3 years ago today: Learning from Cesar