Q: So… if you could just start by describing yourself physically and emotionally.
A: Physically I’m a short, long-haired, Armenian girl, woman, lady, and emotionally I am like water: I can be very still or very destructive because I’m passionate. My emotions can disrupt something and then create something out of it; not in a negative way, but in a very intense, passionate way. Or my stillness can also be a part of my passion. That’s my two emotions I think, either calm or intense because I work through passion and I create through passion and I interact with passion, that’s the filter.
Q: so you draw that kinship with water then?
A: I think so. I think I’m an air element but I think that water speaks more to my mode of living. I think it just makes more sense to be fluid and be adaptable to containers and areas of life that need you to fit and mold and create space out of yourself because that’s what we do, we put ourselves into a space and then we settle, adapt, or create within that space, whether it’s a job or a relationship or a self-journey; even when our own self is put into our space, like in our soul space, we pretty much have to learn how to balance in there. Water has been something that has been a wise mentor… is that what you’re asking me?
Q: Yeah, yeah that’s great.
A: I don’t really identify with “happy” “sad” “frustrated” “angry” because those are very western emotions and where I’m from emotion isn’t monotone, like you can’t be just one emotion ever in any slice of life, because obviously you’re complex and even if you’re super angry you do have elements of love and if you’re frustrated there’s elements of peace and if you’re in love there’s still maybe something lingering that has other emotions so you’re not one-dimensional when it comes to emotion I think, I feel.
Q: Tell me the earliest memory you can think of.
A: Ah, someone else asked me this a week ago, it’s weird. The earliest memory I can go back to, which has like sensory and emotion and it’s like a memory is me on the beach, because we were beach babies in the __________ Sea, this is in my country before the wars and everything happened. It is of me playing in the sand and hearing the adults like partying and hearing them play Armenian music and smelling shish kebabs, because there were all of these people making shish kebabs on the beach and hearing the water and like tasting the water because it’s salty and then finding glass because people were partying and their bottles would break in the sand but I just thought they were really pretty seashells, not glass. So that’s my earliest memory and I’m guessing I was maybe six, seven, eight, y’know, all of that was before the war, and we were on the beach all of the time we lived right on the beach so as soon as the weather was decent, we were on the beach, our life was spent there. I gravitate back to that memory because that’s all that was going on. Honestly, there was either partying at the beach or there was partying at the house because it was too cold to go to the beach. Like good, wholesome partying, y’know, not like my parents were reckless and irresponsible kind of partying, like that’s just the way our culture was you just constantly had people over and gambling and the doors are open and neighbors around and people are eating and drinking, there’s no occasion, life was the occasion. So that’s how I remember my life being, early on.
Q: Tell me one thing you’ve done in your life that you’re really proud of.
A: Um… I think it’s supposed to be creating my children but that’s such a cliché because a cat can do that, like that can happen accidentally. Somewhat it does, we are creations of our parents but most of us aren’t planned and so how you nurture them is more what you take responsibility for… but that is more in the realm of motherhood and so that’s a given.
But, I think that if I think about something I’m really proud of outside of my own bragging, my own check list, my self, it would be furthering the awareness and the cause for justice for the Armenian genocide of 1915 because that’s my ancestors and that cycle of genocide has pretty much uprooted and conflicted and violated five generations in my own family and all Armenians, pretty much, since 1915; they’ve either been killed, survivors and thrown out all over the world as refugees and still to this day haven’t found justice, and that cycle of denial has created more and more persecution and killing of Armenians and other people. Our genocide I would say was, well I wouldn’t say, but it was the very first genocide of the 20th century but it’s not known about very much because it’s suppressed, and it was the template that Hitler used for the Holocaust. Since then there have been repeated crimes against humanities on vast scales even in today’s modern world of awareness and information, and so my passion and also my sense of duty has been lined up to make sure that we create as much of a sense of awareness of the Armenian genocide in order to get to justice. Which is happening exponentially at this point. For my own little world here, we had [name of state] recognize Armenian genocide in 2004 and [name of city] in 2009 and erected two monuments in honor of Armenian genocide… which to anyone else it’s like, “Okay, cool, it’s a stone, who cares, where’s Armenia.” like nobody even knows their geography anymore, but for humanity that should matter because that’s as important as recognizing the Holocaust. No one in their right mind today would say the Holocaust never happened because that’s an opinon; I’ve heard people say, “well they’re casualties of war.” No, no no no no, there is no other species on this planet that organizes its intelligence and its resources to self execute itself, that is a sickness of human beings. The thing we can learn from the past is what leads to that to prevent us to do that to prevent us from stooping to our lesser evils which all of us do possess. Together those can be very dangerous results like Holocausts, like crimes against humanities, like wars, like closing borders to humans that are dying when they’re fleeing conflict or anything, just simple things like that are all in us both individually and collectively, to fall into an evil.
So what I’m very proud of is that continual awareness raising and path toward justice which I feel is going to be fulfilled in my children’s lifetimes and in my lifetime, but it takes every little bit of layer building toward that and unburying the past because so many people are trying to bury the past, it’s not in their best interest, it’s important to do that because it’s important to restore dignity, honor, and what’s sacred about each human back into the victims so that they are not forgotten. There’s 1.5 million souls not resting because of an injustice and that’s important to me, so that’s what I’m proud of.
Q: If you could say one thing, anonymously, to a large group of people, what would you say?
A: That’s a pressure question… um… I would probably say “makepeace” as one word. This is something I’ve really been working on in my lectures and in my brand building. What that means and what that should mean is… y’know, we’re conditioned because life here in the west is so good, you can turn the faucet on, the electricity on and just run it for days and it will never get cut off you’ll just get a big bill but in other parts of the world you can’t turn the sink even on, you have to go get a bucket. So “makepeace” really is important here in the west because a lot of the conflicts seem to be self-created within a person and then they project out and then they manifest it in societies and communities and in the nation and in our politicians and in our policies. So “makepeace” is important because we sit around and we hope for peace and we pray for peace but we can make peace; we as human beings create conflict there’s that too but we can create peace and I think that if people are aware of that, that they can make peace instead of just pray and wait for it or hope or wait for some great leader to bring it, then we would be so much more empowered to actually make it. It has to start from within, you have to make peace within yourself, whether that’s with you past, with an addiction, with a bad habit, with a goal that you’ve been setting aside and just giving excuse to and saying, “I’ll do it, I’ll do it.” that only creates dis-ease within you. So to make peace would be to make peace within yourself. You’ll be able to then go from there and make peace outside of yourself with the relationship or with your children or with your relatives or with your neighbors or coworkers or… “haters” or enemies or whatever you’ve got to make peace; if not on a physical realm on a spiritual realm on an energetic realm. Then you can make peace in your community, then you can make peace in your state, nation, world; but until that inner peace is made, there is this kind of weak glue that you’re building the rest on that superglues [sic.] once you make peace within yourself. So I would say to make peace within and to make peace outward actively in the world you live in, and in small small acts. That’s it.