THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: Communication

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::

Angela Lester

Angela Lester

 

Date of Interview: October 5, 2016

Name: Angela Lester

Age: 25

Pronouns: She/Her

Location: Columbus, Oh

 

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

Oh man… I really love a lot of underwater sea creatures so that’s kind of hard. I’m gonna say dolphins because they’re very community oriented and they’re very smart and they don’t have a lot of natural predators. So I wouldn’t have to deal with being attacked or eaten which would be good ::laughs::.

Do you enjoy being in bodies of water?

Yes. Yes, actually when I was really young I remember my mom taking me to the pool or the beach and when it would be time for me to come in she would call for me and I would duck underwater to pretend that I didn’t hear her so I could stay in longer. When I’m in water I have this overall feeling of like, safety. It’s a nice, cool or warm blanket that makes me feel good and happy and I’m weightless. There’s not a lot of… I don’t know… There’s just this sense of serenity.

What are you passionate about?

Ooooo, lots of things. Umm, I guess I really love food. My long term goal in life is to be a pastry chef and have my own patisserie. So like cooking for people and making things for my friends or coworkers is a thing I really like doing. I’m also very passionate about people being treated fairly and properly so I try to be as active in the community as possible. Just kind of like, human rights and people’s rights. I think there are a lot of things that have been going on for years, especially with race and police violence and I think it’s very important to be active in that and getting together as a community and doing what we can to fight that or else nothing is going to change.

What are you most afraid of for the world?

That… well just… oh man. That Donald Trump will be president ::laughs:: and that people won’t put aside their differences and come together and I’m just afraid that something similar to WWII will happen and that we’ll use up all of our resources and society will collapse on itself. Which I know we’re already at a point where it’s almost irreversible… The future seems pretty bleak to me ::laughs:: nothing matters. Going to have an existential crisis in the bathtub ::laughs::.

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

I’m… honestly not afraid of many things other than being attacked by a person at night. Which is something that I feel like most female bodied people or actually all female bodied people are worried about whenever they go walking by themselves at any time of day. Umm, that and also, this is so irrational and dumb but falling off of a roller coaster. I’m really afraid of heights so those are my two things.

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

As far as romantic relationships go, I have always been a hopeless romantic. I love falling in love. And I love getting to know people on a romantic level. But it’s also kind of difficult for me because I am a demisexual person, so that has had a lot of people turn themselves away from me because sex isn’t a priority to me unless I have a very strong emotional or intellectual connection to them. Which I guess is good in the long run because it turns away those people who aren’t right for me. I am currently in the best relationship I’ve ever been in ::laughs:: and my partner is really wonderful and we have great communication which I think is the most important, be it a romantic or platonic relationship; you have to talk about things with your partner or friend as soon as you can. If you let something go on and fester, it can become this weird passive aggressive thing and neither of you can grow and develop from that.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

Oh man. I recently got published in Vogue International and that was a big step for professionally modeling. Also, I have now been to every state except for Hawaii through modeling and also a recent trip out west. I never thought I could travel for a month at a time due to finances but I was able to do that and spend time in a lot of states that I would have never visited and meet cool people so yeah.

Marisa Allison

Marisa Allison

 

Date of Interview: August 24, 2016

Name: Marisa Allison

Age: 23

Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs

Location: Chicago, IL

How often do you bathe or shower?

That’s changed a lot recently actually, I used to be an every day bather but lately it’s like, every three days. I can take care of business ::laughs::.

If you were an underwater creature what would you be?

One of those little, little minnows. That like, swim in swarms around your ankles at the beach. I like how fast and slippery and shiny they are. I also like how large their packs are, they have lots of friends.

What are you passionate about?

Passionate about a lot of things, I’m passionate about holding people to their humanity, I’m passionate about social justice, racial justice. Food justice and GNC clothing, gender non-conforming clothing. Like, I’m sure I’m passionate about lots of other things, like I’m passionate about Frank Ocean right now and like, Alexander McQueen’s legacy and lots of things ::laughs::

Do you feel like gender is performative for you?

This definitely affects me in an all the time basis. And something that someone said to me once, a partner that I really love, “I love being with you because you view gender purely as performance and that makes me feel very free in my gender.” So I oscillate between a lot of different genders. And they all kind of come from a place of costuming myself and just trying to feel out how I’m feeling every day when I wake up, so it’s kind of a performance all the time ::laughs::. I’m super performative about it. I’m a costume designer, well was, I’m sort of leaving the theater right now. I haven’t done a show in a long time, I’ve recently been doing costume projects for artists right now. And I’m about to totally leave art making for a moment and go to grad school for social work. It’s been like, a real moment of departure. Not bathing very much, not sewing very much ::laughs::.

What are you afraid of for the world?

I’m afraid that the world will really start dying before we like, know it. And say goodbye to it and honor it. I’m afraid of Donald Trump being president. There’s a lot of stuff that’s really scary right now. I’m afraid of everyone thinking that the pope is liberal because that’s nonsense. Like, everything sucks ::laughs::.

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

I’m afraid that I’m about to move into this vocation of taking care of others doing social work and become completely destroyed by it and become disillusioned, like, forget that I’m in it for people. It’s so people intensive that I’m worried I’ll stop caring about the people and get caught up in all the bureaucratic nonsense.

What does self care look like for you?

For me, self care means making time with the people that I want to with and really checking in about what that time should look like with them and be really intentional. And not fall into complacency and apathy. So I’ve recently cut out people that weren’t working for me. Um, a lot of people love alone time and I just DON’T. So being around people is really important to me. Like, planning I’m going to spend this time with these people in these ways and these other people in other ways. Making that time, making it special.

What are your thoughts on relationships? Romantic, platonic or otherwise.

I like them. Sometimes those lines are super blurry for me. So I’m poly, polyamorous. So lines can be really hard and boundaries have to be constantly established. Sometimes it feels like setting boundaries aren’t super important but then it can mess up the potential in something, like the communication has to happen in that moment, you know? It’s like everyone is BAE and so it doesn’t even mean anything ::laughs:: like “WE GOT TO TALK ABOUT IT.” So like, it’s like “you’re my wife, you’re my babe” but we really have to talk about this, otherwise it doesn’t mean anything and I think you want to make out with me but I can’t tell. So, I’m trying to do a lot more of that, a lot more communication.

What do you wish you knew when you were 15?

I wish I knew that gender is over. I wish I would have known that like, a man won’t save you. ‘Cause that was such a big part of my life as a late teen, I was with someone who literally dragged me out of a crappy post industrial small town, I wouldn’t be in Chicago without him but like… I was following him. He’s great, he’s great but knowing that would have been nice. What else… OHHH That beauty isn’t pain! I’m still working through that shit. Of like, beauty and looking good, that shit is painful, I hate that shit. Damn. I’m sure there is a lot more, but this last one is important. Fuck the police isn’t something that people just say, it’s a real thing. I used to roll my eyes when my brothers would say it but like, the police are actually horrible and now I know that you NEVER call the police and I wish I would have known that as a 15 year old. Don’t trust the police.

%d bloggers like this: