by The Bathtub Project
Name: Eli Weston
How often do you bathe or shower?
Not tons. I take more baths in the wintertime because it feels like something you’re supposed to do in the winter. I honestly only shower twice a week. I can say that it’s because I want to save natural resources, but I don’t know if that’s the actual reason. I think I also am scared of getting into a habit of feeling too clean, because, then, I feel like, if I take showers too frequently, I’ll get scared of feeling dirty. And I don’t want that. So, yeah, so I end up not showering a lot. But I shower more when I exercise, of course. And, yeah, bathe more in the winter.
If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?
Well, so I was watching videos today of the deep ocean. And there were these amphipods that live under high pressures of ocean water. And I don’t know if I associate with them. But they’re on my mind right now. And they just live very simple lives in the dark ocean. And I don’t know. I was thinking about them today. So maybe those: deep ocean amphipods.
Do you aspire to live a simple life?
Yeah. It’s always there for me — I think maybe that’s part of not taking tons of showers, too. I’m always thinking, “Do I need that?” and trying to reduce the amount of resources– not just, I guess, it’s not just items but things in my brain, too. And from a perspective of living sustainably, I try to be simple for that, yeah, cook with simple ingredients, yeah.
Can you give an example of cooking with simple ingredients?
Yeah. I do a lot of just really simple–people would say bland–dishes. Just rice with eggs, or tortillas and chicken, or spinach and some olive oil, just very simple little dishes that, I don’t know, I just don’t get too fancy with it. My brother’s always saying, “Why don’t you put some spices on this, Eli?” And I’m just, I don’t know. It’s fine the way it is. I don’t need to make it complicated. So maybe I’m not adding the spice of life to everything, but I keep it simple.
What are you passionate about?
I’m definitely passionate about the environment, trying to create a positive legacy on the environment rather than a destructive one, which I feel is almost inevitable. We are consumers. We do consume by nature, but trying to change things systematically so that as a group, we consume less. Yeah. That’s my passion. I also really like dance, and I am trying to train myself on spinning poi. And I would like to dance more, but it’s kind of hard because it’s such a forbidden social activity during coronavirus. So yeah, I think the environment and dancing. Yeah, those are my passions.
What is something you feel accomplished with?
Accomplished with. When I am able to– when I am able to, yeah, do something that has a positive legacy, whether that’s helping somebody learn something or changing a policy or even just helping somebody through something. Anything that has a positive long-term legacy gives me a sense of accomplishment.
What is something you struggle with?
I struggle with depression. [laughter] Anxiety. I want to do great things, and I feel like I haven’t. And that gets difficult, or I have a hard time with that. I want to do more than I’ve been able to do, or I feel like I’m being allowed to do. I struggle with authority. I struggle with being fearful of getting in trouble. I have always been a rule follower, and I think I’ve been fueled by that fear since I was a toddler. I didn’t want to break the rules because I didn’t want people to get mad at me and I didn’t want people to punish me. So I have a hard time with authority and breaking rules. Yeah. I don’t know if I’ll ever not be challenged by that. I think it just might be part of me.
What are your thoughts on relationships, platonic, sexual, familial, and otherwise?
That’s a huge question. My thoughts on relationships, I think that to me, relationships are how our human brains are programmed. Everything is in the context of a relationship, and I think that I learned to create lines between all of these different categories of relationships, but I don’t know if it’s natural. I think I’ve just developed that organization through society and culture and learning. But I think if my natural self hadn’t been trained in this environment, I think that I would view them so much more fluidly–that a lover and a sexual partner is sometimes just that, and sometimes a friend can become a lover. I think that they would flow a lot more, but I think that we’ve been trained–maybe good, maybe bad–to position certain people into these categories of relationships. It’s okay. It’s fine. I just don’t know if that’s how it would have become otherwise. Yeah. It’s fine. Maybe I slightly struggle with it honestly. I think that maybe we all struggle with it, and I think that’s half of the drama out there is people deep down struggling with that. And they just don’t have the language to talk about it, or they are too scared to talk about because it’s so taboo to talk about people not being in their proper categories. So yeah. I just think of chimpanzees and bonobos and other creatures that maybe have– they still have culture but maybe a little less ingrained culture, a little more natural selves. Would we be more violent, more sexual? Maybe. More loving and more hating? Yeah. So maybe we learned to calm and categorize ourselves as we age, like a, “It’s fine. It’s fine.” I don’t know. Maybe it’s not all bad.