31 Days of Brave Hearts || Day 18, Alysha Floyd

Alysha

This sensitive soul takes my breath away.  With her heart.  With her wisdom.  With her love.  You can keep up with her gorgeous face on Instagram at mrs.alysha.floyd.  Meet Alysha.

What is your superpower? Oh goodness…my superpower is listening. I think I’m really good at not just “hearing” people…but really listening to what they have to say. People are so incredibly interesting and inspiring if you just listen to their story.

Who do you adore? I adore my mom. My mom is my best friend in the entire world. She listens to my rants and always has the best advice (even the kind that you don’t always want to hear). There’s a hospital that I go to that has really poor lighting in the parking lot and you have to cross the street to get to the Emergency Room. My mom encourages me to call her (even in the middle of the night) to talk to her while I walk into the hospital because she knows I am a huge chicken. She’s my protector. My light. My very best friend.

alysha mom

Describe your brave heart outfit. Oh, my brave heart outfit is totally not cute. A lot of times when I have to be the bravest, I am wearing yoga pants, an old sweatshirt and my hair in a pony tail on top of my head.

What is your favorite movie?  I love Garden State and Silver Linings Playbook.

What was the best trip ever?  I love to travel, so I’ve had a lot of amazing trips…but one of my favorites was one of the first trips that my now-husband and I took together. We took a week-long vacation to Florida. It was during the fall, so most kids were back in school. We went to Disney World, Universal Studios, Cocoa Beach, and Daytona Beach. There was hardly anyone at the theme parks so we ran around acting like kids and meeting the characters. When we went to Daytona Beach, we were literally the only two people on the beach. My husband chased seagulls, and we just had the most amazing time. I felt very free during that trip.

What is the best gift you’ve received?  The best gift I’ve ever received was a photo album that my aunt gave to me after my high school graduation. She had always been kind of like our family photographer throughout the years, but had mostly quit taking photos because her health was failing. She gave me a photo album that included pictures of everyone in our family with silly sayings that she had made up. It was the most personal and amazing gift I have ever received.

What is the ultimate party?  My ultimate party would probably include a bonfire, wine, my best friends, and dancing.

Your mother always told you…My mother always told me that I got to decide how things affected me. I am a very emotional person. I have strong reactions to both positive and negative situations. My mom always reminded me that I get to choose to be happy.

What/where is your happy place?  This is cheesy and mushy, but my happy place is anywhere with my husband. He is absolutely my happy place. No matter how bad or long my day is, knowing that I get to come home to him, just makes everything okay.

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Who do you secretly want to be?  Myself. Sometimes it is very scary for me to truly put myself out there, and let people see the “real” me. So yeah, I secretly just really want to be me. Every single awkward, bad joke telling, scaredy cat inch of myself.

How has your work changed you?  This work has made me more patient. When you’re working with people who have recently experienced a trauma, you have to give them time. A rushed story, is not a full story. Interruptions lead to exclusions. I have learned to get comfortable with awkward silences to just give people the time they need to tell their story in their own words.

What fuels you?  People. When I was in college, one of my professors asked us to write a paper about what we were passionate about. So many people were passionate and extremely talented at things like singing, dancing, acting, teaching, etc. And I struggled with this paper. I didn’t know what I was passionate about. I knew that I was “pretty good” at a lot of things, but I couldn’t place my finger on what really excited me. When I finally took a step back and really thought about what I was passionate about, I realized it was people. I love getting to hear people’s stories, where they come from, what they’ve done, what they’ve overcome, what their dreams are, what their hopes are, what their fears are…I love people. And they fuel me to wake up every day on the off chance that somebody may need someone to listen to them.

What’s the best advice you were given about this work?  Be authentic. Be connected.

What is your favorite word?  I’m obsessed with the word obsessed 😉

I secretly love… absolutely terrible, trash tv shows. Seriously. When I get home from a long day at work or school or internship or an especially hard call—I just like to watch really bad “reality” tv.

What are you scared of?  A lot of things. Being rejected. Being home alone. Snakes. Weird noises in the night. Puke. I am scared of a lot of things…mostly ridiculous things.

alysha honeymoon

What did you study? In my undergraduate studies I majored in Writing, Rhetoric, and Communication. My minor was Women’s Studies. In May, I will graduate with my Master’s in Social Work. Then I am done =)

What is one outrageous thing you’d love to own?  So I’ve thought about a couple of different options for this question—but I keep coming back to University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball season tickets. Dream big. Haha!

What is your most cherished thing? My most cherished “thing” is a quilt that my great-grandmother made. It is raggedy and falling apart, but I love it.

What do you love most about yourself?  My heart. I like that I care so very much.

Alysha3

What do you want the world to know about your work? Most of the time when I tell people that I am a rape victims advocate, their response is usually something along the lines of, “Wow, that must be really hard.” What I want people to know, is that it is hard. It’s hard because I care. I hate seeing people being hurt. I hate knowing the limitations that are involved when dealing with the legal system. Maybe it would be easier on me if I didn’t care…but then it would be time to find something else that challenges me, that pushes me, that inspires me, that fires me up…

Meet other Brave Hearts like Alysha at 31 Days of Brave Hearts.

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