by The Bathtub Project
Date of Interview: October 25, 2018
How often do you bathe or shower?
Every other day usually.
If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?
Okay, I’ve been thinking about this and it would be a snail. I love snails and I feel that they are perceived as the ugly creature and I have a love for animals and creatures that people think are ugly.
What are you passionate about?
So many things. I feel like the things that I’m most passionate about, are usually the things that I feel like I can’t do anything about. I feel like advocating for people who are oppressed is something that matters a lot to me, but I feel sometimes my voice on the internet or the help that I try to give, even a small bit locally is not necessarily making a huge impact. I don’t really know how to make what I’m passionate about spread wider and actually reach the people who need help. Something I am also passionate about that is] animals. I love animals. I have three cats that I rescued, two of which have FIV. FIV is basically, the equivalent to feline Aids and much like Aids, there’s a stigma and with cats that people are afraid they’re going to get Aids [chuckles] from their cat. Which sounds ridiculous, because it is. And a lot of them sadly are in shelters for years and sometimes even die in the shelter because there’s nothing wrong with them. I remember when I was adopting my third cat at the local shelter here, the woman who was helping me adopt him said to me, “Do you have any other cats at home?” I said yes, I have two other cats they have FIV and she looked at me like I just said they have alien brains coming out of their mouth. She looked at me with such disgust and she was like, “Do you really think it’s a good idea to bring a cat home that has–” and I was like yes, he needs a home so he’s coming home with me.
What is something you feel accomplished with?
One thing is, that I recently had an art show where I sold my cross stitch. It was a two-month art show and I didn’t quite sell everything, but I sold enough that they were really impressed and they were happy with me. And I was happy because when I started cross stitching, it was just like a form of therapy for me. It really helps with my anxiety. I make funny stuff that people like, and that people are [almost] sad when it’s sold like, “Oh no, you already sold it, I really like that one.” It’s a really nice feeling. [It started when] I saw someone doing it and I was literally just like “Can you please teach me how to do that?” And she taught me how to do it and then I started looking up more stuff online at home. And I started making that stuff. I I never use any patterns, I just make stuff for and look for other people’s work for inspiration and get funny ideas. I realized how just doing that was, watching TV for hours made me feel so calm. It’s such a form of self care. 100% and I even wrote something about this because I know a lot of the tips out there about self care are really expensive, unrealistic habits, [like] go and get your hair done every time you feel bad about yourself or even using bath bombs because it’s really unrealistic for people to have $10 every time. But for me cross stitching is such an affordable habit. There are stores and other places that really cheap and I find it to incredibly peaceful to just pick a product to work on. And even if everything else in my life is going badly I’m like “Whoa, I made something. This is nice.” The other thing that I feel proud of is that I’ve been working in the same field for seven years, and I’ve been doing that full time for about four years and recently I just got a really nice acknowledgment from my work and it was just words but it really made me feel really good about the quality of work I’m doing and feel really appreciated. I work in copywriting so I guess that it’s like marketing or advertising. It’s basically when someone hires a company to make their website, they usually only really think about the design. But behind the design team is someone putting all the content in there. So I mostly work for lawyers, and doctors, and people in the blue-collar field, just basically trying to make them sound good, and trying to help them sell their services.
What is something that you still struggle with?
Some days I struggle with a lot is my self-worth. I find that I often rely on other people for affirmation that I can’t just like look myself in the mirror and say “You did a good job. You look beautiful. You’re worthy.” I’m clinging to what other people say and how that made me feel. I’ve been working on it, but it’s really hard to get that with it. Because they’re so much negativity coming from a thing and it’s hard not to shut that down. That at the end of the day I just want someone to tell me they love me and tell me I’m pretty and whatever else. And tell me I’m doing a good job.
What is your love language?
It’s so hard to choose just one. But I would definitely say that words of affirmation is my top one. I guess I think a little bit goes a long way and I’ve always felt that way. Just hearing just a little bit of, just for your own sake, “You’re doing a good job” or “You’re beautiful” or “You matter to me”. Whether it’s from a lover or even as friends, is like– that stuff impacts me so much. And I have a hard time with the five love languages with recognizing that someone else’s love language might be different than you, especially if you’ve never talked about it. They don’t know what that is, what that concept is. You’re wondering, “Well, why doesn’t this person ever say really nice things to me?” And then you realize they’re doing other things for you that they value, but you’re not really matching up.
What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonic, sexual, romantic and otherwise.
Oh, I have a lot of thoughts. Oh, boy. So in therapy, I’ve been working with my therapist on what she calls “my bullseye”. And it’s basically if you picture all over relationships falling in intrinsic circles, how much importance and how much energy you put into things. So if you have your best friend, your partner, your mom, your dad in the middle and from there you build out. And people can move at any time. And that has helped me a lot. Because I’ve been guilty of sort of putting too much volume, too much energy on people who aren’t necessarily giving the same thing back. So that has helped me a lot to sort of gauge things. But I still find myself like– I tend to obsess in romantic relationships. I tend to get in my head, tend to not be able to enjoy it at all because I’m over analyzing things and wondering if someone– if it’s enough, and if it’s right and if it’s this and if it’s that. And I don’t even get to enjoy it. Where was I for all this? I got lost in that– and then the honeymoon state is over and then suddenly I’m like, “Wait, wait. But I wasn’t there for it. I want the honeymoon state back.” I think it ties back into self-worth. Sometimes I tend to stay or chase things that aren’t good for me because I’m too afraid to just remind myself that I deserve better. Because in my head it’s like, “But where’s better? So this is what I’ve got so–.”
What is something that you have learned this year?
That’s hard. I think that I’ve learned that sometimes – I’m trying to figure out how to word it – letting go of something doesn’t have to mean that you’re moving on from it. Because a lot of people, including myself, get really caught up in like, “How can I possibly fully move on from that situation? I can’t possibly. I’m not over it yet.” You don’t have to get over it yet, you’re healing. Granted it’s totally valid but you can make a step to cut something or someone out of your life. So when dealing with toxic people I kept feeling like I had to be all the way at my destination of healed. But I don’t have to be there yet. I just have to make that first step. And that’s been really powerful for me, really helpful.