What do you think has been the biggest influence in becoming happy with who you are?

Oh gosh. I feel like I’m still on that journey. I’ve always struggled with basing my self worth off the (perceived or not) opinions of other people. Until about grade seven or eight, I had such immense self love and confidence. I filled my waking hours with creativity, theater, art, fun and laughter. However, through the throws of adolescence, It became harder and harder to tap into. Now that I’ve pulled the breaks and have been living slowly, healing with family and a great support system around me, I have started to indulge in my old passions along with my new ones without thinking (as much) about how it will be received. So I guess I believe that if you are truly being yourself, you will be happy.

How do you see yourself in the world?

Crazy enough to change the world!

 

What is your fatal flaw?

Like I said above, I’d say my intense need to be “liked”. Which sounds narcissistic, but for me I think it’s less of a desire to be noticed, and more of a desire not to be noticed for the wrong things. But like my dad has drilled in my head for years, “It is none of your business what other people think about you.”

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)

I think to make honest decisions you must begin with a deep understanding of yourself- your limitations, strengths, weaknesses. It may sometimes seem valiant to make a decision based on what you want to be able to achieve, but if you haven’t set out a realistic path you are just going to end up letting yourself and others involved down. This is true for me, at least, I cannot speak for others. For example, when I first began getting off psychiatric drugs, I took on a new job because I felt insecure that I wasn’t “doing enough” with my life. After my second week of panic attacks on the job I was fired. I frantically began searching for another job when I realized that I was trying to exceed my personal limitations. Luckily, I had the option of living at home and living pretty much bill-free, so I took a step back, looked at the patterns of the last few months and realized that the honest choice would to be take time to heal, live a calm, low-stress life and focus on getting back to an even foundation. If I didn’t take that time, I would continue to push myself too far, burnout quickly and disappoint myself, my employers and my family. Short term sacrifice for long term quality of life.

What is the most important thing women do for each other?

For a lot of my adolescence, I was someone who identified as “hating girls”. I never fit in in the way I thought I was supposed to, I saw women as catty, judgmental, disloyal creatures who were only out to save their own necks. I chose to let the handful of wrongfully selected friends in my life taint my trust and admiration of women. As soon as I began opening up my heart and deciding to take every person I met at face value, I have been blessed with women in my life of all ages that inspire me to no end. Counselors, roommates, friends, even bad ass chicks I meet at shows and get to have good conversations with. Women, people, intrinsically want to be loved and love. That’s my opinion. It’s all about being the kind of friend you would like to have. I think if us as women take initiative to boycott all the cattiness, gossip and drama (of course we are human- we all slip up) we can provide love, support and guidance to each other with a deep understanding that comes from sharing similar struggles.

What are the defining traits of a woman?

I try to promote anti-secular thinking, so I can’t say what traits make a woman a woman universally.

What are your defining traits?

…However, if I had to describe my defining traits to someone who didn’t know me, I would say: creative, sensitive, emotional, empathetic, dramatic, worrisome, loving, a dreamer.

 

What do you wish you were more of?

Although I have accepted that I am constantly growing and will achieve what I desire in time, I can’t shake my desire to be more self assured and unaffected by what other people think. I of course also wish I didn’t have such bad worries, because life would be “easier”, but I can’t help but think that would affect my creativity negatively.

How would you describe your perspective of the world?

Hopeful.

What’s the worst thing the media has done for you?

I remember when Facebook was hitting its height of popularity and it was a fucking jungle out there! Girls would get three, four hundred likes on their pictures, it was all about making groups of your friends, fuck I hated group chats. How many unnecessary quarrels were started with things said or people included (or not) in group chats. When thinking of Facebook, twitter, and BBM a few years ago I can’t help but think of the mall fountain scene in Mean Girls when they all become wild animals. Maybe that’s my perception of high school all together.

 

What’s the best thing the media has done for you?

Social media has shown me a world of artists, musicians, writers and bloggers that i’m not sure I would have discovered without it. Through Blake from workaholics I found his wife Raechel Finley’s blog (steaktooth.com check it out!) which I love browsing for inspiration. I follow artists and they promote communities I was unaware of. It’s just a big pulsing spiderweb of good and bad trails that can lead you anywhere…you just have to pick which strand to follow.

If you could change something in your past what would it be? Why? How do you think it would change things now?

My one big regret is leaving the Arts high school I was at in grade 11 for my local high school. It was fucking dog shit. Take every cringe-worthy high school movie you’ve seen and pile it into three stories and you get (am I allowed to say the name? Ahah.) Groups of girls and guys all self-identified themselves by clique names (like the cafeteria scene in mean girls) and pretty much made anyone who hadn’t known them since conception lepers. I’m getting gossipy. 🙂

Advice you would have given yourself in the past:

Make big decisions with your future in mind- not your friends, your boyfriend, even your parents when appropriate. Wear, listen to, watch, show up to whatever makes YOU happy. Stop drinking, it just sucks the life out of you. Drink more water. Don’t let a guy being in a band or doing some cool tricks on a skateboard lure you into him based solely on that. Don’t take benzos. Stop shopping anywhere that has racks of mass produced items.

 

Advice you think you will need in the future:

All of the above, with some financial security stuff mixed in. I’m a terrible saver.

Advice you would give yourself now:

I’d look at myself and say: This is all temporary. You have been climbing mount Everest in bare-feet and a bikini, but there are rest points along the way. You are donning protective layers, fueling your body and taking time to think and sort through all the shit life has handed to you, and even the shit you’ve thrown at yourself. As long as you keep the end goal in sight, it doesn’t matter how blurry your vision gets along the way. Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot.

Oh and also that I need to stop feeling so guilty and ashamed that I am living so “slow” due to my recovery. I sometimes think of myself as a small child and protect myself accordingly.

What are, in your opinion, the most important things to life? How have you achieved or are trying to achieve these things?

Through almost losing the most important things in my life I have learned what they are. Spending time with those who love you unconditionally, whether it be blood relatives or chosen family. Eating well. Mental and physical hygiene. Doing something that makes your heart race with passion. Spending a lot more time around animals and in nature. Relaxation.

Do you feel like you know what you’re doing/that you have a path?

Yes and no. I definitely have periods of time when it all feels meaningless and short sighted, but the majority of my time is spent in a frenzy of excitement and hope for the future. I’m writing a book and a screenplay, I want to break down mental health stigmas in the world, beginning with myself, I want to create everyday of my life, I want to live all over the world. I also think that the reason I was dealt the cards I was dealt as a child was so that one day when I have a child of my own, I can do my best to guide them through life with the battle wounds and wisdom I have acquired first hand.

Have you always known what you wanted to do?

I have been doing creative stuff my whole life. I was always a terrible athlete, my parents learned that trying to enroll me in sports was more trouble than it was worth. I used to write and direct little short movies with my neighbor Julia when we were like 5 onward. I always told myself I wouldn’t spend my days in a cubicle.

Whats been the most challenging obstacle to over come?

Getting off psychiatric drugs (benzodiazepenes), which I am currently overcoming. It all started so innocently, with a prescription from my psych to pop an ativan, .5 mg, every few days only as needed. I didn’t even fill the scrip for years. But when I started, I became addicted fast. At one point I was up to 8 mg/ day. They were like m&ms. Now that I’ve become dependent, I have learned from a lot of fellow addicts that pretty much none of us were warned not only how addictive these drugs are, but the indescribable torture it is to get off of them. Depression, suicidal thoughts, vomiting, migraines, extreme fatigue, disassociation are only a handful of the battles I have fought throughout these six months. I’m down to .75 mg a day now, tapering slowly, and beginning to work my way back into society. I was pretty much bedridden for four months, so I lost twenty pounds and all my muscle. Anyways, it’s really scary, and I hope to spread some awareness of the dangers of these drugs to prevent even one person from falling into their jaws.

 

What inspires you/ Where do you find inspiration?

I find constant inspiration from conversing with people. Talk to everyone, people of all ages, ask them real questions. Nature, traveling, myself.

 

What do you see for the future? How would you like to be a part of it?

I see days filled with making beautiful things.

What is your greatest personal achievement?

Definitely recognizing that I had a lot of harmful behavioral patterns and taking charge of defeating them. My interpersonal skills needed a lot of work. I was flaky with most people/responsibilities and overly dependent on men. With a lot of work from myself and an amazing support system, I have come a long way

 

Would you consider yourself successful or inspiring?

Absolutely! Although that feels wrong to say, which is sucky. You’re catching me on a good day, some days I think i’m the worst human ever to walk the earth and my guilt for my past actions swallow me, but I am on a journey to recognize that progression is the only thing that matters, and I think I have tackled a lot of things in 20 years that some people will never face.

Who would you like to see celebrated?

People in my life that have inspired me in anyway. “regular” people that don’t fit the typical box of a celebrity but should be paid attention to in much greater detail than the latest Kardashian drama. Mental health workers who dedicate their lives to fixing wounds they can’t see. My parents.

What does your work mean for you? What does it embody?

I’m not sure I would call it work, maybe when I get a little less lazy with it. My creative endeavours are a means of survival for me.

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