THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Month: November, 2016

Mykalee “Mykie” McGowan

Mykalee McGowan

 

Date of Interview: November 4, 2016

Name: Mykalee “Mykie” McGowan

Age: 23

Pronouns: She/Her

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

I try to do it like, twice a day. That’s showering, baths, I want to start doing that once a week and things of that nature with spiritual baths. So, alright, so I say that I’m a witch and I feel that baths are very healing and it’s very calm. And you know, sometimes showers just don’t do it for me. So I want to take spiritual baths once a week to unwind, get the stress out, relax as well as doing some witchy shit like setting intentions and doing spells. Yeah.

If you were an underwater creature which one would you be? Mythical or real.

Cool beans, cuz the first thing that popped in my head is a mermaid. I would be a mermaid! Yeah, I feel like the human form sometimes is not negative, but it’s whatever while still being cool. You can have the fishy aspect and the human aspect, I wouldn’t want to get totally rid of the human part.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about creating, I’m passionate about expressing myself as well as showing people dope shit. And dope events. And bringing dope people to dope people. I am kind of known as the person who knows everybody, that knows everything that’s going on. I have my friends telling me “GIRL! You should have told me about that event, what the hell!” Because I just like what people do and I just want to show that to the world and help people express that and help them express themselves. But right now I’m trying to learn to express myself cuz I’m dope too ::laughs::.

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment?

My biggest accomplishment is starting my own business. My biggest accomplishment is starting my own business because I’m the only one in my family that has done that. I think about where I was in 2015, I was broke as fuck, my father had just passed away, dealing with a lot of depression and anxiety and stuff like that. To now, when I started my business in July, to know that I’m the only person in my family to have done that. It just feels really really good, it feels really sweet ::laughs::. Especially because I’m the black sheep of my family and a lot of times, my mom asks “what are you doing?”. It just feels good to have something that I own.

What do you mean by black sheep?

I mean I’m the black sheep cuz I’m the one… So my sister was in the army. My other sister graduated college on time and she’s the youngest, she’s a year younger than I am, she has a job and a car and a house. And here I am trying to figure it all out in this very small room, in this house in DC. When you’re raised by Jamaican parents, having a secure and normal career is what they want for you. But I can’t physically, mentally, or emotionally get a “normal” job. Whenever I try, It always backfires. Like, God won’t let me. So to be outside of a having a car/house/job, that’s me being a black sheep. Yeah. And I’m still doing okay!

What is something that you still struggle with?

Accepting myself, and all of myself. Expressing myself and all of myself too, I tend to try to form myself in the way that I think people will like me to be. I felt that my past self was like a parasite. When it came to lovers, when it came to friends, I felt like I would try to stick on to them because I think they’re amazing and that I wasn’t amazing enough. I would try to form to be like, the sassy side chick or the bomb ass lover and now I’m in a space where I have to be me. So I’m alone a lot of the time and I force myself to be alone to see myself and deal with myself alone so I can be like, “Mykalee, you are cool and you do have flaws but everybody has flaws”. And yeah. That’s how things are right now.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

Oh my God. Ohhhhh okay ::laughs:: SO relationships! Oh my God, platonic ones. I’m actually learning to express myself and be out there more. A challenge I had in the beginning of summer was to see more people. Talk to more people and stuff, so I think that’s really good. But when it comes to romantic relationships I’m not the one. I’ve tried polyamory, I’ve tried monogamy, now it’s just plain old I don’t want to talk to nobody ::laughs::. At this moment in time, ya know, there are times because it’s people, times that it’s myself, it’s a way to protect myself. I haven’t successfully navigated romantic relationships at this moment. Gotta find my way, I know I’ll get there one day. And regardless of if I’m with many people or with one or by myself, I’m gonna be fine. Sexually, I love sex. I love sex, even though I’ve been celibate for a year to protect myself, and try to shed some energy that’s been old and needs to be moved, sex is good. Sex is alright by me. That’s it ::laughs::.

What are you afraid of for the world?

I’m afraid that people will just not… I feel like people already don’t accept each other. And if you say you’re something, I should just acknowledge it instead of being like, WELL this states or that states, you know, if I’m saying I’m a certain thing you need to respect that. Just do that! I don’t think it’s a hard thing to do. A lot of the time I do feel that, but there is such a division going on. And it doesn’t have to be that way.

What are you afraid of for yourself?

I’m afraid to fail. I’m afraid to be homeless, I’m afraid to succumb to my depression and anxieties. I think about that a lot. But I’m also afraid to succeed because success draws more responsibility and I’m someone who is easily overwhelmed and I don’t want that to take over.

What did you see today that was beautiful?

I saw a couple at my favorite cafe. They were just… So sweet together. I thought about my mom and my stepfather, it was just those candid tiny moments, those beautiful moments.

 

Heather Funk

Heather Funk

 

Date of Interview: November 2, 2016

Name: Heather Funk

Age: 29

Pronouns: She/Her

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

I dunno, maybe at least once a day, sometimes twice… At least once.

If you were a underwater creature which one would you be?

What do you classify as underwater? Could I be a sea otter? Sea otter. I find that I am cuddly and playful like sea otters and I have a lot of hair on my head so I identify with their double fur layers. I think it would be really great to have armpit pockets, you know they store tools in their armpit pockets? I would love to have something where I could carry a rock around in my armpit. ::Laughs:: It’s so weird but I’ve thought a lot about this before.

What are you passionate about?

That is, I think, something that I’ve been exploring a lot these days because it’s changing… It used to be art. And then it was art and logistics because I have an art and logistics background. I can’t remember a time when creativity wasn’t there. I think since I was a kid, I’ve always loved art and always loved being creative, it was very much encouraged in me so that’s just kid of developed. I think some of it has to do with my zodiac sign, I’m an Aquarius so I’m creative! And stubborn and independent! I think… Creativity, you know, I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t there, when I wasn’t imagining things or like, coming up with new ideas for something. It used to be art related but now it’s kind of changed to being business related, but it’s always been there. But recently I’ve been thinking about how, this is my own personal development I guess… Like, travel has always been something I’ve been really passionate about but, in terms of a career, people talk a lot about passions with a career, and that’s where I’m kind of lost right now and have been thinking about where my passions are going to lead me.

What is your favorite medium?

To work with or to view? Work with, it has to be metal working, something with my hands, like more intense industrial jewelry design, which I haven’t done in a long time. But I think to view… To collect and to purchase it has to be photography. To view in a gallery or in a museum setting, I got to think about that one. It’s kind of like asking what’s your favorite color. You like them all for different reasons, right? I can’t answer that I like them all. Actually that’s a lie, I like installations. Installations have to be my favorite because there’s so much involvement and the viewer is within the piece, right. It’s all about the viewer’s experience.

What are you afraid of for the world?

Oh man… For the world. Maybe the zombie apocalypse. But in all reality, running out of our resources. And how we collectively can come together as a world, as an international community, because I feel that we all have our own thoughts separately, but we need to come together for humanity. With the way things are going now I don’t think it’s possible but you know, communities have been developing over centuries, forever, and so I think the idea of community is growing in terms of numbers now and I don’t think we’re at that point yet but I hope we get there soon. I think it’s possible, just not for a while.

What is something you still struggle with?

Vulnerability. Which is why I’m doing this. Seriously ::laughs::. I read about you guys in a thing by We The People, somebody posted about The Bathtub Project and I was like, “Cool! I like this idea!” And so the idea of being vulnerable, there’s a stigma of weakness involved. But in a lot of ways you’re a lot stronger for being vulnerable and being openly vulnerable. I’ve been coming to terms with that in the last year or two and that’s why… Vulnerability! That’s why I’m doing this.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

Let’s see… Relationships. I think they’re very important and integral to human development and to human happiness. I think if you’re alone, even if you’re isolated, everyone needs some relationship in some compactly. I very much value my platonic relationships, my friendships. That’s something that this last year, I spent a lot of time this last year or two of musing on my relationships with men in a romantic setting, but your friends… They don’t owe you anything. You’re not having sex, most times, with your friends right? So a friendship is the purest form of a relationship in some ways and if you can accept each other for exactly who you are and love each other for who you are in a friendship, that is the highest, purest form of relationship that I think there is out there. At the same time, this other level though, being in a romantic relationship you have the benefit of this other person sticking by your side who wants to be with you and you have that sexual component which is always fun. So… Those are my thoughts on relationships.

Olivia Persons

Olivia Persons

 

Date of Interview: October 25, 2016

Name: Olivia Persons

Age: 21

Pronouns: She/Her

Location: Washington, DC

 

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about art, culture and food. Different cultures, worldly cultures, the way that culture influences society. I’m biracial, I’m half Chinese and half black, so my mother growing up was like, really good about teaching me and my sisters about her culture. And I recently have been learning a lot more about Africa and my ancestral roots. Learning about it as an adult, understanding taboos, especially, the huge difference for me being an American and how America is completely different from China and especially in Africa. Specifically in Africa, there are so many third world countries and we don’t get the scope of that here.

Do you think how you were raised affected these passions?

Definitely, my mother always makes really really good delicacies that I can’t replicate for the life of me. Like, dumplings and some really weird shit to be honest. She goes on these little excursions to H Mart and honestly, there are things that I’m scared to try. There are things that look weird, but she swears by them and swears that it’s good. I’ll take her word for it ::laughs::. Like mushrooms, I’m not a big mushroom person, but that’s big in the culture. With art, my father is a film maker, he’s working on a film right now and has been for awhile and I really think that I get that artistic and creative side from him. My father… the way he has decorated our house… it’s so eccentric ::laughs::. I don’t have the best relationship with my father but one thing that I can say I appreciate is his ballsy-ness when it comes to that. There will be times I come home and there’s a new sculpture that looks kind of weird or a new painting that really wakens up the room that it’s in. So I really appreciate his eye for it, his knowledge. He does a lot of research, he never studied art in school or anything but takes it upon himself now.

Do you think that the culture your parents came from influenced how they raised you?

Yes, absolutely. I feel like I’m the black sheep of my family. So it influenced me but in the opposite way. I’m the black sheep because I have really liberal thought processes and my parents are very conservative in their own ways, my sisters as well. My mom, she grew up in a very respectful home and I’m not saying I’m not respectful but she has… certain standards that she sees fit that don’t necessarily agree with the American ideal. Growing up in high school, didn’t go to any parties, curfew, didn’t have one because I didn’t go out. Whereas my father, he is American, grew up in Chicago, he grew up in the 70s around South East Chicago so he’s seen a lot of violent crimes that has affected him in his adulthood. He didn’t really have that heavy of a hand in how we were raised or in parenting at least, but him being an American and a black man growing up in the 70s in the ghetto to rising up from that- I think affected the kind of life he wanted for his daughters. So we, we’ve always been modest and humble in how we lived which allowed us to afford other things. I think, specifically with my father, he didn’t see much value in worldly possessions like shoes or fashion, things like that. So we took trips and ate well, that was more important.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual or otherwise.

Relationships are important as long as they’re healthy ::laughs:: yeah. Um, platonic relationships, I feel are the most important. I feel like I’m a pretty sexual being and I’m able to realize that. Sex is a part of our nature and to ignore that, or to acknowledge that it’s not important in that relationship, that sex isn’t what it’s about is great. It takes away a lot of the stresses and worries and complications that goes into a romantic relationship. I feel like trust is easier in a platonic relationship. Romantic relationships also… what an interesting question ::laughs:: especially now. Wow, if you would have asked me this a month ago, this answer would be completely different but… I think, relationships are important but you also have to find solitude in yourself first, especially before romantic ones.

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