Season 2, Episode 42
One Day At A Time
Karina F Daves
If you are inspired to start your own podcast, check out the links on Resource Arena page.
In today’s episode I am speaking with Karina F Daves.
Karina truly believes in the power of helping others, one season at a time.
She has always been a for the people and with the people type of gal.
Over the years, she has developed practices and skills in achieving BITE-SIZED GOALS between her career, her relationships and her sanity. She is not perfect, nor does she claim to the best at this gift called life. But, she does feel blessed.
Blessed with the ability to think quickly on her feet, develop life-changing techniques, and still have a chuckle at the end of the day! Her passion is to be there for women, specifically moms, that need tools and confidence to keep going, no matter where they are in life!
If you love the show please leave a rating or a review here.
If you have a comment or question please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram @gladiatrixpodcast.
Malini Sarma 0:01
Hey, Karina, thank you so much for being on my podcast and really excited for the world to hear your story.
Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here.
Malini Sarma 0:11
Oh, it's awesome. So you were born in Peru, but you studied in the US. talking a little bit more about your experience growing up, you know, do you have any siblings? What was like when you grew up? You know, what did you want to be when you grew up?
So I grew up in a pretty, I would say, like, traditional family. I was born in Peru, and we migrated to the US, specifically North Jersey, in the 90s. And it was a difficult transition, because my parents were actually attempting to separate during that transition. And so they had to make the decision to either work it out while we were migrating to the US or not. And they decided to stick it out. We lived in sort of like a basement apartment, my father, my mother and I. And then we moved to a second floor. I went to Catholic school for a little bit. And then six years later, my sister was born. And we're not Six years later about maybe I came when I was about four or five. So maybe like three years later, my sister was born. My sister, Stacy. And when I was about 10 years old, my parents did end up getting divorced. And we went back to the basement life living in my grandmother's basement. And, you know, my childhood was in, I find it so interesting. When we use the word difficult. It wasn't difficult in the sense that there was no food or clothes to wear, it wasn't like that, were we well off? Absolutely not. Like did we get everything we wanted? No, we were definitely, I would say, we we like yo yoed like we went up and down. And a lot of that had to do with lack of financial wisdom. So both of my parents went bankrupt in their 30s. And then we moved to a very predominantly white town in New Jersey called Lyndhurst, and we tried to in implement our roots in there. One thing I will say, though, is that my family was very big on discipline, like it was very strict. And so there wasn't a lot of freedom to be creative, or anything outside of the box that the immigrant mentality puts you in. So the immigrant mentality has like a standard, I would say, of like two careers a doctor or a lawyer. And that I think, is across the board for a lot of us brown folks. And one of the things is that, you know, I was an amazing speaker, when I was young, like I could get up on stage, I could defend, I could, you know, discuss any type of thing and really debate. And I think instead of seeing that as something that could potentially be great for public speaking, or motivational speaking, or you could have your own radio show, it was like, you should be a lawyer, because you talk a lot. And it was like, really, I don't know if I want to be a lawyer. So I resembled a lot of creativity growing up, but it was sort of box in the category that I don't think, necessarily was for me, but I don't blame my parents for that, because that was the mindset that they had. Right. And as immigrants, I would say that I have more of a privilege than they do, because they had no time to really think of anything else than surviving.
Malini Sarma 3:57
Right? Right. That's usually the case. So did they have expectations that I need you to be a doctor or a lawyer, that's the only way you make money that you we save? And then you can you know, get married, have kids? And then you know, everybody's like, you know, live the American dream? Was that how it was for you?
Unknown Speaker 4:14
Yeah, but I think that the problem was that they weren't. It's not that they weren't good examples. But I mean, it's just so hard being a parent. Like, I'm just thinking about me parenting right now. But I think that yes, their expectation of me at the time was you need to go to law school. So I actually didn't get great SAT scores. And I was great in school, but I always felt like school was a chore like, I feel like I could be doing something else with my time and I never really felt like I fit in socially with people. So or felt. I never felt like I fit in with enough people socially and I never felt like I was was having these thriving conversations in high school, because my time was so like, rigid. Like my parent, my mom who was raising us at the time, she was very much like, you wake up at a certain time you do this, you take your sister, you go to school, you learn, you come home, you take out the me, you make the rise, I come home, I cook, we eat dinner, we ask each other about our day. And then you go into your room, and you only have till nine o'clock to do your homework, because my bedtime was nine o'clock until the age of 17. When I left for college, like that is how strict my parents were. And then editing No, and then. And then to throw in the whole thing about like extracurricular activities, like, I was asked to be an fbla future business. future business leaders of America, I wanted to be in the drama club, I played soccer, I play track. So when I was playing those sports, I would come home like seven o'clock at night after a game. I remember I mom, if you're listening, please don't get upset. Like, just remember this moment, like my mom would get upset that I was home that late, from doing an extracurricular activity, because it's not her fault. Like in her mind, I was doing something that wasn't going to elevate me, right. But in my mind, I was learning to be part of a team. Right? I was learning even more discipline, I was learning the sort of like the science of learning, but learning with my body, you know, right, and learning how to work in a team. And so I think that I knew at that moment that I needed to figure out a way to get out. And here is the thing that a lot of people don't know, I actually was two minutes away from enlisting. Wow. Be because I wanted to be out so bad. I wanted my freedom so bad. And I got into like Seton Hall, I don't even remember what other colleges I got into. But one day, my mom comes home and she's like, Oh, well, my coworker, her daughter got into Rutgers, you should apply to that school. And I had no idea about Rutgers. I apply. And I hit this little button that says EOF which stands for Education Opportunity Fund, specifically for low income first generation students. And it's like, all you need to do is a summer program. We will help you with college. And I was like, click
that program and many other retention programs assisted me in making it as a woman of color in college.
Malini Sarma 7:25
Wow. That's fascinating. So what was your was your mom, like really proud of you? When she got when you got into Rutgers, and you told her mom, guess what I got into she was like,
Unknown Speaker 7:32
Oh my God, my daughter, my firstborn is going to college.
Yeah, and again, Mom, if you're listening, just please try to remember this moment know how much I love you. Um, they were temporary, like me, you know, I try my best to function out of joy. And that happiness, because happiness is like, from happening meanings, you know. And so I feel like, I feel like we didn't spend a lot of time celebrating that fact, I felt like, as a teenager, and as a college student, I would do something really good. And it was only for a little bit before the next question was so what next? Right, you know, and I felt like, it wasn't that I didn't feel supported. I just, I knew that my push to do something was not 100% by me. And if I could just share a quick story, my five year old who's going to be 55. Soon, he's so beyond his years. He logged out of his zoom class, like missed half of his zoom two days ago. And so he, we were talking to him and he started crying. And he's like, I'm so sorry, mommy and daddy, like, I'm gonna do better. So I can make you happy as right that I stopped the thought. And I was like, wait, wait, wait, wait,
Unknown Speaker 8:48
wait, hold on, hold
on. Let's clear back. None of this is meant to make. Either one of us have a right let's stop that right now. Because that's how I grew up. I grew up doing everything for my mom. Like, if you ever if you ask me who my hero was, it was my mom. If you asked me why I was staying up at night studying it was from my mom, so she wouldn't kick my ass. Like it was everything was for her.
Malini Sarma 9:12
Right? You wanted her to be proud of us? Like I'm yeah.
Yeah, it was like I glorified that. Yeah. And I glorify the wrong thing. And I spent so many years that we're talking like, I probably spent probably 20 years in that, like it was a really thing to break out of. And so in that moment, I said, TJ, this is for you. We want you to stay in your zoom class for you up to make me and him proud. And then I realized that I should probably stop telling him I'm disappointed. right because that's what he's interpreting it. Right. He's like he's hearing it
Malini Sarma 9:49
as I'm disappointed in you when all you're saying is like it's okay. Yes, yeah. No, I totally I think that's a very common immigrant mentality too because I think a lot of us are like, which Just wanted my parents to be proud of me. I just want them to say yes, you know, so I totally, I totally get get that. But then, like you said, Your mom was your biggest hero. But at some point after you became an adult, you decided to kind of create the boundary, you know, draw those lines. So here, what, how did that How did that happen? Or how did that start? Or did you just kind of like did something big happens like, Oh my god, I can't deal with this anymore? Or was it like a, you know, a gradual just watching and learning and saying, Okay, you know what I'm seeing that by doing this, this is causing me anxiety, I need to do something.
So I think what started happening is, when you grow up, you start seeing your parents in a different light. Mm hmm. So I think as children, even as teenagers, you see your parents as like, they just can't do anything wrong. And everything they do is like completely the right way to live. And you agree with them. And it's sort of like becomes your values to write like values that you now take with you. And so one of the really positive values about my family was like just being a really hard worker. But one of the negative values was never really talking about what was going on inside and just push through it. So I spoke to somebody who named Natalie who came on my podcast two weeks ago. And she's like, you know, a lot of us glorify the hustle mentality. Yeah, work hard mentality, but we don't glorify the self care, right. And I think that I started to watch my family unravel in a way where I realized that nobody takes care of themselves. Everybody's getting divorce, nobody's really happy. And we're still like getting together and pretending that nothing's going on. Right. Right. Right. And so I decided in that moment, to,
Unknown Speaker 12:01
I, you know, I
Unknown Speaker 12:01
had two decisions, I could either like, have come into my family, but like, all of you guys suck, you need to change your ways. But I didn't do that I was very graceful. And I knew that I was still learning and I was trying to become somebody better. Because the other thing is that I have a lot of family members that are very manipulative, and extremely good liars. And so I started to see that myself, again, to having this like, not telling the full truth, nature, very much like in gossipy type of mentality is very, I started to realize my own manipulative ways. And I was like, wow, like, I, this, I think it has to stop. And I'm very faith driven. And a lot of people who follow me know that I am in a very, like, you can feel my faith or my personality, but I'm never going to be like, Hey, I'm Karina, do you want to have it like that? Because that's like a judgment thing. And I would never judge anybody. And so to answer your question, I very, it was very slow. These boundaries weren't set in quickly. They were very slow. And a lot of it started with my faith, and then it moved to nutrition. Then it went to my marriage, then it went to my kids. And so it was a slow process. And we I got a lot of resistance for it. And I still do, but but a lot of things have changed in my family too.
Malini Sarma 13:29
So do they look up to you, like as a role model seek Wow, look at Karina I mean, you know, she does she doesn't follow the like, Oh, she's not like real Peruvian. She's like, so Americanized. I mean, do they say stuff like that? Um,
I don't know. Like, I would say I can't speak for everybody. But I know my mom and I have had these really positive conversations. And she said, she has sent me like really long text messages thanking me that like that she feels like the reason for her for God allowing her to birth a daughter like me is that so later on in life, I could teach her some things. And I think for me, like, I always tell my mom like you did an amazing job. And I know that you did it, because you did. You did it with everything you knew. Like, my mom met her father once. My grandmother slept with a married man. And so unfortunately, my mom couldn't have that relationship. And so, you know, I said, you know, you did what you could with what you knew, right? And God led the rest of the way. So don't don't beat yourself up. So understand that what I'm saying what I'm saying things like we need boundaries. I'm not saying you're a bad mom. And I think a lot of us whether it's that sentence or something else, we interpret what people are saying to us, very personal. So if my husband's like, you know, you should probably not eat so much sugar. He's not saying you look fat. He's literally just saying like using sugar. Yeah, I just I've been sugar. So when I say to my mom, mom, I think you probably need to talk to somebody. about what's going on because you have very high levels of anxiety. He initially took that as I'm a horrible mom. And I was like, No, no, I'm actually trying to help you. Because I've gone to therapy, I've gone to marriage therapy, and it's just opened up so many doors for me. And thankfully, my mom has been going to therapy for the last two months, and it has been life changing. So I love you, mom. See, I was getting to the good part.
Malini Sarma 15:26
That's really cool. So now you're married. You have a son, you also have, you're also a step mom, you work a nine to five, you know, you starting your own coaching business girl, you got your hands full. So how do you keep yourself focused and motivated and not get sucked into all the drama?
I don't. That's very simple. Like I think that there is, I think normally, we're just inclined to sit here and give you the the tips on how to stay focused 100% of the time, and I want to let everybody listening know that I don't, I'm not focused 100% of the time, I have to work
Unknown Speaker 16:08
to stay focus, I can give you my routine, I can give you what I do. But I have to also share with you the bad days, I have to tell you the days where I feel crazy, because one minute, I'm crying the next minute, I'm like, you know what, I have to share this with people, I have to let them know how to be creative and how awesome they are. And then I'm like, Oh my God, my feet hurt so much like it is really a yo yo effect. And I do feel crazy. But what I realized is that those emotions are normal. What I've learned to do, and I think the key of it, is managing them. And so knowing what your triggers are is so important, like, and then because you'll be able to be a better manager of your emotions and bring yourself back balanced.
Unknown Speaker 17:01
if I'm really and you know, my sister, Stacy also might be listening to this for all, all everybody who doesn't know what you probably don't My sister was recently diagnosed about a month ago with one of the most aggressive forms of blood cancer called alll. And she's still in the addiction induction phase because there's still leukemia in her bone marrow and brains and brain fluid. And whenever we receive news that, you know, is not news that I want to hear, my world gets shaken up. And I mean, obviously, this is very heavy, it's cancer. But I mean, think of like news that you receive from your job, or that your kids tell you like, you're going to get news all the time information all the time that you don't like, for me, the best thing that has worked for me, when I receive heavy news, that is a trigger, I know that I shut down and the only way to bring me back is actually to shut everything down. So except for Netflix. So what I do is,
Unknown Speaker 18:07
I shut it
all down, I'm not on my phone, I shut my computer, like I literally don't work for 24 hours. And I need to reset, right and I need to do a mixture of mindless things. I'll listen to you know all I'll read and I'll listen to you know scripture. I'll listen to Les Brown motivational like I need to fill myself up because in Spanish is called matoba. It like literally hits me. And I'm just like, Okay, this is a trigger. How do I manage this again? Okay, and then I'm like, babe, do we have any coffee ice cream left, I was like, these are all things that I need are going to manage me back and back. And that is why like, my tactics, they may necessarily not work for everybody, right? That's why you have to know how to best manage yourself. And so doing an audit constantly. So like, how do I manage everything? The answer is knowing your triggers, when you know what triggers you, you will be able to manage yourself so much better manage your mindset, and your emotions and manage your physical body.
Malini Sarma 19:20
So now this is I mean this, I can tell this is come from, you know, years of learning how you react to situations. I mean, like it said, previously when he'd spoken, you know, the drama that happened because you married somebody outside your community, the kind of feedback that you're getting, you know, the stuff that your son has to go through because, you know, he's, he's half black and then you know, the, as a mom, you just want to be like so protective of yours and you're like a tiger mom and like don't say that to my kid, you know? So, when you have to deal with stuff like that where you can really control other people. And other people's reactions, what what would you tell other moms going through stuff like that. Um,
so two parts one, I don't we, I don't argue with my husband, the same way I did five years ago, I think five years ago, it was very much you just like, play a ring around Rosie game of the blame game. Like, that's all you do, like. And then when, through therapy, we learned a lot of tactics of how to talk to each other, which is like, one, stop making assumptions of what the other person is thinking. I'll believe what they say and believe what they do. And to stop bringing up the past, like, if you say you have forgiven, then you really, really need to forgive. Those two things also are what helps me as a mom. So when people are downplaying or talking about my son, and I kind of get triggered and think that it's possibly something bias or to do with the skin of his color, a color of his skin, I tend to take a second back and be like, okay, she hasn't he or she hasn't shown yet that they're not for your son, there's this phone call is still about helping him, though, until we get to that point, don't count them out. Like don't judge them yet. And so I think it all goes hand in hand. So until the people in today's life counted him out. It wasn't until that point that I was very much like in sort of like in a space where I was like you're wrong for what you're doing. And I hope that you see it and let this be a testament that you do a better job of taking care of these kids.
Malini Sarma 21:47
So you have no qualms about telling people exactly what you think and what they you know, they're doing something wrong, calling them out on it, right?
No, no, no, but I think that there's definitely a respectful way of doing it. Oh, yeah. I think you're right, like as a mom, sometimes it is difficult for me to control those emotions, because I want to protect them so much. But I think that I've learned the way that I argue with my husband is how I can also argue or discuss with other people, you know, sensitive things. And I think the first step is not making assumptions, but allowing people to really tell you because eventually they'll tell you, they're really tell you what they're up to and how they think. Mm hmm.
Malini Sarma 22:27
No, and I, and I think that's a very mature way of looking at it right. People usually just react from the gut, you know, the first thing that comes to their mind is what they wanted to say. And then it's only when you are like you said, you know, respectfully you said that's when people start to actually think and say okay, you know what, I didn't mean it like that. That's when that was not what I was meant to say. So now I think that that is a very mature way of, of dealing with the situation, talking about your business, you know, you girl, you should be so proud. I mean, look at all the stuff that you when you went to college, I mean, you started your own business. So when you're looking at other people what you know, when other people are looking up to you, especially those women of color who probably don't have opportunity to they didn't know they could go you know, do things, go to top schools and get that kind of opportunity. What would you want to tell them about following your dreams?
What I told myself before I got married, which was getting a never lose yourself. And I think it's it's guided me in so many ways, because it's always come up. I like I literally asked myself this all the time. Have you lost yourself? Are you still here? I think I asked myself this morning. And listen, this is being pretty raw, like I woke up. And I started talking to God. And I was like, God, am I still here? I still here. Because I want to make sure that I'm being the most authentic person. For me, like I can't be a really great mom. I can't be a really great wife, friend, sister coach, if I'm not being me, and I can't be me. If I'm always being with you. Like I can't be me if I'm always being with you. And that is so deep for me. Because if I'm spending so much time pouring into you,
Unknown Speaker 24:21
what about me? Hmm,
you know what I mean? And I know that a lot of times like people say well, I don't have the time to focus on myself right now. I don't have you know, I have all these circumstances. And a lot of us are waiting and I work with my clients a lot on this. A lot of us are waiting for like the perfect moment to start something new the perfect moment to renovate the perfect moment to like build this spreadsheet the perfect moment to create this reel. Let me tell you something, there will never be a perfect moment. And it's never going to line up the way you want it to. It just it just won't there is always going to be something going on. When I found out that my sister had cancer. It was at the peak of Me building my coaching program. And I spent 24 hours giving it up, like I literally gave everything up. And then I remember talking to my sister and she was like, Well, what will you do? What do you mean? She's like, what will you do? I'm like, you're right. What
Unknown Speaker 25:13
will I do?
I'll just, I guess I'll just wait for your phone call every day. Mm hmm. Keep going. And I'm like, yeah, I'm gonna keep going. And I think that that's why it matters so much to add to do a daily audit of where you are in your life. I mean, come on, even 10 minutes, you're gonna tell me that if you if your kids you know, your kids wake up every day at seven, then just wake up at five, record your podcast, okay, and then check it off of the day you did something you didn't want to think that's it? Or if you want to detox from sugar, it's been 24 hours not eating sugar. You know what I mean? Like, just do it. You're never going to be a perfect time. There's no, we spend so much time creating and not putting anything into action, and then nothing ever gets done.
Malini Sarma 25:59
Yeah, yeah. No, I think that is, I think that is advice that hat that is applicable to anybody, everybody in all fields all the time. Just do it. Right. Nike got it, right.
Unknown Speaker 26:11
Malini Sarma 26:14
now looking back, you know, knowing what you know, now, is there anything that you would have changed? Or what would you have told your younger self?
Unknown Speaker 26:25
So I used to spend a lot of time fantasizing about the things that I would change, like when I was in graduate school, I think was the longest I would spend hours thinking about, like, I would need to write a research paper, a 30 page research paper, and I would just sit there and I would say, How could I not have gotten here? I would say, Okay, well, then, I would literally fantasize about this. If I didn't, if I didn't date bar, a lake, could I have done this? I would, I would spend so much mindspace figuring out what to change. And I would say that I spent like, 80% of the time doing that before, I think I spent like, maybe four to 3% doing it now now, because now I'm more of the mindset of if I start having those thoughts, like what could I have done different? I'm like, you know what, just because I failed today, doesn't mean I'm a failure. I just I just didn't, I just didn't hit the target today. But I hit that target eventually. And that's why I think even with like social media, you know, analytics, it's great. But like, some days, it can make you feel like you suck because I only got a certain amount of, you know, likes or whatever. But for me, I think I've learned that engagement is super important, which is why I know this is a whole different topic. But I think engagement not just on social media, but with people writing is so vital. So like, when I think I haven't made an impact, I start looking through my text messages, my voice memos, leaving comments on engagement. I'm like, you know what, like, this might might have been the least viewed real. But it had like the most amount of people commenting and having conversations because I'm not the heart emoji commenter the things comments, or I'm not like I actually engage with people, because social media is meant to be social. And listen, if, if you like and just put hearts, that's fine, too. But like, for me, as a coach, I'm trying to work with people so they could be relatable. That's answering one of your questions, just like if I would change anything, I wouldn't, because that I wouldn't be with the sexiest man, I'm married to today. And I wouldn't have the business I have and the kids that I have I just the thing. Now, what would I tell my younger self? I would tell her, I would tell her to stop. I would tell her to what would I tell her, I would tell her to stop worrying. And stop trying to be something that you're not I spent so much time like, trying to be something that I thought I should have been like, I would straighten my hair for hours. I bought color contacts just to fit in these blue Hazel contacts. And I'm just looking at her like, one day there's going to be a curly hair industry that's going to love curly hair. But right now, in the 90s we're just not there. Don't you worry. With the 2000s hit baby we're gonna have diva Google have mad stuff for curly hair like that. Even that alone, like I just spent so much time hiding my curly hair. That I would tell her just stop being something that you're not. And that goes for everybody stop being something that you're not be yourself. Yes. You're not here to cater to the hundreds and millions of people in the world. You know what I mean? If you can impact a few you're fine, or just one?
Malini Sarma 29:55
Yeah, no, I think that's great. I mean, that's how we I look at if I can make a difference in one person. Life, then I, then I think I'm on the right path. Amen. Yeah. So thank you so much Karina, you have some very some great insights and some great advice. A lot of people, especially for the women of color, where we are always trying to fit in, when we realize we bring our authentic self, we bring a whole new, you know, flavor to, to the world, and we have so much to offer. So thank you for saying that out loud. Don't hide that curly hair, you know? Yes.
Unknown Speaker 30:30
Yeah, yes. And always advocate for yourself. You know, I was, I was telling you before we started recording, that I used to talk about work life balance and work life career. Now I don't anymore. But one of the things that I realized as women of color is that we can wake up one day and end up working for like, you know, three white guys, which is my current situation, and listen, they're pretty nice guys. But at the same time, like, I need to advocate for myself and the things that I need. And so the things that will make me better professional development, things that will pour into me, so don't be afraid. When people call you having an attitude or people call you a certain way. And this might be a whole different podcast episode. You know, workplace microaggressions. But if this is you, and you're going through something similar, definitely DM me on instagram Karina F. Dave's, or definitely write this out. talk to somebody about it, because you're worth more than your job. Oh, you are worth more than your job. You can be replaced in the second understand that you work on yourself more than you work at your job. Yes, that is what I will tell all women of color and career and careers right now is like work on yourself more than you do at your nine to five Just do it. You have to
Malini Sarma 31:46
Yes, thank you. I think even I came to that realization only after I got like laid off twice. You know, like, okay, should have gotten right the first time it took me another one before I figured it out. So no, thank you. That is so important for everybody to hear. Take care of yourself. Put more value into yourself because that you are bringing out something that nobody else has.
Exactly. Oh, exactly. Thank you. Thank
Malini Sarma 32:13
you so much. Oh, no, thank you, Karina. That was awesome. And I really appreciate your taking the time. So thank you very much and good luck to your sister sending prayers and healing energies for her and hope she recovers quickly.
Unknown Speaker 32:26
And you guys so much. My name again is Karina f Daves, I'm a life coach. And the podcast host of one day at a time also known as oh that the place where we love to interview the true hustlers of the world women who are basically killing it. You can find me at my handle at Karina f Daves on Instagram or you can go to my website KarinafDaves.com to learn more about me and how I can coach you through life.
I got you.
Malini Sarma 32:50
Thanks Karina. Course
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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