"The feeling of creating something, having control over something is incredibly comforting to me"

Stevie

Student

Los Angeles


What’s been on your mind lately?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we’re encouraged to monetize our hobbies. I remember seeing this one audio go around TikTok where it's like “you need 5 hobbies… one to make you money, one to keep you in shape, one to...”. I don't quite know why but I feel a deep discomfort seeing those. Maybe it's because I think hobbies should be things you do simply because you enjoy them, maybe it's because I think thoughts like that contribute to the narrative that we must live our lives to be productive and in a capitalist society productive means making money, maybe because I think the joy in and of itself is enough payment.


We live in the era of the “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. And I'm not trying to combat that. It's good to follow your dreams, to do what you love. But every time we seek to capitalize on any intersection of our skills and our loves, we underline the idea that financial gain is the ultimate pursuit. If we’re good at it, we should monetize it. If we’re good at it and we love it, we should 100% monetize it.


Monetizing your hobbies is not a bad thing. I just think that the narrative around it can get pretty toxic. Hobbies are like plants, you take care of them, you spend money on them, you love them and it's okay to not monetize them, to let them just be something that brings you joy and helps you recharge.


I'm not going to say that I’m not damaged because I am but the thing is. Who isn’t? We’re all damaged and we’re all deserving of love.

What’s the most impactful thing someone has said to you recently?

I have a complex, I think I’m unloveable, that I'm too much, a burden to those who love me. And even though I know that's not true I think a part of me will always believe that it is. I was talking to a friend a few months ago and I sort of flippantly went “I’m too broken to be loved.”. She agreed and added “but you're working on it right?” to which I just muttered “yes”. After that exchange, I cried myself to sleep, for I kid you not, 3 months. It really hurt that someone who I loved, someone who loved me said I was too broken to be loved.


I'm not going to say that I’m not damaged because I am but the thing is. Who isn’t? We’re all damaged and we’re all deserving of love. Sure I might be a little bit more damaged than the average person. But I'm also a lot more aware of that damage than other people. I go to therapy, I know my triggers, I know what I need from people, I know how to communicate, I know that I’m damaged and I know how to best work around that.


So I stopped crying. Because I am not a burden to the people that love me. I’m not too broken to be loved, because I am. I am loved.


What’s bothering you? How do you feel about the present and the future? Globally/ on a personal level?

God, there's so many things that are bothering me. The fact that Biden is putting kids in cages and bombing Syria, the fact that new variants of covid-19 are popping up seemingly every other day, the fact that climate change seems like something we’ll never be able to reverse. I think it's good that things are still bothering me though. At least I'm not numb, complacent. I'm bothered and ready to fight which is something at least.


Life's stressful, how do you relax?

Art, I create. I sculpt, I paint, I sew. I dance, I sketch, I write. The feeling of creating something, having control over something is incredibly comforting to me. The world is so big and so vast and I’m so small and so overwhelmed but when I’m creating I feel powerful. I feel like I have power, and I feel like I can work to change the things about the world that make me feel powerless and that's enough.


Also, baths, though those are definitely a guilty pleasure of mine being that I live in Los Angeles.


Is beautifying makeup overrated? Should we dare to express ourselves more creatively with makeup?

I’ve never really felt that I could be beautiful. Ever since I was a kid. You know? That first manifested in a really nasty “I'm not like other girls” phase but eventually, I grew out of that. I still didn’t feel like I could be pretty though so I thought “fuck it”. I’ll do as I please. If I can’t be pretty at least I can be interesting. And it does suck, never being able to look in the mirror and say “damn I look hot today” but I’m not too sad over it. I love the way I look, the way I do my makeup, the clothes I wear: I love them. So I don’t think beautifying makeup is overrated. We all just have different iterations of beautifying makeup. If you like traditional glam, rock it. If you like having intense colorful cut creases, wear that shit with confidence. If you like putting random shapes and patterns on your eyes, go off! Wear whatever the fuck you want. Because no matter what you do some people will dislike it, so as long as you love it, you're golden!

IG: @yuqyi