What has been the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?
I have been blessed with many happy moments in my life. The most memorable are trips to faraway lands, but I also love nothing more than days alone searching for peace in the written word. I revel in the atmosphere of festivals, and Coachella last year was definitely a high point in my life so far. Next July, I am getting married in Sorrento, Italy under the palm trees overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and Mount Vesuvius. I know that there are many more amazing moments waiting to happen in my life, and I can’t wait to discover all of them.
Life is littered with sad moments too, but there is a hidden lesson within each of them. Nothing can stay sad for long because it will always force you to grow into a stronger person; there are seeds of positivity in every negative event which bloom into moments of realization.
If nothing bad ever happened to us, then we would never have to grow or adapt. At the time it can feel like our whole world has come crashing down, but everything that happens to us is always temporary and for our highest good. Sometimes I need reminding of this, so I had “This Too Shall Pass…” tattooed on my thigh to bring me back to center during life’s inevitable challenges.
Did you have any struggles/ setbacks in your life, and if you did how did you overcome it?
Like most people, I have had many challenges in my life. My childhood was marked by my parents’ divorce, and I never stayed in the same home for long – I always think that is the cause of my itchy feet in adulthood.
Just as I moved in with my new stepfather at 13, my stepsister died suddenly which plunged him into a deep dark depression. As a seasoned alcoholic, he dealt with it the only way he knew how.
I am thankful for all of the turbulence in my past though because without it I wouldn’t be the person that I am today. I always felt that I had grown up faster than the people around me because of everything I had seen and experienced, but ultimately it was the fast-track that I needed to find my reason d’etre and start helping others.
What has been the biggest lesson in life that you have learned so far?
Everything happens for a reason. It is such simple, common advice and I am glad. After a few of life’s twists and turns, I learned that this statement always proves itself true without fail.
These days, I am just working on shortening what I call the “best outcome time lag” so that I can uncover the new lesson without feeling down-in-the-dumps for too long.
What are most afraid of right now?
I am no longer afraid of death, but I am afraid of not making the most of life.
Whether you believe in reincarnation or not – you will only be in these circumstances, with these people, once.
So I am determined to make the most of it and not to waste a single minute. Sharks are another one of my biggest fears, so in March I am going diving with Great Whites in Cape Town to try and overcome it!
What are your current goals and why you want to achieve them?
All of my goals right now center around my writing and spreading the message of LOVE, PURPOSE, and POWER. My ultimate goal is that everyone finds these qualities within and uses them to live their best life. If everyone can do this, there would be no room for a victim mentality to creep in and hold people back from achieving their dreams.
If you could give a piece of advice to a room full strangers, what would you say?
Realize that you have the power within you to make all of your dreams come true. The hardest part is overcoming your mind and old thinking patterns. After that, the rest is easy.
If everyone realized the enormous power that they held within, then we could change the world for the better in a heartbeat.
What has been the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you?
On a mid-December evening in 2015, my fiancé surprised me with tickets to New York. We flew the next morning. When I woke up, I felt like I was in a fairy tale, and that feeling lasted for the whole five days that we were there. Watching the ice skaters under the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and crunching through crisp autumn leaves in Central Park was a dream come true. I am used to being the organizer in my life, but this surprise blew me away.
What has been the kindest thing you did for anyone?
I’m a firm believer that small acts of kindness contain more power than most people realize. After working as a Barista for four years, I go out of my way to be kind and friendly to service staff because I know all too well how much sour customers can ruin your day. I also like to leave anonymous messages of hope in YouTube comments when people are getting abuse for sharing their message, for example, I remember a specific transgender woman who was the victim of such vitriolic hate in her comments. Naturally, we are inclined to dwell on the bad messages over the good, but I still try to counteract them anyway with messages of support and hope.
Who has been/still is the most influential/kindest person in your life & why?
They are still only mini people, but I find myself continually in awe of my nieces and nephews. I watch them flourish by finding the greatest joys in the smallest of things because they haven’t yet had their inner sparkle hushed by society. They give love and affection openly and are blind to the divisions of race, gender and sexuality. They are still blank pages which will one day be transcribed with inferred meanings from the world around them.
Through them – and all children – it becomes possible to see our capacity for openness and trust because they have such faith in themselves and that the world will always take care of them. I hope with all my heart that it does.