Date of Interview: April 5, 2017
Location: Washington, DC
How often do you bathe or shower?
I bathe or shower randomly. Sometimes I shower twice a day, sometimes I go a couple days without. But with baths, I never feel clean so I usually shower afterwards ::laughs::.
If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?
Hmmm. I like starfish, although I find it kind of disturbing with sand dollars and stuff, when they don’t get thrown back in. Or… I like jellyfish, but I wouldn’t want to sting things. Once I had a dream that I was a fish, a regular one that was yellow and blue and I could breathe through my gills. Since then I’ve been really into the idea of breathing through gills. I don’t really know the process of breathing underwater, but in my dream if felt wonderful to breathe that way.
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about a lot of things. Kind of too many things, I have trouble focusing. Lately it’s kind of cheesy, but I’ve been trying to focus everything that I do on two things. Making a difference in some way, even though that sounds really cheesy, or making something beautiful. I like sharing or experiencing beautiful things. I try to focus more on creating than consuming. So that’s a roundabout way of saying that I have so many things that I focus on passionately, that I want to go with those feelings and they are guided by those two focuses and principles. I am passionate about art, which goes into beautiful things, also nature. I’m passionate about mental health. I’m into mental health reform. I’m passionate about sex and gender based violence, I’m passionate about the rights of women. I feel like I’m passionate about a lot of things, and I try to do small things to make people happier. Equality is such a vague thing, but I am passionate about it. Like, with mental health reform, people deserve a chance, you know? It’s messed up how people are abandoned. Same with sex and gendered violence advocacy stuff, I think that’s so important and it really upsets me how unequal that is. Sexual violence it makes us so unequal because of living in fear. It mostly affects women, so it becomes a gender equality issues because of living in fear and living life differently because of it which can affect so many things. Losing income or having to pay so much money in therapy or medical bills because of it. Or not graduating college, that stuff really upsets me when it comes to equality. This connects to mental health reform ’cause so much of this becomes a mental health issue for survivors, it tends to hold people back a lot. I’m passionate about those things, and that people have equal access to beauty. People having equal access to art and nature… those are human rights issues. People think that it’s frivolous, people think that art is a luxury and I don’t think that art should be a luxury. Of course safety and putting food on the table should be a priority, and those are huge things but what I mean to say is that we need to make sure everyone has those things and more. Like, making sure that people can do more than survive and have access to beautiful things and things that make life good.
What is something you still struggle with?
Right now I’m struggling most with direction. The idea that you have to choose A path, you have to make choices if you’re going to move anywhere. Like, anytime you make one choice, you’re sacrificing all the other choices… so it’s basically FOMO ::laughs::. But in the larger sense, not just going to parties, but if I become a physiatrist, will I have time for writing anymore. If I focus on a writing or publishing career, will I even have enough time or money to feel stable. So balancing different desires of life.
What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.
I think, of course, they are very important. I think that we don’t spend enough time thinking about them or how to make them good. I think most of us are often lazy about them and go through the phases without questioning things… I think to have good relationships, it takes a lot of work and effort. Most of the work can be fun, much of time. I think a lot of people prioritize romantic relationships to be the number one. It can be, but often it’s up to the other relationships in your life and we put too much pressure on that one person. It can be healthier to get from more than one place. I struggle with maintaining my own identity and not merging with other people’s identities or people pleasing in my relationships. That’s something that I work on. I think they’re all important and it can be healthy to view in different ways. It’s also really important for me to think of myself with a relationship with myself. It’s good to remember that I’m a person too, I should treat myself kindly as well.