What does faith mean to you? Do you have a faith? (i.e. a religion, or something you believe in like karma)
I grew up in a Catholic family. We went to church most Sundays and attended events that the Church held. It was a huge part of my community when I was little, but as I started getting older I began to realize that I didn’t connect at all with the Catholic church. In my mind, the community we found within the church was the most important thing because it was purely based off of friendship and love.
Right now my beliefs do not lie within any religious domination. But I do have faith… Not exactly sure what in but it’s there
What, in your opinion, are important values to have in todays society?
I think it’s so important to have respect for yourself and for others. To have empathy for others and to accept that everyone is different and has their own things to deal with. There are so many ways we are progressing (and regressing unfortunately) but I think that in the end being good to yourself and to others is the most important value to hold onto.
What values do you think society promotes?
Perfection, beauty, happiness. All of these things and more in a twisted way… Sometimes I feel so full and happy because society promotes things I believe in, but I always notice a darker side to these things. I think we’re getting better at allowing individuals to define what these three words mean, but the fact that these three things are seemingly so important to the world doesn’t leave much room for other more important parts of life.
What are your own values?
I feel like my values have slowly changed over the past few years… I used to surround myself with tons of people and had a huge group of friends. When I got to University I realized that I was finally done with pleasing so many people and now truly value the few close friends that remain in my life. I don’t waste my time on people who aren’t kind, or genuine or honest anymore because I simply don’t see the need to have any negative influences on my life. I value people that respect themselves, and other people. Be kind people, just be kind.
Are you who you want to be? Who is that person?
I think I’m getting to where I want to be! I think a lot of people in their 20s struggle with this, but I can finally say that I’m close to knowing who I am. I always try to bring it back to the kind of person my 8 or 12 year old self would admire. I want to be the kind of person that doesn’t settle. Whether that be through a job or even the people I surround myself with. I want to find a way to live my life creatively, and to try my best to follow my dreams and the things I value. I may disappoint little 12 year old Row because unfortunately I am not Hannah Montana 2.0, but at least I’m living the way I want too and not taking direction from other people.
What has been the best learning experience for you?
I think moving far away from home for school and living on my own has been the best learning experience. I am proud about how far I’ve come, because no one can take credit for my life except me. It’s been really hard and lonely at times, but I’ve never been happier.
What are qualities you look for in a friendship?
At the moment I am working on finding friends that genuinely care about me. I’ve spent years getting down on myself because of toxic relationships, and am now looking for people that are honest and won’t try to put me down or go behind my back. It all boils down to two things: kindness and honesty. It seems like such simple qualifications, but has actually been much harder than I thought to find people that fit. In my head it should be such a no brainer! Just be kind and actually care about what other people are going through.
How do you think people see you?
I have no idea… Probably just as another face that they see around campus and on their Facebook page.
How do you see yourself?
I see good and bad things. If I look in the mirror I’m never happy with what I see, but when I write down in my journal at the end of the day I’m usually pretty content with the person I am.
How would you like to be seen?
I don’t know how I want to be seen, but I know how I don’t want to be seen. I don’t want to be seen as anything that I’m not.. But I can’t put into words who I am. Does that make sense?
What do you consider your “flaws”? Why?
I am too passive. I don’t stand up for myself, and I take everything way to personally. It has nothing to do with criticism at work or school because I’m always open to constructive criticism. It has everything to do with letting people and friends walk all over me because I don’t like confrontation and tend to blame myself when things go wrong.
Do you think you’re someone others can/do look up to?
I hope so! I have a younger brother and sister and I really try to make them proud even if they don’t know it. I also used to babysit a lot, and those kids are all so important to me, especially the young girls. I want to be a positive role model and show my little sister and her friends that their opinions and thoughts are so valuable, and that everyone deserves kindness and respect.
What are you passionate about?
So many things. I’m passionate about anything creative.. Be it art, design, music, architecture… whatever. I’m so in love with all the happy and beautiful things that make the world a better place. I think art is so important because it forces you to think and have your own opinions.
If you could change something about yourself – internally or externally – what would it be? Why?
I wish I was better at confronting the things that bother me. I get so afraid to speak up when I have a problem with something, even it is the tiniest little thing, that I tend to let things go and “move on”. But I never truly move on. Thoughts build in my head until the tiniest little things have grown into big issues that I can’t deal with. If I do try to deal with issues I get way too emotional and take things too personally. I’m trying to work on it but still don’t know quite how to get past it.
What about yourself are you most proud of?
I’m proud of myself because I think I’m pretty honest with myself and other people about who I am. I no longer pretend to be someone I’m not with strangers, and I’m not afraid to be different. I’ve also come to terms with the fact that I don’t feel 20 years old, or fit in at all with people my age and that it is okay.
Do you think it is more important to try and make an impact in the world at large, or in your own world? Why?
I can’t really decide on what I think is more important! It’s easy to feel so small when it comes to massive world issues, but I feel so passionate about many of them. I feel like any small action can create a ripple effect, so I guess starting out in your own community is the best way to work on creating an impact in the world.
What are some of your dreams? Are they things you work towards, or things that you hope for?
I started my blog
a couple years ago, and finally launched it this month. I would love to see it turn into a major part of my life, and possibly a career later on. I’ve always been a creative person, and I love how blogging combines a bunch of different aspects of my personality and my passions all into one space. This is something I was dreaming about and hoping for up until my launch, and now it’s something I’m working hard for.
What “words of wisdom” do you live by? Why?
I’ve never really had a personal mantra or anything that I try to live by… But I do get inspired by cheesy quotes all over the internet. Silly things like “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken”.
What do you think it means to love?
To me, loving someone means wanting the very best for them always, and sending the best energy you can their way. You want them to succeed, to be happy and you believe they are deserving of respect and the best things the world can offer. Loving yourself is the same thing, just a lot more complicated.
Describe your relationship with yourself.
Complex, ever-changing and full of respect. It’s the hardest and longest relationship I’ve ever been in and I think it’s so important to constantly work on it. I want to learn more about myself, and allow myself to grow as much as I can. I’m also starting to have genuine respect for my body and my opinions, and am at a point where I feel like I deserve happiness and love.
How would you describe the mindset of society?
Society feels like one giant competition to be the best at one thing or everything. We are always trying to be more of something… All over social media we are bombarded with images and “motivation” to be a better/healthier/prettier/smarter/funnier person and it’s so easy to feel let down when you fail to meet expectations.
How does your mindset compare?
I’m not a competitive person, and I’m not the jealous type. But I do compare myself to others a lot and I wish I didn’t. It’s easy for me to fall into the trap of believing myself to be lesser simply because of the way I look or because I’m not “successful”. My mindset and values completely reject society’s race to be perfect, I’m just waiting for my thoughts and insecurities to catch up.
What do you think it means to be kind to yourself? How does this compare to how we are kind to others?
Being kind to yourself means putting your opinions and feelings at the top of your priority list. It means listening to your body and mind and being honest with yourself. Sometimes, it means being a little bit selfish and putting yourself first. Being kind to others means letting them do the same. Supporting them when they need a break and cancel plans because they need some alone time. It also means being honest and loving even when you can’t understand what they are going through.
What do you want from your life?
As cliché as it sounds, I just want to be happy. I want to spend my time surrounded by family and friends that I love and have a career that motivates and challenges me. I never want to stop learning, and growing as a person, and I want to focus on being as genuine as I can.
What are your expectations for yourself? Do you meet them?
I definitely have high expectations for myself. I am a perfectionist and I have trouble being bad at things.. Especially when it comes to University. I can be so hard on myself when it comes to grades and get extremely stressed out when things don’t go as planned.
What do you think are others expectations for you?
I think my parents and the people who love me expect me to always do my best. As for everyone else… I try not to think about their expectations because I probably shouldn’t care too much. If I chose to care, I would end up feeling miserable about myself and I’m really trying to do the opposite.
Head over to Rowans blog
for more of her lovely insights and projects