THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: Fear

Mykalee “Mykie” McGowan

Mykalee McGowan

 

Date of Interview: November 4, 2016

Name: Mykalee “Mykie” McGowan

Age: 23

Pronouns: She/Her

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

I try to do it like, twice a day. That’s showering, baths, I want to start doing that once a week and things of that nature with spiritual baths. So, alright, so I say that I’m a witch and I feel that baths are very healing and it’s very calm. And you know, sometimes showers just don’t do it for me. So I want to take spiritual baths once a week to unwind, get the stress out, relax as well as doing some witchy shit like setting intentions and doing spells. Yeah.

If you were an underwater creature which one would you be? Mythical or real.

Cool beans, cuz the first thing that popped in my head is a mermaid. I would be a mermaid! Yeah, I feel like the human form sometimes is not negative, but it’s whatever while still being cool. You can have the fishy aspect and the human aspect, I wouldn’t want to get totally rid of the human part.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about creating, I’m passionate about expressing myself as well as showing people dope shit. And dope events. And bringing dope people to dope people. I am kind of known as the person who knows everybody, that knows everything that’s going on. I have my friends telling me “GIRL! You should have told me about that event, what the hell!” Because I just like what people do and I just want to show that to the world and help people express that and help them express themselves. But right now I’m trying to learn to express myself cuz I’m dope too ::laughs::.

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment?

My biggest accomplishment is starting my own business. My biggest accomplishment is starting my own business because I’m the only one in my family that has done that. I think about where I was in 2015, I was broke as fuck, my father had just passed away, dealing with a lot of depression and anxiety and stuff like that. To now, when I started my business in July, to know that I’m the only person in my family to have done that. It just feels really really good, it feels really sweet ::laughs::. Especially because I’m the black sheep of my family and a lot of times, my mom asks “what are you doing?”. It just feels good to have something that I own.

What do you mean by black sheep?

I mean I’m the black sheep cuz I’m the one… So my sister was in the army. My other sister graduated college on time and she’s the youngest, she’s a year younger than I am, she has a job and a car and a house. And here I am trying to figure it all out in this very small room, in this house in DC. When you’re raised by Jamaican parents, having a secure and normal career is what they want for you. But I can’t physically, mentally, or emotionally get a “normal” job. Whenever I try, It always backfires. Like, God won’t let me. So to be outside of a having a car/house/job, that’s me being a black sheep. Yeah. And I’m still doing okay!

What is something that you still struggle with?

Accepting myself, and all of myself. Expressing myself and all of myself too, I tend to try to form myself in the way that I think people will like me to be. I felt that my past self was like a parasite. When it came to lovers, when it came to friends, I felt like I would try to stick on to them because I think they’re amazing and that I wasn’t amazing enough. I would try to form to be like, the sassy side chick or the bomb ass lover and now I’m in a space where I have to be me. So I’m alone a lot of the time and I force myself to be alone to see myself and deal with myself alone so I can be like, “Mykalee, you are cool and you do have flaws but everybody has flaws”. And yeah. That’s how things are right now.

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

Oh my God. Ohhhhh okay ::laughs:: SO relationships! Oh my God, platonic ones. I’m actually learning to express myself and be out there more. A challenge I had in the beginning of summer was to see more people. Talk to more people and stuff, so I think that’s really good. But when it comes to romantic relationships I’m not the one. I’ve tried polyamory, I’ve tried monogamy, now it’s just plain old I don’t want to talk to nobody ::laughs::. At this moment in time, ya know, there are times because it’s people, times that it’s myself, it’s a way to protect myself. I haven’t successfully navigated romantic relationships at this moment. Gotta find my way, I know I’ll get there one day. And regardless of if I’m with many people or with one or by myself, I’m gonna be fine. Sexually, I love sex. I love sex, even though I’ve been celibate for a year to protect myself, and try to shed some energy that’s been old and needs to be moved, sex is good. Sex is alright by me. That’s it ::laughs::.

What are you afraid of for the world?

I’m afraid that people will just not… I feel like people already don’t accept each other. And if you say you’re something, I should just acknowledge it instead of being like, WELL this states or that states, you know, if I’m saying I’m a certain thing you need to respect that. Just do that! I don’t think it’s a hard thing to do. A lot of the time I do feel that, but there is such a division going on. And it doesn’t have to be that way.

What are you afraid of for yourself?

I’m afraid to fail. I’m afraid to be homeless, I’m afraid to succumb to my depression and anxieties. I think about that a lot. But I’m also afraid to succeed because success draws more responsibility and I’m someone who is easily overwhelmed and I don’t want that to take over.

What did you see today that was beautiful?

I saw a couple at my favorite cafe. They were just… So sweet together. I thought about my mom and my stepfather, it was just those candid tiny moments, those beautiful moments.

 

Heather Funk

Heather Funk

 

Date of Interview: November 2, 2016

Name: Heather Funk

Age: 29

Pronouns: She/Her

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

I dunno, maybe at least once a day, sometimes twice… At least once.

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

What do you classify as underwater? Could I be a sea otter? Sea otter. I find that I am cuddly and playful like sea otters and I have a lot of hair on my head so I identify with their double fur layers. I think it would be really great to have armpit pockets, you know they store tools in their armpit pockets? I would love to have something where I could carry a rock around in my armpit. ::Laughs:: It’s so weird but I’ve thought a lot about this before.

What are you passionate about?

That is, I think, something that I’ve been exploring a lot these days because it’s changing… It used to be art. And then it was art and logistics because I have an art and logistics background. I can’t remember a time when creativity wasn’t there. I think since I was a kid, I’ve always loved art and always loved being creative, it was very much encouraged in me so that’s just kid of developed. I think some of it has to do with my zodiac sign, I’m an Aquarius so I’m creative! And stubborn and independent! I think… Creativity, you know, I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t there, when I wasn’t imagining things or like, coming up with new ideas for something. It used to be art related but now it’s kind of changed to being business related, but it’s always been there. But recently I’ve been thinking about how, this is my own personal development I guess… Like, travel has always been something I’ve been really passionate about but, in terms of a career, people talk a lot about passions with a career, and that’s where I’m kind of lost right now and have been thinking about where my passions are going to lead me.

What is your favorite medium?

To work with or to view? Work with, it has to be metal working, something with my hands, like more intense industrial jewelry design, which I haven’t done in a long time. But I think to view… To collect and to purchase it has to be photography. To view in a gallery or in a museum setting, I got to think about that one. It’s kind of like asking what’s your favorite color. You like them all for different reasons, right? I can’t answer that I like them all. Actually that’s a lie, I like installations. Installations have to be my favorite because there’s so much involvement and the viewer is within the piece, right. It’s all about the viewer’s experience.

What are you afraid of for the world?

Oh man… For the world. Maybe the zombie apocalypse. But in all reality, running out of our resources. And how we collectively can come together as a world, as an international community, because I feel that we all have our own thoughts separately, but we need to come together for humanity. With the way things are going now I don’t think it’s possible but you know, communities have been developing over centuries, forever, and so I think the idea of community is growing in terms of numbers now and I don’t think we’re at that point yet but I hope we get there soon. I think it’s possible, just not for a while.

What is something you still struggle with?

Vulnerability. Which is why I’m doing this. Seriously ::laughs::. I read about you guys in a thing by We The People, somebody posted about The Bathtub Project and I was like, “Cool! I like this idea!” And so the idea of being vulnerable, there’s a stigma of weakness involved. But in a lot of ways you’re a lot stronger for being vulnerable and being openly vulnerable. I’ve been coming to terms with that in the last year or two and that’s why… Vulnerability! That’s why I’m doing this.

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

Let’s see… Relationships. I think they’re very important and integral to human development and to human happiness. I think if you’re alone, even if you’re isolated, everyone needs some relationship in some compactly. I very much value my platonic relationships, my friendships. That’s something that this last year, I spent a lot of time this last year or two of musing on my relationships with men in a romantic setting, but your friends… They don’t owe you anything. You’re not having sex, most times, with your friends right? So a friendship is the purest form of a relationship in some ways and if you can accept each other for exactly who you are and love each other for who you are in a friendship, that is the highest, purest form of relationship that I think there is out there. At the same time, this other level though, being in a romantic relationship you have the benefit of this other person sticking by your side who wants to be with you and you have that sexual component which is always fun. So… Those are my thoughts on relationships.

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.

 

 

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