What do the words "only human" mean to you?
Only Human can mean whatever you want it to mean. To me, I look at it like the word ‘normal.’ What is normal? Who defined normal? Only Human, to me, means we all bleed the same blood and we all cry the same tears. We are uniquely independent beings with different experiences that make us who we are.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about helping those in the LGBTQ+ community and those struggling with mental health issues. I prefer to share pieces of my life and my experiences with others who are facing similar challenges. I want to be the human connection in someone’s life that gives them a glimmer of hope when all else seems to be fading away.
What makes you the happiest?
Gosh, there are a lot of things that make me happy! Part of me wants to say, “when I see my friends and family I am happy.” That phrase; however, is complicated in my mind because I view it as other people are responsible for my happiness. What truly makes me happy; however, is when I am kind to myself. For the majority of my life, I put other’s happiness and well being in front of my own. The happiness started when I realized that I come first, always. I am responsible for making me happy. I allow myself to not take any blame or feel guilt if I can’t or don’t make another human happy. But why? It’s because as individuals, we are only as good as our best self and we cannot dictate for other’s how they are to feel. I own my emotions and feelings as my own and I allow myself to feel happy when I am engaging in self care and kindness to my mind and body.
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
In the last five years, a lot of changes have happened. The most significant behavioral change to date is my decrease in self harming behaviors and destructive behaviors. I used self harm as a way to escape what I didn’t want to feel. I believe that with self soothing exercises and DBT skills that I have learned to process hard feelings and emotions in a healthy and safe way. I was self harming mostly every month. As I learned other skills and self soothing techniques, I realized that I don’t have to make it so hard. I realize now that by engaging in escape behaviors/self harm only triggers additional negative thoughts/emotions/behaviors. The feeling of guilt and shame and embarrassment are three feelings that I associated most with self harm and the after effects. I no longer am embarrassed to feel negative emotions. Why? Because I am Only Human.
How do you keep yourself positively inspired during overwhelming times?
Its hard to remain positive when life gets overwhelming, but it isn’t impossible. My go-to when I need some positivity is telling those important people in my life that I love them and that I am grateful for them. Gratitude is so simple and so powerful.
If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, whose would they be? Why?
I wouldn’t want to be in anyone else’s shoes but my own. I don’t think I would learn anything new by living in someone else’s shoes for a day. That person is not me and I am not them. I believe that out life is ours to live on our terms.
What book (or books) have greatly influenced your life?
The first book that comes to mind is Untamed by Glennon Doyle. The second book that comes to mind is Madness: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher. These two books speak to my life in more ways than one. They both allow me to see me in a different light while also knowing I am never alone.
What’s your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is by the legendary coach, Pat Summitt. “By doing things when you are too tired, by pushing yourself further than you thought you could, you become a competitor. Each time you go beyond your perceived limit, you become mentally stronger.”
What is your most-used emoji?
What would be your advice to a human who just graduated from high school and was about to enter the "real world"?
The real world truly is the real world. When I was 18, I thought I was ready for anything. Truth is, I wasn’t ready for anything. In my experience, school doesn’t teach you enough about life. How to write a resume, how to pick health insurance, how to do taxes are just a few things that I had to learn the hard way. What would I tell a young human now with my experience in mind? Id tell them this, “you are going to fall and fail more than once but remember it is okay. Don’t stay down for life to kick you; be resilient. Life will throw so many obstacles your way and there will always be people waiting for you to fail. You cannot fail in life if you don’t give up, I promise. It’s important to be yourself and not lose you in the midst of the overwhelmingly amount of responsibility it is to be an adult.”