We had the good fortune of connecting with Anissa Kennedy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anissa, what role has risk played in your life or career?
You know, it’s funny, no one’s ever accused me, or admired me, for being a thrill seeker. I consider myself a cautious person. I wear my seatbelt even if I’m only driving around the block. I’ve never been quick to fall in love. I am hesitant to jump on new trends. I avoid spending on unnecessary frivolities.
And yet, because I was willing to travel solo internationally, buy my first home and make it a rental property during my twenties, and say yes to new job opportunities even if I felt inadequate, risk taking has catapulted me into exciting and challenging territories. I now deem those moments as pivotal and life-changing.
While failure might come with taking risks, there’s just as much chance for a risk to bring about success. Yes, we should do all we know to prepare for a positive outcome. But if we never try to sail, we’ll never know how far our boat will go.
As a writer, putting my thoughts out on public display is a risk. Every time I hit “submit” the butterflies awaken in my belly. But if I’d never attempted it, if I’d never cracked my knuckles and said, “All I can do is try,” I also wouldn’t know how much of an impact my words can have on an audience. If I’d have listened to my own doubts and fears of rejection, they would have won long ago and I’d be left with only regret.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
People tend to think they can only pursue one main goal in life. They feel cornered by the perception that choosing a university degree means a permanent, unvarying career path. They believe their chosen field in the workforce will define who they are as a person. While this could be true for some areas of study, it has never limited me.
I earned my degree in English with an Emphasis in Secondary Education a decade ago while working as a student worker in the college accounting office. The year I graduated, my manager offered me a full time job that I gladly accepted, thinking it would only be temporary. Let me reiterate, I have an English degree and I work in accounting.
God has a sense of humor, am I right? The point is, I wasn’t hired because of the degree I earned, I was hired because I’d made an impression on my employer. I’d worked hard and learned all I could to be successful in my role, no matter how low on the totem pole it may have been.
Now, I have worked in the same department for 13 years and climbed my way up to a managerial position. I love my company and my team and I continue to strive for excellence both in and out of the office.
However, I don’t really consider myself an accountant. In fact, I’m many roles. I’ve been a tutor, a photographer, a writer, a landlord, an entrepreneur, and, more recently, a wife and a dog mom (for now).
If I could give any young person some relieving advice: do what you love and/or what you are good at, but don’t make it your end-all, be-all. Finding yourself a steady job and pursuing your passions on the side isn’t settling. Keeping your options wide open is smart.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First, we hit up Lola’s cafe for our caffeine fix. For brunch, we’ll meet friends at Snooze or The Place and then stop at Deseret Industries to scavenge for thrift shop treasures. If the weather is grand, as it usually is anytime between November and April, let’s go for a hike up Deem Hills, Piestewa Peak, or the Superstition Mountains. You’ll also love Papago Park’s interesting rock formations at sunset! Depending on the time of year, we might catch a spring training game or watch a performance at Phoenix Theatre or Hale Theatre. A Postino’s bruschetta board is a must for dinner (they have gluten free bread!), or Mexican street corn at the Taco Guild another night. On Saturday morning, the local farmers market is right down the road, so we’ll pick up some fresh eggs, homemade tamales, and some CBD dog treats since part of the profits support local K9 heroes. For the next few days, we will head up to Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, the Grand Canyon, and take our time exploring the trails and vortexes of Sedona. Spending at least one night under the dark skies around a bonfire is on the list, too. You’ll love the ghost town of Jerome and the award-winning pie at Rock Springs. We’ll take kayaks out at Lake Pleasant during the day and play some fierce pickleball for more exercise at night.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My dad hates reading of all kinds, but he’s been my loudest cheerleader since I ever expressed interest in writing. A few favorite, standout English teachers have encouraged my passion over the years, too, including Ms. Waldrop (now Mrs. Tomlin), whose urging led to my poetry submission winning a national contest back in high school. I absolutely give credit to my university degree (go GCU ‘Lopes!). In recent years, my husband, Andrew, has pushed me to take my blog serious. He not only gives me the time and freedom to write, but proudly supports me as I pursue my own goals.
Other: TikTok: @therelevantramblers
For our engagement and wedding photos: Wind and Sky Photography Pictures of me: Taken on my phone or Canon by my husband, Andrew Kennedy (@apexkreations)