Introduce yourself! Who are you? 
I’m Ali Thornton and I’m a born-and-raised California girl. By day I take care of dogs and cats as a veterinarian, and by night (and on the weekends… and in basically all of my spare time) I’m reading, writing, book blogging, and photographing books like a maniac! You can find my blog at thebandarblog.com.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I have had a lot of personal issues with my family the past few years, but the bad things that happened really became empowering. I learned that I am responsible for your own happiness. Understanding this has completely changed my life. 

What would you say to 16 year old you?
Similar to the best advice I’ve ever received: you are responsible for yourself. No one is going to do anything for you. Don’t rely on people. If you want to do something, do it yourself. And if it’s impossible, figure out a way to make it possible. I firmly believe that you can do ANYTHING you want to do. You just have to hunker down and figure out how you to achieve it. 

What is your greatest fear?
Going to prison! Don’t ask me why, but nothing terrifies me more.

What message do you think every woman should hear?
You don’t need the approval of ANYONE to do what you want to do. If you want it, go get it. Period.

What is your favorite thing about where you live?
I love that my home is a few hours from San Francisco, Los Angeles, the beach, and Yosemite.

What do you love most about yourself?
There are a lot of things that I love, but mostly I love that I truly believe I can do anything I set my mind to. I know that it’s a cliche saying, but you ask anyone who knows me: If there’s something I want to do, I WILL do it. 

What motivates you most?
My future self. Every decision I make has my future self in mind. I always am trying to figure out ways that I can be better, stronger, more efficient, and more competent. I know it sounds corny, but I really want to be the best possible person I can be, and that is what drives me. At the end of the day I want to feel like I am happy with the decisions I’ve made. 

How do you manage your work-life balance?
Oh my gosh this is by far one of the things I struggle with the most. It’s a constant work-reading-writing-exercising-husband-social life balance, and it is hard! I really have to decide what my priorities are in any given day and organize things in that way. I also am very type-A so I have a planner that basically spells out my entire life for the next year. I don’t think I’d manage anything without my planner! 

What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
Because I am a veterinarian, I am interacting with clients and their animals over and over throughout the day. Each client interaction teaches me something new about people, their relationship with their pets, and their behavior when they interact with someone new. I analyze the heck out of every interaction I have! Being a vet has taught me so much about how I can improve someone’s day with a simple interaction and how easy it would be to ruin it simply by poor communication (be kind, my friends!!). Every time I am interacting with a client, I am mindful of the words that are coming out of my mouth, my body language, and even more importantly, I’m mindful oftheirbody language and the things they’re saying. So what do I do daily to grow and move forward? I listen and I learn how to interact with my fellow humans.

What is something on your bucket list?
desperately want to poke lava with a stick (…I’m not joking). I also really, really want to see a tornado (from afar in a very safe place) in real life! 

What are your biggest passions?
In the realm of my job, client communication is by far my biggest passion. You cannot underestimate how important it is to care about the words coming out of your mouth. In my personal life, writing has become one of my favorite things to do. In a recent blog post I did about writing, I summed it up as such: imagine getting to read your absolute favorite novel FOR HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS. Imagine getting to live in your favorite book and understanding your favorite characters so well, you know their lives outside of the story of your novel. IT’S THE COOLEST THING.

More About Ali

Ali Thornton is a California veterinarian, and more importantly, a hufflepuff. In her free time she blogs about books (thebandarblog.com), photographs books, and writes books! She's still searching for that gig that will pay her just to read.
When not immersed in the bookish and veterinary world, Ali spends time with her husband and four cat-children.