Lesley Kilp is the founder and editor of WhatsUpNW.com, a website that features all that is going on in the Pacific Northwest, to include upcoming local events, restaurant and bar openings, and spotlights trailblazers and changermakers in the area. One of her biggest professional accomplishments was covering NASA's recent Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission, where she was able to shed light on what it takes to into defending our planet from all that outer space can bring our way.
As a young woman, what was your “guiding star” as you began to pave your path?
I would say my parents were definitely my guiding stars. They encouraged my creativity with writing and fostered my love for all things spaceflight. I also had an incredible college professor, Dr. Kaye Bragg, who truly showed me that women can do anything we put our mind to!
What are you currently working on and what are your goals for the next year?
Right now I'm in the very slow process of writing my first book, a non-fiction memoir of everything I've learned over the years by not backing down from challenges and opportunities. I also have a dream of working in NASA's public affairs office. In the meantime, I'm continuing to grow my website and write about all the amazing people and things to do in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
What is your biggest piece of advice to other women who are looking to live fearlessly?
Don't be afraid to pick yourself up when you fall. Knock on the doors until they open. Don't be afraid of the word no, keep trying! You never know when you'll get that yes!
What do you most want to be remembered for? What is the legacy you wish to leave?
I hope people remember that I was never afraid to try something new, never afraid to fall flat on my face and pick myself right back up and learn from my mistakes. I hope people realize we live this current life one time and we have to make the most of every single moment!
What is the one thing that you cherish most in life?
Internal peace and happiness, because nothing outside of us can give us that.
What single event has had the greatest impact on your life?
My Uncle Dana passed away from AIDS-related complications when I was a teenager. I found out on the day he died that he was gay and had asked the family not to tell his nieces and nephews as he feared we wouldn't love him anymore. It has thus far been one of the most devastating things I have ever experienced - not just his death, but his belief I wouldn't love him anymore because of who he loved. I want everyone on this planet to feel loved and cherished, no matter who they love or what they believe. To this day, I wish I could hug him and tell him how amazing he is and was. I don't ever want to make someone feel the way he felt!
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
If there was a way to remove all the hate and insecurity from our internal beings, that's the one thing I would want to change!
Who/What inspires you most?
Anyone that isn't afraid to try something, fail, pick themselves up, keep trying, and talk about it. One of my favorite quotes is from Robert F. Kennedy, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
Of Maja’s initial necklaces (GOD, FAITH, HOPE, LIVE, KIND and HAPPY), which one speaks to you most? And why?
Kind speaks the most to me as that is how I feel we all should be towards one another. Even saying a simple kind compliment to a stranger can make their day and change lives.
As we prepare to move into 2022... setting new goals for the New Year... our wish for you is that you lean in to your heart's desires and welcome new opportunities to chase your dreams. To challenge yourself to reach new heights by stretching in new ways by climbing your own Machu Picchu. To be brave and fearless by taking steps to continually push yourself out into the uncomfortable. To test the limits of your soul. Cheers to you, and all that you will achieve in 2022!
See you in the New Year!
If you would like to be featured in Maja Arnold's "WOMEN UPLIFTING WOMEN" blog, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an editorial inquiry. This blog was created to inspire, uplift and empower women globally to step through adversity to LIVE a KIND & HAPPY life full of HOPE, FAITH & GOD.