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Daily Inspiration: Meet Lizzy Madrigal

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lizzy Madrigal.

Hi Lizzy, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I wear many hats – I’m a therapist, writer, and founder of Freely Project. I’m the oldest of five kids and the daughter of Mexican immigrants, which has really shaped who I am today. It was during my time at CSU Dominguez Hills in 2011 that I decided to pursue psychology and I eventually received my MFT at Pepperdine University in 2014. To continue to fuel my creativity, I started Freely Project, a jewelry brand that gives back, in 2017. I have been working in the mental health/social work sphere for almost ten years, and it may come as no surprise that 2020 was a very defining year. Like many others, life was put on hold which allowed me to truly reflect on what I was doing with my life. To my surprise, I admitted to myself that I was unsatisfied, which did come as a surprise to many given that I worked in a helping profession that is “supposed” to be rewarding. While I loved supporting others in becoming the best version of themselves, I felt like I was leaving myself behind. So I gave myself permission to change the course of my life and I decided to return to school for creative writing. I don’t know what life will look like after this venture, but be sure to check in with me after I graduate with my MFA from Emerson College next year.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
If the road being referred to is following my passion, then the answer is absolutely not. I knew twelve years ago that I wanted to pursue writing, but if you’re from an immigrant family, then you know probably understand that the arts are hobbies only- not careers. This was the message I received from my family back then, but luckily they do see things differently now. Sometimes I wonder how life would have turned out if I had persisted, but I do think that the choices I made were reflective of what I wanted at the time. My dad told me not too long ago that I shouldn’t regret the decisions I have made because they have shaped who I am, and I think he’s right. Life is way too short to wonder what would have been. I longed for my creative spirit to come back, so I let it in. I think that’s okay.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Well, I’m technically most known for being a therapist, but that chapter will be closing within the next year or two. Other than that, I am most known for my poetry posts, my YA/fantasy/sci-fi/horror novel in progress, and for being the founder of Freely Project, a jewelry brand that gives back 10% to mental health awareness. There are definitely a lot of do-good brands out there, but not too many jewelry brands that focus on mental health. That’s what I’m most proud of.

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
I’ve learned that my full presence is any given situation is enough.

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Image Credits:

Josh Escandon, @photoxjosh

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