THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: Trust

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::

Mandi Jo Stoll

Mandi Jo Stoll

 

Date of Interview: August 26, 2016

Name: Mandi Jo Stoll

Age: 24

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Location: Washington, DC

 

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

A mermaid. One of the things my dad always says is that “you can’t rule out the possibility of the mystical.” Well, he might not say it quite like that, but basically, you can’t assume that things don’t exist just because you haven’t seen them, or experienced them and… I like the idea of being a mermaid.

What are your thoughts on vulnerability?

Vulnerability is something that I’ve thought about a lot. I think part of that is that it’s had such a strong impact on relationships in my life and experiences of feeling welcome or not feeling welcome, and finding out what relationships meant and the inherent vulnerability that is in that. I mean, now, I’m working in a vocation that heavily involves vulnerability and trust. And that’s really what drew me to it, the willingness to be vulnerable is important and that’s something I’ve valued in my own relationships and I think it will continue to be a huge factor in my life.

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

I think relationships are at the center of how I behave and how I show what I think is important. I grew up in a Mennonite family and the Mennonites are all about simple living and service, but I think a large part of that, is focusing on living out what it means to be like Christ. And to me that means my relationship with God and my faith isn’t just something that I do by following certain rules or by going to church on Sunday. It’s something I do by showing the same love that I believe God has for everyone to all the people that I know. And so, deep relationships are something that I seek due to that, but it’s also something that we all need. And that we all crave. The relationships that I’ve built in my life are the most important things that I have.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about people. About music and art. I’m passionate about service, and I don’t think that means something like going to volunteer. To me it means being someone who is generous and trying to be a positive force in the world.

What made you want to be a part of The Bathtub Project?

For me, vulnerability has always been BIG, so definitely that aspect of it. I love water, and so, that just kinda tugged at me a bit. But I think it’s also the fact that The Bathtub Project calls people to step outside of what is normal and safe… And to trust one another. Yeah, it’s not very often that people get the chance to say “I don’t know you, but I’m getting in a bathtub with you”. Like, even this is different because we know each other. The idea that someone would do this is so amazing to me and honestly, the interviews are my favorite part because I feel like I’m able to see parts of people that you really have to ask about in order to hear about. Because they aren’t things that you’re going to hear in regular small talk.

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

I think something that I’m most afraid of… is selling myself short. I think part of that is wanting to put relationships first and wanting to trust the people in my relationships and to not give up on them. But I know there have also been times when I’ve wanted sooooo much to make a relationship work that I’ve put myself in danger of not taking care of myself enough. That’s something that I think about a lot. But I also really don’t want to lose my ‘softness’ because even though I know that being vulnerable makes my emotions be at risk, it’s also one of the most beautiful things to me. So it becomes a balancing thing.

What are you most afraid of for the world?

I feel like the easy answer is to say Trump… But I think beyond that, I think it’s a lack of listening. I mean seriously, Trump is a scary thing but I think that really, what he represents is people being afraid of things they don’t know, and not being taught how to listen to things they know nothing about. I’m afraid that we are moving towards a place where we “other” each other so much, that we forget to see our common needs and humanity.

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