The afternoon sun hangs overhead, just high enough to peek over the roof of the Chinese restaurant across the street. Eowyn and I meet at her favorite coffee shop, where the drinks are good and strong and the baristas sing and dance and know her name. Eowyn sits at the cushioned window seat bench facing me and the coffee bar, crosslegged, laughing when her friend who works there sneaks funny looks over the espresso machine.
How are you today?
I’ve been doing better. I feel like I’ve been making progress on how I’ve been doing, so my mood has just been gradually going up. It feels good.
Can you name a song that speaks to you?
That’s a hard question. There are so many. I’m going to answer this as if I were in seventh grade still. That song would be “Composure” by August Burns Red, which was my favorite band for far too long. That song really speaks to me just because it talks about how you feel like falling and getting to that part in your life where it’s gotten really down and you’ve got the scars to prove it. [That] really speaks to me personally, but then it turns around at the end of the song; it goes like, “Wave goodbye to the past. You’ve got your whole life to lead.” And even now when my music taste has evolved and changed so much that I don’t tend to listen to that type of music as much, that song still speaks to me so much lyrically that it’s just incredible. It’s one of my favorite songs, and I think it will continue to be one of my favorite songs for a really long time.
Are there any superstitions you believe?
Not really. I feel like if I broke a mirror, I’d kind of panic a little bit, but as far as superstitions, no, I’m not a super superstitious person. Probably a little bit when it comes to sports. For a while actually, I thought there was this curse, where, for a while, every single one of the [San Francisco] Giants games that I had been to, we had lost, and so I thought that I was a curse to my own team. So I was like, “I’m never going to another Giants game ever again!” And then finally, I think it was last summer, I went to a Giants game and we won, and it was the happiest that I’ve ever been. I was so happy; I was like, “The curse does not exist! I’m okay. I can go to games again.”
Do you have a spirit animal?
I think a lion, which is kind of funny. I don’t know; I don’t think I’m a very ferocious person, but at the same time, I see a lot of strength in lions, and they were my favorite animal as a child. Some things about them have just stuck with me. They’re strong, and that’s something that I always strive to be.
What motivates you?
I think, happiness as an end goal. It’s something that definitely has motivated me to make it this far. I’ve come a long way, and happiness, I think, [is] something that I will reach eventually, and I’m on my path there. Motivation is not an easy thing for me. I struggle with it a lot; even just getting out of bed in the morning can be really difficult for me sometimes. Depression sucks. But I’m learning, and I’m coming a long way, and I think happiness, that goal, is just really powerful.
If you were to write a memoir, what would you title it?
Confused. (Laughs.) Honestly, that’s how I feel I am with most of my life: confused on where I’m going and what’s happening and who I am. I think I’m starting to find who I am a little bit more, but I’m still a little confused on that, so yeah, Confused.
What is your favorite smell?
Coffee. There is something about the smell of coffee. I could spend hours in coffee shops, just smelling how it is in here; and there’s just something to waking up to the smell of coffee too. My dad always makes coffee in the morning, so I tend to wake up to that smell. It wakes you up and calms you at the same time in a weird way. There’s something calming and peaceful about drinking a cup of coffee in the morning.
How do you like your coffee?
A tiny bit of milk, a tiny bit of sugar. I don’t like it super sweet, and I don’t like it super creamy, but I do like just a little bit in there.
What is something you’ve always wanted to do?
Publish my own book. That has always been such a crazy goal of mine, even since I was little and I found myself writing all this crazy stuff; I was like, “I’m going to publish a book someday!” and I didn’t know what kind of book it would be, and now I think I know it would definitely be a collection of my poetry. As I write more and more, I feel like I’m coming closer and closer to that, and I can actually see it happening eventually, which is crazy, but it makes me happy. I’ve printed out a big stack of my poems, and it’s like that [holds up fingers] thick, and I’m going through and editing stuff, and, you know, one day.
If you could tell your past self anything, what would you say?
As cheesy as it is, “Keep going.” I mean, I know that sounds really dumb, but there’s been some shit in my life that has been hard, and I’ve been able to get through all that, but I know it was really hard for me in the past few years to keep going just because I know I have the strength to get through, but myself then didn’t really know [what] I know now. That’s definitely what I would tell myself: keep going because you have the strength to do so.
When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
I don’t have great self-esteem, so not always my favorite person. Definitely not my favorite person, but I see someone who is learning to love herself and who is growing and changing and will someday achieve happiness and self love.
How is the person you are different from the person you want to be?
Definitely with the self-esteem, again, I want to have self-esteem; I want to love myself, and I know I will someday. I’m actually pretty happy with how I am right now, but I want to be stronger. There’s only so much that people can handle, and I want that limit to grow for me. I want to be able to handle more. I want to just fight back at life and be like, “No, you don’t got this; I got this.”
What is your greatest fear?
Staying depressed. It’s been five years now, and I’m getting better, but definitely there was a time where I just felt so stuck in that depression, and that was all I could feel all the time. My greatest fear would be staying like that for the rest of my life. I can’t imagine having to live like this for that long.
Can you offer any profound advice?
Adventures make life worthwhile. I know that sounds super cheesy, and it is super cheesy, but honestly, even little adventures like making a day trip out to somewhere and going for a hike. Everybody needs a little adventure in their life, and I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s what’s important to me anyway, and I think people can gain a lot from exploring, even in their own backyard. There’s a lot that you can do. The world is a big place.
The Dialogue project aims to capture the essences of people through their thoughts and stories, illuminating characteristics of personality that one may not recognize in a stranger at the surface. All Dialogues are published under pseudonyms chosen by those interviewed. You can find more Dialogues here.