THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: Community

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::

Kailasa and Saa

Kailasa and Saa

 

Date of Interview: September 15, 2016

Name: Kailasa and Saa

Age: 25 and 5

Pronouns for Kailasa: She/Her/Hers

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

K: Ummm, maybe about four days out of the week. I like to bathe a lot, but I don’t get to.

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

K: Seahorse. They’re pretty.
S: Seahorse.
K: I don’t even know why I said that, but I guess it’s because I’ve always thought they were interesting. They don’t have any arms or anything, they just kind of float. With their tail. It’s the first thing that came to my mind, other than that a turtle or octopus. Or something bioluminescent that has a light on it.

Do you like to plan for the future?

K: Oh hell yeah. Yeah, I like to plan things, I’m not great at it but I do like to be aware of my future. Of where I’m headed.

What are you passionate about?

K: I’m passionate about my community. I’m passionate about being a mom. And being a better person everyday. I’m passionate about pursuing my dreams, which are being as creative and artistic as possible. And following through with my ideas.
S: I made it!
K: Yeah! Being able to say, “I’VE MADE IT!” ::both laugh:: But yeah, by community I mean, support the people who have supported me. I have a couple ideas that I’ve created business plans for and they’re both geared toward contributing to a healthy and successful community. So community is the people who’ve raised me. The people who support me, I want to support them back.

What is something that you feel accomplished with?

K: Raising that little one. ::laughs:: I feel pretty accomplished with that. I’m finally in my own space. Though I don’t own it, I’m at least supporting myself and my family. I’m accepting more responsibilities with self-assurance and accepting what I’m responsible for. I think I’m doing a good job. Don’t really know what I’m doing.

Do you think she knows what she’s doing?

S: YES. Whatever she does with me, she never gets upset.
K: Mmmkay. I mean, I guess I don’t get upset.
S: I have a splinter in my toe.
K: Let me see, do you feel anything? Do you feel water?
S: Yes.
K: Maybe it’s just a scratch.
S: Noooo, on the other side. It’s on my boo boo. Right there.
K: I think it’s just a scratch.
S: Okay.

Do you have family traditions passed on?

S: Yes.
K: Like what?
S: When we go on walks together! When we ride bikes together! When the whole family goes on a field trip.
K: Yeah, I mean spending time together.We’ve had a family function every year for about 28 years now, I was the host for last year. We call it ‘the family love exchange’. Umm, carrying on traditions. Being in tune with my inner being. Carrying on that awareness to her. Being confident in my divine nature as a melanated woman. My mother was a cosmic woman who was aware of her powers, she studied a mix of different religions and passed on her knowledge. So yeah, I think passing down some spiritual knowledge and a connection to my native heritage and culture is important.

Do you believe in God?

K: What… who’s this “god?” ::laughs:: I believe in a God. Do you believe in God, Saa?
S: Nope.
K: Alright. You sound so certain.
S: Because you mom is my grandma. And I don’t believe in God.
K: Okay. Well, what do you think God is?
S: An animal.
K: What kind of animal?
S: A stinkbug. And a… a puppy. Together.
K: A stinkbug puppy?
S: The face of a puppy with the body of a stinkbug.
K: Okay then.

What are you afraid of for yourself?

K: I’m afraid sometimes that I will get caught up in other people’s stresses.
S: I’m not scared of nothing.

Cait Beck

Cait Beck

Date of Interview: September 7, 2016

Name: Cait Beck

Age: 26

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Location: Arlington, VA

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

When I was little my favorite animal was the orca. And I think that, still, it’s the coolest animal to be because they have families and it must be nice to float all the time. They also get to sing all the time. They seem like the most peaceful underwater creature, and they’re able to swim really far, so you can see a lot and explore still.

Do you strive to have a peaceful life?

I say that I do, I think that it is… I’m really lucky. The family I come from and where I’ve lived, that I haven’t had to deal with complex and unfair problems like some people in the world have to deal with. Like, bombings and stuff. And I think that it’s not that hard to have relationships with people that aren’t filled with strife. That you can communicate your problems in a healthy way, or at least learn how to. And I think that relationships are so much better when you know how to work through problems. And if it’s not peaceful I have always worked to make sure it can get there.

What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

I’m in a really happy relationship right now. But, or actually AND. And I’ve been thinking about before you’re in an actual relationship you kind of dream what the relationship will be like, when you are in one and it’s really nice that certain parts come true and I think that it’s crazy how much media makes relationships unfair… That’s not the right word. It takes the truth out of them and the imperfections. I think the imperfections are what make relationships so much stronger and when I first met my boyfriend one of the conversations we had was about exploration. It was a really fascinating conversation because it’s kind of come up from time to time. Because while we are together, it’s also really fun to explore where this relationship will go and kind of the idea that we will both explore other options and grow together. And so some of the things that I’ve discussed with other people, including my boyfriend, is how do you have a primary, romantic relationship and still explore sexual relationships with other people. Which still is kind of a taboo thing in our society, that everyone you talk to agrees with the ideal; to have someone you really love and still get to explore other relationships. And we’ve been working to try to understand ourselves and explore that option. Which, don’t get me wrong, I’m still trying to figure out how to balance both and have been hesitant to explore. So… I have mixed feelings about them all, but I think they’re wonderful.

What are you passionate about?

Helping people. A thing that has been there throughout my life is that I care about other people, and my relationships with them and how they’re doing. And I’ve been really unhappy, not lately, but in the recent past. And I’ve noticed that it’s because I’ve cut myself off from a lot of people and once I started reaching out to other people I realized I was much happier. And even in my job, I work in helping people with disaster relief. I think it’s really meaningful to get to share your life with someone and it doesn’t have to be in a relationship, well, every connection with another person is a relationship, but I think that’s why it’s so nice to get to really connect with people.

Do you think your up bringing impacted this?

My mom is someone that really cares about her relationships with her family and other people, she talks to everyone. We always joke that you can get anything out of her if you were a stranger and asked her a question. I think being exposed to that, she always cared so much when we were growing up, if there was someone on the street asking for help, she would give it to them. So I think that being raised with her being that type of a personality, I think that brings a lot of it out in myself.

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

I think failure is a really easy word to use for what I’m afraid of. But I feel that failure is such a overarching thing that I’ll fail at communicating or fail at being honest with myself. And I think that most recently the thing I’ve been afraid of is losing sight of my own dreams for fear of not succeeding, And I think that success is something I’ve been struggling to define. I think if success was clearly defined it might be easier.

What are you afraid of for the world?

That lack of community will make everyone be alone. And when people are alone they do… scary things. And technology has kind of started to scare me. Because globalization is a good thing and a bad thing. But I don’t think it’s something that we’ve balanced. I’m that people will abuse the tool that technology is rather that use it to enhance their lives. And I think that technology is currently cutting people off, it’s isolating people more than it’s connecting them. So while we’re able to make calls from here to around the world, people will forget to knock on their neighbor’s door and talk to them. And that scares me, it’s such a wonderful community right in front of you that people are missing out on. And it’s nice that people are more connected to others who aren’t right in front of them. But I wonder sometimes how deep those relationships are.

What does the word community mean to you?

I think it’s synonymous with strength. It’s a group of people that rally around one another, to support them. And make sure that they can help each other. Having that, having people that ask you how you are and actually want to hear the answer is really important. I think that people can forget to stop and say “how are you” and actually wait for the answer. Something I’ve noticed throughout my life actually, is that in hallways and on the street people will ask “how are you!?” and before you have a chance to say anything they’re already past you… ::laughs:: it’s just so superficial. I can’t stand that, I would actually want to tell them.

What is something that made you happy this week?

It’s funny you ask, because about a week ago I took stress meditation training and I thought to myself “something that I should do is stop everyday and think of something that made me happy” and I haven’t proactively done that. Until right now. Meeting someone new made me happy. But actually, I recently started a part time job outside my nine to five and today is the first time in awhile that I haven’t had to go to that right after work. So I actually got to walk home, in the perfect weather and it was really nice to get to enjoy my own time. And get to sit on the sofa for a moment and just do something at my own pace versus thinking “I have to do this, I have to go home, I have to do this to get ready for tomorrow, I have to go to bed”. It was really nice and it made me really happy.

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