THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: Fear

Shanon Lee

Shanon Lee

 

Date of Interview: November 25, 2016

Name: Shanon Lee

Age: 40

Pronouns: She/Her

Location: Alexandria, VA

 

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

I would be a seahorse. They’re elegant; I used to be fascinated by them when I was a kid. I used to live in Pensacola, Florida and they would wash up on the streets out of the sewers. Also, because I think they’re feminist. The males carry the babies, so it’s an equal society down there for them ::laughs::.

What are you passionate about?

Love, family, art. Yeah, especially in my 40th year of life. I have kind of come full circle because I was huge into art as a child – just writing and painting and doing all those things. So, I’m slowly trying to work everything back into my life that I used to enjoy. My kids are a lot like I was, so I definitely encourage them. But in terms of me personally, trying to connect with my inner child and trying to get back in touch with my creativity has become hugely important this year.

What’s your favorite media to create?

Mmmmm, it’s pretty much tied right now between writing and film. I love film and writing, they can be so totally different. Writing can be really personal and it’s always exciting to reach a broader audience that can connect with something you thought was so personal to you. Certainly, if you write anything that’s impactful it can help someone in a way, but film can reach an even broader audience. It’s more dynamic and exciting in that you have to work with other people to create a project, so there’s always this buzz around it. But it’s so hard to get things done. I’m not trained to use any particular equipment, so I’m always working with a crew and that involves balancing personalities. If I was a magician and could take that part out of it, it would probably be my number one ::laughs::.

What’s something that you still struggle with?

I think it’s… I definitely don’t struggle with self-expression anymore. I think I struggle with letting go of the need to – I don’t want to say impress because that’s the wrong word – but just to please my parents. I’m definitely trying to let go of the need of that. I was never really close to my mother or my father, so just accepting that I don’t need their approval in any form with any projects I decide to take on, or any decisions in my life. What do you feel accomplished with? I think it’s two-fold because I feel very accomplished with everything that I’ve done this year in terms of writing and film. I think just being happy in the space that I’m in is my biggest accomplishment this year. Just because things are going well for me professionally doesn’t mean it’s always going well personally. I’m a co-parent, I co-parent with my oldest son’s father and that’s been a really trying experience. I think, regardless of if everything was perfect in my personal life or not, I’ve really been able to find a balance and be happy and comfortable with where I am. That level of emotional maturity, yeah.

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

I think we need them to survive this life. I’m very happy to be in a partnership, to have a blended family and to have that to come home to. To have a support system. I think I approach relationships and love a lot differently now, at my age. I’ll watch these shows on TV – reality shows – and see the dynamics. It’s a lot of envy and jealousy and just… pettiness. I’m so glad to be at this point, on the other side. That was all stuff I was doing in my teens and twenties, so as you enter your thirties and forties you’re a lot more secure in who you are. Hopefully, you’re not going to have these stupid arguments over, you know, what somebody wrote on Facebook or text. So, I’m happy to be at that point. I’m not a traditionalist. I married for the first time when I was 20. Now, it’s 20 years later and I don’t really feel the need to do anything traditionally, I don’t feel like I have to get married, I will get married again if I want to. So I’ve let go of a lot of those expectations, the societal expectations, the cultural stigmas of having to live your life in one particular way. I think everyone would be happier if they could get to that place.

What are you afraid of for the world?

I’m not really afraid of anything for the world. Whether things get things figured out or not, we’re all going to die anyway ::laughs::. We were all put on this earth to do something and hopefully most people will figure out at some point what it is and will want to contribute in a positive way to the world. But, I think we’re entering some really interesting times, especially in the United States with the last presidential election and everything that’s gone on. It’s interesting because with the Obama presidency we’ve been able to fall into complacency. Some people have been a lot less willing to examine what was going on in politics and that has obviously led us downhill. What I wish for people is the ability to become critical thinkers, to become independent thinkers and to understand that we’ve had good and bad presidents for as long as the United States has existed. The world is not ending today.

 

Zsameria AKA Ziggy

Zsameria AKA Ziggy

 

Date of Interview: November 20, 2016

Name: Zsameria AKA Ziggy

Age: 30

Pronouns: Zsameria

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

Usually… daily. Mostly in the morning, that’s what wakes me up. I’m not a morning person, so for me to get up I need that water.

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

A dolphin. I would totally be a dolphin or an emu. One of the above. Yeah. Dolphins because they’re so loving and they are very family oriented and so are emus. They’re so big, I have a big personality and I’m somewhat tall, I’m 5’6 so I can usually walk into a room and I’m noticed. But I’m such a love bug at the same time.

Are you family oriented?

I am, I am. Even my friends, they become family, very much so. Yeah.

What are you passionate about?

Currently I’m passionate about spreading more love… every where I go. We’re in this state of shock, I believe, after the elections and a lot of people are frightened, scared, terrified, but some people are also elated but in a harmful way. So every morning my, not even mantra, but what I want to put out into the world, is just spreading more love to people no matter what. And also for myself.

Does that correlate with community and family ties?

It correlates with community on the ground level, yes. Since the election I’ve spoken more to youth about what they want to do and the DC protests when it was actually broadcasted I sent it out to all of my friends who are teachers just so they could support the students on that Tuesday or Monday before. I sent it out when I found out on Sunday and a friend of mine, she works directly with high school students and she told me how they were making posters on Monday, they were really able to support the kids because of what I told her, what I sent to her. So I think right now it’s more of focusing on the youth and the elderly and not just being frustrated, but doing something about it. Yeah.

What are you afraid of for the world?

Judgement. For people to be able to judge people without knowing their fucking name. For people to be so angry with external things that they become angry with the people who are just like them but they don’t even fucking know it because their guard is up, or because they see someone’s color or someone’s gender as a weapon. Yeah, definitely.

What do you feel accomplished with?

That I can communicate with people! I have a sense of like, being strong, but I have a humbleness about me. I’m from DC so, we didn’t grow up with much and I’ve been through struggle so I can relate with a whole bunch of people. I’ve had sorrows and hardships and just like… having to grow the fuck up. So I can relate to so many people on that level, so I guess, being compassionate with people. And hopefully they’ll give me the same respect, but if not I’m still gonna have that.

What is something you struggle with?

Hmm… forgiving. Forgiving. I do have that quality of all love, blah blah blah, but once you do some damaged shit I’m like, fuck you, fuck your mother, fuck your grandmother, that whole thing. So I think forgiveness for me and moving past certain things that I have to do the forgiving for myself and not for that other being or for that energy and not taking is so personal. I think that’s it.

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

What do I think of them? I think they make the world go round. I think it’s very important when you are able to be vulnerable with somebody or intimate with someone. It shows your growth. I don’t think you can grow truly by yourself. By holding on or by always thinking one way and not having that other person or other beings, not even in a sexual thing, just a friendship, having that genuine friendship is very important for growth. And in life, I think we ultimately need growth. Yeah, and each other. I’m an avid believer that hurt people, hurt people and that lovers, love endlessly.

What is something beautiful that you saw today?

Mmmm today… your artwork. Your artwork is very vulnerable and the fact that you want to help people heal and grow through it and show them in a different light and like… draw them, and you be vulnerable yourself with it. That’s beautiful, I’ve been asleep pretty much all day and I had to go to this brunch, I felt like I was rushing all day then I get here and you’re like, “No problem! Hey! Here’s my work”, that was very beautiful.

 

Andrew and Liz

Andrew and Liz

 

Date of Interview: November 11, 2016

Names: Andrew and Liz

Ages: 29 and 31

Pronouns: He/Him and She/Her

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

Liz: Every day.
Andrew: Whenever necessary. As infrequently as possible.
L: Sometimes I have to ask you to do it.
A: It never occurs to me. To shower. So I usually have to be told. So I’m not thrown out by society ::laughs::.

How does it feel to be in a bath?

Andrew: This is nice.

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

Andrew: Crab. Because I’m crabby.
Liz: You are very crabby. I think I would be a sand dollar. They used to be all over the place where I grew up in Maine and now they’re being pushed out by climate change. You never see them. Now, when I see them it’s this treat.
A: When people see you it’s a treat, because you’re rare? Is that the idea?
L: Sure, that’s right.

What are you passionate about?

Andrew: I’m passionate about music, about art and politics. I am passionate about playing music, writing music, performing music, listening to music. I’m passionate about other people’s art, art that is interesting, art that speaks to truth. Art that revels to me a truth that I had previously not known.
Liz: Being a part of a community that is improving the world. And I do that in a few different ways. I feel very passionate about the DC arts community. I also care immensely about social justice issues. We have so many opportunities to improve other people’s lives. I see it as my obligation to open people’s eyes however I can, through writing and photo and video, by putting stories out into the world to help people understand how simple it is to help other people.

What are you afraid of for the world?

Andrew: Letting fear dictate policy. Letting ignorance dictate policy. Lack of empathy.
Liz: Yeah, lack of empathy is a big one. There’s so many people who lack empathy and we’re so fundamentally disconnected right now. I’m really scared of how I feel disconnected from this huge portion of my country. With the work that I do I meet people who are really struggling. I’m terrified about that lack of empathy continuing to grow and grow and grow.

Do you feel, as creative types, that the two of you have created a world that you can thrive in?

Liz: Absolutely.
Andrew: That’s the goal at least. And it’s good. About 90% of the time.
L: I think that’s one of the reasons why we found each other and connected as a couple. We both have a world view where we want to contribute…
A: …in a positive way.

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

Andrew: They’re necessary. They’re absurd. They’re messy. They’re chaotic but they’re 100% necessary. We need each other.
Liz: They make you grow. They bring you joy. They bring you sadness and sometimes that’s a good thing. They push you in directions you don’t expect. You wind up in new places. I’m about to go on a ten-day trek through the wilderness literally at the end of the Earth, and it’s because of my relationship with a lady friend. She was like “hey you want to go do this” and I told her that I’ve never even considered that, so, okay, let’s do it.
A: I think one of the reasons I love music is because it allows you to form relationships with people that would be extremely difficult otherwise. You can connect with people who you’ve never met before. As a performer, connecting with an audience. As an audience member with another audience member sharing a passion over an artist. Or an audience member connecting with a performer. One of the great things about it is you can connect with people across social boundaries. Across race or across gender or whatever, that’s one of the things that excites me so much about it. Is the ability to connect other people and form relationships.

What is something that you struggle with?

Andrew: Excessive self-analysis ::laughs::. That’s something I struggle a lot with.
Liz: Being comfortable with the unknown. I’ve had a lot of movement in my life. I moved every year or two until I was in high school. As an adult I’ve continued that lifestyle. I think sometimes I get a little freaked out when I don’t have a plan. Or my plans get changed.

What is something that brought you joy today?

Andrew: Going to an art museum and seeing art that was interesting and from a perspective that I don’t often see. That brought me joy.
Liz: We were on our way to the art museum… just flying down the street on our bicycles and the wind was in my hair … it just felt so good. We were on our way to do something we love. And in that moment, I felt really happy.

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