We had the good fortune of connecting with Genel Ronquillo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Genel, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When I was younger, I thought balance was focused solely on time management and fitting as many things as possible into one whole day. I used to always stick to everything that I listed down in my planner and if one plan fell through or if my day didn’t go as planned, I would get upset. In the present moment, as an adult, I recognize that balance in my life is not about managing my time, but being intentional in where I choose to invest my time. In my life, I practice balance in the way I give and receive energy as well as making sure that it aligns with my core values. Overall, my personal philosophy is that balance goes hand in hand with alignment. I can balance the different things going on in my life, but if it doesn’t align with my core values, I know my soul isn’t going to be filled with joy. So, when it comes to balance, I’ve come to learn that it’s important and it’s perfectly okay to release the people and things that no longer align with who I am nor align with the direction of my life.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I can confidently say I’m doing what I love for a living. I’m a community based, servant leader and I knew at a very young age that one of my life’s purpose is to serve, especially people in my (San Diego) community. I currently serve as an Administrative Assistant at San Diego State University’s (SDSU) Academy for Professional Excellence, a project of SDSU’s School of Social Work. It is my dream to one day create my own non-profit organization or to hold a leadership position in an already established nonprofit organization in San Diego.
As a first-generation individual and the eldest child of a low-income household, I knew pursuing my passion was going to be a risk. I knew that there were going to be several comments of criticism and people who would question my decisions in life. However, I didn’t want to live my life wondering, “What if?” and I knew that if I didn’t pursue my passion in the nonprofit sector, my soul would never be filled with joy.
In addition to my full-time job, I serve as the Specials Project Manager for Living Unapologetically, a consulting agency that seeks to create safe spaces for healing and transformation for organizations, human service practitioners, and individuals on their journey. I am a Life Coach for Life Strategy Team. Lastly, I manage my own website and I am the host of my own podcast, Genuinely Genel, where I share the stories in my life in hopes to connect with other as well as gain a better understanding of my life, myself, and the world. Through my podcast, Genuinely Genel, I hope that by sharing the stories of my life, I encourage other people to find the confidence and courage in their voice to share their stories.
Lastly, I am the Queen of Power Moves. This nickname was coined by friends, Lily Mae Pido, Megan Posis, and Natalie Jadwin; and, it’s a moniker in which people who have come to know me can attest that it perfectly aligns with who I am. As the Queen of Power Moves, I’m not given this nickname because of my accolades, achievements, and blessings that I’ve received in this lifetime. I am the Queen of Power Moves, because people have come to understand that the best power moves I have ever made in this lifetime thus far are from within. What sets me apart from others is that I am the living, breathing example that it is possible to have a full-time job, still pursue other passions, and do what you genuinely love for a living. Most importantly, what sets me apart from others is my willingness to be bold, authentic, genuine, and transparent with who I am. The way I present myself in person is what you’re going to see on social media. So, take me as I am or don’t take me at all, but whatever you choose I will still remain authentically me.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am very fortunate that a lot of my best friends are still living in San Diego. However, I do have a couple of best friends who have moved away from San Diego and if they ever come back here to visit for a week-long trip, they know that I’ll be prepared with a pamphlet of our itinerary and have a copy of it on Google Sheets. I was born and raised here in San Diego, so there is a LONG LIST of places that I love to explore and go to eat. However, a few notable places are:
– Balboa Park (There are several museums and I can spend a whole day at the Natural History Museum)
– Birch Scripps Aquarium
– Free Flight Exotic Bird
– Hiking Trails (Batiguitos Lagoon, Los Penasquitos Trail, San Dieguito, Torrey Pines)
– Julian (I love hiking at Stonewall Peak, visiting the Wolf Conservation Center, and picking up honeycomb and Julian Pie)
– La Jolla (Sunset Cliffs is such a great place to have a picnic, simply enjoy the views, and fish)
– San Diego Botanical Garden
– San Diego Safari Park & San Diego Zoo Safari Park
As for food, I can’t list them here because the list will be too long, but I do have a Google Sheet with a list of a lot of restaurants in San Diego based on price range, food type, and location.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost, all glory to God for the blessings and success I’ve experienced amidst all the struggles I’ve experienced in this lifetime thus far.
I would also like to recognize my my family, friends, and loved ones. Although I grew up in a low-income household, I am humbled to say that I’ve remained rich in the deep connections I’ve made with other people. I acknowledge the community of people that raised me and whom I am still connected with to this day.
More specifically, I want to thank my parents for putting their full trust in me to make my own decisions regarding my career and overall path in life. My parents are the ones who empowered me to be authentic, bold, and genuine. I also want to thank my younger siblings Geremy, Glenn, Gelina, and Ghail, for teaching me how to be selfless and genuinely care for other people. I want to thank my dogs, Moonlight and Rocky, for being such a huge source of comfort amidst this pandemic and for teaching me a whole other level of care and love.
I would also like to thank my friends and the people I’ve grown in community with thus far. Thank you for your constant, genuine support no matter how far apart we may be in distance or how frequent we hang out with one another. My friends have been my shoulders to cry on, my hype squad, and my accountability partners when I need a reality check. Thank you (you know who you are) for being real ones by not giving up on me and for reminding me to not ever give up on myself. A special shoutout to Lily Mae Pido and Natalie Jadwin for always reminding me of my worth when I doubt myself.
Lastly, I would like to thank my partner. Thank you for being my sounding board, my voice of reason, and just simply for being you. There are many more words I can write here to express my gratitude to you, but I’ll save all the sentimental stuff between us. I love you.
Stella Lu Photography (@snmphotos)