Date of Interview: Aug 16, 2018
How often do you bathe or shower?
I shower almost once a day, usually once a day. I very rarely take baths. I used to a lot, but I don’t set aside the time for that anymore, so this is nice.
If you were an underwater creature, mythical or real, which would you be?
I think I would want to be an octopus because they’re cool, and they can change their skin into looking like anything. They got all those arms, and they’re really smart. But I don’t know that I would actually be an octopus. I feel like I’d be one of those– not a clown fish but one of those fish that’s in a busy coral reef that’s and ducking in and out of crevices, and algae, and seaweed.
What are you passionate about?
A lot of things. I really have a passion for cities and how people interact with them and how they feel home in a space, whether that’s the home that they live in, or their neighborhood, or their city, and just how to build thriving communities. I feel like that’s a lot of hard work. And even outside my job, I try to cultivate that or look for it.
How do you cultivate that outside of work?
I mean, mostly just networking. Not in a professional way, I just really enjoy getting people I know to meet each other and creating spaces where people enjoy themselves and bounce off each other,. Yeah, stuff like that. And just being around my neighborhood as much as I can. I’m a sucker for good coffee shops, but I know that’s not everyone’s thing. I was actually thinking yesterday that I really wish there was a space like bars, especially fancy cocktail bars — to take that and just strip away the alcohol and just create a really pleasant space to be in, nice lighting, and good acoustics, and all of that. Because I feel like so much exciting stuff happens in spaces like that, but it’s, a lot of times, it’s just about drinking, and that’s not always what you want to do. So I wish there were more third spaces like that that were just nice to be present in.
It sounds like you’re very passionate about physical space. When did that passion start?
I used to want to be an architect really badly. I still have the glasses and the handwriting. I still write in that ‘blueprint’ all caps. I practiced that over and over again when I was in, I want to say, second grade. And I would always draw buildings and houses. There was this house that I passed on the school bus that I loved, and I would draw it over and over again, and would change it, and morph it to how I wanted it to be. But I always imagined not just the building, but the family that I would have in it, because I think that was like– it was almost less about the physical space than the people in it, actually, because I think I didn’t have that kind of space growing up too much, so I really wanted to cultivate that for myself.
What is something you feel accomplished with?
You can put long sigh in brackets in the transcript, if you want. Something I feel accomplished with? I mean, I guess on that theme, it is really nice to walk down the street and not only know people, but know their story and actually have a real rapport with so many people around me. So I think, literally, that community that I’ve cultivated is something I am really proud of, and the ways that has led to opportunities, not just for myself, but for a whole bunch of other people, of mutual support and mutual aid. And just even people popping over to each other’s houses when they’re feeling shitty. That kind of thing.
What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonically, familial, sexualy, and otherwise.
I really believe in almost that idea of choosing your family. I think that’s super important. And so I think, for me, a lot of my friendships bleed over into familial relationships. I’m trying to be more cognizant of when that means that I’m putting too much emotional work on other people, and so I always try to make sure that it’s a mutual exchange. But I think I only recently recognized that about myself, that I seek out really close, familial connections with a lot of people. What I really love is walking into a space and having it be so full of life, of not just friends, but people you feel really closely connected with. And I guess that’s really hard in your 20s or your 30s, as people are coming and going all the time. So for a while, I was very paranoid about the status quo ever being disrupted, so it’s something I’ve had to just grow a little more comfortable with.
What about your relationship with yourself?
It’s been getting a lot better. I’m excited about spending more time with myself, which is a new feeling. And there are days where I’m just like, oh, I’m so excited to just go home and write, or read, or just cook a big meal just for myself. And I don’t know, dance around the living room like an idiot, and just be happy in my own skin, and not have to seek validation from other people. And I think that’s made my other relationships a lot healthier.