We had the good fortune of connecting with Elizabeth Montgomery and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Elizabeth, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I’m the Arts & Culture reporter for the Arizona Republic, I started on this beat about a month ago. Jumping into Arizona’s arts and culture news head first has been an exciting challenge. There are so many stories that need to be told and have yet to be written. News never sleeps, it never takes a day off, so having a work-life balance is extremely important to me as a journalist. I didn’t know how important until I found myself burnt out and exhausted. We work eight hours a day, five days a week, and sleep for eight hours (on a good night). That gives us only a few hours a day to tend to ourselves, not to mention spending time caring for others in our lives. Finding that balance between work and living your best life is the key to success, I believe. I’m more excited about working when I’m happy. Recently, Iwas so burnt out recently I started to ask myself, ‘who am I outsideof my job?’ So I spent a few days off work, put my feet up, turned off my phone, threw on a face mask, and did absolutely nothing. It was awesome. I started to decline weekend meetings and made more time for things I wanted to do on the weekends. Self-care is not easy and it’s not always fun. Self-care is more than just soaking your feet on a Sunday evening for a hashtag. Self-care takes time and consistency. I found the answer to my question by spending a lot more time with myself. That was good for my burn out and my mental health.

Elizabeth Montgomery tells her tale during the Arizona Storytellers Project Holiday Spectacular 2018 at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix on Wednesday, Dec 18.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My career began once I became homeless. It’s strange when what should be the end of your life, is actually just the beginning. No one plans to become homeless, it happens when you have no one else or when all your options have fallen through. My dream was to become a journalist so in the midst of sleeping in my car I got an internship at the Atlanta Voice Newspaper. A family took me in and I lived with them for a few months while I went to a community college. I freelanced everywhere I could including E! News, Sheen Magazine, the Atlanta Tribune and the Atlanta Journal-Consitution. I worked at a couple of small papers and I am currently Arts and Culture Reporter for the State’s largest newspaper, the Arizona Republic. None of this was easy. All of this was hard and it’s still hard sometimes, but I’ve come a long way on my own and I am most proud of that. The two best lessons I’ve learned thus far: Number one, live life outside your comfort zone. Number two, self-love is the best love. With these two lessons, you can overcome many challenges. These keep me happy.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
(This question is hard to answer right now, with the pandemic) I take everyone I know to Paz Cantina in downtown Phoenix for the margaritas on tap and the open-air bar. I love BBQ and down the street from Paz is Trapp Haus BBQ, my mouth is watering just thinking about hat pulled pork. When I want some soul food like back home in Georgia I go to Stacy’s off Da Hook north of downtown Phoenix. I love to dance so once night falls we’d go underground to Valley Bar and dance. I love when the Basement Tapes DJs are there spinning everything R&B, Hip Hop to House music. That’s my kind of vibe. In Phoenix you kind of stay in your city. Everything is so spread out, sometimes staying close to home is better. On nights like these I go to Low Key Piano Bar on Mill Ave. They usually have duling piano players who can play anything you can think of, and they serve drinks in a fishbowl. If I’m not feeling like being in a crowd, Freezers in Tempe is also a fancy pool hall with low prices.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Collette Watson gives me life. In times when she should be thinking about herself, she is thinking about others. She stands up for others in a way I could only dream of, with confidence and strength. We connected when I was new to Phoenix and she connected me with everyone I needed to know, and more. Many people come and go in your life, especially when you’re a reporter, some people only want to know you because what you could possibly do for them. Collette supports without wavering and speaks without fear. We could all be a little bit more like her, I know I’m trying to.

Website: www.emontwrites.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/emontwrites
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/emontnews
Twitter: www.twitter.com/emontnews
Facebook: www.facebook.com/emontwrites
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPC13Fk8Q8qquneg5izIKEQ

Image Credits
Elizabeth Montgomery