If there’s one thing author, podcast host, and reality TV star Stassi Schroeder does best, it’s owning who she is, what she loves (be it murder mystery docs or ranch dressing), and never apologizing for it. Stassi — who proudly identifies as a basic bitch, thank you very much — says, “when you actually embrace who you are, you form better connections with people. There are more opportunities for you because you’re being authentic.” As a New York Times best selling author of Next Level Basic, I’d say that Stassi is on to something.
Ahead of Her Conference: Inspire on June 1 in Los Angeles, where Stassi will be keynoting, the 30-year-old discussed her biggest lessons learned throughout her twenties with Her Campus. Spoiler: You’re about to feel very inspired.
- I learned how to forgive people.
“Everyone fucks up and forgiveness is such a major thing. Vanderpump Rules has been a catalogue of our lives in our twenties and its hardcore taught me that each and every one of us has done something to hurt someone, or messed up in some way. Realizing that none of us are perfect and forgiving someone is major because you need to have a great support system and friends to keep you sane. I think forgiveness is the biggest thing anyone can learn to practice. It took me years to forgive some people, but once I did it just felt so much better — selfishly it only helps you in the long run, because you get your friendships back and they’re better than before.”
- When everything fell apart, I picked myself up and started over.
“When I lost my sponsors, that was one of my darkest times ever. And now I feel like I am kind of thankful that happened because it taught me that you can pick yourself up and start over. You can literally start over again if you decide to, so when you fail at something you have two paths: you can just wallow in it and be like well I guess that’s done, or you can start over. And I started over. And I got a book. You can really overcome anything.”
- I discovered that my ultimate self care is taking breaks for silence.
“Self care is completely different for every person and that’s something that I’ve had to have lots of talks with people about. My self care is alone time — it’s being with my dogs on my couch not talking. If my boyfriend is here and I need that alone time, let’s just sit and not talk. That is my ultimate self care, taking breaks for silence. Whereas some of my friends, their way of self care is getting off of work and going and socializing. That re-energizes them and makes them feel like they’re taking care of themselves. It’s all about trying to discover what you need to feel like you can go about your day and be energized and feel like you are emotionally and physically taken care of, and that’s so different for everyone.”
- I accepted that you might not stay on top forever, but you also won’t stay at the bottom.
“It took me a few years to get used to it, but once I did I realized that I chose to put my life out there and there’s always going to be ups and downs and at some point people are going to loathe me, and at some points and people will root for me. It’s always going to shift, you’re never going to stay on top and for the most part you’re never going to stay at the bottom. You just have to be yourself, and when people tweet awful things or comment negative things, those same people might shift in the next episode that comes out, so I don’t take what strangers say seriously.”
- I found myself through others and wrote a book about it.
“Timing is totally everything. I knew one day I wanted to write a book, I went to college for English writing and I knew it was something that I wanted to do but I hadn’t found myself yet. Granted, I still haven’t totally found myself — I don’t think we ever totally do, that takes forever — but once I started my podcast I started interacting with my listeners. I found myself in the podcast and recognized what it is I have to offer. By reading emails from people who said, ‘you talking about this basic story that happened to you got me through when I was in the hospital, or through a breakup, and it makes me feel less alone’ or, ‘I like certain things, everyone calls me a basic bitch for it.’ Once I realized there’s a group of people out there who are undercover basic bitches and we’re all afraid to come out of our cave, I was like that is what I can write about. And, you know, they say write what you know and I know a lot about that.”
- I realized that success is happiness.
“Success is waking up and feeling happiness, and like I contributed something to the world, even if it’s basic. Just knowing that so many people listen to my podcast or read my book makes me feel so good, and that’s success.”