The Fremont Podcast

Episode 116: A Conversation that Gets at the Heart of Our Online and Offline Worlds with Holly LaBarbera

May 03, 2024 Ricky B and Holly LaBarbera Season 3 Episode 116
Episode 116: A Conversation that Gets at the Heart of Our Online and Offline Worlds with Holly LaBarbera
The Fremont Podcast
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The Fremont Podcast
Episode 116: A Conversation that Gets at the Heart of Our Online and Offline Worlds with Holly LaBarbera
May 03, 2024 Season 3 Episode 116
Ricky B and Holly LaBarbera

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Navigating the digital landscape, we often find ourselves at the crossroads of technology and mental health. Our conversation with Holly LaBarbera, a seasoned therapist deeply rooted in Fremont, offers a tapestry of insights into the psychological impacts of our online personas. Holly brings her experience of therapeutic wisdom to the table, shining a light on the complexities of our digital engagement, from the resurgence of literature thanks to social media influencers to the confusion and consequences of public spaces in our lives.

This episode explores human connections and the art of storytelling. Holly shares a little of her story and the lessons learned from personal interactions in the banking sector. Our conversation weaves through the contrasting realities of social media's curated lives and the authentic encounters we experience. All of this lays the ground work for a discussion about her latest book. In Holly's book we find a love story interlaced with the struggles of Kai and Josh, reminding us all of the intricate dance of relationships in our own lives.

To learn more about Holly, check out this page on her website.

To find out more about her book, check out her author and book website here. 

Check out Own It Fitness for your professional fitness solutions. You can find their website here.

Connect with them on Instagram here. 

If you are interested in supporting the podcast, please reach out to us at thefremontpodcast@gmail.com, or you can contact us here. 


Fremont Bank has been partnering with and supporting people and small businesses for over six decades.

Also, Petrocelli Homes has been a key sponsor for the Fremont Podcast almost from the beginning. If you are looking for help or advice about buying or selling a home, or if you are looking for a realtor, get in touch with Petrocelli Homes on Niles Blvd in Niles.

If you are in need of services for design or printing, check out Minutemen Press in Irvington. They have been serving the community for over 20 years, and they stand strong by their work and service.

Intro and Outro voiceovers made by Gary Williams. Check out garywilliams.org.

This episode was edited by Andrew C.

Scheduling and background was done by Sara S.

This is a Muggins Media Podcast.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Navigating the digital landscape, we often find ourselves at the crossroads of technology and mental health. Our conversation with Holly LaBarbera, a seasoned therapist deeply rooted in Fremont, offers a tapestry of insights into the psychological impacts of our online personas. Holly brings her experience of therapeutic wisdom to the table, shining a light on the complexities of our digital engagement, from the resurgence of literature thanks to social media influencers to the confusion and consequences of public spaces in our lives.

This episode explores human connections and the art of storytelling. Holly shares a little of her story and the lessons learned from personal interactions in the banking sector. Our conversation weaves through the contrasting realities of social media's curated lives and the authentic encounters we experience. All of this lays the ground work for a discussion about her latest book. In Holly's book we find a love story interlaced with the struggles of Kai and Josh, reminding us all of the intricate dance of relationships in our own lives.

To learn more about Holly, check out this page on her website.

To find out more about her book, check out her author and book website here. 

Check out Own It Fitness for your professional fitness solutions. You can find their website here.

Connect with them on Instagram here. 

If you are interested in supporting the podcast, please reach out to us at thefremontpodcast@gmail.com, or you can contact us here. 


Fremont Bank has been partnering with and supporting people and small businesses for over six decades.

Also, Petrocelli Homes has been a key sponsor for the Fremont Podcast almost from the beginning. If you are looking for help or advice about buying or selling a home, or if you are looking for a realtor, get in touch with Petrocelli Homes on Niles Blvd in Niles.

If you are in need of services for design or printing, check out Minutemen Press in Irvington. They have been serving the community for over 20 years, and they stand strong by their work and service.

Intro and Outro voiceovers made by Gary Williams. Check out garywilliams.org.

This episode was edited by Andrew C.

Scheduling and background was done by Sara S.

This is a Muggins Media Podcast.

Speaker 1:

I do think that a lot of people are not necessarily readers today as much as they maybe had been in the past, just because we have so much access to quick.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to interrupt though. I felt like that even five years ago. I felt like that I've been very encouraged about. I have a lot of 20-something nieces, cousins you know that are all readers now, that's great Like new to reading and again, five years ago they weren't and now they are, and I feel like there are a lot of like bookstagrammers and TikTok book people and I think they're kind of bringing it back. And even some of them are.

Speaker 5:

Coming to you straight from Fremontia. This is the fremont podcast, dedicated to telling the stories of the past and present of the people and places of the city of fremont, one conversation at a time okay, so this story is probably going to sound a little stupid.

Speaker 6:

I am on capitol Avenue, in the plaza at the Downtown Event Center, the newly opened Downtown Event Center and the newly opened plaza. I'm sitting on one of these bright yellow benches and I am allowed to do so. The plaza is now open, but it's also open to the public, freely open to the public. You might think that's stupid because of course it also open to the public, freely open to the public. You might think that's stupid because of course it's open to the public. It's a plaza, but it's on the city of fremont website and I actually felt compelled to check. So I did. I wrote an email to the downtown event center email address that's listed and I asked just to make sure. I wanted to check because everything on the website talks about how you can rent out the space, how you can rent out the downtown event center building, which totally makes sense, but also how you can rent out the plaza, which also makes sense, but not anywhere on the website does it say whether it is a genuinely public, free-to-use plaza or whether it's only available to rent. Like the building is probably only available to rent out. I probably can't just walk in there. So I emailed and they got back to me and wrote it is a public space unless someone books it. Organized events must have an approved permit. Any event with more than 25 people must have a permit, but if a member of the public is sitting in the plaza, they're not going to be asked to leave. It is a public space, regular, normal public park, public plaza stuff.

Speaker 6:

And I said at the top that this might sound stupid, but there are a lot of plazas in Fremont that are not open to the public. Granted, they're not owned by the city, like this one is but there are a lot of beautiful plazas that you're not allowed to go to. Yeah, I need to get my brakes fixed on this bike. I'm near Walnut and Civic Center and in between these professional office buildings there is a really beautiful plaza and I'm not really allowed to be here. The only reason I'm even half pulling it off's because it's business hours, it's not lunch and I'm just going to keep going through. But if anyone were to ask me to leave, I would need to leave. It's a shame because in terms of design and shade and places to sit, it's one of the prettier plazas. Places to sit. It's one of the prettier plazas and, while I was wrong to worry and it's just a normal regular park, everything is fine. I'm not crazy to be a little suspicious Because listed on the City of Fremont website are all the different parks and one of those parks is a gap between two buildings.

Speaker 6:

It's not that far away from here. Yeah, no joke, I'm here at the State Street Plaza. It's kind of along Beacon Avenue. It's a gap between two apartment buildings. There's a bridge between the two apartment buildings. This is not a plaza. It's listed as a plaza on the City of Fremont website. So if this gap between two buildings can be listed as park space, as public plaza space, if there are plazas that you can't use as plazas and there are plazas that are listed as plazas but clearly are gaps between two private buildings, I'm not wrong to be confused and maybe a little suspicious when the website for the public plaza doesn't have anything about it being for the public. But anyway, back here at the downtown event center plaza. It's lovely, it's not too far from a bookshop and at the moment there's nobody here. I appreciate the city getting back to me. In return, I might clean up some of this litter before I leave. You are listening to episode 116 of the Fremont Podcast.

Speaker 5:

Now here's your host, Ricky B. I am with.

Speaker 1:

Holly LaBarbera, is that how you say it? All right, holly LaBarbera, and you are a therapist.

Speaker 4:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

And you practice here in Fremont. Yes, how long have you lived in Fremont?

Speaker 2:

30 plus years, 31, 32.

Speaker 1:

So you've been here for a little while then.

Speaker 2:

A little while.

Speaker 1:

Okay, what kind of therapy work do you do generally, Like on a given week? You know what kind of clients are you seeing. What kind of issues are you dealing with, Like what does that look like for you?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I have a good mix, which I like, because I, for me, I get burnt out if it's all one thing. So I work with teenagers, love teenagers. I work with couples, which I love, that. I work with a lot of adult individuals as well, and most of what I work with is depression, anxiety. Those are kind of the two standard things.

Speaker 2:

But I also do some grief work and trauma stuff comes up. I'm not specialized in trauma, but it tends to come up, so I deal with that too, and I mean relationship issues all the time.

Speaker 1:

Okay, okay. So how long have you been practicing, uh, this, your therapy work?

Speaker 2:

I've had my private practice for about 12 years and then I worked in some schools. I interned in schools and worked with younger kids, but I don't work with younger kids anymore, okay, Okay.

Speaker 1:

So I am curious because I do think that a lot. This is my opinion and it is my, like you know, I'm my unprofessional musing, I guess, but it seems that a lot of the issues today that maybe teenagers are dealing with, or even relationships, couples, have a lot to do with technology. You've had your practice to the type of situations that you're dealing with now, and, if so, what? What might those be?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think I'm going to expand my answer a little bit because. I have kids. My oldest is 29. My youngest is 24. And I think a lot about how grateful I am that technology was just on the cusp for them, like it wasn't, as I mean my kids had phones when they were in, like high school right and that was pretty much when they were coming up you know, so it wasn't um it was easier to limit those things because they weren't as available.

Speaker 1:

And they were more flip phones and you had to use letters you weren't on.

Speaker 2:

YouTube all day on your phone and stuff like that and so I think it's really hard for kids to. They don't have the brain capacity to limit that for themselves. It's hard for parents to limit it for them and I do think it affects. I think you know back in the day, if you had an issue or something was going on at school, you could come home and have a break.

Speaker 4:

And now there's no break. It's like all the time. And.

Speaker 2:

I think there's also the too much information thing, just as far as what your friends are doing and what you didn't get invited to and, like now, you know all of that. Whereas before you didn't. People could kind of live their own lives and not have it affect you so deeply. And then there's definitely the comparison thing of you know everybody's putting forward on social media their best life and then everyone thinks, why am I not living that best life? And that's just such a small part of what everyone's putting out there.

Speaker 1:

But it's just hard to see that especially when you're a teenager, Um, do you find the technology is at the heart of most of, or a lot of, the problems you deal with, or do you feel like it's it's more broad than that, or it's it's some, it's kind of anchored into something else?

Speaker 2:

I don't feel like it's the heart of the problem. Honestly, I think that it contributes to problems. I mean, I think that there's plenty of people who I don't know can handle it, I guess um and some, I think, for people that are already tending toward feeling anxious or depressed, um, maybe have like self-esteem questions and issues, and I think that makes it worse yeah, and so I think it just exacerbates underlying problems, but I do think it impacts I do couples.

Speaker 2:

Again, I don't know if it's the underlying problem, but I think it's just such an easy way to avoid. So if you're having an issue and you're not feeling great about your relationship, then it's easy to just sit there on your phone and pretend it's fine.

Speaker 4:

I guess.

Speaker 2:

So I think it just it provides an avoidance strategy that's very convenient and makes things worse, yeah definitely is a.

Speaker 1:

It's a mechanism that offers, you know, either it offers, uh, you know, what we might think to be potential solutions to the problems that we have, or like, if I'm not feeling liked by my spouse or by my friends, then I can go on uh social media and find ways to feel liked or feel involved or feel appreciated or whatever.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, or just numb out yeah, um, and I think there's always been numbing tools you know, and so it's just, this is a such an easy one, it's already in your hand and um, you know, you don't have to go buy alcohol or whatever you're going to get.

Speaker 5:

It's just right there.

Speaker 2:

So, um, I think it makes it easier.

Speaker 1:

Okay, Okay. So what got you into, uh, this kind of therapy? Like you did go from uh being in banking to being a therapist, Like what was the thing that made that, that shift for you?

Speaker 2:

Well, I was never like super attached to the idea of banking. That was just the job I kind of fell into after school, after I graduated college, and then I stayed at home with my kids for a while, so I was kind of out of the workforce. I had a small business at home business for a little bit and then my mother-in-law had some significant mental health issues and so I was helping out with getting her the support she needed and learned so much about that field and just felt like it would be a great fit for me, and so I went back.

Speaker 1:

Why do you feel like it was a good fit for you? Like, what was it about you naturally, or what was it that you saw in yourself that you thought would make was a good fit for you? Like, what was it about you naturally, or what was it that you saw in yourself that you thought would make this a good fit for you?

Speaker 2:

I have always. I love listening to people's stories. I've always been kind of a caretaker person. I'm the oldest of three and always, whether wanted or not, was a very mommy person to my siblings and some might say bossy, but I will say caretaker.

Speaker 1:

You have to be a little. Let me back up. You don't have to be a little bossy. You're going to get the blame for being a little bossy when you're the oldest.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think I was a little bossy, or maybe I don't know past tense.

Speaker 4:

I'm trying to not be bossy.

Speaker 2:

But yeah so, but people just have tended to come to me with their problems and I like listening, and so I think I just was already doing that and just not as my job.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we'll be right back. You can hear the rest of this conversation in just a moment.

Speaker 6:

Hello Fremont, we are trying something new. We now have an audio letter to the editor, a phone number that you can call and let us know what's on your mind 510-556-4049. 556-4049.

Speaker 3:

Thank you for calling the Fremont Podcast. This is your audio letter to the editor. Please tell us about the things you have observed living or working here in Fremont, the things that excite you, the things that upset you and the things that you are curious about.

Speaker 6:

So give us a call, and if you need to call us more than once, that's okay. If you're three quarters of the way through and you mess up, just keep talking. I'm the editor, I'm good at my job. If you need to call us more than once because it doesn't all fit, that's okay too. Again, that's five. One zero five 4049. 510-556-4049.

Speaker 3:

With that said, we really do want to hear from you. So here's the beep.

Speaker 6:

Fremont Bank has been around for 60 years and they sponsor a lot of stuff, and now included on the list of things they sponsor is this podcast. Thank you, Fremont Bank. Banter Bookshop is located on Capitol Avenue in downtown Fremont. They are having an author event on May 7th from 7 pm to 8 30. The author, Dallas Woodburn, will be there. The book Before and After you and Me. Banter Bookshop has another author event on May 28th from 7 to 8.30. The author, Eric Cho, Solving the Equation of Love. And on June 11th, again from 7 to 8.30, there's another author event. Oh look, it's our guest this week on the podcast with her books All I Know and the Prince of Mournful Thoughts. I should probably let you get back to the conversation and now back to our conversation.

Speaker 1:

Was there anything particularly that brought you to Fremont initially?

Speaker 2:

Yes, so I grew up in New York.

Speaker 1:

OK.

Speaker 2:

And my husband mostly grew up in New York, which is where we met, but the city or About. We met, like the city About an hour north of the city, okay, all right, but his family was all from out here. Okay. And so for a while we lived in Dallas, texas, and then eventually we just wanted to be around family and my family is all spread out and his family was all here. So we just chose here.

Speaker 1:

Nice, yeah, that's great. That's great, Um, and so you landed here, um and uh, you are. We already mentioned this, but you're currently a therapist. Were you a therapist when you came out here? No, I was not.

Speaker 2:

I worked in banking when we came out here and I worked at technology credit union when we first moved here and then did that for a while, had kids, didn't work for a while and then I went back to school to be a therapist and I've been doing that for about a dozen years.

Speaker 1:

I think of different people that I find freedom to be able to share. Maybe issues with that. I wouldn't just go to people that know me, maybe like whether it's at a coffee shop, or like a barista, or my waiter or my you know bank teller, or whoever you know, just go in there and I've got you know how's your day.

Speaker 1:

Well, let me tell you how my day is you know and you say it and you would never say that to your close friends or to other people, because they know you and there's potential for judgment, um, but I would say it to a stranger you know. So I imagine that even working in the banking industry, you probably found yourself listening to people that, um, and their problems as they open up to you and stuff.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, Yep Stuff like I remember, like a dad wanting to come with and he came in with his like teenager wanting to get him a car and how are we going to, you know, get his kid his first car and get his credit and whatever.

Speaker 2:

So stuff like that was fun for me in banking, um, but it's funny you say that at like Barry stood. When I was, my parents are very friendly people, especially my dad, and I would always be so horrified, embarrassed, because he would make best friends with every waiter and everybody, and I was like, oh and?

Speaker 2:

but then I totally do that now and uh, I was on a trip recently and I was came home I was like so my Uber driver like and telling all about this Uber driver's life story? And my husband was like why do you know that? Like I don't know, we were just talking.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome. That's great. Well, I am the same way, actually, and I am an oldest child of six kids.

Speaker 4:

Oh, wow, and so I was.

Speaker 1:

I guess you might say I was somewhat of a caretaker to a degree and we had a close family. But I was also I am the one to make friends with all the people I run into and want to hear their stories. So I feel you on that. I get that idea of becoming best friends with waiters With my Uber driver, the Uber driver yeah.

Speaker 2:

Friends with waiters with my uber driver, the uber driver yeah, well, and I also think like we can. There are a limited number of people you can have that deep, intimate, right, know everything relationship with. But I also think something I've loved. I love, I think we can know slivers of people right, and it's not. I think that's different from what I see as like social media presentation. It's different than just knowing someone in a moment in time and hearing about like one little section of their life that is more genuine.

Speaker 2:

I feel like the social media stuff is, to me feels less genuine, which again is. I didn't grow up with it. I think it might be. You know, I want to be careful judging how other people use it, but, um, it just feels more curated where it's having a conversation and again I'm not going to know everything about you but I know a little bit more about you and I find that interesting yeah.

Speaker 1:

For somebody it might be their highlight reel, for somebody it might be their list is the place I spill my guts to Um. I have a friend who is very articulate writer. He can really capture ideas in a really profound way and he and he's a great person to know in person as well. But I find that and I'm, I'm very close to him, um, but I find that when he posts things on Facebook like it's really well written and in some sometimes he's kind of like the he'll poke you in the eye too, like he'll say things that people don't make everybody, it doesn't make everybody happy.

Speaker 1:

He's not out there to necessarily make friends, but when? But he really doesn't write anything until he has, like a clear argument or a clear message to to give Um. But what I find is is that a lot of people think that he's very, maybe arrogant or very you know self over, overly self-confident. And what I find because I know him and I actually spend a lot of time with him off the off social media he's just actually very, very humble Um, he's very interested in what other people think and I feel like what happens is is that he's kind of a verbal processor with those that are close to him and so we'll talk through things that he's thinking of and he'll listen a lot. He'll listen to what other people have to say, um, but then when he decides to post something, it's a kind of like a really refined, like a curated version of what he's been thinking about and talking about with other people for the last couple of weeks.

Speaker 1:

And other people are like he's just spouting off and you know whatever, and it's like no actually I've been in these conversations and he's listened to a lot and actually that might have been partly my idea that he put out there, you know, because of something that I contributed to the conversation yeah um, and so I think people use, uh, that you know social media platforms for various things one way or the other. So it is hard to find to really get to know somebody that way because it is a little sliver, a sliver in time.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, um, you are also now an author of a few books, but you have one that's coming out particularly now. Um, so tell me what? Tell me about the book. What is the book about? And, um, what is it that inspired you to write this book?

Speaker 2:

So the book is about? It's a coming of age story, about a young woman who overcomes trauma and tragedy in her childhood and kind of moves forward trying to build a life with this boy she's always loved and the love story Kai and Josh are my main characters and their love story is kind of this center point to really explore complexities and complications in lots of different types of love. So there's within families, among friends, loving yourself or not, and how kind of all of those experiences of love contribute to who you are and how you can show up in relationships. So kind of I don't know the love coming in and going out and how it all interacts in between.

Speaker 1:

Okay, Okay. And what was the inspiration for this? Like where? What was it that made you want to sit down and write this?

Speaker 2:

While there's no particular client stories in this book, there's pieces of it that were definitely inspired by hearing similar themes over and over again, and I hear themes with couples all the time around. Um, I was joking with you earlier, but couples often come to me and they're like okay, I don't want to talk about my childhood, I just want to like talk about like, what's going on between us right now and.

Speaker 2:

I'm always like all right, well, we'll try that we'll start there, and then, ultimately, there's this moment of like okay, and what was that like between your parents?

Speaker 1:

And it's like. It's like looking at a fruit tree and saying I don't want to talk about the soil. The soil is not the issue, I want to talk about the tree.

Speaker 2:

And it's like well, right, I mean, sometimes you can trim the tree and it's fine, you know, but often you have to go deeper, and so that's a big part of this book is kind of how these, your what happens to you as a child is going to affect your adult relationships, and that's. I just see that all the time, and so that was a big part of this book. Sibling relationships and parent-child relationships there's two families that are kind of intertwined in the book and I feel like that's really interesting to me too, how I've seen that happen in myined in the book, and I feel like that's really interesting to me too, how I've seen that happen in my own childhood and adulthood, and I just I find all that interesting. So that, I think, was a big part of writing the book.

Speaker 1:

Okay. So in essence it's not necessarily a self-help book or a book on like a kind of like a coaching manual, or you use some of the uh, the problems, as well as the the solutions, I guess, if you will, to kind of like create, um, a storyline for people to like think through yeah, I wouldn't say it's stories from clients, but it's themes and, like the journeys it is, it's a reflection, I think, of a lot of journeys.

Speaker 2:

I've seen people on and the journeys tend to, while, while they're also, they're unique, but they're also not sometimes. So, the part that isn't unique is what I've kind of used in the book.

Speaker 1:

Okay, is there? Maybe I'm getting too personal here but is there any of your story in this that you decided to put in there?

Speaker 2:

Well, the main thing that was very conscious in this book was the setting. So Kai, my main character, grows up in the house that I grew up in, which was a very meaningful house to me and my siblings, and it's almost like a character in our lives. This house was. We lived on the top of a mountain in New York.

Speaker 2:

It was only an hour north of the city, but everyone else calls it upstate because, everyone in the city thinks everything's upstate, so it was close to the city but really did feel in the middle of nowhere.

Speaker 1:

I've actually been to that, I think, the area close to where you grew up.

Speaker 2:

Oh, really yeah.

Speaker 1:

It was a state park and I remember was it bear mountain?

Speaker 2:

Yes, I believe it was. Yeah, very close. Okay, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So we, I camped there one time. So I had I was with a this is years ago I was with a theater group and it was like a small company, um, and we had a little bit a couple of days break and um, so I had brought some camping gear and stuff and so we camped at the state park and then we went in and saw a Broadway show in New York city and they came back and camped. That was kind of interesting, getting prepared for a Broadway show in a tent and then driving into the city and then coming back. But it was, it was fun, but anyway we didn't really have.

Speaker 2:

There was only one house you could even see from my house and we didn't. There weren't kids there, so we were. It was my brother and sister and I were very close because we did that.

Speaker 2:

There we had seven acres of woods and a pond, and so we would just a lot of imagination, play and playing in of woods and a pond, and so we would just a lot of imagination play, playing in the woods and ice skating on our pond in the winter and stuff. So I loved where I grew up and I even at the time I loved it. And there was still jealousy, like my friends had neighbors and my friends could ride their bike to their friend's house and I couldn't do that, and so there was some like Ooh, I wanted to live in town, and so there's always there's always something that you Sure.

Speaker 1:

If you need help navigating the local real estate market, contact Petrocelli Homes on Niles Boulevard. Give Jennifer Petrocelli a call. Jennifer goes above and beyond for her clients. Jennifer helps her clients make smart real estate decisions that benefit them in the long run. So if you're looking for a realtor who knows what they're doing and who genuinely cares about your needs and wants, reach out to Jennifer today and discover why Petrocelli Homes is the right choice for all of your real estate needs. Find their services to be fantastic. Look no further than Minuteman Press in Irvington. You can find them at 44141 Fremont Boulevard in Fremont.

Speaker 6:

The Ohlone College flea market is happening every second Saturday of the month from 9 am to 3 pm on Ohlone's Fremont campus. Can I ask you, what are you hoping to find today?

Speaker 1:

It's just interesting to see what's out there, and you never know what you'll find.

Speaker 6:

Treasures. Hey Van. If people want to contact you, how do they get in touch?

Speaker 4:

So our phone number is 510-659-6285, and the email is fleamarket at aloniedu. More information can be found at aloniedu slash flea dash market.

Speaker 1:

Have you seen the Disney movie Saving Mr Banks?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I love that.

Speaker 1:

So it kind of reminded me of that same thing. Yeah, I love that that kind of does similar to what you're talking about the setting is integral to that movie too.

Speaker 2:

That's right, that's exactly right.

Speaker 1:

So the setting of the house that you grew up in, the place you grew up, is kind of the setting for the book. Is there anything?

Speaker 2:

else from you your story that was in there. We had family, friends that we did a lot of stuff with, which is kind of the basis of this book. So some of the things this book. We go to Cape Cod in the summers and we did that, and so. I I feel like the places were very familiar to me in this book. Um, and again the fact that we had another family. Um my, when my brother first read this book, he called me he's like was so-and-so an alcoholic.

Speaker 2:

And I'm like no, that was that's me. I created that, but he did know who I was, like, where it started from. That's hilarious, and so some of the people, I guess were starting points but, they weren't, I don't feel like the story or the characters are true to me. Yeah. But, some people identify them.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, absolutely that's great. Some people identify them, yeah. So yeah, absolutely that's great. Yeah, so who is the book written for? Like, who are the people who do you think would be the most likely to read the book and find it to be very interesting or helpful for?

Speaker 2:

them Probably. It appeals probably to a more female crowd so like women, 25 to whatever plus. I guess yeah um, just because there is kind of this primary love story, although, like I said, I don't. When I first started writing it it was more of a romance and I mean it was never a straight up romance but it was more about the love story when.

Speaker 2:

I started writing it and then I was kind of again, I got very interested in the other forms of love, like I was saying, and there's a couple of friendships that are super important to my main character, that are really interesting to me. My girlfriends have been very important in my life.

Speaker 2:

And so I just feel like there's a lot of strength that people get from friends and so, trying as it went on, it was a little under concentrating on the romantic love story and more on the other things going on. But I do feel like relationship type books are generally appeal to women more than men. The men who I have had read this book, which is like my family and friends, have mostly been like well, it's not my genre, but I liked it. So I don't know how many.

Speaker 2:

I think there are things in there for anyone, but it's more of a female book.

Speaker 1:

That's great. Well, I do think that there, um, I mean, I can. I can completely understand where you're coming from, and I do think that a lot of people, um, are not necessarily readers today as much as as they maybe had been in the past, just because we have so much access to quick.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to interrupt, though. I felt like that even five years ago I felt like that, and now a lot I've been very encouraged about. I have a lot of 20 something nieces, cousins you know that are all readers now, that's great like new to reading and again, five years ago they weren't and now they are, and I feel like there are a lot of like um, bookstagrammers and talk book people and there's a name for that which I'm not getting, but whatever um, but, and I think they're kind of bringing it back.

Speaker 2:

And even some of them are. I was just talking to my son's girlfriend a few weeks ago and she was saying how she's like I really would rather hold a book.

Speaker 4:

I love a paper book.

Speaker 2:

I'm not a Kindle person but you think, like that generation is all going to read electronically and I, a lot of them are actually. Not only are they reading, but like they want an actual book in their hands, and so I feel like it's a little like record albums, you know, like the vinyl is coming back and it's a little retro cool thing right now, so I hope it sticks.

Speaker 1:

No, I, I did too. I do. I do think that a lot of it has to do with us feeling a particular way in a particular moment, doing something specific Like in other words like I tell people this all the time.

Speaker 1:

When it comes to like my phone, um, I think that one of the things that, uh, and I have a phone, I use it, I do social media, I do all this stuff. So I'm not pooping that necessarily, but what I am saying is that I feel like if we were to confine ourselves to a physical environment or a physical parameters, like, for instance, if I'm looking at myself in this exact moment, here we're at Petrocelli Homes in Niles, you are the only person in the room with me, and so if I were to limit myself to my physical parameters, like the only person that I need to care about talking to is you.

Speaker 1:

You're the only person in my life at this moment to be able to have a conversation. But as soon as I pick up my phone and I open, it up all of a sudden. I have like a black hole of people and issues and circumstances that I find myself, that I need to pay attention to or that I need to be involved with, and so then it really just kind of like like creates this, uh, um, this tension, this anxiety of like I need, what am I missing, you know?

Speaker 1:

Um but if I were to confine myself to what's physical, I'd be like this isn't? This is an easy, very enjoyable time to be able to spend with you and to have this conversation. I think that's the same with books as well. If I'm reading on something that has other notifications or other opportunities, I can tying myself to that physical boundary, then it's like I actually this is all I have, and I can just really find joy in the simplicity of this, of this you know novel or whatever it is.

Speaker 1:

So I think that I think that's helpful. I think that's also like when people do um, like you know, technology, cleanses or whatever. They go off on a hike and they're loose to service and they don't have access to things. It's like they're loose to service and they don't have access to things.

Speaker 2:

It's like they're tied to that physical surrounding and it's just like this is enough, this is everything I need in this moment, so when we go to Tahoe every summer, with my husband's family and we have our cousins week and spend 25 years plus that we do that every summer and I loved it because it used to be you'd never you didn't get any service up there. So like for the week you just would be off the grid. And then it was slowly like, oh okay, when we're here we might get service, but not at the beach or whatever. And now, you always have service up there and it's so discouraging to me.

Speaker 2:

I'm just like, oh, you know, and I really, in those settings I don't go on my phone. I mean, I limit myself, but it's harder for the younger kids. You know the kids are used to it and if you have service they're going to check stuff. And I just liked when there wasn't service up there and I'm like I get it. People live up there, they need to have cell service. But I liked when we used to go away places and not didn't have service.

Speaker 1:

That was nice. Yeah, when I when I first moved here it was almost 10 years ago and I first visited yosemite national park, they didn't have service in the valley and I I loved it because I just felt like I could just enjoy the moments and now you go down there and it's like strong, strong service you know, and I'm like man, totally like I get all these notifications when I'm sitting service.

Speaker 1:

you know, and I'm like man, totally Like, I get in all these notifications when I'm sitting underneath the highest waterfall in North America, and it's just like come on, you know.

Speaker 2:

Well, and it just requires such a different level of discipline.

Speaker 1:

That's right, because you can still not have that. That's exactly right.

Speaker 2:

But you have to do it yourself now.

Speaker 1:

That's right and it's just harder. Yeah, so I asked you who the audience is that you anticipate reading your book. What is maybe the anticipated outcome that you hope to hear from this book? Like say five years down the road. You're talking with people or you're seeing people do reviews on Goodreads or whatever. What? Are the kinds of things that you're hoping people will take away from this.

Speaker 2:

I would love um for people to, so I think one of the big things when I'm doing therapy is this scent. This is not my term. I'm plagiarizing the term from Kristen Neff, who does the self-compassion stuff.

Speaker 1:

And you're not plagiarizing cause you just referenced her.

Speaker 2:

So, um but comment, this sense of common humanity right, this idea that you're not in it alone, and I just find that that makes people feel so much better, just to know, even if it's awful, if we're in it together, it's better.

Speaker 4:

That's great.

Speaker 2:

And so I'm hoping this book.

Speaker 2:

There's some sad stuff and not easy stuff in this book but I also I'm intending it for it to be very uplifting and hopeful as well, and so my hope is to let people know like you're going through this really hard thing and things get better. And you know these are some ways maybe you can get through it, like with friends or family or relying on certain people, and so I guess I hope that it encourages people that might be struggling with there's characters that are depressed and having some addiction issues and things like that. So it feels like I would like for it to help people see, okay, this is a moment in time, but it may not be forever, Sure.

Speaker 1:

Sure.

Speaker 2:

Or even, I mean, I think for me this comes up with music, a lot and books too, but but this idea like you listen to something and you're like, oh yeah, that's exactly what I was feeling or that's what I'm going through right now. And so I would love that in my book. If someone's like oh right, like I get that, I know what that's like, I love that.

Speaker 1:

That's really cool Um you practice here in Fremont and um as your as your practice, always been here in Fremont.

Speaker 4:

Okay, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So I'm just curious, like what are some of the things that you might find or that you might suggest to, maybe, your clients that, um, that they do, uh, as residents of Fremont? Like, is there anything that you might prescribe to people that you talk with that maybe would be, because in some sense you know you talked about the setting that you created in the book being from your childhood- and so like there's an environmental sort of influence on that story.

Speaker 1:

Is there anything about, like the people, for people who live here in Fremont? Maybe they're not, um, maybe they haven't come to see you and maybe they haven't identified, uh, issues that they might need to talk to somebody about, but maybe there's something that you would you have encouraged people or that you would encourage people to do who live here in Fremont.

Speaker 2:

I very often encourage clients to walk around Lake Elizabeth. My office is right across the street from Lake Elizabeth. I walk around Lake Elizabeth a lot and you know often people don't take me up on that, but I just think that's a great nature place for us here, Very easily accessible place to go, nature, place for us here, a very easily accessible place to go Um and what else?

Speaker 2:

I mean Nate. It can be challenging to find nature, but I do feel like it is very grounding and centering and peaceful, Um. So the lake, coyote hill, I go to coyote hills a lot. I love walking around out there.

Speaker 1:

You know what I just did, uh did like less than maybe two hours ago. So I was at a meeting that I had in Union City and I was just over the border in Union City and I was riding my bike. So I try to find the most enjoyable route to get from where I am in union city back to my house, because I mean I can shoot down mission Boulevard um, which is fine.

Speaker 1:

It's just not it's not as enjoyable, um, but instead I found a way to be able to go from where I was in union city through uh Corey lakes and all those trails through the lakes.

Speaker 1:

And I'll tell you what. It was just so beautiful, like I just I rode my bike down through there and I literally said to myself why am I not spending more time here in Quarry Lakes? Like I can ride my bike here from my house and I can feel like I'm in the middle of like an alpine lake, in a wilderness somewhere, and I'm like I need to be coming down here reading books and there's benches sitting out there overlooking the lakes and you can see Mission Peak in the background and it's very idyllic. I'm like why am I not here?

Speaker 2:

And so I think, I think another place is Quarry Lakes, and I think a lot of people don't even think how accessible that is. Well, and you can see bald eagles out there. I don't know if they're still there, but I've seen them a few times and then I'm always sad when I don't see them, that's right, but it's like that's the coolest thing it is.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, yeah, that's cool, that's great, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So I think looking like trying to get outside and somewhere quiet, if you can, is great. I think also we live. I think one of the problems with where we live for teens and couple really everybody.

Speaker 2:

I see is the pace of life and the pressure and I think there's just such a for many students and academic pressure, for many adults, financial pressure and the prestige and comparison pressure, and it's just really hard to get away from that. And so I think, trying to maybe either surround yourself with people who don't get caught up in that as much, or understanding that, even if you don't know them, there are people who aren't as caught up in that, and so, rather than feeling like everybody has to go to berkeley and work for google, like there are actually other ways you could live your life.

Speaker 1:

And that's.

Speaker 4:

I think it's hard when you live here um to see all, to see beyond that.

Speaker 2:

Um and so I work with people on trying to develop alternate narratives of what their life could look like, Um and it's. Yeah, I like the way you just said that the alternate narratives of what their life could look like Cause's great and it's.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. I like the way you just said that the alternate narratives of what their life could look like, because I think that sometimes we feel like I'm tied to a story that's already written. Yeah yeah, and that's not necessarily the case. Yeah. Sometimes we have to shake things up a little bit more than we're comfortable with, but the story's not done.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I the story's not, you know, done. Yeah, and I think I've seen most like change there. There's always has to be some pain to make change happen, right when everything's fine change you just don't think about it because it's like going on which I think again is back to our social media. Thing is like if you're numbing out.

Speaker 2:

You're just not aware of the pain that you need to feel if you're going to make something different. And I feel like also like bringing it back to my book. There is this way in which my main character envisions her life with the partner she's chosen and just has a really hard time seeing that again, exploring an alternate narrative right that just because you thought that's how things needed to be. Maybe they don't need to be like that, but that takes a lot of courage to try and see things differently and that's, that's tough.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean something I say regularly to some of the people I work with as I say that change. Anything that's healthy is going to change. Health implies change and so, like, for instance, I have a, you know, 11 year old son and if 10 years from now he's still, his voice hasn't changed, he's still the same height as he is, he hasn't grown, he might look extremely healthy. He hasn't changed in 10 years, you know, but I'm going to have, I'm going to have a lot of concerns because, based on what I understand, you know, 11 year olds should look like, compared to 21 year olds Like he. There should be a lot of change here. So, if he's healthy, um, there's going to be, there's going to be change and obviously that means that, you know, I'm going to have to get new clothes for him, new shoes for him, I'm going to have to teach him how to shave. I'm going to, you know all those things.

Speaker 1:

Of course I say that and I haven't shaved in like 15 years. Maybe someone else will have to teach him that, but I think that health implies change, and so I think that sometimes, if we want to be healthy, I think we have to make some significant changes. I'm in the middle of doing a workout with Own it Fitness right now and I came back to them asking for them to take me back on as a client because I, I just I like I need to change some things, and I need to change some habits in my life.

Speaker 1:

They asked me what's the outcome that you're looking for? And I said I just want to. I need to change my habits and my habits, my eating, my, my fitness. I just need to change those habits and I need somebody to help me do that. You know so sometimes you've got to take some big steps in order to make that happen.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, which is another part to the book and my work is. Often you can't do that on your own you know, either you need, like you went and found a fitness person to help you Um, some people come to therapy for help with that, but also sometimes you just need a really good friend or a parent who can help, or a sibling or a spouse or whoever it is. But I think it's also a problematic thing in our culture that you have to do it yourself or you should be able to do it yourself.

Speaker 2:

Or if you can't do it yourself, it's bad, it's a weakness, right exactly.

Speaker 4:

be able to do it yourself.

Speaker 2:

or if you can't do it yourself, it's bad, right exactly and really I think it's a total strength to look to your people that's great and get the help that you need, because I don't think people can do it alone, and that's part of also what I was writing in the book is I feel like my main character is a very strong character um, not all the time in the book, but ultimately yeah and a lot of her strength, I think, comes from the women.

Speaker 2:

I mean, in the case of my book, the women around her sure um that, yeah, support each other.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, I feel like um. I think I think that's true for me. I've started to see that um, as an adult, like I've always felt very strong and capable of doing things myself, I've never really felt like I'm someone who needs help. I've always felt like I've been available for other people to help them.

Speaker 1:

But more and more, as I get older and as I really am honest with myself, I begin to realize that I've got I've got things that need to be fixed, I've got things that need to change, um, and I can't do it by myself, and I hate feeling that way, because I feel like I failed or I feel like I shouldn't be the one. There's so many other people out there that need to focus on things and I don't need to worry about myself, but the reality is I do. I need to think about myself and how I need to change, and I think that's important to be able to be willing to have to admit that when you know when it's necessary or not, even when it's necessary, when, when it just admit it.

Speaker 2:

And I think the other thing is cause I was, like I said, I've been a helper person a lot of my life and I was very I mean, I was like the little kid. That's like I do it.

Speaker 4:

I do it right, that's me Like.

Speaker 2:

I'll take care of it. I will handle that. I don't need help with that, um, and I am more comfortable in that zone. But I have also found, I think, I'm less comfortable in that zone than I used to be and I actually really like that, because I think that it's um.

Speaker 2:

This is I will attribute to Brené Brown, who I love um, but but vulnerability breeds connection, and when we are, it's this paradox of like if you're struggling and I help you that makes me feel so good and it makes me feel so close to you. And this is true with my clients, right Like I'm just like, wow, what a gift that they shared their story with me and how impressive that they would come and get help. So why would I not do that for someone else?

Speaker 2:

And or in those moments I think we've all experienced that we feel very connected to people when they need help, and it's okay for us to need help. And we will feel connected to the person giving us help too.

Speaker 4:

And so.

Speaker 2:

I think by allowing people into um, allowing people to help us, it just makes us more connected to them and part of a community and yeah, I think it's super important and it was really hard for me to get there and I'm not a hundred percent there, but I'm working toward it and I do like how it feels. Um and even with this book. Um, I have friends that I'm asking to help with that you know like. Can you host an event with me or can you ask?

Speaker 2:

your friends to read the book or, and that's very uncomfortable, but also it's great to have people show up for you. It feels really good.

Speaker 1:

Oh, yeah, yeah, I feel, yeah, I feel that with the podcast sometimes because I feel like I've been working on this for almost two and a half years Um, I've had some great, great moments and really thankful for the team that I have. They're amazing and, um, and even my sponsors, but there's just times where it's just like, you know, I don't know what to do. Like, I need to be able to like if this is going to continue.

Speaker 1:

I need to be able to find a way to fund it, or I need to find a way to, you know, make time for it and stuff.

Speaker 2:

And so.

Speaker 1:

I have to ask, I have to feel like why do I have to keep? Asking and it's like well, I guess that's part of the game is like you just have to keep asking.

Speaker 6:

Yep, yep. So I hear that.

Speaker 1:

So if people do want to read the book, and they want to find. You know, find the book, where can we find it? Or like what does that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, so the book will be released on June 11th.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

And I am having a launch event at Banter Bookshop.

Speaker 1:

Nice Local independent bookstore. Yes, shout out to Banter, favorite place in Fremont. That's right, that's right. Um, when is that launch?

Speaker 2:

party. Is it on June 11th? On June 11th, it's a Tuesday night. Um, it's not up there yet, but it should be up soon.

Speaker 1:

Sure, and we'll make sure to repost information about this, this episode and um hopefully by Friday, like hopefully by the time this airs.

Speaker 2:

You can go on and register for the event it's free, but you know we just want a number. So the event is on and you can pre-order the book to pick up that night if you go. Otherwise, you can still pre-order through Banter and it'll be available June 11th. I'm encouraging people to order through bookshoporg, which I prefer over the other place that people order books, but you can get it on Amazon. You can get it really anywhere that books are sold Um but again.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to. I'm going to specifically say they need to get it through our local avenues if we can. So whether that's through you, that day of I'm sure that banter will have copies of it for sale, and um and uh to make make it a pro, make that a priority.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I have a website, it's hollyselabraberacom, and there's a link there to bookshop to order it there too.

Speaker 1:

Okay, and we'll make sure all of those links and everything are on the show notes and are provided for people who are listening.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So that's, great. Yeah, Um yeah and and um uh, if people were interested in seeing you for help and counsel uh, therapy. Um, how can they get ahold of you for that?

Speaker 2:

So similar website and these two are going to get confused. But my website for therapy is Holly LaRibera, without the C, um and um. Yeah, I have availability. It's limited, um. The after school evening time slots fill up quick but I love working with new clients, so happy to talk to anybody teenager and up that are looking for help that's great.

Speaker 1:

that's great, Awesome. We've had some music going on in the background. I don't even know what's picking up on the podcast, but this is the first time I've been recording here that I've heard music playing. It's not I mean, it's actually really enjoyable.

Speaker 2:

It's just.

Speaker 1:

I wasn't expecting it.

Speaker 2:

Right, well, and I have a nice from where I'm sitting the hills are so nice and green right now.

Speaker 1:

I can see the hill. Yeah, it's a pretty spot. Yeah, Jennifer's been so kind in letting us use this space. She certainly does great work here, but she's let us use it for the podcast. Nice.

Speaker 4:

So, it works out great.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, Holly, thank you so much for joining me. Thanks for having me, yeah and I'm excited to be able to read your book and to be able to pass this along to people and I hope people take advantage of what you've done, the work you've done, and we're proud to have you as a resident of Fremont. Thank you yeah thank you.

Speaker 5:

This episode was hosted and produced by Ricky B. I'm Gary Williams, andrew Kvet is the editor. Scheduling and pre-interviews by Sarah S. Be sure to subscribe wherever it is that you listen so you don't miss an episode. You can find everything.

Speaker 3:

We make the podcast and all of our social media links at thefremontpodcastcom.

Speaker 5:

Join us next week on the Fremont Podcast.

Speaker 2:

Trying to maybe either surround yourself with people who don't get caught up in that as much, or understanding that, even if you don't know them, there are people who aren't as caught up in that, and so, rather than feeling like everybody has to go to Berkeley and work for Google, like there are actually other ways you could live your life.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right, and that's.

Speaker 4:

I think it's hard when you live here to see beyond that. This is a Muggins Media Podcast.

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Ohlone College Flea Market & Discussion
Reviving Reading Culture and Disconnecting
Encouraging Change and Finding Hope
Embracing Vulnerability and Connection