I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman
~Helen Reddy (song: I Am Woman)
Welcome to Week 2! Every Friday I will highlight one woman I know to be a "strong woman". I believe we are here to learn from one another and be strengthened, so what better way to both learn from and celebrate a beautiful friend than a special blog post dedicated to her? I'll ask questions that I personally want to know, as well as questions I think others might be inspired by.
Today I picked my cousin Jackie. When I was 15 years old I went to spend a summer in California with her and her family and it changed my life. My mind was opened up to new ideas and experiences, and I gained a further appreciation for my own life at home by being away so long. Jackie was fun, eccentric, motivating and creative. She is such an example to me by viewing what the world has to offer with optimism and creativity. I am inspired by her ideas and I hope you will be too. Oh, and she's crazy fun.
1. You are probably one of the most creative people I know. Where does your inspiration come from before beginning a new project?
Texture. Shine. Rust. Age. Glitter. Did I mention I almost worship fabrics?A lot of my inspiration for a project comes from the the texture of an item. For instance I may come across a giant glass bead...and there will be something in the shine or the texture of the bead that will make me LOVE it. And then I'll want to think of a project that features a large glass bead...now what could that be? To date that has led to me making my own unique chandelier and large hippie strands for my backyard patio.
Another instigator of my inspiration are things that need to be done. For instance five years ago I wanted a new cover for my couch, but I wanted it to be silver and fit the couch well. I couldn't afford to have someone upholster it so I thought, "Well, how do you upholster a couch?" Since then I've covered at least seven sofas.
Obviously I don't even know all the ways I decide on a project, but some other things that help me in my projects are a general lack of respect or extreme respect (depending on how you look at it) for textiles and other craft items. For example, I owned an obi sash (A Japanese belt for a kimono). This sash was fairly expensive. It was orange and gold and had an intricate woven pattern on it. It did not go well with my summer kimono though. Still, the fabric was incredible! So I cut it up and used it on my curtains. I just couldn't bare to see it sit in a drawer...some people probably can't bare to see it on my curtains. Ha! Ha! Ha!
2. You work in radio which you mentioned was a surprise to even yourself when you began. What opportunities has your job given you?
I want to answer this question without sounding like a braggart, but I think it is impossible. Instead I am simply going to say, that my job has literally fulfilled my dreams several times over and that it is both exciting and satisfying. One of the greatest things for me has been the chance to include my friends and family in the fun. For instance, this summer I will be able to take my mother to an opera festival for a few days. She has never done anything like that before and wouldn't usually because of the cost...but since all our tickets are free...well then YAY! I have also had the chance to bring someone along that I do not know well but with whom I can then begin a friendship.
3. Since your husband is from Japan, where do you see your family settling down and why? Within two years we plan on moving to Japan. This has been set for some time. I really like Japan. If we have children that will be one of their two homelands. And I am sure we will keep up a constant traffic between here and there. My in-laws are wonderful people. I actually ache to see them. And I ache to be in my husbands country because I love him and I love to see another part of him flourish when we are there. I love traveling and to be honest, I love moving. I think all people do like to have some kind of an anchor though. For us that would be owning some land in the west, a cabin or a beach shack, but as far as settling somewhere for years on end...I don't really ever see that happening.
4. I love that you continue to work on developing yourself as an adult (ie; taking ballet again). What's your advice to women who are fearful of starting something new or re-kindling an old talent?
Be afraid. But plan to attack. And carry out the attack. For the most part I think you are pretty much obligated to do whatever you fear. Not at the risk of bodily harm, but certainly at risk to your self-esteem. Charging fear allows you to keep a proper level of humility and self-esteem. Planning also helps you to be practical and level-headed and not sacrifice things that are more important.
5. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
In Japan with my own school.
6. What 3 people do you find to be your greatest examples and why?
I am a religious person so the three greatest examples for me would be the Godhead. I was going to list some other examples since this probably wasn't the answer you were expecting...but then I thought that it actually works very well. God created the heavens and the earth and all things on and in the earth. God is creative and I believe he appreciates and encourages us as his children to use our creative talents for good. Furthermore, God has overcome all things and that knowledge can give us hope to also overcome.
7. Your perfect day. How would it go?
My perfect day is peaceful, zany, bright.There is a sparkling ocean, the top of a mountain, a little butterfly...there is a hammock. There is a piece of paper with just the right texture to write on with an ink pen.There are bare feet and later some high heels.There is gaudy bling and later there is a backyard BBQ...I wear a blue mu-mu to the BBQ.
8. What was your most courageous moment?
It was a moment when I found some light even though everything around me felt very, very dark.
9. When faced with an unexpected trial, what is your immediate reaction and what do you do to overcome it?
If the trial is digging a hole in my garden, then I smile and put on my gloves and tackle it. If the trial is a very intimidating interview for the radio in another country, then I do a lot of research before, wake up early, and dress my very, very best. I often buy new clothes for this trial. If the trial is something spiritual, I try to be patient with myself because I know it will take time. If the trial is something with someone else...well then I don't have a pattern...I wish I did. If the trial is something health related, I work on it. Kindly. Be nice to yourself throughout all trials.
10. Any advice for all women out there?
One person's life isn't a recipe for another person's life...so I will just love you.