Quick bio: Carmen is a writer, speaker, and an investor and advisor to women-owned businesses. A former national television host, magazine advice columnist, and faculty professor at NYU, Carmen serves on the board of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and The Moth. She also hosts a podcast, has published two novels, and is currently working on her fifth book, a memoir.
Beyond the Bio: Damn, you get wise in your 40s. And, tired. But it’s the wise and curious parts that keep me going. Self-acceptance, too. There is a level of DGAF that is hard-won and you’d better believe I enjoy the hell out of that.
What makes you a grown-ass lady? Grown-ass is a scale. I was a grown-ass lady at 12 years old, helping care for four younger siblings, working, and excelling at school. But now, as a single parent with aging parents and a brother now living with advanced cancer, being grown-ass feels like a given. But what I will never forget is that being grown-ass doesn’t mean being old-ass. Keep playing. Don’t forget to play hard.
1. On the nightstand: At least three piles of books. On top now are: Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman, a classic I had to revisit as I now live with a teen (#sendhelp). And, I’m about to dig into Jaquira Diaz’s memoir, Ordinary Girls. I read a lot of fiction too (even wrote a few novels myself) but, I keep fiction out of my bedroom, for some reason.
2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Going out dancing with friends and/or my sisters
4. Thing I miss: The ability for most people to afford a college education
5. 80s crush: Keanu Reeves
6. Current crush: Keanu Reeves and Rihanna
7. Latest fave find: House of Intuition, a gorgeous online botanica shop, Latinx-owned/run
8. Last thing you lost: A big dream or two
9. Best thing that happened recently: Every time my daughter and I share a laugh. Always the best thing.
10. Looking forward to: More storytelling, more books, more stages. And, more learning.