Elise Brown used to think she had it all figured out. As the eldest daughter to a single mother, she spent her childhood doing a little bit of everything, from sports to community service. She wanted to involve herself in everything she could because she was afraid to miss out on life. There was also the intense desire to prove to everyone that she was intelligent and capable. For a long time, Elise had a one-track mind about how her life would go: She would get a good job in the stable financial sector. She’d marry a man and raise children in a two-parent household.
One day, as her home was burning to the ground, she realized that everything had changed.
Suddenly, Elise found herself standing in front of a burning apartment complex, watching her past go up in flames. She spent the next year going through the motions, shocked by her misfortune. But for Elise, business-as-usual wasn’t enough. After a year, she sat down and made a list of the pros and cons of her life. She thought hard about what she wanted to do and who she wanted to be. The process led her to realize that she hated her job, and she wasn’t happy in her relationship. It was clear, she needed to reset her life. So she quit her job, broke up with her boyfriend, and moved to New York with her best friend. There was no job waiting for her in New York (it was the first time she’d been without a job since she was thirteen) but something inside her told her to trust her instincts, it would work out.
Life is Precious
It did work out. Elise’s self-assessment led her to realize that her true passions are uplifting diverse voices, helping entrepreneurs, and traveling the world. As a Black woman, Elise is well-acquainted with the glaring race and gender inequities in almost all aspects of American life. The way she pushes against it is by pushing diverse talent in professional spaces. Now, she’s a Marketing Leader for venture capitalists through a company called Anthemis.
Elise also prioritizes self-care. She likes to move her body in the morning, and read (Her favorite right now is Just As I Am by Cicely Tyson). And in a continuous effort to practice what she preaches, Elise regularly goes to therapy because she believes it’s important for Black women to work through everyday microaggressions. Finally, she makes reassessment part of her routine. Every six months, she thinks about her priorities, the same way she did following the fire. For her, life is precious. Living her best life, in the most authentic and joyful way possible, allows Elise to continue to support others and do the work she was meant to do.
Connect with Elise
Elise Brown is a Marketing Leader for venture capitalists based in New York. She believes in uplifting diverse voices, making choices intuitively and authentically, and regularly reassessing how she lives her life. You can follow her on Twitter.