How has your perspective shifted over the past five months? How have you grown?
I think the biggest shift over the past five months has been moving away from the feeling that my life is something that needs to be fixed. I thought that the “cure” for my QLC would be achieved when I’d “figured it all out.” What I’ve found is that there is no cure, there is only acceptance and release, which has left me with the feeling that I’m enough just as I am—no “fixing” needed. I don’t need to have it all figured out to move forward.
What do you wish you’d known before you started your QLC journey?
I wish I’d known that I wasn’t alone. I kept my struggles so quiet for a long time out of embarrassment, but in opening up about it, I’ve found so many people who go through something similar and have felt so embraced by this community. I wish I’d opened up sooner. I might have not taken myself so seriously if I’d known how common QLC’s can be!
What are you going to continue to work on after Season 6?
Kindness towards myself. There are some other things like courage, my confidence, health, and some lingering issues with anxiety as well, but I feel like kindness is at the root of everything else.
What little things in life right now make your toes curl with happiness? Big things?
Sitting in a café with a cup of tea. New books. Streaming NPR & KEXP radio. Long walks in nature. Snapping pictures. Great conversations. A really amazing meal with good company. Upcoming travel around Ireland and to Italy, Switzerland, and Spain. Returning home in October. Dreaming about the future with Mark, which basically means talking non-stop about puppies, babies and Portland, Oregon.
In the movie of your life, who would you want to play YOU?
Audrey Tatou or Zooey Deschanel.
What goodies (books/music/travel/quotes/ideas…) have you found over the past few months that are helping your inspiration and creativity?
Having spent most of the last five months in Ireland with one amazing trip to Edinburgh, Scotland, I’m inspired by the beauty of these lush and history-rich countries. As expected, I’ve been taking as many excursions as possible while I’m living here. I’m inspired to take this attitude home with me so that I can look at Oak Park and Chicago with new eyes and take advantage all that my hometown has to offer.
If you were able to start over and start blogging for Stratejoy right now, what would your “Goals” post look like? What do you hope to accomplish by the end of 2012? How is it the same/different from your “Goals” post from earlier this year?
When I started blogging for Stratejoy, my general areas of improvement focused on self-confidence, boundary-pushing and self-love (all areas in which I want to continue to grow and make progress with today). I started with several specific goals like going public with my blog to friends and family, start running, strengthening my design skills for my Etsy shop, committing to a tattoo idea, getting comfortable taking pictures in public, writing my personal manifesto, and vlogging. With the exception of vlogging and running, I feel like I made headway on or achieved each of my other goals.
For the rest of 2012, my goals would be to fully take advantage of my last two months of European travel—soaking up as much culture and sights as I can and taking lots of photos. I’d like to really prioritize my health and make it a part of my routine when I get back home. And I’d like to write everyday, just for me.
Name 5 things you absolutely positively could not live without.
1) My husband
2) Dark chocolate with sea salt
3) My laptop
4) My friends and family… is it bad that I thought of them after my computer and chocolate?
5) Books… Lots and lots of them.
Who are your top 3 celebrity crushes of the moment?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Adam Scott (the actor, not the golfer), Amy Poehler
If you had to dedicate your life to one cause for your life, what would it be? Why?
I’d love to spend my life helping women live happier, healthier and more creative lives. I’m not quite sure how this will play out yet, but I hope to find out! In terms of more traditional causes, I will be a lifelong supporter of environmentalism, education, women’s reproductive rights, and LGBT rights.
What is one of your favorite memories?
My most recent favorite memory was being on the flight back to Ireland after a month apart from my husband, hardly able to sit still much less sleep on the plane. When I finally got through customs and the baggage claim, Mark greeted me with a big tackle hug at the International arrivals gate. He later told me that while he was waiting for me at the gate, he’d gotten a little emotional watching all the other happy reunions happening around him that day– so sweet!
What’s your hidden talent?
Useless: I am ridiculously good at identifying celebrity voiceovers used in commercials. Useful: I have a really great memory for the little details of people, places and events.
What was the last book you read that made an impact on you, and what effect did it have?
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp was amazing. A core message in the book is that creativity doesn’t come from a random stroke of genius, but is produced from constant, repetitive and focused hard work. It was full of inspiring tips that would be useful for any creative person regardless of medium, and made me want to hole myself up in a bright little studio shed in my backyard and create for hours on end.
What quote best represents you or motivates you in your current place in life?
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin. I’ve always been drawn to this quote, but it’s holding a lot more significance for me these days.
What are three things that you are totally obsessed with right now?
Podcasts (my favorites being Joy the Baker, WTF with Marc Maron, Accidental Creative, Jillian Michaels Show), looking for a dog on Petfinder.com, re-watching old episodes of Friends and finding it even more relatable at 29 than I did at age 13-20.
What is one thing you’d like to change about the world?
I wish people would learn to act and react from a place of love instead of fear. If we were more loving—towards ourselves, towards each other, towards the planet—I feel we wouldn’t have as many tension-ridden social, cultural, environmental, political, and personal problems. Or at least we’d be more empathetic and respectful towards our differences.
If there is one gift you could give to a stranger, what would it be?
Friendly eye-contact and a smile for everyone. It’s so simple, but I think it goes a long way. My other answer would be free hugs. I once ran into someone giving out free hugs on the street and I gladly accepted. Made my whole day!
If super heroes are real (and they are), what super power would you have?
Apparition (a.k.a. teleportation, if you’re a Muggle). It would make travel and seeing all the people I love so much easier (and cheaper)!
What do you see when you look into your own eyes?
That I really need to tweeze my eyebrows.
What songs are you loving right now?
Ben Howard – Keep Your Head Up
James Vincent McMorrow – If I Had a Boat
Grouplove – Tongue Tied
What 3 lessons will you take with you from over the last 5 months?
1. The past is great for memories, but it doesn’t have to determine who you are today. Each day can be a fresh start.
2. Confidence can only come from within, from a place of self-love.
3. And, however cliché, it’s not the destination that matters but the journey. The journey IS the destination. I need to remember this one every time I start to freak out about the future. This lesson has also helped me start to move away from over-analysis and into action, which is the the only way to allow the good stuff in life to happen.
What’s turning you on right now?
Summer weather that hasn’t risen above 72° F here in Ireland. It’s been a dream summer in so many ways!