What do the words “only human” mean to you?
What it means to be only human is to accept the faults in ourselves that cannot be changed. I can’t expect more from myself than I’m able to give at one time. I can’t expect more from others than what they’re able to give. All we can do is present the best versions of ourselves and stay open to change and opportunity.
What are you passionate about?
My greatest passion is my stance as a Feminist and an activist for equality to all human beings. There is no such thing as an alien…unless we’re talking interstellar aliens. I hold a strong devotion to all my brothers and sisters in this world who believe that we deserve better. There is more goodness that can come from this life than is currently available.
What makes you the happiest?
What makes me happiest in life is seeing positive change in the world, in humankind. When I hear a live performer for the first time or learn of a new technology to clear waste from the ocean, I can’t help but get emotional. This world has so much goodness to offer, and we’re only now breaking the surface.
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
In the last five years, I have learned I suffer from anxiety. This may not seem like an improvement to life, but it is. To learn about a mental illness and understand how it affects you mentally and emotionally is a great weight off one’s chest. I understand I am not a freak. I am not crazy. I am not irrational. The truth is I was suffering. Now that I understand how I was suffering, I have been able to improve myself through mindful thinking, yoga, and therapy.
How do you keep yourself positively inspired during overwhelming times?
How I keep myself positive during this overwhelming time in our history is understanding it will all be worth it. Once we get through this pandemic, the world will emerge stronger, happier and more ready to grow than we ever have before. I have hope for a brighter future that emerges once the masks are thrown aside.
If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, whose would they be? Why?
If I could spend one day in someone else’s shoes, I would choose the Dalai Lama. The reason I would choose this religious leader is because I would like to know just a hint of what his mindset is and how he is able to climb mountains, remain humble, and be ever-present in each moment he lives. I would like to know the inner workings of peace that bring a smile to his face.
What book (or books) have greatly influenced your life?
There are two books that greatly influenced my life. The first is “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” by Ned Vizzini, deceased. I read this book for the first time at the age of 17 when I was depressed. His book showed me a way out. When I tried to find his fan mail address online to say thank you, I realized he’d committed suicide. This was a reminder that life is short and we need to make the most of our lives with every moment we have. The second book that influenced my life was “Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger. I read this book my senior year of high school and felt a strong connection to Holden, the main character. Sometimes all we need is to be understood.
What’s your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is by Nikita Gill, “We are the descendants of the wild women you forgot. We are the stories you thought would never be taught. They should have checked the ashes of the women they burned alive. Because it takes a single wild ember to bring a whole wildfire to life.”
What would be your advice to a human who just graduated from high school and was about to enter the “real world”?
My advice to anyone who’s just graduated high school would be this: put yourself first. Everyday, focus on the person you want to be and set goals to become that person. There is an infinite timeline to find those you love, but you must first find yourself. So make a plan, set deadlines, and make life happen for you. It’s your life and you choose how to live it from here on out.