Q: So let’s start with having you describe yourself, Physically and Emotionally.
A: Physically… 5’2″… ‘hundred pounds, I haven’t grown since the eighth grade, I’ve always been a really really small person. I think I’m fuckin’ cute (laughs) um… I don’t know, I think I’m pretty but I don’t think I’m pretty in a standard way, like I think there’s something different about me and that’s what makes me beautiful.
Q: Can you expand on that a little bit?
A: Sure, um, I don’t know, like something about… like my face, for example, I have full cheeks and I have a, like it’s kind of square, y’know, I… my mom used to say I have a ‘five-head’ instead of a forehead and things like that but all of the things, and maybe you’re like ‘oh that doesn’t sound really pretty’ but they just like, work, they all work together… some people would say that I look like other people but I think that I’m really unique looking.
Emotionally… (laughs) … currently I’m very happy, and like fulfilled but it kind of goes all over the place… (long pause) It’s been a really rough couple of years but I finally feel like I’m in a really stable spot with myself and my feelings…
Q: Is there more to that?
A: What do you want to know?
Q: I was just wanting to know if there was more to that.
A: I think, like, I’ve done a lot of self discovery the past six months. I feel more like myself than I ever have in my life. I’ve always felt kind of out of place in my own body, in this world, in this… y’know… this place that I’ve been put against my will. I’ve felt, not necessarily uncomfortable but like, not. quite. right. And I think that in the last six months, I’ve spent a lot of time with myself and I have found the things that make me happy and that really fill my soul. and I know completely who I am and it’s a really amazing feeling. I think a lot of people are unsure, y’know, and those are the people that are insecure and lost and unhappy. I’m not saying that I’m not those things, because I am sometimes, but I feel like I have this just, idea of who I am and so even when I am feeling insecure or lost or sad I am still complete and it’s comforting.
Q: Tell me your earliest memory ever.
A: That’s so hard, I…
Q: I know…
Q: I don’t really remember a lot from my childhood. It’s weird, it was a really good, happy childhood but I just don’t remember very much of it. Something that really stuck with me: I had to be 5 and my dad was home from work, he worked a lot so we hardly ever saw him, but he was home from work early and he and my mom and my sister, who was like 2, and myself were all in my playroom. I was making everyone play circus with me. And we got a phone call and I ran to the phone because, y’know, I was… myself, that was something that I did, I ran to the phone and I answered it, and it was my mom’s brother. He was like, “Hey, chika, where’s your mom I need to talk to her.” and I was like,
“Oh, well she’s playing.” and he was like,
“Oh, well put her on the phone because I need to talk to her.” and so she went and answered the phone call, and he told her that her father, my grandfather, passed away. I remember being really really upset about it because he was about to take a trip to visit us and he had never been to where we lived before, he’d never visited and I don’t even think he met [my sister] and he was about to take a trip and he passed away. I remember that phone call and I remember us going from this really happy moment where all of us were together and like, having this innocent little interaction between all of us to just everything being sad within seconds. We went to his funeral and I wore a… I don’t remember what I wore actually, that was a different time, but we rode in a limo. He had parrots and so I talked to his parrot and hung out with them, but I met a bunch of my family for the first time [at the funeral]. I just remember that phone call, it just has stuck with me. A lot of the memories that I have are from my grandpa, even though I didn’t really know him, just like little things about him all throughout growing up.
Q: Tell me something you’ve done in your life that you are just incredibly proud of.
A: Um… I think I have a lot to be proud of. I think I’ve worked very hard from the time I was five years old I knew exactly what I wanted to do and I was going to make sure that I was going to do it. so I feel like I have a lot to be proud of. It’s like the whole collection of things that I’ve done. I think the point I am in my life right now is something to be proud of. I mean, I’ve had so many opportunities to perform that have just like set my soul on fire. Every time I’m on stage and I get to do that I feel like it’s something to be proud of. I think going to college and getting good grades is something to be proud of, no one else in my family has done that, my parent’s didn’t graduate high school, they, I mean when we were growing up my dad worked all day every day and my mom was a stay at home mom and before that she was a waitress and they never really did anything outside of my sister and I. They did a great job raising us, but they never had their thing, they never had something that was theirs that made their hearts beat faster or their blood pump, they never had something that just give them excitement and I think me finding my passion and making sure that I was going to pursue it is something to be proud of. It’s really general but I don’t have one specific thing, I think it’s all a collection of things that are a result of myself finding my passion.
Q: If you could say one thing anonymously to a large group of people, what would you say?
A: people, my people, I want you to go out there and find yourself. Spend some time sitting alone in your room with the curtains drawn and listen to music and think about yourself. Find the things that make you smile and make you laugh and make you happy and find the things that make you uncomfortable and sad and insecure and then really get to know yourself before you go out and judge someone, or you say something hurtful because of your own insecurities. I think you people out there need to spend some time with yourselves and then love yourself and then turn around and love each other the way you love yourself once you really dig deep and get to know yourself.