Writer. Speaker. Apologist for the beauty of pugs. Accidental gleeker. Ex-competitive figure skater. Mental health advocate. Still rocks out sometimes.
Laura Zera’s writing can be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, DAME Magazine, Quartz, Catapult, Full Grown People, The Rumpus and others, and she is a regular contributor to the Seattle Times. She has completed a memoir and is at work on a novel set in South Africa.
Originally from Vancouver, B.C., she currently resides in Seattle with her husband, award-winning photographer Francis Zera.
Laura Zera is a writer, speaker, facilitator and consultant. She previously worked in project management for Fortune 500 companies Fujitsu and Alcatel-Lucent, as well as for the internationally renowned Grameen Foundation. She has been invited to speak by organizations that include The Art Institute of Seattle and Simon Fraser University, her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, DAME Magazine, Quartz, Catapult and The Rumpus, among others, and she is a regular contributor to the Seattle Times.
Laura has traveled to more than 70 countries, and lived and worked in Cameroon, Canada, Israel and South Africa. Currently, she resides in Seattle, Washington.
I’ve been around for a while, and I’ve done a few things in some places, so here’s a bit about it and me. (For a resume, see my LinkedIn profile.)
I write about everything, and especially travel, mental illness and relationships. Travel is as necessary as oxygen for me, while mental illness is something I’m exquisitely familiar with, having been single-parented by a mother who suffered from psychosis, and through my own experience with Complex PTSD and depression. And relationships. Well. As humans, they’re the most significant part of our existence.
What else? I sometimes fly on the side of irreverent. Awkwardly artistic. Always adventurous.
- I was a race car driver in a former life and hang on to a shred of that exhilaration in my present existence. The grab handle on the passenger side of my Mini Cooper is well used, and both myself and my tires squeal when I go around corners.
- I cry easily, which makes the rest of my family laugh.
- For several years, I was listed in the telephone directory under my dog’s name, Pug Ozwald. When I created the listing, I asked the phone company lady if they could put an umlaut over the ‘u’ in pug and told her my “roommate” was Danish.
- I can do the Argentine Tango on ice skates. Quickstep, too.
- Most of my eighteenth year was spent as a volunteer on a kibbutz in Israel, surrounded by people from around the globe. The experience forever–and favorably–shaped my view of the world.
- Grade 11 Earth Science class was spent perfecting my ability to gleek. Now I must be very careful whenever I eat anything sour.
- I attended Nelson Mandela’s presidential inauguration.
- I’m a left-handed night owl, which means when I‘m struggling to sign the inconveniently angled payment screen in the grocery store at midnight, there’s no one around to hear me curse.
My most treasured book is my passport. I live to travel with a backpack (and sometimes even my husband) and no plan beyond a destination, and then tell people-focused stories about it. My belief is that the more we know about each other, the more we will do to ensure each other’s long-term health and prosperity, whether it be for your neighbor next door, or someone thousands of miles away whom you’ve never met. In the same vein, the more we share our stories, the more we feel our inherent human connection. Which leads me to the next part…
It’s been pointed out to me that I tend to support the underdog. Yes, but only if they’re plucky. I’m one of those people who will actually say “world peace” if you ask what I most desire. If you drive slowly and you’re in front of me, however, I will probably swear. And what I’ve most recently come to terms with is that we’re all completely and utterly flawed human beings, sometimes disastrously so. I love you anyway. I love me anyway.
Thank you for being here, you completely and utterly flawed human being. I hope you’ll come back often.