THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: Advice

Clove Roses

Clove Roses

 

Date of Interview: October 14, 2016

Name: Clove Roses

Age: 23

Pronouns: They/Them

Location: Philadelphia, PA

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

Ooh, I’ve been showering every day recently, just because I wasn’t like, living anywhere for the past month. So being able to take a shower in a house that’s mine has been super exciting. Umm, and I don’t know I don’t bathe as often, but I probably will more now.

If you were an underwater sea creature, what would you be?

I’m thinking a manatee. ‘Cause they’re like these beautiful fat like mammals that people think are mermaids. Or a siren, because they lure men to shore with their songs and then kill them, so…

What are you passionate about?

Umm, a whole lot of things… I think recently I’ve been trying to find a way to focus my passion because I care about all these different things and then overload myself and can’t really do anything effective. And I think what I’m really trying to focus on is holistic healthcare. People don’t have access to basic understandings of how their bodies work, and basic health knowledge.  Concerns get dismissed all the time, like when fat people go to doctors who ignore all of their health concerns and try and get them to lose weight instead, umm… and you know, women, queer people, people of color for various reasons have hard times getting their bodies taken care of.  And when you go to professionals, they ask you all these questions and give you no understanding of why they’re asking you them and I want to develop like a practice where people are learning about their bodies as they’re accessing health care that sees them as a complete individual not just a list of symptoms, like herbs, or whatever sort of medicines they want.

What ignited this passion?

Umm, when I lived in Olympia I volunteered at an Herbal Free Clinic there, and there were just so many plants in the Pacific Northwest and I had no idea that these things growing in the wood could heal me. And there was something that was really satisfying about like understanding what makes a plant work and how that plant can interact with my body in beneficial ways. So yeah, I don’t know, it was just really empowering to find that I could find things in the forest to heal myself and I wasn’t relying on going to like doctors that are fucking scary to be around.

Do you think herbal medicine correlates not just with healthcare in the sense of body but with mental health?

Oh, absolutely. I definitely first got into it more for using things like Passionflower or like Anemone for anxiety umm, and I think that like Western medicine is very reliant on the idea of a mind body split. Like you go to doctors and you go to psychologists and they work with diseases and disorders instead of an overall body system, like your symptoms exist in isolation from your environment, emotions, history.  And herbal medicine is something that’s been used in like really every society ever before industrialization, because that what people had access to.  Plants can grow and evolve with humans and with the bacteria that infect us, plants have these vast bodies of knowledge that I don’t think humans can even fully understand.  I read yesterday, in this book on Adaptogens by David Winston, that 25% of modern medicines are still derived from plants used in traditional medicine.  They take one specific phytochemical and then like try to boost the intensity of it, instead of seeing a plant as something that has a lot of different chemicals that all work together.  Modern medicine refuses to see human or plant bodies as complex systems that work together in ways science can’t account for.

What is something that you feel is a big accomplishment that you’ve achieved in your life?

Umm, to stray from plants… I think the biggest thing I’ve achieved is finishing hair school. ’Cause I dropped out of college and kind of felt like I was never going to be able – yeah ever going to be able to complete something.  I’m great at getting things started, but I’m not so good at follow through, so yeah 1500 hours of hair school has been a big deal.

What are you afraid of for yourself?

Uhh ::laughter:: I guess um, kind of like where I’m going now. Because like for the past year I’ve had all of these really clear goals, like I wanted to finish cosmetology school, I wanted to move to Philadelphia, and I was doing this Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) program that was pretty intense, and I wanted to finish that.  I did all these things so now I’m like, “Shit, I need new goals! I don’t know what I’m doing at all!” ::laughter:: so, yeah I guess just afraid of, of figuring out what to do next.

What are you afraid of for the world?

Capitalism… ::laughter:: Umm, industrialization, I’m afraid of the world, you know? Like I’m afraid of things that happen day to day and unnoticed and unchallenged. I’m afraid of prisons and mass incarceration, I’m afraid of how institutionalized violence isn’t something most people think about, or even recognize exists. Umm, I think it’s really scary how the world operates in this way where like, we basically still have slavery in the U.S., but like it’s so layered under all these different facades that it’s really insidious.  People, liberals, think we like in this like “post racial society,” but our economy is still built on the forced free labor of incarcerated black people, and destroying indigenous land.  So, yeah. I’m afraid of the world every minute capitalism continues.

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

Uhh, they’re difficult.  Yeah I don’t know, for most of my life I found all my self worth through my partners, through people finding me sexually or romantically attractive, because as a person with a fat body I was taught that I’m like “lucky” if I can achieve those things, if I can achieve that desire.  More recently I’m like, “fuck that.” I’m like, not trying to just be a thing that only exists for other peoples acceptance, I was celibate and single for like six months last year and like… I think that was a really good space for me to like try to deepen my intimate connections with my platonic friends, with friends that I don’t sleep with.  I’m like trying to learn to value different types of relationships, as well as one with myself.

What is something that you wish you would have known when you were fifteen?

Ooh. Uh, that the assholes you go to high school with don’t fucking matter.  That I should have been pursuing my own interest instead of being so anxious and insecure about what other people thought of me.

 

 

Cali

Cali

 

Date of Interview: Oct 5, 2016

Name: Cali

Age: 26

Pronouns: She/Her

Location: Columbus, OH

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

Umm, I mostly shower. You know this is the first time I’ve been in this bath but I like to take baths, let’s say twice a month. That’s the goal. But I shower like, every other day.

If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

Umm, I think I would be a coral reef. It is a creature, but I feel like people just see it as an underwater plant, but it’s an amazing creature.

What are you passionate about?

Well I went to school for art education and I’m passionate about bringing an art experience to anyone and everyone. Art education is definitely something that I’m very passionate about as well as education in general. I’m also passionate about self care. It’s something that I feel like I discovered way too late in life. Taking care of yourself and just being good to yourself and loving yourself, for, you know, all the ways that you can. I’m also passionate about animal rights and human rights, I think that’s a big and important one. But yeah, those are the big overarching themes that I’m passionate about ::laughs::

What does self-care mean to you?

Self care is something, I think that I learned way too late in life. And I feel like that’s what happens to most people, or what has happened to most people in my life is that when they’ve kind of hit this rough patch in their life all of a sudden they realize that they needed to take better care of themselves and you know, if it’s listening to your body, or just having a day when you let yourself have a bad day, recognizing that like bad and sad, and all those negative emotions are things that you’re allowed to feel. Just giving yourself the time and space to feel it all, and taking it one day at a time. So self-care is just being what you can be, and loving yourself regardless of anything around you. That’s what it means to me.

Do you have any routines or rituals that you do as a way of self-care?

I think just listening to myself. You know I wake up in the morning and like take a second to think of the things I’m going to accomplish. Setting realistic goals is something that I think is so important. Setting goals, in general, and then reachable goals also. I feel like for so long, as school children we’re taught to set these like big lofty goals that, like, aren’t actually achievable. So I think that setting, like, an intention for each day, setting an intention rather than a goal. Also, something that I feel is so important is to like, take days to yourself. Whether you’re going to be in bed, watching Netflix, snacking with your cat, or your going to go for a hike and spend the day independently adventuring. I think this past year, I’ve like rediscovered how amazing it feels to be in nature and to just, go for a walk. Just kind of submerge yourself in the things that are right around you, and overlooked in this world of technology.

Do you feel like there is a different pace between living in a city being a student, and living in a city without the structure of school?

Yeah, definitely. Well I graduated in May so I kind of had that moment of like, “Now that I’m not in school… What am I doing? How can this area that I’m living in help me kind of create an existence for myself outside of being a college student?” So, I think something that I learned was- after I graduated, I was kind of stuck, I actually had this freak out where I was like, “I need to go do something. I need to get a job. I’ve got to pay off my loans…” all these things, I was just like, well Columbus is this city that I feel like has a ton of opportunities no matter what you want to do. And it’s ‘city’ enough where there is just tons of people and different experiences. You just kind of have to have the motivation and trust yourself that you can figure something out. I have some friends that live in Colorado and after they graduated, one of them got a job and the other one was struggling in the same way that I was, but she was in the middle of nowhere. So being in the city I felt like I had more opportunities, whereas she was in the mountains and definitely way more limited. But she did have nature, a lot of it, immediately around her.

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

Umm, I think I feel like I really trust myself, and this is something I was thinking about just today actually. I was just having a frustrating day at work, and I kept thinking to myself, “This is temporary. I’m going to be teaching here for a year. I’m enjoying it.” I’m taking whatever I can from it, but at the same time I feel like I’m afraid to take my next step. Whatever, so I’m doing this for a year, but what am I going to do next? And that was kind of my fear, but I realized it was a fear that actually felt like it was instilled in me from my parents, you know this- you have to be successful, you have to make money, you have to save your money and pay off your loans and take care of yourself. I feel like, as time goes on, I’m realizing that if I just trust myself, that I can figure things out. It doesn’t always have to be some big salary paying job, with all these crazy benefits, you know? I feel like I’m just trying to live a more simple life, but I do fear being able to support myself, like, I’m healthy now, but what if something changes with my health? Will I be able to take care of myself? So yeah, those are things that I fear.

What is something you feel very accomplished with?

Well I think, to talk about self-care again. That was something that was HUGE for me to learn, and even when I like hit my lowest point, and realized that I needed to like, see a professional and talk to someone, making that jump. Like to actually call. Make the appointment, make sure they take your insurance, all those things, like that felt so good to do that. That was one of the hardest things to do, but also one of the best things that I’ve done for myself. We talked a lot about being present, and again this fits into this idea of like “go, go, go” and you’ve got to be successful and make money and all these things, and I really just needed to make it through the every day and to stop worrying about the future. Going to therapy was something that made me realize that, you’ve got to just live in the present. So I felt accomplished that I did that for myself, to better myself because I recognized that I needed some help, or that I needed an outside persons perspective on the world and my life.

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

That is also something that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. Especially after I turned 26, and like my family was like, “So, is there anyone special?” and I’m like, “Yeah uh, myself. Me, my vibrator and my cat. Things have been wonderful, we’re in love.” So yeah, that was good to realize that like I’m content and happy being ‘alone’. It would be great, you know, to meet a special person and or people in time. I think relationships, as I’m getting older and realizing that they are like 100%, SO based on communication. Like, just talking, having those conversations that we don’t normally have. I actually started to see someone who is SO good at communicating, and it was almost like, scary at first. Because I felt like I had never talked so openly to someone about how, you know experience in relationships, or like sexual things, like anything. They were like, very into just putting it all on the table. And I realized, oh my gosh, this feels so good, because like, they’re hiding nothing. We’re communicating. I think that like, watching my friends, and seeing and supporting them with their relationships I’m realizing that yeah, communications is like the best possible thing you can do to be happy in a partnership. One of the best things you can do.

What is something you saw today that made you feel like there is beauty in the world?

Well, I teach preschool aged children, and they are so amazing. The school that I teach at is all about the capable child. Their philosophy, as well as mine, is that your child can do things on their own, that they don’t always need help, and they don’t always need someone’s bigger hands to be like, “Here, let me help you.” So when I see them, like two-year-olds, going up on the stairs, washing their hands, using soap. You know, doing really basic things like washing their hands before they have snack, or cleaning up after themselves, or checking on a friends body when they hurt themselves, that is always a moment where I’m like, I feel proud of them, because I see them kind of like my little babies beginning to be good people who are capable, independent and good friends. But yeah, working with the young children is beautiful and amazing, and the art they make, the things they talk about, the way they talk to each other, it’s really sweet and good. It gives me hope for the grim looking future. ::laughter::

Kalani Naihe

Kalani Naihe

 

Date of Interview: October 3, 2016

Name: Kalani Naihe

Age: 23

Pronouns: She/Her/They/Them

Location: Philadelphia, PA

 

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

Ohhhhh good question. I would probably be an orca. I really like whales, I think they’re really cool and interesting creatures and like, they just swim around and shit, it’s pretty cool.

What are you passionate about?

Very passionate about the DIY music scene, booking shows, being vegan and embracing my queerness. That’s something that is very new and very fun to become more passionate about. I never… I mean, it’s strange to me to talk about because I’m really new to this whole embracing my queerness thing. I’ve always been like, I’m definitely pansexual and I’ve always thought that my whole life. I’ve been very into loving people for who they are but recently come out to those that are close to me as non-binary when it comes to my gender so I started using they/them pronouns and I think that just making sure that my queerness doesn’t doesn’t get lost in relationships with those who are not. And I think that’s very important. In the past I’ve let people over step boundaries with that for me, like they kind of dictate my level of queerness especially if I’m dating a cis, straight male. So I’ve recently became very passionate about learning and accepting who I am instead of just letting someone else, just because they’re around a lot, dictate that I am this person that I know I am.

Do you feel like you have to carve out spaces that you exist in?

Always. Absolutely, especially because I book shows and being a queer promoter and trying so hard to be inclusive of everybody. It’s like having a third job a lot of the time. A lot of the time I feel overwhelmed by trying to make sure that my space in which I’m occupying is safe for those around me and for those who are also attending. It’s everything from entering into my home, to going to a show, it’s so important to be aware of. Lately I’ve been going through a lot, I moved back into this house after a year after some bad things happened and everyone just took me back in, but I feel better being around other people who are queer. They just sort of encompass my life. Having my friends, even having people in my life who aren’t queer, just making sure those people in my life are also accepting of who I am… All of my friends are and I feel so good and confident about it. But it’s important for me to dictate what is safe for me and those around me. Cuz people do look up to me when it comes to all of that stuff because of how loud I am and how I’m in charge of the spaces that people are in, especially for shows and stuff.

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

My platonic relationships are soooooooo important to me. I love all of my friends with my whole heart, and I always have, that’s just the way I’ve been my whole life. My platonic relationships, because they’ve always gone better than my romantic ones, have always meant more to me. That’s definitely one of the reasons why my romantic relationships have failed, because I have tried so hard to make sure that if I’m in a romantic relationship, my platonic ones will not be overlooked at all. They’re so important. I don’t know where I would be today if I hadn’t met my best friend five years ago. And if I have ever treated them terribly or completely disappeared on them or whatever because of getting into a relationship they wouldn’t be here today. So it’s definitely paid off, caring so much about platonic relationships. The people I surround myself with are like family to me because my family is over 500 miles away. I think it’s important for everyone to think of their friends like that. You get to choose them so you should put as much effort into them as anything else, they’re important.

What is something you’re afraid of for yourself?

The future. It’s very scary and uncertain. I think about it all the time and it terrifies me. I’m soooooo scared of it because every aspect of it is scary. Things that are going on politically are scary, it’s sooooo fucking terrifying and then jsut my everyday life, like what am I going to do in two years!? What am I gonna do in two months? Because everything has been so uncertain for me lately and I’ve been kind of just going with the flow, doing whatever. I don’t know. The future. The future is very scary and I’m terrified of it.

What do you wish you had known when you were 15?

I wish 15 year old me, I’m going to go into this crazy vegan thing because that’s who I am, I wish 15 year old vegetarian me, fence walking peanut butter eating piece of shit who REALLY didn’t do ANYTHING, it’s cool, like I was vegetarian so young and it took me so long to vegan. I wish someone would have told me “there’s something called vegan-ism, this is what you want to do” because my mindset was “I want to help animals BUT I’m still gonna eat dairy” ::laughs::. So I wish 15 year old me would have known what being vegan meant.

 

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