carleeEvery week I write a column called BE YOU for one of the local papers (The Times of Acadiana) – Each week someone different answers the questionnaire – the paper often has to edit them,  so here are all the answers, unedited (the whole truth.) This week – Carlee Alm-LaBar

Carlee Alm-LaBar is one of the hardest working, making-things-happen, people in our community. She is the Assistant to the City-Parish President and one of the nicest, most humble, people you will ever meet. Carlee is happier behind the scenes, she even asked if I could be in her Be You photo with her – she’s a team player all the way. I don’t think Carlee knows it yet, but with her abilities it’s impossible not to be noticed, she is both intelligent and surprising – we did this interview in a local sports bar between her many meetings so she could catch some of a USA soccer game, yes really. I am proud to call her a friend.

What was your first job?
A lifeguard

Describe a typical day in your life.
A trip to a coffee shop to get a latte, a workday of about 6 meetings, a little volunteering, a yoga class if I’m lucky, and a homemade dinner with my husband.

What advice would you give the younger you?
Get a dog sooner.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?
This is a really tough question and there are quite a few… but in college, I served on the board of a fundraiser called Dance Marathon that was (at the time) the second largest college fundraising event in the country.  I had volunteered before then and I had worked hard before then, but that event was my first real taste of how much impact a group of people working together toward a common goal can have.

What values do you live by?
Peace, kindness, learning, loyalty… so hard to narrow it down.

What do you most appreciate?
Family and friends.  And my dog Jozy.

What is your favorite journey?
I love traveling to new places!

Where is your favorite place to be alone?
My couch. Car is a close second.

What living figure most inspires you?
This question stresses me out because I like to take the best slivers in people and draw inspiration from the gifts they have.   The people closest to me are probably those who inspire me the most.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
Not quite advice, but one of my professors in grad school would always say something which helps me understand the world (thanks Dr. White!): “Where you sit is where you stand.”

What book would you tell everyone to read?
I don’t know that everyone would love it because its old and British (for Aileen!), but my favorite book is Middlemarch by George Eliot.

What is the best thing about where you live?
In Lafayette?  The culture!  In my house? The kitchen!

How do you “let the good times roll” ?
Good food with good friends is all I need.  A good sporting event (soccer especially) and some traveling in there always helps.

What did u want to be when you grew up?
I never really knew.  Probably went through a teacher phase, but I was never locked into anything.  I’m still not– I really just want to leave the better world a better place than I found it.

What is your motto?
Whatever happens is meant to be.

How would you like to be remembered?
Someone who tried hard to improve the world around her and tried to use what her talents were to that end.

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?
I usually try to do a couple of yoga breaths, say a brief prayer of some kind, and think about the big picture of what I think is right.

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?
Achieving balance while working hard, taking care of myself so I can take care of others, and always trying to learn more and be open-minded.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
sorry, big picture, grand scheme of things

What is your favorite word?
I pass.  There are a lot of good words out there, and I can’t commit.

What do you collect?

What food could you live on for a month?

What would you change about yourself?
I can usually find the good in people, but sometimes I lose sight of it when I’m working on something too specific.  Oh, and I would learn to be funny.  I can appreciate humor, but I am not so good at creating it.

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?
That’s too hard.  I’m not reading or watching enough movies!

Describe yourself in five words.
Strategic, empathetic, hard-working, kind, diplomatic

What is your idea of happiness?
Family, friends, fulfillment.

What is your favorite movie?
An old favorite- Dead Poets Society

What music defines who you are?
My husband makes great mixes and playlists with all kinds of music, so those playlists feel like my soundtrack.  But can’t say that there’s a theme…

What do you most regret?
I really have a hard time thinking in terms of regrets… so I guess I regret that I can’t be two (or three) places at once.   I would love to do more of a lot of things… but I don’t really want to give anything up!

What question do you wish I’d asked?
What crazy theory do you have that you wish someone would prove correct?

What would the answer be?
My crazy theory is that I think there is a correlation between the rise in obesity and the increase in available diet foods and products.  As someone who believes we were meant to eat real food in moderation, diet food and products literally stress me out!  And not a lot stresses me out.