Can you tell us a little about where you grew up? Where are you from? What was your childhood like, etc.?
I’m finding this question one of the most difficult to answer, because I had a very happy childhood, yet I don’t remember most of it. I don’t know why I’ve forgotten so much. Since my dad worked in the military, we moved every three to four years. Oregon has been the longest I’ve stayed anywhere, so a lot of my childhood was spent getting excited about a new place, fitting in strangely, not laying down many roots.
What’s something from your youth (positive or negative) that you feel has deeply impacted or shaped you today?
To follow the childhood question, the constant moving within the U.S. and then internationally really shaped my personality. When you learn about different cultures at a young age, people don’t seem so fundamentally different to you. It’s also easier to make connections with others, and you have a plethora of adventure stories to tell.
What do you like to do for fun or in your spare time?
Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought her back. I know I’m highly curious person, so anything that includes adventuring. Oddly, I’m not a super outdoorsy person, but I love trying new things.
Do you hold down a day-job or other side hustles? Would you like to share?
I’m a High School English and Creative Writing teacher and that’s a salaried job that takes up way more than 40 hours a week, but I also do freelance editing and video captioning on the side. I’m torn considering if I want to take up a job this summer.
Coffee or tea?
How can one choose? Both have supreme health benefits and they’re pleasurable to drink. Let’s say it’s a foggy morning and I want to write in the little cafe where I habit, then it’s an iced hazelnut mocha (I have a funny story about hazelnuts for later). But then it’s nine p.m., and your friend just came over and they’re stressing, so you make a cup of Moroccan mint tea with a dash of honey. So yeah, both. *p.s. I was a coffee shop barista in my early twenties and also had a tiny Etsy herbal tea shop*
What is your favorite thing to write about or discuss and why?
Things we perceive as supernatural. I’m so hooked in exploring the unknown. There’s so much fear and passion in that exploration, and it feels like there’s so much there that shows our human side too. It’s like the supernatural is the light in which we see our gruesome scars.
What made you decide to join the Womanalia team?
Writing for and about women! I think I’m constantly trying to find connections in my life, and who knows my experience better than other women? Because at the end of the day, I want to be understood.
What difference do you hope to make by doing this?
Just like my affination for writing about fantastic things, I want to raise that candlelight to my scars. I think women have definitely been asked to live and think in a certain way and hide all the rest. I’m wrestling with the things in my life that have gone unsaid for too long, and I’m hoping that we can have the strength to be as honest with ourselves as possible.
What’s something you struggle to write about or find difficult to talk about and why?
I think it’s difficult for me to open up about my anger, and specifically why I’m so angry. I went through this period in my life where at the beginning of my MFA I was just writing these little revenge fantasies, and being really angry. I’ve come to realize that my ire wasn’t being properly directed. So: sexual assault and people thinking I’m crazy.
What advice or sentiments would you share with women younger than you?
Find a way to express yourself (and not fear someone seeing the product) in the most purest form you can (like sketching, singing, writing or witchy rituals in the middle of the night) and make it part of your daily habit.
What makes you feel powerful? Powerless?
I feel the most powerful when I have family and friends that are supporting me doing what I want. It could be writing, applying for a job, etc. and on the flipside, it feels more difficult to be pursuing those things without at least one strong foundation backing me up.
What do you hope to achieve in the next five years?
Yes. Good things. I’m drafting a novel that I want to publish, I’d love for Womanalia to grow as a blog and I’d want to communicate with the audience.
What does “having it all” mean or bring to mind for you?
Can I curse here? Well, f*ck. I think about “having it all” and feel overwhelmed and inadequate. It’s like that old saying “jack of all trades, master of none.” Ideally, I want every woman to strive for the things they desire and not buy into this idea that other sections of their life have to follow society’s suit.