For our second event with Urban Outfitters I interviewed Lisa Przystup: writer, florist and friend, who I learned so much more about on Wednesday night, as did our wonderful audience. Highlights and pictures below!

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“I waited tables at various restaurants for about 10 years. When I stopped I was really ready. It’s kind of like breaking up with someone, when you’re not sure if you’ve made the right decision, even though it feels bad when you’re in it.

I think all of us secretly know when it’s time to move on from something, it’s just reaching the point where you can do it.

I feel like in those moments you willfully suspend your disbelief and decide, I’m doing this. For me, big decisions have never been dramatic situations—they’ve been quiet moments of acceptance for things I’ve known for a while.”

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“When you’re writing—you have to get it all out, be totally fine that it’s crap and keep building on it from there. I remember some professor in school saying, ‘Spill all your milk, then mop it up and get to the good stuff.’ What does that even mean? How do I get to the good stuff? Who has a mop? You’ll be constantly second-guessing, then have your moment where you’re like, OK, this is good! And then you get your edits and think, OK, maybe this isn’t so good. That’s when you have to put your ego away, and try to look at feedback as constructively as possible. You have to recognize the aspects of what you’re doing that aren’t good enough, because that’s the only way you’re going to get better. It’s tough, and I feel like a big baby sometimes.”

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“Hitting a wall with writing was hard. There’s all this messaging of ‘If you put your mind to it, you can do it!’ I had a lot of breakdowns where I was like, I’m networking, I’m interning, I’m emailing and I don’t get why it’s not happening! But my florist work was born out of those moments. Because flowers were never my dream and I never pinned anything on them, there was a lot less pressure.

I thought, I’ll try it and see what happens—which was really freeing.”

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“I wish I could say I had a special tactic when it comes to the insecurity of comparison. But it’s part of who we are.

I think there’s a junior high-schooler in all of us who is super insecure.

I try to look down at my own feet and concentrate on what I’m doing. I feel like such a mom saying this, but you need to focus on what you’re producing—there’s no reason to hold yourself to someone else’s standard.”

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“Every day there are moments that are decidedly unglamorous, human, real and OK.”

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“There are times when I’ve thought, I’m going to burn that bridge and I don’t care! And then I definitely cared. There are moments when you have to fight that knee-jerk reaction. Write the email, get it out of your system, save it on your computer, sleep on it. That’s definitely been a learning curve for me. I can be all about getting to it straight away, and you lose a little bit of grace in that sometimes.”

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“You can look good on paper, but the nitty gritty of it—like creating your own business and making money, is totally separate from that. Press strokes your ego but it doesn’t always translate to making a living.”

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“I’m trying to make decisions that are right for me. I thought that with flowers I had to be in 100 percent or out 100 percent, but I realized I can do flowers on a level that makes sense for me.

It’s easy to establish absolutes for yourself, but it’s OK to operate in that grey area of somewhere in between.”

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“There’s a big sense of satisfaction in kicking your own ass. Getting through a day that you thought was going to be impossible and having that rare moment of, ‘I’m really awesome!’ is pretty priceless. The hustle is necessary, it keeps you going.”

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“There is always going to be someone better than you.
And that’s OK.

That gives you something to strive for. Instead of comparing yourself, it’s much more constructive to turn that person into someone who motivates and inspires you.”

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“We’re not as hard on everyone else as we are on ourselves. Give yourself a break, you’re working your ass off.

There are some things that aren’t going to work out, but there are a lot of things that will.”

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