The Mint Sweater Girl Interview Series is a series where we interview Mint Sweater Girls in our community to showcase their empowering stories and influence to inspire other women by giving them a peek into the everyday lives of a Mint Sweater Girl.
Today, our series continues with a fellow entrepreneur and podcaster, Airriaunte Mercer of Fearlessly Fit Faith.
Airriaunte is a community organizer and podcast host. She is a blogger, a friend, and a leader.
But to us, she is an inspiration and a woman standing side by side with us working towards a similar mission, marching for the same cause.
We first connected with Airriaunte on Instagram, bonding over our similar views on encouraging women to see their potential to be courageous. Which, then, led us to connect and talk more about how important friendship and cultivating community is to us. As soon as we both realized we were working towards the same goals, we knew instantly we had to collaborate together. After getting to know Airriaunte and what she is all about, we just HAD to share her with our community.
Which leads us to here. Her story, her goals and aspirations, what she values are all the pieces we are excited for you to hear. You’ll read all about her below as she shares a peek into her world. We hope you will be as moved and inspired by her as we are.
What does a day in the life of Airriaunte Mercer look like?
In this last month, I have actually been adjusting to a new schedule. I used to work two part times jobs, so my time was split.
Now, I wake up between 6 and 6:30 am every day. A habit that I am working on breaking is using my phone first thing in the morning, so I have started using my old iPod Touch as my alarm.
I am a believer so I grab my Bible first thing and begin reading. I have recently finished reading through Numbers, as I am working my way through the Bible!! I normally have my Bible laying next to me in bed so that I don’t have to leave my bed haha.
When I finish reading my Bible I get out of bed and immediately make it. This is a mini win very early in our day. Our minds like to accomplish things and making our beds in the morning is a small win, but gives us the mental capability to then go on and tackle bigger and bigger tasks from here, throughout the day!
From here I get dressed, I typically pick out my outfit the night before so that I don’t have to think about it in the morning; saves some of my mental energy in the morning! I’m a makeup gal, it’s fun to me and personally helps me feel put together. (This may not be the same for everyone and that’s fine!! I personally love my makeup-free days as well!)
Once I am dressed I take out my doggo! I come back in put him away and then grab my breakfast (a meal replacement shake, by BodyKey) and lunch for the day (which I meal prep on most Sundays).
Then I’m on my way to work!!
When I get off I come home and relax for about an hour. At around five I begin to work on my podcast, meetings, and connecting with different people in the area. Every evening is different!
When my day is wrapped up I journal, read a book and prep for the next day!!
What is one thing you do every day that makes you happy?
One of my favorite things that I do every day is connecting with people! Whether that be in person or on social media. This is personally beautiful to me because there was a time in my life when I would have rather stayed alone and away from people because of bitterness. But we are created to be in community with people. I had to learn that I am absolutely worthy of relationships and I didn’t have to submit myself to bitterness.
What do you believe your purpose in life is?
My purpose is to guide women in caring for their whole person well so that they can lead well in whatever capacity they are to be in. And if a woman doesn’t know what capacity she is to serve in.. I have personally learned that caring for myself in a unique way can lead to discovering where I am supposed to be and what I should be doing.
When did you discover that cultivating a community, helping women build healthy connections, was something you were passionate about?
It was kind of a slow process for me, coming into the fact that my heart is to serve women and help them build healthy connections. But it all began two and half, almost three years ago. I was done living in the intense bitterness and shame I felt, so I prayed and asked that He would change me. That is when I began serving people. I first began by writing on my blog, then I did a few workshops and now I am creating tangible community here in the 757. Community has been and always will be a vital part of my growth… so because I have known this for myself, I want other women to experience this as well.
Why do you believe it is important for women to cultivate friendships and be a part of a community?
As women, it is VERY easy to feel alone in our different seasons of life. But when we have community we recognize that we are not the only ones dealing with a certain issue. When we are in community the focus is taken off of ourselves, we become selfless. Often times we tend to sink into whatever we are dealing with, but when we are in community we realize that we are ALL going through something. So if we all began to lift one another up our loads would be a little easier to carry.
What do you think is one thing any woman can start doing today to work towards making connections with other women and in her community?
One thing a woman can begin doing today, to move herself toward having healthy community and honest connections with other women… is telling herself that she is well-deserving and worthy of like-minded women and healthy relationships.
What do you hope to achieve by building community locally to you, what do you hope women walk away with?
Here in the 757, Hampton Roads area of Virginia, I hope to remind people that community doesn’t have to be difficult and fancy. Coffeeshops are nice, but so is my little coffeepot at home. More than anything I want to remind women that we can be vulnerable with each other and we don’t need to compete for anything. Community IS simple.
What does community mean to you? What does friendship mean to you?
To me, community is doing daily and weekly life with a person and friend. A friend to me is someone who is there through the thick and thin and in the high and low moments of life.
Do you struggle with finding community and making friends? Can you share with us some of the struggles you come across?
When I first stepped out and submitted myself to Christ, I didn’t have healthy community for a year and even after that relationships were rocky. Some of the people I stepped away from weren’t happy with my decision to work towards being a healthier version of myself. I do think that it is important to tell people why we won’t be spending time with them, even if we know they won’t respond well. Ghosting people is not an option. If we can’t be honest with the people around us can we be honest with ourselves about who we are? In this time though I was able to grow in knowledge of what healthy relationships should look like.
How did you overcome your struggles or how do you hope to overcome the struggles you face in cultivating connections?
Rest is important to me. We all rest in different ways. But I am also not talking about the bubble bath and face mask kind of rest, that’s good but that does nothing for the soul. For me to overcome a thing I have to get out of my everyday routine. Day trips have always been fun for me, because my family always went on fun trips together. So my favorite city is only an hour and half away, I go there. Or I get out and spend some time in nature. In nature, I feel most connected to myself and I can release the tension into the atmosphere. Lastly, I love journaling. When I see all of the thoughts that have been swirling around in my head on paper, its like my mind opens up!!
Bonus Questions: What is one thing you would say to the girl who is looking to find a place where she belongs but doesn’t know what to do or where to start and feels overwhelmed, even a little hopeless, with her struggles?
Don’t let yourself believe that you are stuck, being stuck is a choice. But if you are truly seeking to have the things that you desire, your hope will be raised and in time these desires will come into your life.
Always start small and simply do something. If you’re not sure, dabble in a little bit of everything until you find what you are here to do. It’s okay to try a few things and fail. Failure means that there is tension. Tension between who you are today and who you’ll be in the future. Tension means growth.
Create a vision for your life. Start with creating a vision board. Grab some magazines, a poster board, scissors, glue and get to dreaming. Place this board somewhere you will see it every day and TAKE ACTIONABLE steps every day to becoming who you want to be.
Remember you are not alone, someone else is dealing with something so similar to what you’re dealing with.
We would like to take a moment to thank Airriaunte Mercer for taking the time to share her thoughts, life, and inspiration. Airriaunte continues to be an inspiring woman, locally and virtually, and we are so proud of her as she continues to work towards cultivating community and creating a place for women to connect and find friendship.
To learn more about Airriaunte Mercer and to receive daily inspiration from her you can find her via the links below:
Links + Info
Airriaunte Mercer: Fearlessly Fit Faith
Airriaunte’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/airriaunte.m/
Fearlessly Fit Faith Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fearlesslyfitfaith/
Fearlessly Fit Faith Podcast: https://anchor.fm/airriaunte-mercer
P.S. We’re friends now and my friends call me Tae. See you on the other side of the screen!! -Airriaunte
*ALL PHOTOS IN POST are provided by Airriaunte Mercer.
To read our previous interviews with Laura Quintero, Allison Ewing, and Hannah Ashton or view our complete list of Mint Sweater Girl interviews from the Mint Sweater Girl Interview Series head on over to our blog via the links.