What do the words "only human" mean to you?
The words “only human” serve as a reminder, for me, that we are not superheroes. And that is more than okay, because it is the flaws and the shortcomings that make us beautiful as much, if not more, as our gifts and achievements. Each human has a special set of divinity, or star dust in them and when they are able to spread it, the world becomes even more unique and more beautiful because of their presence. I think “only human” calls us to understand the importance of supporting those around us, to give them a hit of bravery when they need it, because at the end of the day a sense of community is perhaps the single most important ingredient in the recipe for thriving.
What are you passionate about?
From a very young age, my passion in life stems from the health and happiness of animals. I was always outside staring wide eyed and mystified at wildlife, naming everything from ants to deer and creating this fantasy where we were all connected. As I grew up, I learned that my fantasy is actually much more of a reality. I think that all living things deserve to be cared for.
I also have a hot and heavy love affair with music. When I was little, I would constantly be putting on productions for my family in our living room. Most of my life, I have been involved in choir, show choir, numerous bands, and most recently, I simply write and record things from the comfort of my bedroom. But listening to music and being captivated by songs the first time I hear them, or finding a song that never gets old because of how much it moves me… those are the moments I feel most alive.
What makes you the happiest?
I don’t think you will ever find a bigger smile on my face than when I am spending time with people I love, when I am around animals, or when I am dancing.
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
Although my practice fluctuates in regularity, yoga has been the biggest improvement to my life in the last 8 years. About 3 years ago I started my 200 hour yoga teacher training, and although I haven’t completed it yet since relocating from Colorado to Arizona, it has been such a blessing. It has given me so many tools to enhance my relationship with my body.
As is the case for so many women, I grew up in a setting that constantly called my shape, size and worthiness into question. I have always looked very different than the rest of the women in my family and up until I started practicing yoga, I hated myself for being different. I have been able to shed light on my abilities and my strength in a new way. It is now possible for me to hold space for self-love and appreciation.
Additionally, I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 15 (this August was my 15 year Diaversary) and this year I was finally able to get a Constant Glucose Monitor which has absolutely enhanced the quality of my life. I no longer have to prick my fingers 7+ times a day to monitor my blood sugar levels! I couldn’t be happier.
How do you keep yourself positively inspired during overwhelming times?
Sometimes the greatest gift I can give myself is getting outside. There is something about removing yourself from your regular environment and getting some fresh air; it puts me right back in my body.
Also, I know how important it is for me to stay connected to the people I love, so scheduling time to talk on the phone or FaceTime as a regular occurrence is very valuable.
If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, whose would they be? Why?
I would have to say Adele. Mostly because I know that she suffers from really horrible stage fright, much like myself, and I would love to experience her version of overcoming that. But also because she’s super effing fabulous and who the heck wouldn’t want to be her for a day?!
What book (or books) have greatly influenced your life?
I am a giant Young Adult literature nerd, and John Green is my favorite author in that category. He wrote a book called “Turtles All The Way Down” and it absolutely floored me. Essentially, the main character is overly aware of her body to the point that it causes her anxiety, particularly in social situations and I tell ya what, it made me feel waaaay less alone.
Some other super influential books I have read are: Women Who Love Too Much- Robin Norwood & Radical Acceptance- Tara Brach
What’s your favorite quote?
My grandpa used to say all the time “life is too serious to be taken so seriously” and I hold on to that fondly.
What is your most-used emoji?
It’s a toss up between the pink hearts and the face with the party hat, kazoo and confetti.
What would be your advice to a human who just graduated from high school and was about to enter the "real world"?
Take the time to observe. Look for people who are living a life that you aspire to create for yourself. Find opportunities to shadow individuals in your career interests to see what a day in their life is like. Take your time- this is your life and rushing is a guarantee to miss out. Above all else, no matter what, follow your heart. Find what makes you happy and charge into it with all your might. Nurture your relationships, most importantly your relationship with yourself.