Her Story: Leanna Graziani

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Meet my roommate, Leanna. In such a short amount of time, this girl has become an amazing friend to me. She has one of the biggest hearts and is always there when I get home from work with a smile, a story, and/or a glass of wine. I so admire her unwavering optimism and thirst for life. How lucky I am to have her by my side as we take on NYC this summer!
Age: 23
Occupation: Market Research Analyst
City: The one and only NYC

Where do you see yourself 30 years from now? 

Ha, I’m still working on where I see myself in the next six months. Ideally, I see myself happy and maybe married? Big question mark there. I don’t want to be someone who is middle-aged and bored with life. I want to have traveled and experienced things and have crazy inspiring stories to tell my kids/grandkids. I want to be a crazy, fun 53-year-old who excercises daily and has flawless skin. Most importantly, I want to have some of the same traits that my grandmothers, mother, and aunts have. I would love to be even half the women they are. They are awesome ladies! Note the emphasis on want and would love because like I said, I have no clue where I’ll be tomorrow.

What’s your favorite way to celebrate? 

I like things to be low-key. That could either be splitting a six-pack or a bottle of wine with some close friends or going to my favorite place for dinner. Anything that isn’t too extravagant, but intimate. I’m not picky!

Describe one of the happiest moments of your life.  

Definitely getting a job in NYC. I was headed exactly where I wanted to be and doing what I wanted to do right out of college. It was the first time I have ever really chased and achieved a dream that I have had since I was a teenager. I received a lot of negative comments on wanting to live in New York and how it wasn’t possible, so it felt good to finally do something that people said I couldn’t. Although I was scared, I was super happy and there were moments in the first couple of weeks where I just stood on the subway platform listening to my tunes and having the cheesiest smile on my face because I finally made it.

What traits does your ideal husband have to possess?

1) Most important is humor. I stand by the quote, “Make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything.”

2) MUST be a people person.

3) Passion for living and trying new things.

4) Drive/motivation to succeed (in their own way—they don’t have to be the next Bill Gates).

5) Patience.

6) MUST MUST MUST be handy. If you don’t know how to change a tire or my oil, we have a problem!

If you could be any celebrity for a day, who would you be and why?

This is tough! I think I would honestly want to be Oprah. She is so successful and I really like that she gives back to everyone. I feel like she is a good mix of someone who is wealthy, compassionate, and humble.

Who is your favorite person to spend an afternoon with? 

Hmm. That would probably be my mom. Although we don’t get to do it that often, I love just  going grocery shopping with her or sitting on the couch watching our favorite TV shows.

What have you learned about yourself since graduating college? 

Ha, what haven’t I learned is the better question. I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned is that I am not comfortable stepping outside of my comfort zone. Anything that is outside of my “box” kind of scares me to a point where I metaphorically become paralyzed and choose not to progress because I am afraid. However, now that I have noticed this, I have also learned that when I do push myself to step outside of the box, I am SO glad that I did. This realization has pushed me to try a lot of new things and to always say yes to any opportunity that comes along. You never know what can come from trying new things that are outside of your zone.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 

I feel like I’ve received a lot of advice in my past 23 years, so it’s hard to pinpoint the “best” advice. I think the most recent that I can recall came from my graduation ceremony’s student speaker. Since we were business majors, we tended to relate our business babble to real world lessons. In finance, there is a theory that stands with investments and stocks that says the greater the risk, the higher your return. Our speaker incorporated this into her speech and said that as we go into the world, we should take great risks, regardless of how scared we might be, because our education taught us we will gain great rewards from them. It has been something I’ve tried to live by for the last year as I attempt to navigate the “real world.”

What’s one accomplishment or trait that you’re really proud of?

Although it is few and far between lately, I am really proud of my ability to remain positive. I like to stay on the positive side of things and always remind myself that there is good in even the most unfavorable situations. I also try to be positive for my friends when they need help or are feeling down. Sometimes I think they want to slap me because I am so optimistic, but I think that you should only dwell on the negative for a little while because otherwise, it will consume you.

What do you do to cheer yourself up? 

Depends. If I am completely alone in my apartment, I absolutely love blasting music and singing like I’m the next American Idol. Occasionally, I’ll even pretend I am Beyonce and throw in some sporadic off-beat dance moves to get my blood flowing! If I am tired of this routine, I love to run on the treadmill. There is something about a runner’s high that just makes you feel so happy. Sometimes I think endorphins should be illegal because of how good they make you feel. The clarity that sometimes comes from running your butt off is a nice bonus, too!

Follow her on Twitter @lenanabanana28 (and tell her to start a blog of her own)!



Author: Rachael

Book lover + editor, feminist, California soul + New York state of mind.

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