Can you define perseverance? When or how have you persevered?
“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” –Newt Gingrich
Every day I persevere in something. Life isn’t about what’s easy or readily given but what you challenge yourself to take on and learn from. I’m currently a 3 class a semester student, while working as an EA full-time and balancing my personal needs and obligations. Every day I must remind myself not to give in no matter the reward or possible failure because I have seen what failure and success looks like and I much rather see whatever I’m struggling against to the end. It’s a mind over matter head game that I play in order to persevere over my hardships. I strive for perfection, let’s say for example, getting straight As in school but I can still finish with a variation of grades and still succeed which is my driving force to keep going.
How have you overcome limitations and anxieties in your life? What do you hope others learn from your experience?
Understanding when something is not my fault and when I need to own it when it is. Processing in ways that are healthy, such as therapy, gym, goal setting and patience, has helped me overcome my prior limits and anxieties. I hope others learn that we’re more the same than we are different. Our stories do not need to be exact, but we have the capacity to empathize and support. I hope that me sharing my experience or anyone sharing isn’t meant for attention but to allow a platform to which we can connect and learn from each other.
What do you think the NEIU community has learned from you and what have you learned from the community?
I’ve learned that people want to listen; they’re not just here to go to school or work and leave. They want connection or in the least bit something to make “what they need to do” more palatable. I believe from one of my Sociology courses that my peers learned from me how to create conversation with topics that aren’t comfortable because I was open about my life. I allowed a platform for people to question and converse when typically we shut down things that aren’t light and easy.
Why do you believe a person gravitates toward one identity or another? What mistakes do you think people make assigning identities to each other?
I don’t have a belief as to why we gravitate toward one identity or another, but I do see in myself my identity connects me to others like me. Which allows me to form a community that isn’t the current “norm” and gives others skating by a chance to see there is no real definition of normal; we’re all here taking up space with variation identities. I feel the mistakes people make in identifying others has multiple intersections, one being the assumption stems from outdated academic learning in reference to other countries, race, religion etc. A second mistake is the need to fit everything into a box in order of their personal understanding, and a third mistake is lacking the tools to communicate. Instead of autopiloting a label we’ve yet to learn how to ask one another details about ourselves that aren’t intrusive, uncomfortable, over the line etc.
You have expressed your belief in sex positivity. Can you explain what sex positivity is and why it is important to you?
Sex positivity is the personal understanding to all components surrounding sex/sexuality while embracing your own freedom. It’s owning, appreciating and loving the skin you’re in and how you chose to present, share and engage with it and others in a consenting way. Sex positivity is important to me because naturally we are sexual beings. The mere act to which we’re all engaging in the sexual nature with partner(s) is a universal norm widespread from race, religion, culture etc. It’s important to feel your choice is valid whether you’re completely covered or comfortable in the nude, engaging in monogamy or polyamory, it all boils down to understand consent. The importance of sex positivity is a domino effect to eliminate or lessen our issues from hate, rape, abuse and shaming.