Where EVERYONE is a maker

Episode 22: Go Confidently with Julie DeLucca-Collins

Episode 22 cover art featuring podcast guest Julie DeLucca-Collins

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“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams” is the mantra that this week’s guest, Julie DeLucca-Collins, used to finish El Camino de Santiago in 2016. And when she lost her job during the pandemic, she knew helping women develop their own belief system—their confidence—was her true calling. And so her agency Go Confidently Services was born.

But Julie is more than merely a badass CEO and podcaster. She is also a childfree woman of Puerto Rican and Salvadorean descent. But her road to being childfree is not what you would expect. In a unique twist, Julie’s journey took a little detour that kind of led to an existential struggle. Here’s how a business and strategist coach deals with imposter syndrome, rejection, and the road to childfree-dom.

More about Julie:

Julie DeLucca-Collins is the Founder and CEO of Go Confidently Services and the host of the popular Casa DeConfidence Podcast®. As a Business and Life Strategist Coach, Julie helps women business owners launch or grow their businesses, get clients, be productive, and achieve their dreams. Julie helps her clients create simple habits to achieve goals and change lives. Julie is also the best-selling author of the newly released book Confident You (simple habits to live the life you’ve imagined).

Julie is a sought-after public speaker trainer and course creator. She is certified as a CBT Holistic Coach and Tiny Habits Certified. She is also certified as a Social Emotional Learning Facilitator and has completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Certification.

Find Julie online at:

DM me on Instagram if you have questions about this week’s episode. And if you would like to apply to be on the podcast, fill out this form.

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In this episode

  • 2:29 – Consistent action gets you traction t-shirts (temporarily unavailable)
  • 2:10 – Julie’s experience on el Camino de Santiago
  • 6:30 – Episode 4 – celebrate your wins
  • 25:01 – TED Talk on how to use a paper towel
  • 25:57 – Two previous guests:

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[00:00] Paulette: Buen día y welcome to The Maker Muse Podcast, the place where childfree Spanglish speaking, mujeres fuertes are inspired to find their confidence, su confianza, through creativity. I’m Paulette Erato, the Maker Muse. Today I’m chatting with Julie DeLucca-Collins, an entrepreneur and podcaster. We basically jump right into talking about what it is Julie does for a living, how it came to be, what inspired her to name her business, Go Confidently, and more.

[00:31] It’s a sweet and relatable story. And I think you’ll enjoy it.

[00:34] Hello today I have Julie DeLucca-Collins who is kind of a badass in every single way. I’m gonna let her explain all the things that she’s into, but she is the founder and CEO of Go Confidently Services. And Julie, this is perfect because I believe that we should all have confidence, which I’m pretty sure is what you’re selling, right?

[00:54] Julie: I am selling the belief system that you need to shift to, to live the type of life that you want for yourself.

[01:03] Paulette: That was beautiful and eloquent.

[01:05] Julie: Oh, well, thank you. It just came to me. You inspired me.

[01:10] Paulette: Look at that. I’m a Muse! It works.

[01:12] Julie: It works. It all works well. You know, I think that confidence is one of those tricky things, but a confidence is the belief system.

[01:21] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[01:22] Julie: And I can tell you that there’s days that I look in the mirror, I’m like, oh my God, I don’t know if I could do this. But if we work on it and create the next best thought and find the belief in who we want to become, then the actions today is what gets us to be there.

[01:39] Paulette: It sounds so easy, right? Or it’s simple. No, it’s simple.

[01:42] Julie: It’s, it’s a simple concept.

[01:44] Paulette: It’s a, it’s very simple. And yet, you know, you start, it’s like going to the gym. That’s hard.

[01:50] Julie: Yeah, I just did a TikTok about this yesterday.

[01:52] Paulette: Did you?

[01:53] Julie: Information. The learning of information is 20%, but the implementation is 80%. And it’s that 80% that actually will make us achieve the thing.

[02:06] The problem for us is that the learning, the reading about it, the in theory, strategizing what we’re gonna do. That’s what we spend the majority of the time, but that’s not what moves us forward.

[02:20] Paulette: Right. It’s the action.

[02:22] Julie: It’s the action. Consistent action gets you traction. It’s what I’d like to tell people.

[02:27] Paulette: We need to put that on t-shirts!

[02:29] Julie: It is on a t-shirt.

[02:30] Paulette: Is it, where can we get that? I’ll put a link in the show notes.

[02:33] Julie: I’ll send you the link to the t-shirt because I, I just, I don’t know. One day I was just saying consistent action gets you traction and, and I’ve said this. I, I walked the Camino de Santiago, and this is like one of the things that I kept saying to myself among many other things. Because I, I have to have these deep conversations with myself and like, come on, Julie, get yourself together or whatever it is is, you know, the conversation du jour.

[02:59] And that was one of the things that I just kept saying. Because when you say it enough and you use it as a mantra, then you can actually move forward and, and make the, make the achievement, the, the forward progress that you’re looking for.

[03:13] Paulette: So you’ve just schooled everyone beautifully. That was a free gift for everyone. Why don’t you tell, why don’t we, um, go back a little bit and you tell us exactly what Go Confidently Services is or who it is that you help.

[03:28] Julie: Sure. So, you know, a little bit of what we talked about just now that confidence that it has a belief system. I, I have to say that I have that confidence because of my dad.

[03:39] My dad is a person who from an early age is like, honey. Have you ever heard the quote? And, you know, he read the book On Walden Pond with Henry David Thoreau, and it was one of his favorite intellectual people that he liked to read. And I remember hearing the quote from my dad at an early age. And every time that I struggled, whether it be in my career relationships or any part of my life, you know, I really went back to him as my mentor.

[04:06] And that was the quote that I, I adopted as my life quote. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams live, the life you have imagined. And, and my dad used to say, honey, you’re so brave. You do things I could never do. And I kept thinking, I’m like, I don’t know about that, but it really became that mantra that helped me.

[04:22] And I attribute a lot of what I’ve been able to accomplish in my life as a senior executive at corporate, in being able to finally leave a marriage that wasn’t working, to now being married to the man that I am married to, traveling the world. Anything that you can see from the outward that I’ve been able to accomplish in my life came from having someone like my dad who believed in me, who was there, who inspired me, who coached me in essence to become this person.

[04:50] And yes, you know, I also, you know, there’s my mom as well, but my dad was very central. When I was laid off in the pandemic, I knew exactly that I was gonna pursue the passion I have for helping other women. I have been working in leadership programs. I volunteer in several organizations, helping other women.

[05:09] And I had gotten my certification as a coach. I used some of these skills in the work that I did in corporate as a senior executive at an educational company. But I immediately knew that, you know, not every woman who wants to have a dream come to pass or achieve something or feel confident, have the same type of dad that I did.

[05:29] They could have a very cool dad in their own right. But not the type of dad who reminded them that they can go confidently. So I wanted to breathe that belief into them because, and I wanted to also at the same time, let them know that not all of us feel the confidence. And yet if we continue to move forward, then we can achieve the things, but it’s a matter of being patient.

[05:57] It’s a matter of giving time, some time being able to strike out. Because these are the things that sometimes we’re so quick to give up. We’re so quick to, you know, we may hope for something, but we are not motivated or we hope for something and we’re not inspired to do the thing. But we need to just know that the hope, the inspiration, the motivation comes from the action that you take and from celebrating what you’ve accomplishing.

[06:23] Paulette: That’s beautiful.

[06:24] Did you catch it? She just gave you another excellent reason why you have to celebrate your wins. I did a whole episode on this. I’ll link it in the show notes per always. But if you’re not gonna believe me, please believe Julie when she tells you, you need to celebrate your wins. Because doing that also helps you to take the necessary action to move forward in your life, with your goals.

[06:47] Julie: Yeah. And that’s, and that’s how Go Confidently came. And, and I knew immediately as I launched my business, I’m like, okay, uh, I’m gonna coach women. I’m gonna help them. And I’m gonna call it, Go Confidently Services. And Go Confidently Services is although I’m a business and life strategy coach. I have several certifications in tiny habits, positive intelligence, social emotional learning, cognitive behavior

[07:09] I mean like I’m, I’m a student of life. I love learning. But I didn’t get the certifications because, oh, it makes me a better coach. I got them because I wanted to learn and I wanted to be a better person. And I am my best client. I coach myself. But the services comes because, in addition to being coach and having me as a coach, you also have all of the different offerings.

[07:28] Uh, if you wanna do a podcast, we have podcasting services. If you need help with your content and your marketing, we help you with that as well. Because ultimately I wanna facilitate to women for them to do what they do best, and then delegate the rest to somebody who it comes easy to them, right? Like if I wanted to have a podcast and I had to do the editing and everything, I wouldn’t do it.

[07:50] (Paulette laughs)

[07:50] Julie: Because like, oh my God, are you kidding me? Like, what button do I press?

[07:53] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[07:54] Julie: Um, whereas for me, um, I’m very fortunate. I have a husband who that’s his jam. I mean, he’s an engineer by trade and he did sound in college. So if I have the tools, why not share them? So that’s what the services is all about.

[08:09] We’re so we’re a full service agency, but coaching is the main offer that we we have and people can work with me either on a one-to-one or they can participate in the group coaching to really be able to get and move forward in their business. So that’s what the GCS is about.

[08:27] Paulette: And you also have a podcast.

[08:28] Julie: I do. And it’s called Casa de Confidence

[08:33] Paulette: I love hearing you and your husband, you guys riff off each other.

[08:36] Julie: Oh, oh, thank you. We, we have a lot of fun doing it.

[08:39] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[08:40] Julie: And he, he really, you know, my dad had a deep desire when, you know, sadly, my dad passed away. But one of the things that he said that he was at peace because he knew that he was leaving me in good hands.

[08:56] And that’s certainly something that every time, yes… there’s days that I wish I could call my dad. But can I just say, I can just look and I, I look to them my left cuz that’s where my husband’s desk is. But I, I have the person that will challenge me will encourage me, will pick me up off the floor when I’m like done.

[09:14] Right. And we have these moments in which we’re just, um, we need to do cry it out, I guess. But, but it’s very important to me. And, and that’s what Casa de Confidence became, right? Casa de Confidence never started because I wanted to have a podcast to help my business. It started because in the pandemic I had just launched the business because I had lost my job.

[09:34] I had been offered a separation package with a company that I worked with. But I was having a big birthday. I’m an extrovert. And my husband saw the writing on the wall because I got laid off in, in March. And my birthday was in April and I had been planning this fabulous birthday party for myself. I was gonna have all my friends.

[09:53] It was gonna be really fun. And you know, you name it.

[09:55] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[09:56] Julie: And then he knew like, yeah, this is not happening. And I I’m like, oh, we’re only in this lockdown thing for a couple weeks.

[10:05] Paulette: Yikes.

[10:06] Julie: He ordered the podcasting equipment. So then I guess like a couple weeks in, and I was like, do you, maybe we can push it off until May. And he’s like, it’s not happening, but you’re starting a podcast.

[10:21] Paulette: I love that that was his solution to you not being able to have the big birthday party.

[10:25] Julie: Right.

[10:25] Paulette: You’ll start a podcast!

[10:26] Julie: Well, and I had talked about it forever. I think I I’ve been listening to podcasts since I got an iPod and, and. If you go back to the first episode, we talk about that.

[10:35] We, we talk about how I’ve been talking about having a podcast since two thousand and a three, four. I don’t know. And here I am, all of a sudden, finally starting one. He’s like, you’re just, and, and it gave me something to really focus on. And at first I was like, oh, well, what am I gonna talk about? I don’t know, what could I, not that I ever have a problem talking honestly, but , you know, I, I, I still had to question and I’m like, what are we gonna call it?

[11:00] I don’t know, our house. So I’m DeLucca, he is Collins and we call our house Casa de Collins.

[11:06] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[11:07] Julie: And that’s how we’ve always referred to as our home, any party or thing that we haven’t going on in our house, just #CasaDeCollins, right? But then all of a sudden I was like, well, the business is Go Confidently.

[11:19] I’m like, Ooh, Casade Confidence, why not? And I went ahead and I trademarked the name and I thought I’m gonna, nobody can use that now cause I have.

[11:29] Paulette: I love that. I, I just, I love the genesis of that.

[11:32] Julie: Yeah we had, you know, it’s really funny because you know, you have friends that know you well, because, and so I had a big zoom party.

[11:39] I must have had like 30 people on the zoom, but, and my birthday fell on a Sunday. And that was the day that we launched the podcast. We released it. We, we recorded before that, but we released it on that day. But what we did, my friends, actually, a bunch of them sent me tiaras.

[11:55] Oh, how fun!

[11:56] So it’s so funny cuz I, all these Amazon boxes would come and I open.

[12:00] I’m like, it’s a tiara. Oh my God, this is the best. And then like the second one, I’m like, oh my God, it’s a tiara. Oh my God, it’s a tiara. Oh my. And I’m thinking like, am I that predictable for people? But I have to say I’m so lucky to have these friends that know me so well. And, and I wore each of them for like five minutes of the, you know.

[12:21] Paulette: Gotta switch out your outfit right?

[12:23] Julie: That’s right.

[12:24] Paulette: I love that. I love that. You’re the tiara girl.

[12:27] Julie: Yeah, I’m a little princess. What can I say?

[12:30] Hey, don’t apologize for it.

[12:32] Yeah. You know what, and it’s funny because for many at, at work and, and throughout, I used to tell people like, just call me princess queen of all that. That would be me.

[12:42] Paulette: That’s what my dad always called me growing up, his little princess.

[12:46] Julie: Yeah. And I think that this is something that we as women sometimes forget, right? We were somebody’s little princess at one point, perhaps. And if you weren’t, you ARE the queen of your life. You ARE a princess, you, you have all of these wonderful gifts. And we need to start really acknowledging the beauty inside of us.

[13:10] We need to acknowledge the strength, the quietness that propels us and makes us different. And that’s what the gift is that we are so amazingly different created in a way that we have a purpose in this life. And we don’t talk about that as often as we should.

[13:28] Paulette: Well, I’m glad you’re talking about it.

[13:29] Julie: Yeah. I think that it’s important. We need to be reminded. We need to be reminded that, you know, just because we grew up doesn’t mean that… And guess what? Being a princess doesn’t mean that you’re dainty. It means that you are a badass.

[13:42] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[13:42] Julie: Can I say that in your show? Okay.

[13:44] Paulette: Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean like, cus as much as you want, we do it in English and Spanish.

[13:48] Julie: Okay, good. Perfect. You are the badass of your life and you can take charge. You just have to decide that you’re willing to do so. And that at times it may be uncomfortable and at times it’s going to be uncertain. But be strong in the knowledge that you are capable of handling and doing and living the type of life that you decide in your own terms.

[14:13] Paulette: Ladies and gentlemen, listening in the audience. If you have not yet subscribed to Casa de Confidence, stop right now. Go do that. And then come back.

[14:22] Julie: Well, thank you. And, and you will get to meet handsome hot husband, because now he has decided that, of course he’s the co-host of the show.

[14:31] Paulette: Oh, so he has to come on too.

[14:33] Julie: So he does the introduction with me and the little chit chatter in the beginning. Then we introduce the guests, but I wouldn’t have it any other way, honestly. And, and in the first episode he interviewed me.

[14:45] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[14:46] Julie: And the original idea was that he was just introducing me and that was the end. And then the second episode, I’m like, well, don’t you wanna talk to me? And that’s how it just ended up that he is part of the show for the beginning.

[14:59] Paulette: That’s sweet. Your chemistry is obvious.

[15:02] Julie: Thank you.

[15:03] Paulette: And it’s relatable.

[15:04] Julie: Yeah.

[15:04] Paulette: Which I think, again, we do this for representation, you know? You and I are having this conversation today because there are not a lot of childfree Latinas just out there visibly.

[15:16] Julie: No, there are not. And I think that that’s one of the things that we need to change the narrative.

[15:22] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[15:22] Julie: Because I think that in our culture, specifically, you as a little girl, and I don’t know if you grew up in the same environment or, you know, with a family, like, oh, here’s your little baby doll.

[15:31] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[15:31] Julie: You’re gonna be a mom. And I was like, Oh, can they just be my students cause I, I was like, I don’t know, this doesn’t feel quite right. Like it, it was when I played house, I used to play the person in charge, not the person that was the mommy.

[15:47] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[15:47] Julie: Right? And, and I think that we have these roles that been preconceived for us. And as we grow up, we feel inadequate because maybe we feel we need to stick to that.

[16:01] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[16:03] Julie: And don’t listen to that voice. And I think that even for me, I, I had to really like say it’s okay to be okay, like this.

[16:12] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[16:13] Julie: Obviously it’s a journey. And, and, and certainly, you know, we’ll talk about that, but I think that it’s a journey as a Latina that you you’re, you have expectations, from your culture, from the world, from your family at times, that you should show up in a certain way.

[16:29] Paulette: Mm-hmm. And we’re here to just break those norms.

[16:33] Julie: We have to, yeah.

[16:34] Paulette: Someone has to might as well be us.

[16:36] Julie: And, and listen, there’s nothing wrong with embracing culture and embracing. I’m big for the, for the red lipstick. I am big for, you know, the, the girl who likes to dance, who turns the music on and dances as she’s in the kitchen or cleaning. That’s me! But there’s other parts that I wanna give permission to people to be okay with that. Be okay with being different, be okay with breaking the mold. Because it doesn’t take away from you as a person from being part of a culture, just because you’re not necessarily the carbon copy of everybody else in the culture.

[17:10] Paulette: And a lot of what our media is showing American media, especially–

[17:15] Julie: Mm-hmm

[17:16] Paulette: –of Latinas is, you know, if you’re not JLo or you’re not Shakira, who are you?

[17:22] Julie: Yeah.

[17:22] Paulette: And there’s millions, if not billions of us who

[17:26] Julie: mm-hmm

[17:27] Paulette: aren’t that.

[17:28] Julie: Yeah.

[17:28] Paulette: And it’s okay. That doesn’t make you any less Latina. It doesn’t make you any less of a woman. It doesn’t make you any less of a badass. And it’s also okay to be like those women too, you know, they’re strong, independent women. But that’s not the only way to define or to, to promote Latinidad.

[17:45] Julie: A hundred percent and Paulette, and I think that this is, you know, why I love your show because I think that we need to have platforms in which we see people for the differences, even within, um, a culture.

[18:00] Paulette: And that’s, what’s so great about our cultures. Because you and I just discovered that we’re both Puerto Rican.

[18:07] Julie: Yeah, for sure.

[18:07] Paulette: But I’m also Mexican and you’re also Salvadorian, which are two completely different things. And so

[18:12] Julie: mm-hmm,

[18:13] Paulette: the wonderful thing about being in this culture is that there are so many flavors of the culture, right?

[18:17] Yeah.

[18:17] There’s, we’re not a monolith. Every country is different. And just like the US, every country has its regions, which with a lot of differences. I would never claim to know what it’s like to be a southerner in the United States, because I grew up in Los Angeles and

[18:32] Julie: yeah.

[18:32] Paulette: Julie you’re in Connecticut.

[18:34] Julie: I’m in Connecticut, but I’ve been, uh, between the Mid-Atlantic. I went to school in DC, my I from 11th years old until end of high school, I was in, uh, Miami. New York has been primarily the place in which I would say was my central. My dad’s family was in New York. So when we were in El Salvador, we went back and forth to New York to visit my grandmother.

[18:57] But in my formative years, elementary school, I, for all intention purposes, the majority of that was an El Salvador.

[19:03] Paulette: Okay.

[19:04] Julie: So I, I found myself, and this is something that my husband, you know, cuz he is proud of his Latina wife.

[19:10] Paulette: As well he should be.

[19:12] Julie: As well he should be. Absolutely. But he he’s like, you’re like this chameleon, you know?

[19:17] And he means it in such a good way. But for me it was always that challenging part because I was not Puerto Rican enough for my Puerto Rican family. I was Salvadorian, but I was also referred to, oh, you’re an Americana.

[19:32] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[19:33] Julie: In El Salvador. You know, I didn’t quite was a Salvadorian mm-hmm when I got to Miami, I was too, whatever it was, but not Cuban enough.

[19:42] Paulette: Right.

[19:44] Julie: And then of course, you know, if I heard telenovelas and I broke into my, my, my Mexican Spanish

[19:50] Paulette: mm-hmm.

[19:50] Julie: Because that’s so easy to replicate for me, right?

[19:53] Paulette: Yeah. Yeah.

[19:53] Julie: So it it’s like this, this little bit of everything and, and, and I’ve been able to be a chameleon in, in, in a lot of cases. A lot of times when I solely speaking Spanish, sometimes we can’t pick up quite where I’m from.

[20:07] Paulette: Right. The accent.

[20:08] Julie: So, yeah,

[20:09] Paulette: I’m okay with that.

[20:10] Julie: I’m okay with that. Yeah.

[20:11] Paulette: I, uh, I found myself speaking Spanish at CVS yesterday. Just randomly a man comes up to me and he was asking me one, do I speak Spanish? It turns out he was trying to print pictures off his phone and he didn’t have a cable. And he was asking, do they do that here?

[20:24] And I said, I don’t know, but they do have computers. So if you email it to yourself, yeah. Maybe it’s possible to download it onto the. So, I don’t know how that went for him, but it was about a three minute conversation. In that time my husband had wandered away and come back and I was like, Hey, I speak Spanish now.

[20:36] And I was like, that is the stupidest thing to say, Paulette, because you speak Spanish all the time. It’s just that today you employed it.

[20:43] Julie: You employed it. There you go. That’s a great way of saying that.

[20:46] Paulette: And it’s a mindset thing, right? Because for me, I grew up speaking Spanish and then over time it just became more and more English.

[20:53] And then I was told I was, I sound like a white girl. I was told by family that I’m more Mexican than Puerto Rican. And I don’t even know what that means. And they were, you know, right. Whatever.

[21:03] Julie: What does that mean?

[21:04] Paulette: What does that mean? Ugh.

[21:07] The toxic idea of being enough of a Latina, of displaying enough characteristics, or speaking enough Spanish has got to go. Gate keeping in general is usually a stupid and toxic thing, but it’s especially toxic for our people. Can we please stop doing that shit?

[21:29] Julie: Have you ever done your, your ancestry, your DNA?

[21:32] Paulette: No.

[21:33] Julie: We did our DNA and boy talk about the shocker. Uh, it’s actually evolved, right?

[21:39] Paulette: Mm-hmm

[21:39] Julie: since we did the DNA. Um, so my husband, we got married on St. Patrick’s day

[21:44] Paulette: mm-hmm

[21:44] Julie: because I was in the impression, as was he, that he was Irish.

[21:47] Paulette: Oh!

[21:48] Julie: Well, no, he is like 1% Irish. So I’d like to have a refund. I’d like have another wedding.

[21:55] Paulette: We had two, you can have more than one.

[21:57] Julie: There you go. So maybe I need to explore this, but then the other thing is, I mean, I knew obviously Salvadorian, there’s a Salvadorian part. There’s the Puerto Rican part, but you know, there’s the Italian, right?

[22:08] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[22:08] Julie: Well, it came back and it said, Hey, you’re 33% French. I’m like, where? And I’m like…

[22:16] Paulette: It’s Italian adjacent!

[22:19] Julie: Like, why am I French? And trust me. I mean, I love France. Paris is my favorite place.

[22:25] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[22:25] Julie: Like, it’s like my city, so it’s not like I was broken, but I thought what is going on? But I’m a mutt, honestly, I have like 2% of this, 3% of that 5% of that 20% of that. So yeah.

[22:39] Paulette: I think more often than not, that’s probably the case. I know who I know who I am.

[22:43] Julie: Yeah. Define yourself by the terms of who you become.

[22:48] Paulette: I’m gonna pause briefly here because it sets up something important. I misunderstood Julie, when she said she did a TikTok. I thought she said TED talk about becoming who you’re meant to be. It turns out that Julie had applied to be a TED speaker, but she was turned down. I want you to notice how she talks about the imposter syndrome that came up for her, especially because as a coach, this is what she coaches around. And how she took the rejection.

[23:16] Julie: I just did a TikTok about this too. Your past does not define you. It’s what you choose to become, that it actually has the most, more impact than who you are today.

[23:26] Paulette: That’s beautiful. And we’ll link the TED talk in the show notes as well because TED talks are a big deal.

[23:32] Julie: No TikTok

[23:33] Paulette: Oh TikTok.

[23:34] Julie: I wanna do a TED talk. I was turned down for a TED talk.

[23:37] Paulette: I’m sure in, in no time at all, we are gonna see you on the TED stage.

[23:41] Julie: I’m working on it, I’m working on it. I there’s a TED talk coming up here in Hartford. And a bunch of people sent me the email when they, when they released it in December said, you should apply for this. You should apply for this. I was like, what? It’s on my bucket list, but I don’t wanna do this. And talk about like imposter syndrome for women.

[23:57] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[23:57] Julie: Because I’m like, I do wanna do this. It’s on my bucket list. It’s on my list. It’s on my list for this year. And I procrastinated. And I would open the application and be like, oh, what do I wanna say? And, and I have a couple signature talks. I am a speaker I’ve gotten paid to speak. I’ve spoken at conferences, but TED is another animal.

[24:16] Right. And finally, The application was doing a Sunday and I worked on it Saturday and Sunday in April, by the way. So like four months later, like I procrastinated to the end of course. Rightly so, they turned me down. They’re like, lady, this application is terrible because what I could have had four months to work on it.

[24:35] Paulette: That’s like college applications. I remember putting those off and yeah.

[24:39] Julie: But that’s the fear that sometimes we get that we’re not enough.

[24:44] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[24:44] Julie: And you know, My resume says I am, and I will be on a TED stage, but not in April or December of this year in Hartford, Connecticut.

[24:52] Paulette: You know what? There was a guy who did a TED talk on how to wipe your hands after washing them, how to effectively use a paper towel. That is a TED talk, so…

[25:03] Julie: I’m have to look for that.

[25:04] Paulette: The gall to reject you and your last minute submission for what I’m sure is a hell of a lot more interesting.

[25:12] Julie: Maybe I needed to come up with a simpler topic. I think my topic was something like, how do we modernize the ruby slippers and be confident, like do it was something ridiculous. I’m like, maybe I need to like how to turn on your phone and make TikTok appropriately.

[25:30] Paulette: There you go. Just dumb, just dumb it down. Just dumb it way down for TED.

[25:34] Julie: I’m coming for you. And Paulette, you’ll be the first one to know when my TED talk hits the air.

[25:39] Paulette: I can’t wait. I can’t wait. We’ll add it to the show notes then.

[25:42] Now we’re gonna talk about being childfree. Julie’s childfree journey is unique for my guests thus far. Up to this point, everyone else pretty much knew a hundred percent that they didn’t want children. Even when they found themselves in situations like Breanna and Isabel did, that they would one day be to do it anyway. For Julie, she started off not wanting kids and then something changed. And it became a bit of an existential struggle for her.

[26:09] And even though we don’t talk about it specifically, she does touch on the idea of legacy and the position she found herself in inside the lives of the people she loves and nurtures.

[26:20] So we’ve danced around it, but this is about being a childfree Latina.

[26:24] Julie: Yeah.

[26:24] Paulette: Can we talk about that?

[26:25] Julie: Of course we can talk about that. You know, that’s definitely a journey. I remember in my twenties, a lot of my friends were getting married. And one, like, I remember my first friend that got married. Really good friend, and all she wanted was like, I can’t wait to have a baby. And I’m like, what? Don’t you wanna travel the world? Don’t you like…are you kidding me?

[26:46] And like, even when she changed her name, I was like offended for her. I’m like, why would you change your name? You went from this to that. And, and I was very anti-marriage in my early twenties.

[26:57] Paulette: Mm.

[26:58] Julie: I remember like, as people were getting pregnant, I. I just, I didn’t number one, I I’m a terrible person when it comes to pain, physical pain, I don’t do very well.

[27:10] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[27:10] Julie: And, but number two, I just thought, well, I mean, maybe someday I will feel like it. Or that I, that I’m ready. And I know my grandmother, my maternal grandmother in El Salvador, she didn’t get married until she was 39 40 and didn’t have my mom until 41, 42. So I guess in some ways I thought, ah, I have time.

[27:29] And when I married my first husband, my practice spouse.

[27:33] Paulette: That’s such a great term.

[27:35] Julie: I’m glad you you’re welcome to use that from now on just gimme credit for it.

[27:39] Paulette: I absolutely will.

[27:40] Julie: Or actually give Dan credit. This is the one that came up with that. That’s what we call our, our, our first spouses. We call them practices. But when I married Mark, he didn’t want kids. And he, I’m Catholic grew up Catholic. He grew up Jewish and I thought, that’s fine. And he said, look, if we do end up getting pregnant or having kids, like they have to be brought up Jewish. And I thought, sure, I don’t have a problem with that. Jesus is Jewish. Why not? Like, okay. But overall I think that there was a deep sense in me that knew that Mark was not the person for me.

[28:13] I’m not gonna go into all the reasons for that. But I, even in my thirties, as I was climbing the corporate ladder. Again, people that worked with me would get married and they were so excited to like, oh my God, I can’t wait to have a baby. And I’m like, why??? And I, I just didn’t get it. And I just, I’m very competitive.

[28:33] I’m very, I, I, I’ve always been programmed to go after my dreams. Achieve. I guess I never really felt, oh, I’m losing time. Oh, my eggs are drying up whatever it is. Like people say like, that was never like a thing.

[28:47] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[28:48] Julie: I went through my divorce. I left that marriage at 39 and I turned 40. And at 42, I married Dan, my current husband. And when Dan and I got married, I was 42.

[29:02] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[29:03] Julie: And for the first time, I thought, huh? I think I wanna have a child with this man.

[29:09] Paulette: Hmm.

[29:10] Julie: And it was like a total switch and a total like shift from before. And I could actually, I could see this happening.

[29:19] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[29:20] Julie: And you know, we, we tried and didn’t work, then he’s like, well, do you wanna see a fertility? And I said, sure, let’s do it. And we went, I went through the initial process and by the, you know, I had, well, I mean, first of all, I had terrible periods. I had fibroids and I had to go through like a lot of hoops. I had to have an ablation for my fibroids and

[29:43] Paulette: Yikes!

[29:44] Julie: It was a lot. And then, by the time we saw the, the fertility specialist and he is phenomenal. He is like one of the top here in Connecticut and in the country really.

[29:53] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[29:54] Julie: And he said, well, you’re old, you’re really, your eggs are sort of like, probably not viable. You have to do go through the next steps.

[30:03] Paulette: Wow.

[30:04] Julie: And we started to pursue that and I just thought, I don’t want that. And I said, you know what, I’m gonna try the one cycle of this. And if it doesn’t work, then it’s not meant to be.

[30:15] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[30:16] Julie: And, um, that’s, that’s what happened. And a lot of people were like, oh, you can adopt, you can this. And I, and I just thought, I don’t know, like I wasn’t, and, and this is a thing, right? Like, I don’t have regrets.

[30:32] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[30:33] Julie: There was a piece of me that thought, oh, is this, you know, this is not how it works. But of course it was a piece of me that like, oh, God is punishing me.

[30:43] Paulette: Ouch.

[30:43] Julie: God is punishing me, cuz for so long, I said, I didn’t want this. And now I’m with the right person. Now I want the possibility of being someone’s mom. That’s not happening. And I went through a lot of grief and I went through a lot of questioning and really, um, and this is actually what got me into the space of working with a coach and working through a lot of these feelings and working through a lot of this.

[31:06] And, and I, I realized that I couldn’t spend my life beating myself for the choices that I was so comfortable in the past with. Would it be great to have a little piece of me and a little piece of my husband running around? Sure. It would be, but I also chose, and I also want the kind of life that I have.

[31:26] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[31:27] Julie: I also enjoy, you know, and, and I love my dogs and those are my kids now, but I also, you, you see that hindsight is 20/ 20. Shortly after all of this happened. And I knew there was a plan. I knew that God had some sort of plan because he wasn’t punishing me, obviously.

[31:44] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[31:44] Julie: That was just a thought that came up. But I think my cousin, my first cousin who I’m very, I was very close to, he passed away.

[31:51] Paulette: Oh.

[31:52] Julie: In the middle of all this. And, um, he has, um, six kids.

[31:58] Wow.

[31:59] From two wives and one, you know, relationship that he had. And I, I, we didn’t know that he was going to pass away. We, we just thought he was, um, having complications from his dialysis.

[32:10] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[32:11] Julie: And we were in the hospital and I think maybe he knew. And I happened to be in Texas for the weekend for work. But I, and I visited and he was there and we spent the day, I spent the day with him just talking and he’s like, they need you. You can give them what I can’t, you know, there, you, you navigate, you, you have this confidence. You can, you promise me, you will be there for them.

[32:35] Can you promise me? You will make sure they finish school. Make sure they’re they do their best. And I was like, don’t be ridiculous. You’re gonna be like, I, I had no idea.

[32:47] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[32:47] Julie: But yeah, when he passed, I had this sense of like, this is why. There is a plan in everything. And I think that this is the, the thing. Like, we look at the things that don’t come to pass in our lives. And many times people choose to focus on the negative focus on what didn’t happen.

[33:10] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[33:10] Julie: Focus on what didn’t go their way. But if you choose to see that there is a gift in everything and accept that that’s the gift. And I have some amazing nieces and nephews.

[33:24] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[33:24] Julie: That I am privileged to be there for.

[33:26] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[33:28] Julie: That if I, and you know, this is just from my cousin, Hector um, they’re like the one that they can text at two in the morning. The one that they, you know, that will make sure that they go down that aisle for graduation. And three of them have masters. Two of them are just finishing school. And now I’m also the one that for my other nieces and nephews, I’m there for them.

[33:51] Paulette: Right.

[33:52] Julie: And if I had my own family, I wouldn’t be the aunt that is able to be that present. And there’s other aunts that do a lot for nieces and nephews. But for me, this is the role that I have. You know, as a woman without any kids, I give props to their moms because their moms are incredible women. But I can be another part of the influence, another person that they can go to because I know for myself growing up, I mean, my mom was a wonderful mom. But I also needed other influences that were really, you know, ready to go to a bat for me.

[34:26] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[34:27] Julie: And that’s why I think that the no kids thing it’s been a journey. And certainly it’s been something that I don’t begrudge other women I’ve talked to. I’ve actually had some clients that are coaches that are deal with infertility. And it’s interesting because even in their, in their journey, when I compare their feelings and all the agony that they went through, I never felt a lot of that.

[34:50] So I know that the choices that I made are the right choices for myself. Although there was some pain involved overall.

[34:57] Paulette: Sure. Sure. Wow. It’s a different, uh, experience than the one I’ve had and the one of, of anybody else I’ve interviewed. So thank you for sharing that with me and with our audience, because there’s all shades here, you know?

[35:10] Julie: Yeah.

[35:10] Paulette: Being childfree, again, like being a Latina is not a monolith and the experience is very, very different. And you went from never wanting children to maybe wanting children. To accepting that you’re a tía.

[35:23] Julie: Yeah.

[35:23] Paulette: You’re a tití!

[35:24] Julie: I’m tití and I am the best tití ever and, and Paulette, but I think that this is the thing, right? Like we have to define ourselves by the role that fits us.

[35:34] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[35:35] Julie: By the role that we create for ourselves, not somebody else’s narrative. And I think that there’s so many times that we just expect that, that, that, oh, because you don’t have kids, this is your narrative.

[35:46] Paulette: Yep. Yeah.

[35:47] Julie: And you know, I, I, and it’s funny because every once in a while, I’ll say to my husband, should we adopt? But there was never like a desire, like, like, and I know that there’s tons of kids out there that are in foster care and there’s tons of kids that need good homes. But I think that for me, my journey is to not be that central mother person.

[36:10] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[36:10] Julie: That, that, you know, because I do a lot more. In so many different ways. Like I can travel to Haiti, I’ve gone in mission trips to Haiti and taught at schools in Haiti, helped to build a church in Haiti where I’m actually working. And if I had kids, I wouldn’t have that ability to do so. And I believe that for me, this is the role that fits. This is what is right for me.

[36:35] Paulette: It’s so great to know that about yourself. And again, this is what we’re representing here. That when you, if it’s a decision for you or a decision made for you, it’s okay.

[36:46] Julie: Yeah.

[36:46] Paulette: And we’re not evil because we, we aren’t moms, you know?

[36:50] Julie: Yeah.

[36:50] Paulette: Which is another narrative that people like to paint on us and, and that’s just not true.

[36:55] Julie: Oh. And, and I’ve heard it. I’m sure like you and your, and your audience has heard it. Oh, you’re so selfish.

[37:00] Paulette: ¡Ai yai yai!

[37:01] Julie: You you’re so selfish. Why don’t you want kids? And it’s like, no, it is more selfish to be someone has kids and doesn’t want them.

[37:14] Paulette: Yeah.

[37:15] Julie: Right?

[37:15] Paulette: See, we know ourselves, I’ve repeated this so many times in conversations. We know ourselves. And we’re self aware.

[37:22] Julie: Oh, so good. It’s so good.

[37:25] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[37:25] Julie: I, I think that this is one of the things that people forget that again, you’re not evil, you’re not selfish. You’re not anything. Do not allow yourself to be defined by somebody else’s narrative.

[37:36] Paulette: Exactly.

[37:36] Julie: You, you create the narrative for yourself. You create what feels right. And, you know what, Is there a fear? Oh yeah, for sure. I mean, I have abandonment issues.. I have trauma and I’ve been dealing through all of this since the pandemic. Right. Because it was like, it was like this Pandora’s box that opened, it’s like, oh, Hey, you know, all those things you were like dealt with in your life that you stuffed away. Well, let me, this COVID thing is just gonna open it wide so you can deal with it.

[38:03] Paulette: Yep.

[38:04] Julie: And the thing is, you know, one of my biggest fears is being alone.

[38:09] Paulette: Mm-hmm.

[38:10] Julie: And as someone who doesn’t have kids, guess what.

[38:12] Paulette: Yep.

[38:13] Julie: That does play like, oh, who’s gonna wipe my butt when I’m old, right? Like, I think that’s…

[38:20] Paulette: Paid professionals!

[38:22] Julie: Paid professionals, abso-fricking-lutely, right? And I don’t, I don’t do the things or, or spend time with people because I’m hoping that, oh, they’ll be around for me then.

[38:31] Paulette: Right? No.

[38:32] Julie: No, because you can hire somebody, honestly.

[38:34] Paulette: Yeah.

[38:34] Julie: But I also do the things today for the people that I love, because I feel that I’m in a position to be able to do that for them.

[38:42] Paulette: Right.

[38:42] Julie: I’m able to love them in different ways. And they’re able to have these conversations that maybe they can’t have with someone, somebody else.

[38:51] Paulette: Yeah. Find yourself a tía! Everybody needs a Titi, like

[38:56] Julie: For freaking sure.

[38:58] Paulette: Or, or multiple titís! That’s what we’re here for. Do you use the, um, the hashtag Aunties of TikTok? Because if not, you should.

[39:05] Julie: Oh my God. I’m gonna have to use that. I love that.

[39:09] Paulette: Well, Julie this was fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself and your story.

[39:16] Julie: Thank you.

[39:16] Paulette: And representing today.

[39:19] Julie: Aw, thank you so much. I so appreciate you.

[39:22] Paulette: Well, thank you. That is the kindest thing. So you know how we end these episodes. If I could ask you to say it, please.

[39:31] Julie: That’s a burrito.

[39:32] Paulette: Wanna talk about this week’s episode? Feel free to DM me on Instagram. My info is always in the show notes. And if you’re looking to be a guest in the future for the The Maker Muse Podcast, check out the guest form on my website at themakermuse.co. Yes, themakermuse.co.

[39:48] It’s also linked in the show notes. And hey muchisimas gracias for listening to another episode of The Maker Muse Podcast. Are you subscribed? If not, now would be a great time to do that. New episodes come out every Tuesday. I’m on Apple, on Spotify, wherever you listen. And then can I ask you a favor?

[40:07] Could you please tell all of your friends and family about it? ¿Sus amigues, su familia? Because if you love it, they probably will too. And I’d really appreciate it. If you could rate and review it wherever you’re listening right now. ¡Hasta la proxima!

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