What do you think has been the biggest influence in becoming happy with who you are?
I don’t know if I can pick just one. I think it could be a tie three ways between physical activity, failure and time.
How do you see yourself in the world?
Currently, I see myself in a transition period … a very expensive, four year, transition period haha. Honestly, everyone tells you that you will learn and grow so much during university but you never really believe it till it happens – I feel like I am a different person every month. So, with that, I see my current position in the world as very transient, I can’t pin me down. It’s something that is simultaneously very freeing and also very fucking terrifying because I don’t really know who I am so I sort of feel like I can be anyone but I also just.. don’t know who I am.
What is your fatal flaw?
I think fatal is a bit dramatic, my only characteristic that is going to result in death is just being human. But my biggest weakness, well I see it as a strength but it’s probably the thing that gets me into the most shit, is my brutal honesty. I will say what I’m thinking it when I’m thinking it, not much of a filter. I’m learning to bite my tongue but I don’t ever want to lose that quality either. I think it’s because I am so brutally honest and upfront right away that people trust me and open up to me very quickly, I’ve made some great connections that way.
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)
Ahaha, that statement assumes I do make honest decisions. I think by being honest in expressing my opinions and sticking to my values I make it easier for others to do the same. I pretty comfortable with saying things and doing things most people won’t so I think in that sense my acts have the potential to be a catalyst for others to make positive change in their life. I say potential because I’m not saying I have all this power and influence, but I think for my small circle my honest choices have a positive affect on them.
What is the most important thing women do for each other?
The most important thing women can do for each other is the most important thing that humans can do one other: support each other – offer and accept support.
What are the defining traits of a woman?
I don’t believe there are defining traits of a woman. Everyone who identifies as a woman has a different understanding of womanhood. And all of them are true.
What are your defining traits?
Personally: Critical, loyal, honest, open.
Physically: Big messy hair, big boobs, tall, cozy clothes, sneakers, ahaha.
What do you wish you were more of?
I spend a lot of time wishing I were a little more mysterious. But honesty and mystery don’t really go together. I’ll pick honesty every time, but sometimes I wish I could be a little more Jessica Rabbit than Bugs Bunny if you feel me.
Hahaha, I’m so lame oh my god.
How would you describe your perspective of the world?
I think my stance is very critical. Through university and just through lived experiences I’ve developed a very critical perspective. I pick apart everything. I try to always play devil’s advocate even though I hate when it’s done to me. I like to understand what factors are in play and who is pulling the strings so I can figure out why things happen.
What’s the worst thing the media has done for you?
The worst thing the medias has ever done is make me feel like aspects of myself are not desirable or worth recognizing. My body doesn’t look like one represented in a mainstream media, and my background, ¼ Trini and ¾ English/Irish, was never quite black, white or mixed enough to identify with any community. Or maybe the worst thing is that the media has the power to do that in the first place.
What’s the best thing the media has done for you?
I am actually very pro-media, pro-internet. The globalization of technology has increased accessibility to the point that more people have access to internet than they do running water. Obviously that’s a huge disparity but it proves my point. Through this increase millions of people have been given access to a world beyond their proximal community. It’s opened up pathways of communication that have radically affected change. In contrast to traditional media outlets that only want to grant a voice to a very specific few, social media platforms like Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, have given that opportunity to everyone.
For me, that means I can create and sustain connections with people across the globe. Social media gives me a platform to communicate my ideas, showcase my work, and raise awareness. I can watch trends flow trickle across different communities, and I can find inspiration from thousands of different people across the globe in a matter of minutes. The amazing diversity of media that is produced by individual users is infinitely more exciting and rewarding than anything farmed up in an institutionalized outlet. To me, that’s the best thing.
If you could change something in your past what would it be? Why? How do you think it would change things now?
I honestly don’t think I would change anything from my past, it has all taught me something. I said earlier that failure has had a huge affect on my happiness – but in a good way! I’ve learnt something from every shitty job, shitty boy, shitty friendship, every rejection letter – every opportunity that I thought was an opportunity and turned out to be a door slammed in my face. It has all had an indirect or direct affect on who I am right now.
Actually, I probably would have started running sooner.
Advice you would have given yourself in the past:
Haha. Start running sooner.
Advice you think you will need in the future:
Be patient and wary. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Work tirelessly on the things you care about. Keep running.
Advice you would give yourself now:
It’s this quote I have as my background on my phone. “Art still wins, work still pays, being genuine and honest still matters.”
What are, in your opinion, the most important things to life? How have you achieved or are trying to achieve these things?
Well, there’s a few different levels to that. Life as in sustaining life – food, water, shelter. But in terms of life as in fulfillment, the most important things are probably purpose and happiness. Of course I’m trying to achieve those things, but I think those needs are insatiable – they can never be satisfied. Just like anything in life, there is never a definitive moment when you are like “And now I am happy, I never have to try to do things to be happy ever again.” Its not like a health bar on a video game aha. There is no end point because as a person you are always changing and the context you are in is also constantly in flux. So as a result, the way you satisfy those needs and even the definition of what it means to be satisfied in those needs is constantly evolving.
Do you feel like you know what you’re doing/that you have a path?
I mean, there definitely is a path … somewhere. But I doubt I’ll ever be perceptive enough to notice it while it’s happening. Looking back, I can see that there is a process in action of some sort, I am on some interpretation of a path but it’s also easy to recognize that in retrospect. When you are looking backwards It’s easy to see how all the steps you’ve taken in the past have led to where you are now, but isn’t that obvious? I don’t think there is one defined path for the future, but rather that every step forward results in an infinite number of choose your own adventure avenues.
That being said, do I know what I’m doing? I’m on the path dude! Hahaha, I’m so lame. Yeah, I know a few things for certain: I know I’m working hard, I know I’m trying/have tried different avenues, I know I’m getting the ball rolling. I’m content in my certainty that the positive energy I’m putting out now will result in some great shit coming my way later on.
Have you always known what you wanted to do?
Definitely not, I still don’t. I know some of my strengths, one of which being communication, and I’ve known that for a while. Always killed oral presentations in elementary school, also I just really love talking .. clearly ahah. But beyond that, I have no idea.
Whats been the most challenging obstacle to over come?
I’m always struggling to overcome my preoccupation with labels and definitions. I feel like I am constantly trying to disrupt peoples’ interpretation of me; I am very opposed to boxes. Some days I don’t give a fuck, but some days I give all the fucks and it’s very stressful. I’m learning to let go of control and accept that people are going to think whatever they want about me. I just have to be okay the person I know I am and the person that people close to me know I am.
What inspires you/ Where do you find inspiration?
Oh this is huge!! The lists are endless. I find inspiration is everything, a good conversation, an article, a photo, a person, a movement, an interaction. I love great natural light, candid moments of honesty, and the physical language of intimacy. I find inspiration everywhere. In my day to day life, but also a lot of the times on the internet – social media, or websites. My “Inspiration” folder on my desktop is enormous, my Tumblr Tumblr is gold. Like I said earlier, I can scroll through these platforms on my phone and experience a massive amount of media in a matter of minutes, needless to say I screenshot A LOT.
What do you see for the future? How would you like to be a part of it?
I see the future of the world in the hands of the people. That sounds so renegade ahah, I’m not leading a revolution. But I do think that whoever controls the media controls the power, and since that power is shifting towards users and away from institutions, I see the future of the world in the hands of individuals as well. And hell yes, I’d like to be a part of it.
What is your greatest personal achievement?
A quantifiable achievement: probably picking up boxing and having my first fight 5 months later, that and running a 30km race.But a more personally: in result of those two things I’ve seen my body in a brand new light and I think that is more of an achievement. Experiencing my body adapt to running and then to run at a very high intensity, only to get injured and then adapt to boxing, healing my injury, and learning to fight – and succeeding in a fight has all been very amazing. Rather than on a scale of bad to good, these experiences have shifted my perception to see my body in an ever-evolving state where it adapts to every environment efficiently and effectively. It is a much more humane perspective and I am very grateful for that.
Would you consider yourself successful or inspiring?
Successful is debatable. But as for inspiring, I think that some of my actions have inspired people, yes, but I don’t think I myself am particularly inspiring.
Who would you like to see celebrated?
This is such a great, but hard, question. I want women celebrated everywhere. I want everybody who knows a woman to raise her up. I want every partner to a woman to cherish and obsess over her mind and her body. I want every woman to celebrate herself and dance in her mirror naked and be confident in her skill and power to change the world.
But that being said, I would like that for everybody.
What does your work mean for you? What does it embody?
My work is many things. Sometimes its just a paycheque, but most of the time it’s a mode of communication. Its self-serving because I use it to work through my own ideas and experiences. It a way to get my ideas out into the world.
It embodies my opinions and experiences. I would like for my work to always project the diversity of my identity and the intersectionality of my life.