Episode Highlights:0:48 - Getting to know Endy
2:08 - How’s pole dancing?
7:07 - “There are so many different ways of feeling empowered and every time I do one of these calls, I find out like a new way”- Jessica
8:25 - How is living in Texas compared to Portland?
13:20 - What made you move to Portland?
14:29 - “I've just always wanted to see more and I didn't want to end up in the same place that I started”- Endy
16:20 - Are you happy with where you've ended up?
18:29 - “Definitely do it, but definitely plan things out.”- Endy
19:50 - “I think it's easy to get the idea of what life will be like in your head and kind of strive for that and things to happen in real life”- Endy
22:12 - Endy’s thought about piercings she would like to get when the pandemic is over
26:03 - Endy’s last pieces of advice
27:22 - “Everything you're feeling is completely valid.”- Jessica
"I don't really know what the future holds anymore. But I am still very happy for the journey that I've been on." - Endy
Jessica: Hello, friends. Jessica and Endy here today practicing community and social distancing. We're starting a new series, really a new air here at Avanti, where we want to dive in deep and focus on telling stories of transformation, hope, and inspiration, and I thought who better to start with then one of my amazing teammates, Endy. So Endy, why don't you start by telling me a little bit about yourself?
Getting to know Endy
Endy: Yeah. Hey, everyone, a little bit about me, I am originally from Texas, I'm not an Oregon native. I am 27 years old. I have a multitude of hobbies that I like to do. I'm doing the #iamAvanti podcast as well. If you haven't had a chance to listen to that, please check it out. I also have another podcast that I've been doing with my friends for the last four or five years called Beard Care, it's Houston based and it's kind of community-based. As far as the LGBT community, I'm a part of that community too and I pole dance and I just started knitting and I'm learning how to crochet so I do a lot of different things. I like to stay busy for the most part. It just helps me focus on several different things at once. I feel like I don't know why that is. I'm just a multitasker. What else? My favorite color is purple...
Photo by Just Jessica June LLC
Jessica: That sounds awesome. I completely forgot you pole dance.
Jessica: How that---like what---how does that feel like? What does it do for you? You know, I've heard so many things about pole dancing.
How's pole dancing?
Endy: It's painful, it hurts. It doesn't feel good to do. You get to used down, but the process is really painful. I've always wanted to do it and it was so funny. When I moved to Portland, I was like, no matter where I live, I want a pole in my house because I've always wanted to do it and it's a great workout and I feel like I'm strong enough to do it and I had a friend who is a dancer, she's been dancing for like eight years since she was like, "My roommates moving out and I have this extra pole, do you want it?" and I was like," yeah" I did at my old house. Back when I lived with multiple people and I couldn't really utilize it as much, I didn't really get a chance to really do it as often as I wanted to, because I live multiple people and it was like, animals everywhere and stuff everywhere, so it was really hard to just play out and just kick my legs everywhere. But now that I have my own apartment with my partner, I have the pole here and I've been doing it practically every day since I've been in quarantine just because I have time too now. It's a lot of fun. I feel really good when I do it. It's the most active thing I do as far as exercising is concerned, I do that. I do yoga. It's really rewarding and I feel good when I do it and it's a lot of fun. I just found music and just kind of trance out and jump on the pole and spin around and do all types of weird stuff. I'm getting better at it, but I could stand to look like I'm not in pain when I'm doing it. I'll get a move together and I'll be like, Oh yeah, "I want to record it" and like the whole time I'm recording. I'm like, "eehhh" trying to hold myself up like I'll go into YouTube and I'll see people smiling the whole time, we're looking super cute and doing their little like flips and stuff and I'm like I did not look like you're in pain because it hurts. It just hurts really bad but it's great.
Photo by Just Jessica June LLC
I recommend everyone do it if you can and if you don't want to go to studio, I've never actually been to a studio yet. I mostly learned from YouTube and Instagram but I definitely recommend either getting one at home or finding a studio that you feel comfortable and there are pluses and minuses to everything. It's okay to do it at home if you like stretch and everything and you make sure that you're going slowly because that's the hardest part is seeing everyone do all these crazy tricks. You're like, "I want to do that." But it's like, you can't just jump up there because you will hurt yourself, but if you want to get it, learn it guided and safely, probably working at a studio is a little bit better to have like a teacher spot you and make sure you're actually in the correct position like me whenever I get something right, I'll be like, "Yeah, that looks right, that feels right." But I could have my technique completely wrong and I won't know until I actually get around a professional who's been doing it for years he's like no, your arms shouldn't be there you're gonna break it or something you know.
Jessica: When it hurts, does that hurt your muscles or does it hurt to like feel the tension of the pole?
Endy: It's a little bit of both, your muscles definitely hurt the next day and then also just being on the pole, it has traction and everything, so your body like the slide, if you slide down it hurts like you can like, grip it with your thighs and you're just holding it and that's painful.
Endy: I was like, I have really bad calluses right now from doing it all the time but I mean, it's a lot of fun. It's worth it, I think. I'm not gonna start writing anytime soon. So I'm like, I have to do something to stay active.
Jessica: Yeah, I've been going on daily walks, and yesterday, Sean was like, "Do you want to go for a run?" And I was like, "When have I ever wanted to go for a run?"
Jessica: You think that would change in quarantine? It is not.
Jessica: Oh, so cool. I completely forget you just that. How long did it take for you to be able to get up? Like, get up on the pole?
Endy: Honestly, a couple of weeks, I have little goals of things that I want to try to learn how to do, so when I first started, I was like, "Okay, I want to learn how to spin," and I did that and then I was like, "Oh, I want to climb pole," and I did that was really, really hard. I actually have my friend, the one who was a dancer come over and actually show me how to do it a couple of times because I just was not getting it and I wasn't gripping myself right and then my next goal was to invert, which like to put my body upside down. I have that now and my next step is to hook my knee after I invert so that I can do other stuff upside down and I'm working on that still so I just have little, like progression steps that I like, go slowly like, I'll see something on YouTube, and I'm like, "Oh, I want to try that." But I have to do it like baby steps.
Jessica: Oh, that's so cool. That's super impressive.
“There are so many different ways of feeling empowered and every time I do one of these calls, I find out like a new way”- Jessica
Jessica: Yeah, so I guess like, you know, there's just so many different ways of feeling empowered and every time I do one of these calls, I find out like a new way and I had always heard I have other friends who pole danced and I've seen their posts and they just have so much joy. But you're the first person I've actually talked to who does pole dancing so it was like, I got to know more about it. That's so cool. So did you start pole dancing in Texas?
Endy: No, I started when I got here. I wasn't even able to tie the pole or beer on the pole. Actually, I am lying. I did take a pole dance in class. My friend did a pole of dance classes in her garage. She had two different poles. My other friend would pay her like, I think like 20 bucks an hour to be in her garage and just spin around a couple of times. So that was the first time I did pole and I was okay at it. We didn't really do any tricks. We just kind of did like floor, dancing and stuff, that was cute but I was like, eehh, I wanna get up there. I want to like flip and stuff like, I really focused on like the dancing part of pole. I'm just like, I want to do some crazy gymnastic stuff up there like that's my goal.
Jessica: Yeah, so cool.
Endy: Yeah, so I had gotten a couple times, but I didn't really get like for like really, really into it until I moved here.
Jessica: Okay. So speaking of Texas to Portland, was it a huge culture change when you moved over to the West Coast? Or are they more similar than maybe some people over here would think?
Endy: No, they're very, very different. I mean, I grew up in the South, but I grew up in Houston, so it's kind of like, it's like, country meets city, but it's still you get to certain points of Houston, you're like, "Oh, yeah, I am in Texas," and then you'll get to the point you're like, "Oh, yeah, this is kind of cool." So, I mean, living here compared to there is definitely a lot smaller than I'm used to because I'm just used to being in the city, I'm used to being around so many more people, especially now and then, cultural wise, I think it's very different. I feel like people here are a little bit more passive-aggressive than I used to and I'm just used to people being like, really straightforward how they feeling, you know, and just knowing right off the bat, that's how I am too. I believe in clear communication. I'm like, Yes, No, Yes. No, like that's it. And here, maybe, I don't know, let's see and I'm like, no~
Jessica: Yes or no, give me a yes or no.
Endy: Exactly. Exactly. So that's the difference and then also, one thing that I love about being on the West Coast and particularly about being in Oregon is how beautiful it is here and how much people appreciate nature here - that was something that Houston was definitely lacking and I always noticed I'm so little kid I was just like, where all the trees like, I'm just surrounded by buildings all the time. In here, I'm like, where all the buildings. I'm just surrounded by trees, which I like, you know, it helps you put things in perspective and I'm happy that the cold weather is over for the most part so, for now, at least, so I'm looking forward to Spring. My birthdays in Spring so hopefully I can be outside for it, that'd be great. If I could actually-
Jessica: I know, I heard that social distancing is supposed to not be mandated so much in mid-May.
Endy: May. Okay, okay.
Jessica: Is your birthday in May?
Endy: It would be to the beginning of June.
Jessica: Oh, so it might be fine.
Endy: All right, I can do that. I can hold off for that. All right.
Jessica: Right. I'm like okay, I could do May too. I was like, I was fearing about July and I was like, I don't know if I could stay inside until July.
Jessica: So far away from now.
Endy: Yeah, July would be a while. I, yeah, I'm not. I'm not a fan of that one, you know, I'm willing to do what it takes because it is important and you know, just whatever it takes to blow this over and get back to normal as soon as possible. So if I had to stay in, I guess I would, but I wouldn't like it.
Jessica: Me either. I miss our customers.
Endy: Yeah. I miss just having a routine that made sense to me. Like I feel like I get up and I just kind of lollygag and then I still wake up so early like I don't really sleep in even though I go to sleep really late.
Jessica: Me too.
Endy: And I'm just like, well, what do I do with my day now and I just have to find things to fill my day so I'm just filling it with craps and I'm just over it. Do you want to see the scarfs I am making?
Jessica: I do want to see the scarf you're making.
Jessica: Oh! I like the colors.
Endy: Right? I love the colors. It's like a long and rainbow, it's like the longest project I've done. I'm using two different yarns I started off with this blue yarn and ran out of it and then I switched to this one. I am so in love with this yarn I want like five more rolls of it. It's my favorite.
Endy: So I've been working on that since March. Hopefully, by the time quarantines over, I'll have a brand new rainbow scarf so---
Jessica: Yeah, oh it's awesome. It matches your ear jewelry.
Endy: Yeah. I'm really excited to wear it. Even though by the time I get done with it, they'll probably would be Spring. That'll be way too hot for me to wear a scarf but whenever it gets cold again, I'll have it.
Jessica: In front of the fan, I am wearing it like okay this is fine. Right?
Jessica: It is somewhat getting chilly in the studio actually during summer so maybe you could wear it there.
Endy: Yeah, I would love to rock it at work and I'm so excited to finish it one day.
Jessica: So I guess when you know, I've actually interviewed a couple of people who transplanted here from other states, and what brought you to the decision to move so far away from home?
What made you move to Portland?
Endy: Well, I've always wanted to leave Texas. I never wanted to stay even like when I was in high school. People are like, "Oh, what are your plans?" And I'm like, "I don't know about college, but I know I want to get the hell out of here." Like what that means by whatever means necessary and I had, you know, several different plans with other friends that kind of fell through body moving places, mostly due to like fear or I'd like to tell my mom about it and be like, Hey, I'm seeing you. I'm in Arizona and she would be like noo and said like you're right and poor. Let me just stay here with you and live free. Eventually, I had a really good friend we were friends with each other for like three years and he moved to Portland and he was like, I would love if you moved with me or came up here with me, you know, we can do this together, we can have our own apartment, whatever and I was like, yeah, sure, let's do it and, of course, when I moved here, that whole friendship fell apart. So we're no longer friends, but I'm still here. But yeah,
"I've just always wanted to see more, and I didn't want to end up in the same place that I started." - Endy
It just doesn't really---it didn't feel right for me and I just wanted to get to Texas, you know, I love where I'm from but at the same time, there are a lot of things that could be better. Even now, like, I've been keeping up with the updates of how it's going in Houston and with the outbreak of everything and it's just like it's just not right, you know, there's just a really big---there's a lot of changes that could be made in Texas, in Houston in general, especially with the population and everything else. I just feel like they don't handle crisis very well and I was tired of dealing with that- tired that it was flooding, tired of dealing with you know, overpopulation and crime, and all the other stuff. I was just done so I think I got it here.
Jessica: If you think back to when you were a six, did you ever think that you would be working in a piercing studio, pole dancing, and living in Oregon?
Endy: When I was six, what did I want to do when I was six? I think I want it to be like a Vet or like the female Steve Irwin. I think go on to the animals for traveling the world so no, I did not think I was [inaudible 15:53] I supposed to be in the jungle or something like taking photos of butterflies or something like I was really, really, really into animals. I still am but like, when I was younger, that was like my passion. I had like all the little blue books with like, it was like different anatomies of animals and stuff and I was so into that. So now I let myself down. Sorry, little Endy.
Jessica: Are you happy with where you've ended up?
Are you happy with where you've ended up?
Endy: Oh, yeah, of course, yeah, I'm super happy and grateful every single day. Like, I wake up and I look around and I'm like, you know, things aren't ideal right now and I don't really know what the future holds anymore. I don't think anyone really does but I am still very happy for the journey that I've been on and I'm really, really happy for I am at out right now. Especially right now in my life, like, this is probably the best time for me that I've had in a really long time as far as the environment I'm in and then like, you know, my own space-wise and having the freedom to actually do whatever I want to do. That was something that I felt like was really lacking for me back home, just because I lived with my mom for most of my adult life until I moved out here and then being just like having family and stuff around and just being somewhat different was always kind of difficult when you have people that are so in such proximity to you that can judge you harshly. So, you know, growing up, and then also living away kind of made me be like, you know, I'm just gonna do whatever I want, and not really worried about what everyone else thinks because I'm in control of my own life and as long as I like myself and what I'm doing, who cares what other people think about it, so -
Jessica: That's awesome. I mean, I didn't make such a dramatic move, but I definitely had very similar experiences. I grew up you know, homeschooled in the middle of the woods, where there's like, the closest town is a half an hour away and the closest town with like a mall is like an hour away and then moving here to the city---actually working in the city was just a completely 180 from where I was in my little bubble. It's a very growing experience. Would you recommend it to anyone who's thinking, I guess what advice would you give to anyone who's kind of thinking about going out on their own or making their own person?
“Definitely do it, but definitely plan things out.”- Endy
Endy: I say definitely do it, but definitely plan things out. Just because I know in the movies, they make it seem like it's so easy to just be spontaneous, you just get in your car and drive and all of a sudden you live in New York and they're like, "Whoa!" like wherever they getting those New York "Whoa's!" from. Do it for sure and then save a little bit more because you never know what's going to happen and then I say whenever you leave home, make sure you leave when you're in good foot. Just because (1) you never know if you have to go back, you don't want to go back to a place with a bunch enemies (2) you don't know if you're here to have to, you know, get your old shitty job back or anything like that, you know, so it's good to leave on a good foot, throw yourself a party before you leave.Jessica: Yes.
Endy: Well, you know, the last time I hung out, all my friends are all together and going to like my favorite bar, you know, hugging everyone goodbye like that was really important for me and I'm glad I got to do that and then don't give up, just don't and keep going and yeah, and stay optimistic if you can.
“I think it's easy to get the idea of what life will be in your head and strive for that and things happen in real life”- Endy
Endy: I think it's easy to get like idea of what life will be like in your head and kind of strive for that and things happen in real life. You're like, well, that's not the way I think through it, but if you just kind of roll with the punches anyway and you're like, you know what I'm just gonna go through this. I'm just gonna go through whatever doors are open and available to me. You never know what side you're gonna end up on. So I say yeah, stay optimistic no matter what.
Jessica: My dog is actually quiet right now, but he was barking at some neighbor's dog earlier like, here's one wine and he's like, Hello. I am not guard dog and I want you or maybe 10 pounds. You are not a guard dog of any sort.
Endy: Yeah okay. Exactly. My dog is pretty small too. My cat's huge now and I was like, Hello, do I find a cat the size of a small dog or a small dog the size of a big cat? I don't know anymore.
Jessica: My cat. Yeah, my cat is now---I put him on a diet and since I put him on a diet, I realized I've had to scoop the cat litter a lot less and the food lasts a lot longer. I bought like an emergency bag of cat food before this all hit because it's like oh no, like, I only have cat food for another week. I'm still used like I just finished that other bag yesterday and it's been like three weeks since I bought the new bag and I'm like, I am really overfeeding that cat.
Endy: Yeah, it's hard to know how to feed them like Alicia's got an automatic feeder and actually recorded a video of him like trying to put his paw up the little bit down and give more food and he was like, hitting it and stuff. Oh, so funny. I was like, you don't need the extra food, you are already so big.
Jessica: So I guess before we wrap up this interview, I just had one more question.
Jessica: One more question.
Jessica: So, you know, we have a lot of customers who are sitting at home and they are, you know, curious about getting pierced? And I'm just wondering, have you thought about any piercings that you would like to get when this is all over? Or are you just like, okay?
Endy: A part of me is also just like, okay, but I still want my other nostril done. Though I'm still thinking about it, I still definitely want it but I'm also kind of like, you know, I don't know when this will be over and I don't know if I could afford that investment right now. Everything else going on, but we'll see. There are plenty of piercings, I was still thinking about getting like I wanted to possibly get my bellybutton repierced, or cheaper or whatever and my nostril and I think that's it. I think I'm gonna chill out on the piercings for a little bit just because I don't want to get overwhelmed because it's so easy just to be like, I want this. I want that. I want this, but yeah, I think just those two.
Jessica: I hear you, I've been rephotographing all of our products and it helps curb it a little bit but when I was getting a bunch of emails about, like, different piercing questions, I was like, Oh, I just want to do it like I just really like really want to get pierced straight out. It is definitely hard, maybe it just comes from being stagnant and going through---your routine completely changing.
Endy: Yeah, I feel like I can predict by the time we reopen. They are probably going to be very very busy for like the first two or three weeks.
Endy: Yeah. I get all the questions on my Facebook and now I see the questions every day people seem like you really, really, really want that experience for themselves and I say why not get a quarantine helix.
Jessica: Actually, I think after spending so many months where you can't do like you know, you can dye your hair but it's loot box dye. It's not quite the same experience and you can't get your eyelash extensions, you can't get your nails done, you can't go get your brows done, you know, or piercing or tattoo. I think there is going to be that like kind of like starved for expression like-
Jessica: Because that's what I was feeling like I was actually kind of depressed before I dyed my hair because I wasn't feeling like me, you know that just that deep need to feel more like yourself.
Endy: Yeah, yeah, no, I totally resonate with that. I haven't felt like myself in a minute like even getting ready for this. I was like, I don't want to put makeup on. I was like, I want to be on camera so I'll just put a little bit on to that. I started like one little thing and I was like, Okay, fine. I'll put a full face together. But I didn't die, you know, it wasn't that painful. I don't know what's wrong with me because I used to do it for fun and actually like doing it and now I'm just like in this total comfort mode, but I'm just like, do I have to put on real pants. It's so bad
Jessica: I definitely have those days were like, I started putting on real pants this last week, I was wearing AM PJs and PM PJs and sometimes remembering to brush my teeth and I was like, Okay, I gotta at least brush my teeth every day and then from there, it's felt better but I'm not the same place with the makeup. I used to enjoy doing it. And now I'm kind of like, I don't know, it just feels like a lot of work.
Endy: For now, because then it's like, well, where are you going?
Jessica: Yeah, I put it on, and then what?
Endy: Like, half, like 30 minutes, you know, it's like, okay, all that product for no reason.
Jessica: I can only think about washing it off.
Endy: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, that prevents me from doing a lot of stuff. I'm like, undoing this whole thing. It's gonna be a lot.
Jessica: Yeah, definitely. Is there any last bits of advice or encouragement that you'd like to leave our audience with before we say goodbye?
Endy: Advice that probably leave people with is just to try if you can, try to stay busy. If it's possible, if not, be gentle with yourself, I keep seeing all these memes just like if you don't walk out of this with a new skill or whatever, you don't have to walk out of it with a new skill, but just make sure that you're doing something that keeps you at least somewhat mentally engaged or physically engaged, even if it means putting on like a song and dancing to like one or two songs and then sitting back down and putting on Netflix. Like and if you can't do that, you know, make yourself a cup of tea and watch your Netflix, you know, do whatever you need to do everyone's levels different, but I think the overall message is just to be gentle with yourself because it's a really, really hard time for everyone and I think we're gonna get through it. Maybe. I'm not sure. I don't want to make any promises.
Jessica: That's a good advice. I agree, just taking that like little bit of steps to do really anything, at least one thing a day that makes you feel better and it does not have to be a progressive thing at all.
Endy: Yeah, I have some days where I wake up and I'm super active, and I have other days where I don't get up on couch and the days are totally fine. Both those days are valid.
“Everything you're feeling is completely valid.”- Jessica
Jessica: Yeah, everything you're feeling is completely like valid. Yeah. Well, thank you so much, Endy. I hope you enjoy the rest of the sunshine as much as you can.
Endy: I was thinking about probably walking the [inaudible 27:35] and getting some hot Cheetos or something.
Jessica: Thank you so much for your time.
Endy: Yeah, thank you for having me on.
Jessica: All right. Well, I hope to see you soon in the studio, talking to our guests in real life.
Endy: That would be great.
Jessica: Alright. Have a good day.
Endy: All right. Bye.