What do you think has been the biggest influence in becoming happy with who you are?
The biggest influence in becoming happy with who I am has been accepting that it isn’t selfish to love myself. It seems like a simple idea when you say it, but it’s the most complicated thing when you aren’t in the place of immediately accepting that truth. People like to throw around words, and whether we like it or not, sometimes these words infulence us – even subconsciously. For a long time, I think I considered myself as being selfish if I was putting myself first, and that’s because it seemed that the general rule of selfishness was to focus on yourself. My understanding and my definition of selfishness has grown though, and now I know that being selfish is putting yourself first in situations where you don’t need to or in situations where you are directly and knowingly hurting another person by doing so. Once I realized that it was okay to focus on taking care of myself, and I stopped putting other people in my life before my needs, I started to see some amazing personal growth that has shaped the person that I am today.
How do you see yourself in the world?
I see myself as aware and therefore responsible. I see myself as trying to do good. Many people assume that since the world is such a big, daunting place that that means they have no control over anything happening. I myself was stuck in a hole thinking that exact thing for a very long time – for most of my life. But then one day all those “be the change you want to see” type quotes finally clicked. They finally made sense. I am acutely aware of many issues happening in our world, and I am also aware of how my actions can contribute to these issues. When I accepted that responsiblity, my life changed. I started immersing myself in information instead of hiding from it. Perhaps the most important thing I did was go vegan – which has changed my body and my mind more positively than anything else has. It’s now second nature to actively pay attention to how my choices will have consequences, to question what I’m doing and stop to consider the implications, however far off they may be. Even if I don’t immediately see change from stopping myself from using a plastic bag at the grocery store, or from biking somewhere instead of burning gas, I know I am contributing, I know I am falling into a movement – I know people are watching, listening and starting to in turn become more conscious themselves. That’s what we need, a chain of conscious development.
What is your fatal flaw?
My fatal flaw is most certainly a lack of patience. I get overwhlemed at times by the state of our world and our society that I can’t think straight enough to have a rational discussion. Or to discuss without shutting somebody down for expressing their opinion that I disagree with. This can make me come across as a negative person, or as somebody who isn’t considerate of differences between people – which is not true. I am an extremely positive person, I think, but I allow all of the negative aspects of our global world to greatly affect me at times, and that throws off my balance when I’m in the moment of feeling the weight of it all on my shoulders. I have been working on this more than anything. I realize that change cannot be forced, because when you aggresively point out how other people may negatively contribute to a problem, they feel attacked. This makes them less likely to want to change than they already were. I am working on being more informaive rather than authoritive.
Do you think by making honest decisions in your life, you’ve made positive changes in the world? (what has making honest decisions in your life done for the world/your world/ what does it mean to make an honest decision)
Absolutely. Starting to make active honest decisions in my life has shaped me into the person that I was meant to be. I would call making honest decisions making decisions that align what I want personally with what I know I can do to contribute to making a better world. Like I said, I freel responsible – all the time, so this is why this alignment is necessary for me to be living in an honest way.
What is the most important thing women do for each other?
I really think the most important thing that women can do for each other is to remember to empower each other. Support each other in ALL feminist ventures. Compliment each other as often as possible. Remind each other why we need to generate more positivity – to keep this movement in perpetual movement towards equality. Most importantly, laugh loudly at each others jokes. Make focus on things beyond our appearances – there’s already so many standards plaguing our heads at all times. Be honest. Apologize when you know you should. Take no shit from any man, and tell your best friend when her boyfriend is out of line.
What are the defining traits of a woman?
The defining traits of a woman are whatever each individual woman wants them to be. There is no standard to being a woman, I think this is important to actively remind ourselves.
What are your defining traits?
I’m loud. I’m emotional. And those two traits will forever be racing each other in parrallel. My feelings come out, whether I like it or not – and they often come out loudly. I can definitely say that over the course of my life, I’ve felt pressure as a woman in the sense that I should have more control over my emotions – pressure to refine them and present them in a manageble and quiet way. I’m comfortable rejecting this now. It doesn’t mean I’m crazy because I feel things and want to express them – it means I want to create connection and come closer to some kind of understanding that isn’t fleeting.
What do you wish you were more of?
Like I said earlier, I wish I was more patient. This is always what comes to mind immediately when I consider what I could work on, or add to.
How would you describe your perspective of the world?
My perspective of the world is idealistic, for sure. I have trouble thinking in a linear or logical way. I struggle with accepting the idea that we need to slowly ween out the bad and work in the good. I have trouble agreeing with the thought that we should be letting destructive things continue until a time where it’s more “economically reasonable”. I would rather smash the foundations that so much of our world is wrongly built on and burn the debris. My perspective of the world screams for the oppressed souls all over the world, and yearns to help.
What’s the worst thing the media has done for you?
In general, the worst thing the media has done for me is plant seeds in my mind that material wealth is inherent to success in our world. Although I try my hardest to destroy the notion, it lingers. When I’m by myself thinking, I can shut it out. But being out and about, caught up in the hustle and bustle of the matieral world – I can find myself trapped in consumerism. As a woman, growing up the media has always been flashing commercials and ads on the newest, best makeup and how I should be buying it. I’ve never been a makeup person, and I never will, but there’s always been a calm voice in the back of my head whispering “well women should be wearing this.”
What’s the best thing the media has done for you?
The best thing the media has done for me was directly born out of the bad parts of the media. The kind of independant, anti-media movements that we have now wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the wrongness of the general mass media. It’s a “you need dark to know the light” sort of thing.
If you could change something in your past what would it be? Why? How do you think it would change things now?
I wouldn’t change anything.
Advice you would have given yourself in the past
It’s okay to feel this deeply.
Advice you think you will need in the future
It’s okay to feel this deeply.
Advice you would give yourself now
Try and slow down your thoughts and pay attention to cause and effect. It’s okay to feel this way.
What are, in your opinion, the most important things to life? How have you achieved or are trying to achieve these things?
The most important thing is to be honest with yourself. If you’re not honest with yourself, how can you be honest with your interactions with other people and your interactions with the earth? Being honest with yourself, practicing self reflection, and listening to your intuition will all bring you calmness – and happiness. I’m achieving this more and more everyday by really taking some time to focus on my mental process and what’s affecting it most significantly.
Do you feel like you know what you’re doing/that you have a path?
I’ve kind of always felt like I’ve been bumbling along with a giant tub full of hot coffee balanced on my head, swerving right and left to stop it from spilling out onto me, and all my focus was on not spilling it so I never was looking out at what direction I was headed. Lately, I’ve still felt like I’m bumbling along, but I’m not carrying this big hot weight any more. Now I’m bumbling with intent. I intend to live my life in such a way that I prove conventional ways are not a necessity. I’m bumbling with the intent to deviate in a beautiful and successful way. All I focus on now is the things I believe are good and right, and my feet are finding their own path as I grow more aware and conscious. For my future, I intend to create mediums of comfort for other humans by using language – by writing.
Have you always known what you wanted to do?
I have always known that writing is what I was made to do. I didn’t always assosiate my love and natural talent for writing with wanting to do it for a living, though. As a kid, I was always writing because it was just what I knew, it was a way to spend my time and a way to make things happen. A way to cause reactions, a way to see real life by making it happen. Short stories and angsty poetry, long letters to friends about my feelings (this got me in trouble countless times), random songs where I’d challenge myself to find internal rhymes instead of simple ones. I heard some of my teachers praising my skills to my parents since I was very young, but it didn’t make much sense to me. Writing was just what I knew. It’s like I’ve been wired to put words down – constant output. It keeps me sane, it reminds me that I’m alive and I’m okay and I’m going to figure it out. It’s a way to convey. It’s a way to wake up emotions in the people that I love. It’s a way to communiate, a way to entertain. Writing is my nature. The most confusing thing I’ve ever heard somebody say is “I can’t write.” There is nothing I can relate to less than not being able to articulte through language – or not even having the impulse to try. Where I’m at now with my life, I realize that I want to be a writer. I want to write books and blogs and connect and communicate. I want to make the emotions that people aren’t paying attention to flood their mind and make them start swimming through the endless sea of consideration and consciousness. I want to remind people that they’re not alone, that we all feel, and it’s okay. I want people to feel less alone, and using words is the best way I can do that.
Whats been the most challenging obstacle to over come?
The most challenging obstacle to overcome is remembering that immediate results are never going to be a thing. This, of course, ties in with my impatience. As a writer, you need to constantly remind yourself that the most important thing you can do is WRITE. The world is designed in a way that artists and writers get the short shaft – being able to support yourself doing what you love has become a pipe dream for the masses. It has become a laughable, far-fetched longing, it’s roots buried deep beneathe the same foundations I express that I wanted to smash and burn earlier. I need to constantly remind myself that in order to see results, I must work hard and keep my energy levels high enough to allow me to get words out.
What inspires you/ Where do you find inspiration?
I live in awe of this world. And people. I find inspiration in everything – from the big sprawling picture of it, to the small details that make that picture up. I find inspiration in what makes somebody’s smile seem genuine. I find inspiration in graffiti on industrial buildings. I find inspiration in the thought of how many humans inhabit the earth. I find inspiration in the fact that every single person has their own story. Life inspires me to create – every single bit of it.
What do you see for the future? How would you like to be a part of it?
This question scares me. I am not sure what I see for the future. I want to be hopeful, but there are a lot of bad things happening that are continuing to happen and exponentially get worse. As far as I go, I want to be a part of the future by leading and helping people live more consciously. I want people to understand that they must become what they want to see change. Our society is deisgned to disempower the individual to any hopes of fixing established systems. This is wrong. The way history has shown social change is by the indivudal realizing that they must be the one to do it – and as each of these individuals begin to accept this the collective consciousness grows and strengthens, the “me to we” concept.
What is your greatest personal achievement?
My greatest personal achievement is being alive today. There have been countless times in my life where I truly felt like I could not keep going. I couldn’t get out of bed, go to work, go outside, read a book, eat a meal. I have not scraped, but shattered across the bottom of the deepest canyon. I have felt like half of the pieces of who I am were lost forever in the wreckage. But I used my love for this world and for my fellow humans every single time to take what was left and rebuild myself into a standing position. I have translated my despair into empowerment to try to stop as many other people as I can from feeling what I have felt. I am alive, and I am buzzing. I am on fire with the kind of passion that will never let me dissolve. This is my greatest personal achievment – my heartbeat.
Would you consider yourself successful or inspiring?
It’s not up to me to decide if I am inspiring or not, but I would consider myself successful. I have made decisions in my life that not everybody I love agreed with, or thought would be best for me. Hell, I have made so many things so much harder than they have to be. But I would say I’m successful, and this is because I’m actively working at making my life work in a way that is honest with who I am and what I want for me and for the world. I refuse to let norms dictate my life, and because of this the idea of success greatly differentiates from the average meaning of the word. I may not be enrolled in the university of my dreams right now, I may be working a minimum wage job – but I am working towards eternal happiness, regardless of what some people may think about the way I decide to get there.
Who would you like to see celebrated?
I would like to see life celebrated. People are always looking for reasons to celebrate as if the excitmenet of having a beating heart and a head and soul full of emotion isn’t enough. I would like to see more people being ecstatic about their ability to communicate and discover, more people celebrating collective consciousness, more people celebrating all of the people that live alongside them.
What does your work mean for you? What does it embody?
My work embodies my desire to make people feel. That’s what it comes down to.