CINspirational People is a new feature of Good Things Going Around profiling diverse people of Greater Cincinnati, what inspires them, and what is inspiring about them. Know someone for us to consider? Please submit your idea.
Cathyann Dempsey is from Galway, Ireland. Intern Liza Hartke interviewed her.
GTGA Intern Liza: What is a recent accomplishment that you are proud of?
Cathyann: I am proud of my dedication to this thing called life; I set goals, one of them being American citizenship and I stick to them. I have worked hard to get where I am today, it hasn’t always been easy, but challenges make you the person you are in the moment. We are defined not by how we fall, but by how we pick ourselves up again.
GTGA Intern Liza: When did you first come to the United States and how was the journey? Have you always wanted to come to America?
Cathyann: I first came to the states when I was 2 1/2 years old. I remember parts of my trip but not a whole lot. My whole family came over for the summer of 1987 and we lived with my aunt in her beautiful Victorian in North Avondale, which to this day is still one of my favorite houses. My parents worked for my aunt that summer, and as the youngest of 5, I spent a lot of time playing, swimming, and just being a baby!
We came back the following summer and I have a lot more vivid memories from that year. It was the Cincinnati bicentennial, we all had jobs to do, as my aunt was a member of the parade committee. I remember there were lots of Styrofoam hats that needed to have ribbons and buttons put on them – fun activities for a 3 year old!! I made a fort out of the boxes in the foyer of my aunt’s house.
After those two summers, I always wanted to come back. My parents spent many years taking my whole family back and forth. One year, they surprised me with a short trip during the school year – I was 12 and it was glorious! My sister, who had since moved here, took me for a drive in her black mustang convertible; it is one of my favorite memories. I wanted that life.
GTGA Intern Liza: What is your absolute favorite thing about living in America?
Cathyann: There are lots of things I love about living here, but my favorite would have to be my independence. It sounds corny, but the life I lived before I moved here, was completely different. I felt like I was always making decisions based on other people’s happiness. Over here, my decisions are made based solely on what is best for me. Of course I take other people into consideration and sometimes my system has its flaws, but for the most part, my independence is intact and thriving!
GTGA Intern Liza: What advice would you give to people who are in need or some inspiration and motivation in their lives.
Cathyann: Follow your instincts, take risks, you have nothing to lose but your potential happiness and fulfillment. Even if it means some people are not happy with your choices, go for it. And if it was the wrong choice, don’t regret the experience, learn from it, rise up, move on and try again, we only have this one life to live!
GTGA Intern Liza: Tell us about someone who has been a positive influence in your life.
Cathyann: This is difficult. There have been a lot of positive influences throughout my life, my family members are all successful and happy, so they have been inspirational to me, but I am also the youngest, so they have always been protective. I have had a lot of friends throughout my life that have been positive, in many different ways. But I have also learned that you can look up to someone and believe that they have a positive influence on your existence, but find out that you yourself have surpassed their positivity and have become a person you never thought you could be.
GTGA Intern Liza: What is your biggest motivator?
Cathyann: I think my biggest motivator is my ambition. I constantly want to achieve more, do more, learn more, and that pushes me to keep moving. There’s so much to see, learn and do in the world, I don’t want to miss out on anything!!!!!
GTGA Intern Liza: Finish this sentence: America is ….
Cathyann: America is……my freedom
GTGA Intern Liza: What is a motto you live by and why?
Cathyann: You are the author of your own destiny; you are exactly where you are supposed to be, because everything happens for a reason.
GTGA Intern Liza: Any other information or quotes you would like for us to feature in your post.
Cathyann: I love being Irish. It’s who I am. And I will never lose it. But it makes me incredibly proud to live in a country where being Irish is so celebrated, it makes me even more proud of my roots.