Tuesday, December 25, 2007 8:10:00 PM
by Adrienne Zurub
|Author, Adrienne Zurub is realizing a dream conceived as a twelve year old child.
Saturday, December 08, 2007, 1:14:27 PM | Lyn
INTERVIEW WITH ADRIENNE ZURUB (Author,'Notes From the MotherShip ~The Naked Invisibles'... ) FOR THURSDAY'S TREASURES... This is a great interview with a woman whose diversity and drive floored me. She is so gifted in ways which will amaze you. Thus, she is a true Thursday Treasure, in that she is a shining example of womanhood, of empowerment, of ability, belief in self, confidence, and strength. She is the kind of woman who makes me proud to be woman, as she opens up the possibilities available to us, and, she clearly sets an example to follow, all the while making her life as acclaimed as she can muster. Adrienne Zurub is class, action, tough, cool, confident, unstoppable, unrelenting, tireless, and, gifted with a spirit to be reckoned with; she is indeed a Treasure to life and I am in awe of her persona, she is a Queen of the world, and in her own world. She is clearly a woman we will hear more about in coming months as she carves her legacy before the sight of the world... She is remarkable, no doubt...
First of all let me thank you for agreeing to participate in this series which I feel is important for many reasons, first of which is, that it allows other women to see that they can make something out of their life, secondly that the world sees what women are capable of, regardless of their beginnings... So, you see, this is very important to me, therefore, it is with great gratitude that I welcome you to being a part of this series...
You are from Ohio? Do you currently reside in Ohio?
* First off, I want to thank you Lynda for inviting me to be interviewed...way before my eventual Oprah appearance! Thank you for anticipating my greatness.
Believe it or not (if you knew me you would know!) I am married. And I have procreated...twice! I have a daughter, who is a wonderful teacher. And, I have a son who is eleven. I tell people that I spaced them so far apart because I had to see if I could really raise one in captivity! We live, (in captivity) in Cleveland, Ohio. Actually, Cleveland is a nice place.
After reading some information about you on your sites, I am amazed at your accomplishments. You are a very diverse woman, with several claims to fame. That did not come easily for you, so, what was the deciding factor?
*You know what, I too am amazed at my accomplishments! Simply, because when I started to write things down for my book resume, I could not believe the number of things that I tried, succeeded at, and learned from! Many of my accomplishments were not bred out of pain or misfortune I do not follow that paradigm. My accomplishment are from my overarching attention to life. I have always loved learning, therefore I have three degrees. I have degrees in nursing, psychology and philosophy. Those things (and more) are of interest to me. The learning may have appeared easy for me because I was very open and flexible to trying something new, learning something new, or just experimenting. I have been like that all of my life. After all, I am the oldest of nine children. I was born a leader and an explorer.
What fed your drive?
*I have been told that I am ambitious and an overachiever. I wondered how I could be an overachiever! Like, how could someone achieve too much??!!
I am the oldest of nine children and therefore I am a leader and an explorer! My mother, who had me at the age of seventeen years of age, and my father who was twenty when I was born, always told me to "Be the best you you can be." You know what, I believed them. I have always wanted to be the 'best' at whatever I do. I want people to know that I am intelligent, even brilliant if you will. I want to change the world for the better...and I want credit for it! (smile)
I feel an obligation to my family, my parents and my children to shine as brightly as I can, to illuminate their talents and their forthcoming contributions to the world!
I give some credence to the fact that I am an Aries. Yes, I do believe in that sign. When, I was a teenager, I looked up my astrological sign and noted all the positives associated with it. I claimed them then, as I do now. I AM ARIES! HEAR ME ROAR!
What so inspired you that you did not cave in to the pressure or other negatives?
*My inspiration comes from my parents always and those around me who rise everyday and do the extraordinary. And, I am not talking about 'famous' people. I'm talking about the lady in the housekeeping department at my job, who takes the bus to work at 2am in the morning, because that is when her shift starts, and she does it to support her family. I'm talking about the fact that as a woman I have a computer, I blog, and I connect with the world, when three-fourths or so, of the world's women may not be able to afford a computer, or obtain even one college degree!
I feel lucky more often than not. I am intelligent enough to know that things occur in cycles. I am intelligent enough to know that I can weather a negative cycle and that I can LEARN the lesson I need from that negative. Believe me there are times when I cry...to myself...in the middle of the night...alone. Fortunately, I do not give up. And, I always look to see what I have learned from the good and the bad.
What advice would you offer the women of the world concerning meeting your dreams head on and manifesting them?
*Be passionate. You have to treat your dream, aspiration, desire, or whatever you call it, like it is a human baby (or puppy for you pet lovers). What does your 'baby' need to live today. I have been thinking like this over the past year as I am birthing my book, 'NOtes From the Mothership The Naked Invisibles.' Everyday, or just about, I ask myself what does the 'baby' need today?(blogging, marketing, publicity,exposure,etc)
Putting the book and my dreams in this context helps me make my wish/dream/aspiration come to life! It makes the book alive...and me! No mother wants the world to think her 'baby' is ugly, or stupid. So, do what you can 'by any means necessary' to make your 'baby' cute, healthy and long lived.
You seem to be the epitome of strength. Have you ever felt weak or intimidated? How do you maintain your strength? How do you keep keepin on?
*I am almost afraid to answer this because as a Black woman, people assume that I am 'strong.' That is the stereotype. There are times when I am afraid and scared shitless if you will. But, I am ornery enough, not to let it show! It is a game, it is a strategy. I am part of a world-renowned open heart/heart transplant team in Cleveland, Ohio. I work and worked with some of the nastiest, meanest surgeons around. If I went to work with a 'everything is beautiful in it's own way' attitude, those guys, yes guys would have ripped me a new asshole. I could not do the work I do (in nursing) without being who and what I am. At times, when alone, I ask myself who and what I am, or have become. But, I am partially a product of my environment, that being cardiac surgery. I have confidence. That's the answer, confidence!
Being a nurse in an open heart unit; that is a very demanding position, did you ever falter in regards to that position? Was being a surgical nurse rewarding? Are you happy with having chose that field, and, then, the years must have been tough in the onset of that career, how did you manage the stress?
*I love cardiac surgery! I love the pace, the stress, the difficult cases, the 'crashes' when a patients life is literally in your hands. I love the high technology and the constant learning. I love being on the open heart team! This open heart team attracts the brightest and best. I am an excellent surgical RN! Therefore, I know that I am one of the best in the world (people have confirmed this so it is not in my mind!) Lynda, I admit that I am an active patient advocate. I will also admit that I do my best work when my patients are unconscious, naked and strapped to an operating room table!
Where I work people from all over the world come to watch us operate. It was/is like being on stage with people observing your every move! In this respect my career as a open heart nurse anticipated my stand up comedy, my acting, my speaking gigs, my spoken word pOetry forays, my writing and everything else that begs expression from me.
Lynda, I do not like the politics of nursing. I do not like the pay, nor the disrespect. If I had to chose again, I would go to medical school. I am a superb cardiothoracic surgical RN. That confidence gained in that arena literally fed me as I ventured into my artistic pursuits! I knew that if I applied the same passion to my artistic talents and pursuits, I could not fail. I also knew that I was more than just a RN, a mother, a wife, a grrl, a comedian and so forth. We are all more than just what the world sees. I have been very fortunate to discover that early and engage actively to express the various aspects of me.
Now, you are a published author~ Your book was just released or will be released this month? How did you decide to write that book, and, how did you get from deciding to write that book to actually publishing it? Did you ever falter in your resolve to make it final? Did you have trouble getting it published? That is did you submit it more than several times, or was it rapidly picked up???
*In 2004, I turned 50 years old, as in a half-century grrl! I decided then, to cut back on my hours at work (to my husbands surprise and horror!) I needed time for me...before it was too late. The vision for my book occurred when I was 11 or 12 years old. I decided then, that I would have a book one day that would be on The New York Times Bestseller List! And, yes, I was a precocious, okay geeky kid. (My cousin once told me at that age, that I read too much???!!)
I worked all of 2007 essentially 'birthing' my book! My site is '9 months to birthing my BESTSELLER' at typepad. I knew I was going to finish this. I knew it was going to be published. I did not know that I was going to start my own publishing company! That idea came from my National Speakers Association meeting. A renowned speaker at a meeting I attended stated that I could start my own company. Well, that idea seemed foreign yet intriguing to me. Like a child, I said to him, "You mean I can have my own publishing company?"
Chase & Wunderlick Publishers, LLC was born 2007. I then began consuming so much information, and there is a lot about publishing, authoring, marketing, promoting, and growing my business. What I accomplished in 2007 with regards to my business and the book is equivalent to going to graduate school! There are so many resources to help you. I would recommend starting your own company simply for the empowerment that doing so affords you.
I chose forming my company over going the traditional route because I love CONTROL! I love making the decisions. And, I love that the profits come to me! I love having given 'birth' to something that is completely my own expression!
Were you faced with any setbacks? If so, how did you handle them? Did you have any editing conflicts?
*I have not really had any setbacks. I have financial worries and intense concerns about money, but I have not had any setbacks. I squeeze money from everywhere I can. I am determined that my 'baby' is going to make it and be healthy! I went through my retirement savings knowing that this has to come to fruition! The thing is I do not view so-called setbacks as setbacks. I feel that things happen for a reason and perhaps if things do not go 'my' way at the moment, something better is unfolding...and it usually does! I imagine how my situation will be in say a day, a week or next year. That type of creative thinking (?delusion...nahhhh) propels me continually forward (sometimes strongly resembling dragging)
I outsource my editing work yet working very closely with the editor to actualize my vision and my voice for my book. I hired one editor who did what he could. Then, I hired another editor who was great! It is all a process with a leaning curve. If you are passionate about your work, you will find the right people eventually. Things will work out.
What is your greatest pleasure from this accomplishment and why?
*Lynda, my greatest pleasure is just, just having that book at press right now! I have completed my greatest work thus far. I did it! I learned, consumed, and acquired an incredible amount of information and learning over 2007. I feel accomplished! I feel that I have contributed something very personal that is ME! I have given ME to the world.
Equally interesting and intriguing is that you are also a comedienne? How did that come about and when did you know you were funny? What inspires that side of you? Were you scared first time out? What was that like for you? Were you well received? Any plans to further this venture?
*Lynda, I have always been funny. And, people have always told me that I should be a comedian. And of course, I did not believe them until I took a comedy workshop one cold February. The audience response was incredible and I was hooked! Comedy became MY artistic pursuit outside of the blood and pain of surgery. I was able to be someone else. I was able to be ME. Lynda, I am a spontaneous smart ass.
My sense of humor has saved me and allowed me to look at people and the world with a flexible perspective. Yet, performing on stage is really a high! I have performed on stages in New York City and LA and numerous venues in between both coasts. I even had a Sheboygan gig! Plus, Stand Up comedy is way cool. When the audience is 'getting you' it is like a high, and you want more! And people think you are way cool when you are a comedian! And yes, I AM WAY COOL! My foray into stand up improved my writing, actually helped me write more in anticipation of the 'things to come' in my life! The things I had yet to discover about myself.
Stand Up can be a hard life. I choose to incorporate my comedy skills and writing abilities into my speaking career. So, when I go on my book tour you may evidence part of my comedy set coming out. I detail my comedy and some of my experiences in my book.
What makes Adrienne tick? That is what most compels you, touches you, drives you?
*Lynda, what hard questions. I do not think I can offer a soundbite. I want to be exceptionally good, exceptionally successful, powerful and wealthy. I want to be 'the best me I can be.' I want my family to be prosperous in the years to come, way after I exit. I want my progeny to know that they come from strong, rich soil. I want my ancestors to know that I did not waste my time nor disrespect their wishes and dreams for something better for their progeny...me.
Who are your inspirations, mentors, etc.? Why?
* My inspirations, my heroes, are my parents, Louis and Mable. My grandparents also.
Do you have a hero or heroine? If so, who and why?
* My mother, my father, my grandparents, my ancestors. Anyone who has taken a personal risk to make their life better and therefore society. YOU!
If you could be any place in the world or life right now, where would it be and why?
*Great question Lynda. Especially, since it is about 28 degrees outside and snowing. I want to be someplace in Italy. Preferably, Naples, or Capri in a villa looking at the water. I was in Italy some time ago and it is simply beautiful. I love the colors of the houses, and the men (don't tell my husband) are eye candy!
In your bio it seems that you are constantly busy and that seems to make you happy. Which is great, but, do you let your hair down now and again? If so, what do you do for entertainment, pleasure, and relaxation?
*Lynda, if you ask my husband, he'd say I let my hair down a little too much. I admit, I love to sleep! Yup! Now, I feel lazy when I do it. But, I know that my body and mind need 'down' time too. So, in the winter months, being that I hard going out in cold weather, I sleep and relax and blog, and write, and whatever. I love surfing the net. I love just about everything I am doing now to promote and market my book! I love watching television. I love HGTV and Divine Design! I love shows that detail a transformation, a new beginning, like plastic surgery shows. I love watching SpongeBob SquarePants! That dude is FUNNY! I watch cartoons and Nickelodeon shows with my son. I love doing that! I can sing the theme song to 'The Suite Life of Zack and Cody' and 'Hannah Montana' and I am intensely proud of that!
You seem to be very happy right now! What makes you happiest about the present, the past, and, the future?
*Lynda, what makes me happiest about the present is that I am actually living it. What makes me happy about the past is that I am still learning from it and cherishing it. What makes me happy about the future is that I know to some extent I can influence it with my good.
Do you have any regrets? I ask this as regret is often what compels people to make change and to grasp that which they long to do...
*Lynda, my regret is that my mother is not here to see what I have accomplished thus far. My mother died in 1989 from metastatic breast cancer as did every female in her family, except my one aunt, her sister who had a prophylactic mastectomy. My mother, the teenage parent, who bore me and eight others, who cared for us, played with my siblings and me like one of us...my God, I miss her!
What is the one gift you would like to pass on to the world and why?
*My gifts are my children, my biological children and my book children,
who are strong, artistic, independent, thinkers, inspirational contributors in their own right.
What do you want your legacy to read like?
*She was a catalyst for the good in others. I say this because when I was 11 or 12, I would sit on my front porch in the early mornings in the summer and literally kneel at the altar of morning (I told you I was a very different kind of kid) and chant, 'let me be a catalyst for the good in others.' I love the potential that early mornings afford me.
What can we expect from Adrienne in the future? Now that you are going to be famous, will life change? Will your lifestyle change? Will you remain as active as you have been all of these years?
*Lynda, Honey, once this book hits The New York Times Bestseller list, I am going to build myself the greatest kitchen. That is my measure of success...if I can afford to built the kitchen of my dreams. My son, Chance and me like to cook and I promised him that we would have the greatest kitchen with all the bells and whistles!
So, if I build that kitchen, I will most likely have to stay active to keep the weight off! I do not see myself slowing down from writing, authoring more books, and just learning.
When you look up to the stars, what do you wish for most? Why? Do you believe in mental conditioning to realizing dreams?
*When I look up at the stars, and I do, I wish to accomplish what I am on the planet to do. I pray and chant that I not be a failure to myself.
Lynda, I believe that you are what you think you are. Therefore, I am constantly monitoring and retooling my thinking and my thoughts.
And finally, what is Adrienne's greatest characteristic which sets her apart from everyone else? How and why? I ask such things that people can see that it is imperative to life that we embrace our uniqueness, our gifts, our personas that we can make our mark in life...
*Lynda, I will tell you what people have told me, mainly because I am me, and I do not see what they see. I have been told that I am:
an iconoclast, an overachiever, ambitious, bright, intelligent, eccentric, wild, funny, sexy, cool, overbearing, selfish, rich(?), strong, overwhelming, 'shoulda been a doctor', pretty, unique, individualist, mean, a crack-up (NOT crack-whore!), a quick study, leader, a 'no shit kind of person,' hot-headed, aggressive, passionate, good-hearted, a bitch, sensual, a loner, motivated, a risk taker, someone who goes after their dreams, asshole, 'the best', something else, oldest of 9 kids, Aries, domineering, dominatrix, wacky, ahead of the crowd, commanding, fearless, witty, shameless, crass, a lady, unladylike, (go fucking figure huh?) and...Lynda, take your pick.
Notes From the Mothership The Naked Invisibles