Don’t Shoehorn Yourself

“Don’t shoehorn yourself into a predetermined vision of what life should be…be open to life’s gifts” — Padma Lakshmi at the Glamour Love Your Life Conference

Padma Lakshmi: actress, author, host of top chef, founder of two companies: Easy Exotic which sells culinary products and the Padma Collection, a line of fine jewelry. She recently co-founded The Endometriosis Foundation of American. Born in Chennai, India, she was raised in New York City and Los Angeles and is now raising a newborn daughter.

Padma has cultivated a multi-faceted career that is as diverse as her life. She credits this to being open to the “gifts that life gives you”.  She admits that if you had told her at age 25 where she would be today at 40, she would have said no way. Perhaps not defining a specific path benefited her. By not being locked into a traditional view of what she should do, she was open to taking advantage of the opportunities that life presented to her.  She advises not to shoehorn yourself into a pre-determined vision of what life could be.

Padma is also non-traditional in her approach to parenting. She, like Bobbi and many of the other women of the day are doing it their way, each different and each not perfect, but what works for them. She often takes her young daughter with her as she navigates her many different pursuits, saying, “She will get to see some really cool things because I didn’t find a babysitter. I am giving her an interesting childhood rather than a traditional childhood.”

Lastly she has a call-to-action specifically for 20-something women: Go to the gynecologist.  You can prevent endometriosis, which has been known to cause infertility and protect your ability to have a child. There are treatments today that can alleviate it. But you have to go to the doctor. Get your check-ups. This is a impassioned plea as she was misdiagnosed with the illness until age 30 and struggled to get pregnant herself.

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