THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: Success

Jessica Zeigerman

Jessica Zeigerman

 

Date of Interview: September 6, 2016

Name: Jessica Zeigerman

Age: 36

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Location: Arlington, VA

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

I think I would be a bioluminescent jellyfish, because they’re so cool and mysterious. And they don’t really have any organs or anything. They’re also a lot smarter than they look. I kind of like that, the hidden intellect. And they’re pretty.

What are you passionate about?

Um, I guess it’s kind of hard to say… I don’t know if I have a specific thing. You know how people say that art is their specific passion or saving earth is their passion or something… I just try to do what makes me happy and that can be anything at any given time. I mean, I love to explore and I love learning. Whether I’m reading something or someone is telling me about themselves or about some historic fact or… anything. That’s what gets me. I think when I was growing up and going to school I don’t think I was really into learning. I mean, I got great grades, I was a really good student but I wasn’t really paying attention. I was there for the grade. And later on in life I think I realized that man… I should have taken more history classes, more philosophy classes. More, kind of, explore more. Instead of only learning what I needed to learn to get to the next level. I don’t feel like I’m missing out from not having a specific passion, but I’m a really passionate person in a different way.

What draws you to history?

That there’s so much of it. And it’s so interesting learning how our civilization and the human race has evolved. Just, learning how things were built and wondering why it took so long to create the technology that we have now. Because we had and still have the intellect, but why didn’t we have the means? Just so much, it’s so vast that you can get lost in it! It’s fascinating. I always wanted to know what it’s like to live in an era or century where the day to day was different. I know what my day to day is and I know what another average person’s day to day might look like but there’s so much in the past that’s untold.

What do you think of humanity now?

I think there is a lot of good in this world but it’s unfortunately overshadowed by the not so good. You know, I don’t know if the good people are the silent majority or what it is… I feel like maybe these days people are afraid to offend another person so they keep to themselves or…Or you have the reverse where people don’t care. And they just do the exact opposite. I like to think that everybody has some inherent good in them.

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

I always look to, or try to be happy. Or try to find happiness somewhere. So I guess I’m really afraid of not being able to find that. I think in the past few years, since I’ve been moving around quite a bit, and just getting older, I find that I’ve become more and more solitary. So I’ve been here for a couple years already and I don’t have to many friends here in town and I moved here without knowing anyone and this being a transient town in itself, it’s so hard to find a group of friends to really click with. And stay with. I guess I’m also a little bit afraid of being utterly alone.

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

I think as you get older you get more set in your ways. So… I think that you also get more confident in yourself and you know yourself so you can say “to hell with the next person if they don’t like me”. I always say that to know me is to love me and if you don’t love me you probably don’t know me ::laughs::. So I mean, I love being in love, but with getting older I think you have a different idea of what you want. Like when you’re young you have all of these ideals, maybe touching on the way you were raised, whether you try to marry your parents or whomever you think is ideal. And when you get older you kind of get more confident and set in your ways and you want… a companion. You want someone to share things with. And I’ve always been more of an independent person anyways, so I don’t need to be rescued but I want somebody there. I want somebody there if I’m having a great time so we can share that experience. If I’m going through a bad phase I want someone to give me a really big hug and a kiss and tell me that “Everything will be alright. I’m here for you”. I think it’s something that goes along with friendships, you know, as I get older I want friends who know I have my quirks and my ways and weird tendencies but loves me anyway.

What is something that you feel accomplished with?

I hate to say my job, but for a really long time my job has been my primary focus. So I kind of look back at where I started from and I’ve come a long way. And I love what I do, and now I’m finally making a difference. Or so I feel, and I really feel like I’ve arrived. So I guess that’s something that I’m proud of. I’m also proud that I was able to leave home. I lived in Cleveland for over 30 years and I picked up and left, went to New England not knowing anybody, for a job opportunity. And I made it! I made it up there and moved down here and have made it here too, so I’m proud of finding success professionally but also personally, knowing that I can do it. I feel that much better, more confident in myself.

What do you wish you had known at 15?

Sooo many things ::laughs::. The small things are really small things. Just be yourself, and be happy. Don’t try to always please your parents if that isn’t making you happy. Don’t try to fit in if you don’t, there will always be people out there that you can fit in with. So like, don’t try to fit in with the wrong group of kids, if they don’t like you somebody else will, it’s okay! Just… take it easy. Take time to smell the roses. And take more history classes I guess! ::Laughs:: or art classes or something, just go explore, explore everything. Expand your horizons.

Alice Peck

Alice Peck

 

Date of Interview: August 4, 2016

Name: Alice Peck

Age: 26

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Location: Washington, DC

 

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

I would be a seahorse, absolutely. I think because I really like the way they move. They also look nothing like horses which has always fascinated me; they look kind of like a saxophone and they move in a really magical way

Did you read fairytales or fantasy as a child? Did this impact who you are now?

A lot of fairytales. As a child I read a lot of the more traditional ones that you read to little girls and little boys. And they’re quite gender binary, very traditional gender roles – like with women saved by the man, and it’s actually taken me a couple years to kind of shake off that. Realizing what is a fairytale and now not wanting that kind of thing in my life at all. So yeah, these kinds of things impact you definitely, but in a way that I can question now.

What are you passionate about?

Gosh, so many things. I love… Right now I love reading so much. I get swept up in words and I think waking up and reading poetry, which sounds so pretentious, is so good for my soul. I just think there is so much unlocked potential when you begin reading. You never know how you’re going to react to it. It can be a really beautiful form of escapism. More broadly, I’m really passionate about challenging inequality, injustice, and discrimination.

Do you think how you were raised effected this?

Yeah, definitely. Well, for a start, I was raised in a way that was very fortunate and privileged. I never had to worry about… anything. I lived a sheltered life but my parents were very good about talking about our privilege. Letting me know that this wasn’t the way for everyone, and what responsibilities come with privilege. Also my responsibility comes from what I really believe is wrong and learning about institutional racism and sexism. And learning why these things are wrong. It’s something that I’m really passionate about as I think everything was handed to me on a plate and that’s really unfair.

What is something that you’re afraid of for yourself?

I would say… Failure. In a… How do I describe failure… I think I have very high standards and ambitions for myself. And I can be my worst critic. Something I’m working on and challenging a bit is this idea of success. I’m questioning what looks good and personal goals. I think not living up to them is something I am definitely afraid of.

What is something that you’re afraid of for the world?

Climate change. Yeah, I feel quite hopeless when I look at the beauty of the planet and how we’re destroying it. And how we don’t know how to respond to it.

Do you think the world was always like this or that there have been changes within the past decade?

I mean, the history of the world is of one that has been at constant war. So, I think, definitely think that there hasn’t been this “Golden Age” of peace and security. And if there was “peace” there was violence against women or suppression of people who are homosexual or people of color. So yeah, I think the world has always been like this but right now it seems very extreme due to the way it’s broadcasted into our lives all the time. The ways that everyone is vocalizing their voice on twitter and broadcasting it out on social media. How people can just say racist bigoted things and it gets everywhere. I think it’s a different form of the usual kind of violence and hatred that we’ve always had. It’s so bleak.

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

I think relationships and connections with other humans is one of the most rewarding and hopeful things in life. Especially since we live in such a sad time, being able to connect to another human being and share words and understand and listen… just coming together from different perspectives is one of the most beautiful things. Also, physical intimacy is… Incredible ::laughs::. I don’t know, in terms of a long-term personal relationship… I think I’m more cynical.

If you could tell your 15 year old self something, what would it be?

So many things I would want to tell myself… I think, if I could convince my 15 year old self to believe in myself and love myself a bit… Just have some self compassion. Yeah.

Arin Jayes

Arin Jayes

 

Date of Interview: June 16, 2016

Name: Arin Jayes

Age: 25

Pronouns: They/Them and He/Him

Location: Washington, DC

 

Is there any part of your body that you feel is missing?

Is there any part of my body that I miss… It’s weird, I kind of miss my period in a weird way. I don’t know, I think that there was this sense of release that I got from my period that I’ve lost since being on T. And… I don’t know, I’m not necessarily thinking about being on T for forever. So that might be something that I might want to have again. Not really sure.

What are your thoughts on how gender is perceived?

Umm, I think that gender is a performance. And gender can be very creative. And fun to play with. But it can also be extremely constricting and suffocating for a lot of people. But I think as I’ve become more masculine, I’ve been able to kind of bring out the more feminine parts of myself, and embrace the queen that I am. Because I felt like, when I was perceived as a woman, that people would see me… I would walk down the street and people would see my, and like… they would think that “oh, this is a cis woman” and I was thinking to myself, “No, this is like a flamboyant gay man, who likes to wear blouses and glittery things in heels” But that isn’t what people see. But now that I’ve been able to pass more I’ve been more comfortable exploring those sides more, which is cool.

What are you passionate about?

I’m really passionate about art. I really like making embroidery and textile art. And I’m really passionate about gardening. I’m really passionate about social justice issues and helping people that are experiencing poverty. I’m passionate about my friendship and relationships.

Do you think the way you were raised impacts what you are passionate about, and how you live your life artistically and as an activist?

Yeah! Well, definitely artistically. My mom is a landscape painter, and I was always raised to appreciate the importance of art. And when I was little, there were always crayons and stuff, and art supplies for me to practice with, so definitely in that way. In terms of social justice, I kind of had to go out on my own. A lot of my beliefs are a lot more radical than people in my family, which is something we’re growing in, and being able to understand each other. But I kind of had to do that on my own.

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

Well like, in the immediate future, I am getting top surgery tomorrow. So you know, I am afraid of discomfort and pain and all that. But part of it is trying not to cling to pleasure and feeling good, and to recognize that you aren’t always going to feel good. And that’s okay. And experiencing a little bit of pain is totally worth it to have an awesome chest. So I’m a little bit afraid of that. And in the wake of Orlando last week, I’m definitely feeling more scared in public. And feeling like having a gay club targeted is a punch in the gut to the queer community because, you know, it is a place where people can explore their vulnerability in a space where you are surrounded by queer people. And everyone is having fun and embracing who they are, and that’s a really important space for a lot of people. And so I think the fact that THAT was targeted as a space for queer people on a night with queer people of color was a huge blow to our community. That really scares me.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

I don’t know. I’m kind of young, so I don’t think I’m that far yet in my life, with a lot of things, like a career and stuff. But you know, I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot with figuring out who I am, and I feel like I’ve really gone out on my own, and grown up a lot. And I feel like I’m kind of living my truth right now. Which feels like a huge accomplishment.

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

Well, I’m polyamorous and so I think that’s it’s possible to love more than one person. And having multiple relationships exposes you to the beautiful diversity of people being able to be all your various selves around all these various people. And that’s really important to me. And recently, I’ve been trying to explore prioritizing my friendships and other sorts of platonic relationships as much as I prioritize my partnerships. Especially when you’re poly and have a lot of partners, you tend to give a lot of time to your partners because that’s really fun, but… you need to make time to make sure you can see your friends. Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time with my friends, and making sure that a lot of people are on board with taking care of me during top surgery. You know, that kind of stuff.

What are some things that you are hopeful for before you turn 40?

Hmmm… Trying to think of the most important thing, but I feel like that’s a lot. I think by then I would like to feel like I’ve started a family… But not necessarily the way one normally thinks of starting a family. I may live in a family with multiple couples in it, or may share the raising of a child with someone, or something. I don’t know what that’s going to look like. That family might include one person or two people or three. I don’t know, but at that point, I want to feel like I have a family.

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