Real Women of Rochester | Natasha Scrivens

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Natasha Scrivens  | Age: 36  |  Profession: Pharmacist

Q: Tell us about your journey through womanhood

When most teenage girls where worried about if the cute boy would be in their English class or what clothes to wear and how to do their makeup for school, I was faced with an entirely different problem in my early teens.  I remember laying in the back seat of the mini-van while my mom sped down the road to get me to the ER.  The doctor had called her moments earlier, my blood sugar was so high it was unreadable on their machines.  She was told I had to be admitted to the hospital ASAP. As I laid in the back of the car crying, it took too much energy to keep my eyes open - all I wanted to do was sleep.  What did this mean?  What was happening to me?  Was I going to die?  All questions that went through my head. I knew I was sick, I knew I didn't feel well.  While my friends where chasing boys that summer, I was in a hospital room learning how to test my blood sugar, draw up insulin and give myself shots to stay alive.  In many ways being diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic has molded me into the woman I am now.

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I come from a family of immigrants.  I grew up listening to languages that most people do not recognize.  I have two grandmothers (and grandfathers ) who immigrated here as young adults.  Although both came from different countries, both left everything they knew for a better life.  Both women were/are strong willed and determine.  l carry on their determination.  I would not let diabetes hold me back in what I wanted to accomplish.  I've heard so many times I could not succeed in the path I was walking.  I would not listen.  Like my grandparents I knew anything was possible with a little hard work.

Q: What would you say to another woman who may be going through something you've been through?

Hang on, things will get better.

Q: What surprised you most about your photography experience?

I was surprised by how comfortable Natalie made me feel.  I am one that likes to be covered up, so the thought of being in my bra and underwear and having my pictures taken was horrifying. Natalie's personality put me right to rest.  We ended up laughing through the shoot.  

Q: How do you feel when you look at your favorite photo of yourself from your shoot?

I feel beautiful, strong, and sexy.  I also feel like passing them out to to all my classmates in middle school and high school that used to make fun of me.  

Q: What would you share with a woman who doesn't think she is beautiful enough to be photographed?

You are beautiful!  Everyone is different, our differences make us beautiful. 

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Q: What are your thoughts on beauty?

Beauty can come in many forms.  You don't have to be blonde, blue eyes, and 90 lbs to be beautiful.  Beauty comes from the inside and how you hold yourself.  You can be beautiful in jeans and a sweatshirt or a gorgeous wedding gown.  

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Q: What are your hopes for the next generation of women? What advice would you give to them?

My hopes for the next generation of women is to hold high-power positions. Yes there are a lot of women already in high-power positions, but if you look at the top companies in the US they are mostly run by men.  There is no reason why a women shouldn't be running these companies.  My advice would be pull your shoulders back, chin up and get what you deserve.  You know you are capable of it, attack it! You deserve it.

Q: What would you say to your sixteen year old self?

It's okay to fail, and you are beautiful.  You will find someone one day, that loves you and puts up with all your short comings.  And listen to your parents, hard work when you are young will pay off when you are older.

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Q: What empowering message would you like to share with young women today?

Nothing is easy.  If being successful was easy we would all do it.  Hard work and determination is the only way you will succeed.  Find something you love, make goals and work towards them.  You may fail, it may take you longer to reach them, but the feeling you get when you meet your goals is the most fantastic feeling in the world.

Q: When do you feel / have you felt most beautiful?

On my wedding day.  Or on date nights when I see my husband smile as he introduces me to his friends or co-workers.  

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Q: What do you love about being a woman?

The opportunity it has given me.  I can be the powerful woman at work that has the answers to your questions. I can be the competitive women that makes bets with you and does everything I can do to win.  And I can be the woman that walks into the room who turns heads. Strong, fierce and beautiful.  :)  

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Man Crush Monday | Nick Guadagnino

"Nick and I met in high school after I had transferred schools in sophomore year. We didn’t start dating right away, but there was something about him that always made me laugh and smile and occasionally wonder “what if we did start dating?”  Apparently everyone else wondered the same thing, even our teachers at the time would ask us “are you two an item yet?” We truly became best friends and were inseparable. We walked to every class together, ate lunch together, and maybe even took over the school and morning announcements  dressed as the “Spartan Cheerleaders” from Saturday Night Live and did surprise cheers in teacher’s doorways. We had so much fun together, we were the dynamic duo!

Finally one day toward the end of senior year, Nick happened to “miss the bus” and needed a ride home.  Me having a car at school and him being my best friend, I of course offered him a ride home! We got into my car and just as we were about to leave, Nick turns to me and says “sooooo….. I got the question again…..you know, if we’re dating yet?” I kind of giggled and told him that someone had asked me the same thing.  A little hesitant, he asked me if I would want to give it a try and maybe go to dinner.  Well, we went to that dinner and I guess you could say the rest is history! We’ve been an “item” ever since!

That dinner was about 7 ½ years ago.  I’m so unbelievably happy that I’ve gotten to share all this time and grow-up with my best friend.  We graduated high school together, made it through college, got real adult jobs, did real adult things like buy a house and get a little furry family member.  I can’t imagine going through all of this without you Nicholas, I would not change a single thing! Though it started 7 ½ years ago, this is just the beginning of our adventure.  I can’t wait to marry you Nicholas, you are my best friend.  I love you with all of my heart!" - Sam Cala

Man Crush Monday | Andrew Lee

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"Andrew and I met in college, the moment I met him I thought he was attractive. He was also the only chivalrous guy I had ever met. He opened doors for me, walked me to class, helped me carry heavy things and would skip nights out with his friends to stay home with me. A few months in I knew he was the only one for me.

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Recently, Andrew graduated medical school and is officially a doctor.  The first 2 years of medical school were tough because we were doing long distance. Many times I thought he would be too busy to do things or just wanted to focus on school. Instead, he surprised me and made time for us. I'm so proud of him for achieving his dream. Those late night study sessions, getting up those early mornings and missing fun events were so worth it. It still hasn't hit me that I am going to marry a doctor, mostly because I just see him for the person he is. This person is kind, generous, open-minded and strong.

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I feel so fortunate to have found this man. It was literally luck that we found each other.  He is the only one that can put up with my crap, understand me, and cuddle me just right. In reference to "Grey's Anatomy" he is my person."

Andrew, I can't wait to marry you!  -- Tiffany