Age: I just turned 40
Occupation: Freelance Digital Professional, Writer and now Blogger.
What did you want to be when you were a little girl?
I wanted to be an FBI agent.
What are some different jobs you’ve had in your life?
I love this question! My first job was with the Environmental Protection Agency, and at the age of 15, my mom used to have to drive me to work. I worked for three summers as a lab technician under the supervision of Dr. Wade Jeffrey Professor at the University of West Florida, where I replicated RNA (ribonucleic acid) in marine microbes and studied the effects of ultraviolet radiation on marine microbes.
I have also worked at The Gap while I was at Florida State University and can fold a pair of jeans like nobody’s business.
While I was earning my Masters in Social Work, I worked at the following Florida Department of Corrections Prisons: Wakulla Correctional Facility for Men and Levy Forestry Camp for Women as a mental health therapist.
My most recent position was with St. Vincent’s Ascension as a Digital Communications Marketing Manager.
What do you work toward in your spare time?
For the past 11 years, I served in a number leadership positions for the Junior League of Birmingham, the 5th largest in the world. As we like to say, “We are not your grandmother’s Junior League” and are a diverse league dedicated to tackling some of the most challenging issues facing women and children in Birmingham, Alabama. For example, we fund a safe house for women who are victims of human trafficking. To celebrate and commemorate the Junior League of Birmingham’s 100th Anniversary, we are providing the lead gift to acquire and remodel a space for the operations of The One Place Metro Alabama Family Justice Center. The One Place Metro Alabama Family Justice Center provides coordinated services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault through a team of agency professionals who work together under one roof. The service agencies include: The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, YWCA Central Alabama, Crisis Center, Inc. – Rape Response Program, and the Birmingham Police Department. One Place offers forensic nursing for victims of sexual assault, civil and criminal legal counseling, emergency housing placement, job placement, public benefits assistance and safety planning.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I want to be a night owl like my husband but always pay for it the next day if I don’t go to bed by 11:00/11:30.
What are you most proud of?
It’s cliché but being a mother to my two beautiful boys, William Harrison and Griffin Rew and my marriage to a great man who really gets me.
What are you known for?
I was given my nickname “The Magician” because I make things happen, with MacGyver”ish” skills and a role of duck tape. I’ll take anything on; I love a challenge and have been known to pull off fantastic events at the last minute with nothing more than my imagination and what I can get my hands on.
What inspires you?
People’s stories give me insight into what makes us tick. I am also inspired by photography, Oprah’s mission to help us live our best lives and my family – because they are constantly “interrupting” me, which in turn both challenge and inspire me.
Tell me something about you that most people don’t know.
I am a published author and have been a vegetarian since the age of seven.
Why did you apply to be an O Mag Insider?
When I was a mental health therapist, I often used her content with patients in individual and group therapy sessions in addition to my own life.
How do you live your best life?
I am honestly trying to take everything I have learned and finally apply it, no holds barred. For too long the answers and information have lived inside my head and since I’ve become an O’Mag Insider, I’ve challenged myself living my best life – I hope my blog will help me accomplish this and others who are trying to figure it out.
What are you reading now?
I am a voracious reader, belong to a signed first edition club and always have more than one book going at a time:
- I am re-reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck.
- The Golden House by Salman Rushdie.
- Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas.
What’s a day in the life of Allison Breland Crotwell like?
I am still trying to figure out my new normal since leaving the conventional workplace so everyday looks different but each includes one or all of the following:
- Based on which day of the week it is, I either get the boys ready for carpool, or I drive one of the two carpools I’m in because the boys go to different schools.
- I am working as a freelance digital professional and writer, and at times, have projects I attend to during the day.
- Building and launching my blog has been a project far too long in the works, so I am learning how to develop a routine that will serve as a vessel to help me learn how to live my best life and hopefully inspire others to learn how to live their best lives as well.
- I am working to get what I call my psychological house in order by way of organizing family papers and photos – getting the past and present out of boxes, into albums and files.
- This process has enabled me to use the past to help understand my future, allowing me to start living my best life.
- My husband and I are big do-it-yourselfers, and I have been working to wrap up a one-year yard re-development journey. I recently learned woodworking and built a set of built in bookcases and have my next project ready to go.
- We are about to remodel our kitchen, ourselves of course, which will take up time during the day.
- I cook dinner, usually a dish that includes meat, not fun for a vegetarian for c’est la vie.
- After school, the boys read for 30 minutes and do homework.
- We get ready for soccer, which takes place Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 4:50-8:00pm.
- After getting ready for bed, we spend time reading and saying prayers. Each night, we share thoughts of the day, which I write in a notebook for fun and reflection.
- If time allows, I pick up my latest book, but I’ve been known to start working on any one of my ongoing projects – such as laying sod until 1:00 AM.
Check out Allison’s blog My Life Interrupted!
Also follow her on these social media channels:
This is part of an ongoing series, introducing you to the dynamic individuals who make up O, The Oprah Magazine’s Brand Ambassadors known as the O Mag Insiders. For more information on the program or to apply, click HERE.