EP021: Defining Yourself is a Journey Without a Solid Destination
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0:42 - Meet Silas
1:45 - Silas explains what it is like on the East Coast vs on the West Coast
4:21 - Silas talks about his journey of self-acceptance, and what that process means to him
6:40 - “This journey has been obviously really centered around my gender journey and being trans but I do feel like it really extends into so much more than.” -Silas
11:07 - Silas speaks about confronting your fears of self-reflection
14:08 - Jessica speaks about OCD and what it means to experience an anxiety based mental illness like that
14:50 - Silas talks about sitting with your feelings, and the process of moving from fear to witnessing them
18:58 - Silas talks about his expectations of the modified world vs. what it means to become a modified person
22:12 - Silas talks about his dream of being a tattoo artist
23:38 - Silas talks about what it means to be Jewish, trans, tattooed and pierced
25:15 - Jessica and Silas talk about living the questions and moving past the identities given into the identities chosen
36:01 - Silas wraps up the conversation with one more piece of advice on coming to terms with your true self
“I'm much better doing that for others than I am for myself and like what it can mean to treat yourself like you're your own best friend.” - Silas
“I'm much better doing that for others than I am for myself and like what it can mean to treat yourself like you're your own best friend.” - Silas
Jessica: Hello friends! I'm here today with my teammate - Silas. Silas is an awesome human who definitely brought a lot of soul to the development of Avanti. We actually quote you all the time. Your statement in the past interview when you said, "I don't know the point of being a human if you aren't going to be yourself." So before we dive into any of the questions I prepared for and probably won't use, why don't you start with tons of a little bit about yourself?
Silas: For sure. So yeah, my name is Silas. I use he/him pronouns. I am a hopeful piercer who knows where the world's at right now, that's sort of my goal for myself. In general, body modification enthusiasts. I'm from LA, but I moved to Portland eight months ago and I love it. It's awesome. I love the trees.
Jessica: I want the trees. That's funny, you moved eight months ago and then now we're in a whole different world. That's a lot of change in like -
Photo by Just Jessica June LLC
Silas: Yeah, well, I came from New York before that, and then I just knock in LA for two months while I was waiting for my roommate’s lease to finish then we came here and now this, so it's been a year.
Jessica: It's been a wild time.
Jessica: It's crazy. I've asked everybody who's moved, what's it like between East Coast and West Coast?
Silas explains what it is like on the East Coast vs on the West Coast
Silas: There are different parts of them that are so beautiful, there's this lyric in this song Tennessee by this artist P.S Eliott that I think of all the time and she says, “I've got a West Coast heart and an East Coast mentality” and I really identify with that of theirs. I mean, also, I don't know it's tricky because I was just living in New York. I feel I can't really speak on behalf of the entire East Coast but I love the West Coast. It's just beautiful. It's a little more mellow. It's a little more chill. I feel I can really take space to breathe and I don't know. There's just something about I'd like I get white cowboys were on about like the yearning to go west.
Jessica: I know. That seems to be the everyone's opinion of that. Oregon is its own breathe of calm.
Silas: It really is. My family, whenever they visit me here, each of them has been like this is the calmest I've ever seen you. I am like, I know, look at it. I have my cute house, a little garden...the simple things.
Jessica: Yes, it is. I just started gardening too. I am so excited. I wake up in the morning like gotta go water my plants.
Silas: When they first sprout like when my first tomatoes sprouted, I don't know why I came out like that but it sprouted. It was the most exciting day like -
Jessica: You outpoured...Yes!
Silas: What I look forward to now.
Jessica: It's so fun. So Sean and I decided to get married next month so I would try to grow flowers -
Silas: Smart. Yeah.
Jessica: Well, they're starting to sprout. I have no idea the timetable on flowers at all, but I'm like, I'm going to will it to happen.
Silas: It's on the flower. I've actually been taking a Plant Biology Zoom Class every Monday so I'm learning a lot of topics so we can shop plants, separate from this.
Jessica: Is this normal?
Silas: I don't really have the best green thumb but my roommate does. She's so talented.
Jessica: I'll be like, Silas, so can you ask her?
Silas: She'll help. For sure.
Jessica: So, talking about the process of becoming okay with yourself, could you speak a little bit more to that and what that journey has looked like for you?
Silas talks about his journey of self-acceptance, and what that process means to him
Silas: Yeah, it's an ongoing process, and I don't think there's ever a moment we truly arrive and are like, I figured out who I am. And if you have that moment, that's amazing and I'm so happy for you. Touch base in a year after that, see if it's the same person, if that's the same, true, authentic you. I really just feel like life is this ongoing process of continuously trying to check in with yourself and just kind of for a really long time, I felt something was off, it couldn't be articulated. I didn't know what it was, but I just always felt like my whole life was just clouded in something that felt off. It wasn't based on a specific thing, or just at school or just with my friends, it just was this general discomfort and then around 18, I started learning about people who are non-binary and just generally, the concept that gender isn't this concrete thing that just exists across time and space and is permanent, and we all have it and there are these two options and it's actually been invented and reinvented over time and is totally contextual and that's silly, kind of pulled me down this whole thread of realizing... basically everything in reality, we think is this concrete definite thing and it's not and that contains spirituality but also I think it's very scientific if you get into just quantum physics, it's that at its core, and at first, it's really terrifying when everything around you that you think is real suddenly feels it's not but once you lean into it, it's really liberating because you get realized, you get to create the meaning and value in everything and also who you are. For me,
“This journey has been obviously really centered around my gender journey and being trans but I do feel like it really extends into so much more than that. ” -Silas
"“This journey has been obviously really centered around my gender journey and being trans but I do feel like it really extends into so much more than that. ” - Silas
Silas: Because it's so much about just resisting everyone else's and society's or whoever expectations of who you are, who you should be, and asserting that for yourself but to do that, you have to really spend a lot of time honestly looking at who that may be and so continuously, I've thought I found it and I've been like, I got it and then it feels it slips through my fingers. I'm like, I'm back in this place of discomfort and whatever and I feel it was kind of this ongoing journey of moving if you view kind of---I don't like the concept of gender is a spectrum like this because it assigns that there's two endpoints of male and female, and I view it more as like, I don't think there's any shape that can exist to it. But in theory moving further along in this direction, and being like, Oh, I'm kind of non-binary but still wanting to stay in womanhood and finding a lot of comfort in that and intimacy in my relationships with other women and kind of slowly realizing I can still find intimacy and love in these things without my gender being a part of it, and then, I don't know over time realizing all these things that felt being a woman was necessary to receive and benefit of being a lot of just like love and care and then being like, Oh my god, that's not the truth and it's scary and it's just testing the waters slowly over time and then like starting to medically transition. I am having been on hormones for a year, I find that this is the most aligned I've felt but at the same time, being in quarantine with nothing for myself to think about all this for a while, I'm still at a place of reflecting and really thinking about who I am separate from the world, what my gender is, what I'm not because it is this thing that exists in interaction and I don't know, I think it's just wherever evolving and you just have to sign up for that. You have to be okay with that.
Jessica: Yeah. I've had a lot of conversations about this kind of idea that we're always becoming and I think quarantine is very much that. There's nothing to do but really, you could really distract yourself with TV for so much.
Jessica: Have fun. We're now going on to eight weeks. At the end of it, you're gonna be like, Okay, I'm now listening to my own thoughts.
Silas: Yeah, even stuff like that that used to be my distraction. I haven't been watching any TV and before this, I felt I was the TV King. I love watching everything and I just can't right now. My brain just, it's the same thing of like, okay, a month of this went by and no longer does my computer screen entertain me so it's just myself.
Jessica: I mean, you could only watch so many stories before you're like, alright, this is really all the same.
Silas: Yeah. But still every day I'm like, okay, Netflix, what new series are you gonna drop, I am waiting.
Jessica: The Tiger King part two.
Silas: I'm waiting for them to release of Avatar. Apparently, that's coming.
Silas: Oh my men.
Jessica: Oh, that's so awesome. I was talking to Jasper yesterday, actually and he brought you up, and actually because Jasper has a huge admiration for you, which we all know. He's very open about it, but he actually touched on it and I thought that I would share it with you because I think that it'll mean a lot to you.
Jessica: But he said that you're the bravest guy that he knows and that's why he admires you so very much because you challenge gender roles and you challenge spirituality and you challenge your identity with so much flair and confidence and that's why he admires you so greatly. I was preparing for this meeting and I was kind of thinking about what he said and I think that you would have a great perspective for the people who are sitting at home wrestling with their thoughts and realizing that okay, I actually am now forced to confront who I am and I'm afraid so what kind of advice would you give them?
Silas speaks about confronting your fears of self-reflection
Silas: My advice is and I'm not the best at this and so I feel bad saying it, but just to sit with that fear. If you like to journal, I would journal about it, literally, just get all those thoughts out, and put them all out there and tell yourself as I'm putting them all out there, I'm not going to judge them. I'm not going to have any thoughts or opinions about what these feelings or thoughts are, I'm just gonna let them exit my body and I guarantee that that in and of itself will first make you feel a lot better to just get the weight out of there. If you have any loved ones that you feel comfortable talking to about it or you can confide in, I recommend doing so. I feel conversations with my close friends who can hold space for me to just think things through or almost exist as a wall for me to just bounce my own thoughts back off of. I've reached a lot of really enlightening conclusions about myself that way, I think it's just really important to get it outside of you, whatever that may mean because when it exists only internally, it just gets going to frenzy and knowing that whatever you're feeling is okay and if you don't feel it's okay, I'm telling you, it's okay. I believe it's okay for you and also utilize the internet. There's a lot of people building really cool community online right now, especially right now, more than ever, I'm sure that you can find some groups to talk about these things. I'm a huge fan of FTM Reddit. It's a wonderful resource. If you also identify as a transman, check that out or wondering if you do. The internet's a wonderful tool, but it can also be scary, of course. Take everything with caution and just don't worry about labeling it. Just think about what feels true to you. The labels will change over time. I've literally had like 50 and at right now I just feel none I don't really care. Words are words, I know who I am, I know the journey that I'm on and there's a community that uses a general label that I can find a reflection of myself in but as a personal label, words are just words, don't worry about that. Just try to focus on what feels right and feeling good, or what feels wrong, and then you can go by process of elimination. That's kind of more what worked for me, this narrative of like, I knew who I was. I would like I've always known I was like a man trapped in a woman's body or whatever. I've literally never met a single person. Yeah, that was me and I've talked to a lot of trans people, like most people I feel, don't experience their journey that way and I think a process of elimination can sometimes be an easier place to start of, Okay, this feels wrong. Maybe try to think about why. If that's too hard, then that's fine, just avoid it, but just honor your feelings and don't judge them.
Photo by Just Jessica June LLC
Jessica speaks about OCD and what it means to experience an anxiety based mental illness like that
Jessica: I think that's great advice. I know it's worked with me having anxiety and OCD is I get a lot of intrusive thoughts all the time.
Silas: Oh, yeah.
Jessica: All the time and having to sit there and part of having OCD for anyone who doesn't know, it's not just oh, there's germs everywhere. There's such a spectrum to it and the thoughts create anxiety, which leads to a compulsion, which is why you see people washing their hands and things like that is they're literally washing away their thoughts and so by having your thoughts and seeing them which them, you're actually taking the power away from them. So that's a tool too that I learned just with your own mental health. It's just like, alright, here we go.
Silas talks about sitting with your feelings, and the process of moving from fear to witnessing them
Silas: Yeah. It's hard. It's definitely easier but I watched the show The Midnight Gospel, it's the only thing I've been watching in for quarantine and they talk a lot about meditation and just sitting with your feelings and all of this and it really changed my whole perspective of the concept of spaciousness and allowing room between yourself and your feelings and just witnessing them and not. They are a part of you, but knowing that you're not defined by your feelings, and getting some separation between that I think has made it so much easier but by no means am I an expert. I'm sitting with those feelings. That's why I recommend journaling because I'm actively doing something. It feels like I'm doing something to get it out of my body, but to each their own.
Jessica: Yeah, and if journaling is not your thing, I know that journaling used to be my thing, but now seeing my thoughts in permanent ink actually makes it harder to process.
Silas: I can't read my handwriting when I draw.
Jessica: I am like -
Silas: I have million thoughts per second where I am just writing so fast to get them out like I have ADHD, it's just them so much, and so then later I'm like, beautiful. I've no idea what this says I can't return to it even if I wanted to.
Jessica: That's awesome! That's so funny. My handwriting, I like the cool calligraphy project and then I'll be like halfway through the word and I'm like, I give up. So much effort.
Silas: There was always...I think everyone had one kid in their class in middle school that made all of their notes beautiful and had the cutest pen and the highlighter set, and I always admired them and every year I'd start off the year being like, that's gonna be me this year, and like, day one, just being like no, I am good.
Jessica: That's funny. I used to just highlight things because I knew you're supposed to.
Silas: I highlight everything. I think this all seems important, I don't know.
Jessica: I'm like, if I highlight it, does it lock it in my brain. I don't really...I don't know so I just highlight it all.
Silas: I highlight everything and then later I have to go in with another color highlighter and be like I guess now I have to highlight the highlight because this does not help.
Jessica: Encircle it and then you won't know, you can't even read it because-
Silas: You're like, poked a hole through the paper from just so much ink.
Jessica: You actually cross out the words and you're like, ahh.
Silas: I do not miss school.
Jessica: I don't really either. I hate it and studying - it was not my thing.
Jessica: So, you talked in, I think, a past podcast about and I think like some other interviews that we've done. We do a lot of interviews.
Jessica: Was that we wanted to get piercings and tattoos based off of your first experience going to a tattoo parlor and seen your definition of what cool looks like.
Jessica: In the studio and I'm curious about is...so I guess we all have preconceived notions of what it means to be a modified person that may or may not live up to the reality or the truth of what it means to be a modified person, but by making those steps for yourself, did it give you the freedom to be that person that you thought that's what it meant? Like you saw that guy getting his nipples pierced and you're like, that is cool, that is everything that I think is cool and awesome and what I should be -
Jessica: Eventhough its not a fulfilling thing in itself, then you did it or I don't know if you've done it but then you got pierced and you're like, Okay, this is now, I am now this person.
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Silas talks about his expectations of the modified world vs. what it means to become a modified person
Silas: Yeah, I don't know if it was so much of I am now this person, I feel like I wanted it to be but I was still just like dweeby like 14 year old and this tattoos and piercing parlor with my mom and I remember wanting to look so cool and I only had like, I wanted a cool flannel to wear but I only like my brother's clothes. I mean, I wore my brother's clothes always but I was just like, yeah, this is cool. This is what's sick and it was just like these giant oversized clothes that didn't fit me and I was like plaid, that's good, that's alternative, but I do feel like what it really shifted was, I think I had a really unfortunate preconceived notion of modified people not being very nice or just seeming really intimidating and then I went there and everyone was so warm and friendly and sweet and, it felt communal and I think that was what was so remarkable about that guy who's getting his nipples pierced is that everyone who was there in the shop, I mean, it was just the people working there and him and his partner and my mom and I, but we were all invested in his journey and sharing those emotions with him, the fear and excitement and adrenaline, everyone gets pumped when someone's in the shop, and I've experienced a preview of coming to Avanti, when someone's really excited about something they're getting and you know their journey, and they share those fears and excitements too, I'm so invested in that as well like very personal journeys, where I'm like, yes, yeah, let's do it and that was what made it a really big shift. I think instead of viewing it as just these isolated people who happen to be very modified, and also that minds of it makes a modified existence seem really lonely. The whole idea that it can be a community was just a different experience. My parents, I mean, yeah, my mom took me there, and they're supportive of it now, but definitely have a different mindset of you're probably not going to get a job or all this stuff of just you're gonna be a societal reject and then there's also cultural associations with modified people, the whole emo culture is like about being emoing alone and yeah, that was super important to me too, but seeing modification in a context other than being sad, was just life-changing. I was like, Oh my god, you can be a happy, exciting person and have a whole life and continue to be modified and that also be your whole life and find happiness and joy and fulfillment in that. Wonderful! who knew? I had to go back to middle school and I was like, I don't care about this, like -
Jessica: In Middle School, I know who I am now.
Silas: Sitting in Science class, doodling my tattoos. Oh my god, when we were in eighth grade, we had to write letters to our 18-year-old selves.
Silas talks about his dream of being a tattoo artist
Silas: And mine and it was like, I'm going to be a tattoo artist, these are the tattoos that I want. I don't have any of the ones that I thought I would want when I was working now, thank God. But all of them were like, and it's amazing thinking about that in terms of also of who we are and there was this version of me that was very in touch with my adult self now, but then, I lost touch with that person through the ups and downs of being a teenager, but then seeing this one version of me like, yeah, I am not super happy, but they're like, I'm gonna be a tattoo artist, and I'm going to design skateboards, here's what I'm on about and then 18 year old me who was not at all similar to that saw it and was so embarrassed, I was cringing, and then now, 23 year old me, it's like no, you're amazing.
Jessica: You got this. When I was in middle school, I remember feeling very much let's say like, the idea that there were these really cool people, but it's also like, I grew up conservative, I think we've talked about this before and you have as well and it's this idea of otherness in the modified community and it was this big question mark. If I ask my parents about it, I was always like, that's bad for no explanation of why.
Silas talks about what it means to be Jewish, trans, tattooed and pierced
Silas: Yeah. For me, it was a little different because so I'm Jewish, so I did get an explanation, which isn't even the correct one, but my mom always would just tie it to the Holocaust, which is a really unfortunate and intense comparison, but that's actually not why it's just like traditional or like more orthodox version of Judaism, it's not you're not supposed to alter your image, because you're made in the image of God so that ties into other things, but it's like we all cut our hair so that's altering our image but it's about otherness and I actually feel like being modified was a huge kind of barrier in my relationship with my parents and then I was like, I'm trans and I'm going to medically transition and then after that, I was like, Okay, well, now I don't really care at all what you say about even though I've been having, I was covered in tattoos prior to that. It was still this larger issue but then it's like, once I really just leaned into all of these different forms of otherness, especially the ones that were about my body.
Photo by Just Jessica June LLC
Silas: It came to a fire, I was just like, okay, I don't really care and then again, also, the fact that there is all these things have communities and those communities overlap and communities are really big, important part of it and in all otherness in general, I feel like so much of otherness is just portrayed again as this minority and when you realize that even if you are the minority, there's large numbers of you that exist together and there's power in people. It opens up a whole new world.
Jessica and Silas talk about living the questions and moving past the identities given into the identities chosen
Jessica: It really does. I think there's the idea of otherness and then there's the idea of living the questions of life and when you sit down and you're like, Okay, these are all the questions that I have, and I'm just going to be okay with those questions and I'm going to go ahead and do them anyway because for me, growing up in a conservative household, there's chapters in the Old Testament about modifying your body and how it is also a sin and all that and I was like, well, is it really a sin? Because there's a mixed doctrine on it, and then growing up and kind of becoming my own person. I don't have questions for myself and I realize that I don't think so like you know, and that otherness actually became a family, and I think that advice I would give anyone who's listening to this, is that that otherness is you, is that part of yourself that you're afraid to explore almost and by opening yourself up to those questions and being okay, and giving you permission to live those questions, you'll actually probably find a lot of freedom.
Silas: Yeah and I think also what you said about even just attempting to answer those questions for yourself is so powerful, because so much is just handed down to us and we just accept and really, what would it look like for you to just decide, well, here's what I actually think and no one's going to come in, no one's going to appear out of nowhere and be like, you're wrong, actually. No one can take that decision away from you or what you decide is right for yourself and it's such a subtle thing, such a small thing that can be overlooked.
Jessica: It's true. And as you start living those questions, you start asking more questions because it's almost like it gets the ball moving and the snowball gets bigger and bigger and you're like, Okay, well now I have more questions, and then you realize that you're asking questions that people you looked up to might never have asked for themselves and they also don't know the answer and it kind of breaks that barrier of authority on what is and isn't right, for a person.
Jessica: Or to like, Okay, well, if you don't know the answer, and you basically your word is my law, then maybe I should make my own rules.
Silas: Yeah. I also think there's just so much power and being like, I don't know, I don't know why we're so afraid to just say we don't know things, you know what I mean?
Silas: And it's something I run into with myself on a daily basis, and it's possible if you're like are you familiar with this or whatever and we're all like, oh, kind of even though most of the time I'm No, you know what I mean? To these larger questions of about life or God or being modified or your gender. Again, with the authority of like, I think when other people ask us a question and some sort of authority dynamic kicks in we want to give an answer but I think the best answer you can give is often something, I don't know enough to have an answer to this, or I just can't give you one and again, just like kind of reimagining for ourselves what life can look like to just exist outside of these things we thought were definable or definitive.
Jessica: Yeah, exactly. And also, when you release that need to have an answer for everything, it also releases your societal need to have an opinion for everything too. It's a lot easier to get along with everybody because you're no longer forced to come up with these opinions on things that you don't even understand.
Silas: Yeah, definitely and also understanding that, I know it changed all my relationship dynamics too, realizing I don't need to know the answers or have answers to everything and like, I'm with other people or I'm having a hard time articulating this but yeah, I guess just going off of what you said, especially with strangers that I don't know, too, or when you meet someone, they're kind of hostile or whatever, and really just reminding yourself we're all just existing in this giant, chaotic scramble that is this universe, and none of us really know anything. I have a lot more patience.
Jessica: I have a lot more patience and I think I was picking up maybe with where you're going with the friends concept is my friendships have gotten stronger because when they come to me for advice, it's no longer lecturing because we learn relationship from our parents, and our first major relationship, whether it's a [inaudible 29:42] one is with your parental figure, and that involves some sort of lecturing, and one way or the other and so as you're building social connections with friends, and they're like, should I do this, you're like, no, you can't do this because this is wrong, or yes, you can do this because this is the right thing because my mom said and releasing that need, what I found is my friends will come to me and they're like, I did this thing and I'm like, Okay, how do you feel about it? And that's a huge shift that I've seen just becoming 24.
Silas: Yeah, right! Going from a feeling place first or being like, I think that's the best question. Anyone listening, you take a piece of advice from this at all in all relationships when they talk about anything. I really think of the first question is just how are you feeling about it? That's the best advice I could offer anyone ever, no matter what relationship dynamic it is, and especially right now, in the current state of the world where everything is so scary, I think the best thing we can do is just try to get more in touch with our emotions. That's the best I've been able to do and I'm trying to do in all of this and yeah, same for everyone else. You're so right, though. That's exactly what I was trying to say with the parent and then the friend thing like -
Jessica: [inaudible 31:00] picking up what your brain cannot. That's something that we're in a similar stage of life being in our early 20s socially, sociologically speaking, psychologically speaking, I am like thinking the stages of development.
Jessica: I am like that's definitely a big one I've noticed is that shift from, I don't want to call it condescending, but this shift from black and white, so okay, there's a lot more gray in the world and there's more perspectives than I thought and a lot of validity in everyone's opinion, and so just kind of honoring that and especially in light of COVID when there's so many feelings about it, and it's just like, hey, if you're upset about it, that's okay. If you're afraid, that's okay. If you're indifferent, that's okay, all that matters is that I guess the best thing you can do for anyone who's coming to you with a problem is help them identify their own feelings and giving them a safe space to identify those.
Silas: Yeah, I agree and that's a really powerful, beautiful tool and also to try to do that for yourself.
Silas: I am assuming I am realizing in the context of COVID is , I'm much better doing that for others than I am for myself and what it can mean to treat yourself like you're your own best friend, and sit in those questions and those feelings. Just in the past few weeks, I've really been like, wow, emotions are so powerful and truly are going to be what save the universe and it's just a wild thing to realize and sit with and realizing we're all in---I mean, I'm sure not everyone is thinking about this right now but in theory, we're all going through this right now and realizing this together and being forced to confront our feelings together.
Jessica: Yeah, it's felt a very one worldness. Before it was like, Oh, these celebrities doing this and yes, there's some of that still, but a lot of it is like the politicians, they don't know what they're doing, the doctors, they don't know what they're doing.
Silas: Yeah -
Jessica: Celebrities like Madonna's, I'm gonna go outside and breathe the COVID air and I'm like, okay, good for you. Nobody knows any more than anybody else and that's a very refreshing thing to see in the world that I hope is taken forward past the pandemic. Status has definitely been stripped away. We're all unemployed. The jobs that we thought were like, jobs that you get, if you can't be successful in a business office are now the wipe blood of the world.
Silas: They deserve so much more.
Jessica: I'm like, I hope when this is all over that everyone treats them with the respect that they deserve as fellow humans really, and for keeping us together during this time.
Silas: Well, that's what's like. I mean, obviously, I'm hesitant to use the word exciting in this time but what is exciting about all this is the I get that we can really reimagine a lot going forward and as scary as that is, and the more time we spend in it, the more opportunity for reinvention we have and I hope that it can be something that's more people-oriented and communal oriented or aware of these shared experiences and feelings. Also especially because this has kind of affected time in a crazy way of no one can plan. We all had things we planned, we all had a vision of where we thought this year was going and now everyone's like, I guess I'll see you what tomorrow is and then tomorrow comes in, it's the same thing over and over again which I've never felt so present and it's painful a lot of days, but it's also really exciting.
Jessica: It's true. It really is. It's really true. I like that aspect that we're living every day in the moment and I think, I can't speak to every country but in America, the culture is very much distraction, distraction, like, temporary fix, temporary fix, and there's no temporary fix and -
Jessica: There's so much distraction and at my apartment complex, I'm seeing parents hanging out with their kids that you know, I've been living there for a little bit now. I've never seen that.
Silas: So sweet.
Jessica: It's so sweet, but it's speaking I think too the culture changing as a whole because the distraction and the urgency and the need to reach the definition of success is having the most hours, put in the most money in the bank and the most status amongst your peers.
Jessica: It all stripped away.
Silas wraps up the conversation with one more piece of advice on coming to terms with your true self
Silas: Yeah, I think it's so exciting to think about, and this kind of ties back to the beginning of our conversation about the process of getting to know yourself of who you are and what makes you feel fulfilled away from all of that. Actually, this is my another piece of advice I have: in the effort to get to know yourself is I imagine what I would be like if I was just like the last person on earth and I still had access to everything I had now, so I still could like use technology and have art supplies and my music equipment, and that would all work. Who would I be? What would I look like? What would I do to fulfill my time? What would make me feel satisfied in an existence just with myself? And I find that's where you can really get a lot of the answers as to the closest you can come to when you want that true self is but I think that's also a really great exercise for right now in quarantine, because that's kind of where we're at, but you can still talk other people.
Jessica: But yeah, I know, it's very much true. I had the flu a couple of days ago. I got tested for COVID, it was not COVID it was the flu.
Silas: Oh, good.
Jessica: I couldn't see anybody. I couldn't see Sean, I couldn't see my parents, I couldn't see anything and yet, you're forced to sit there with yourself and think because what else is there? And it's time to wrestle with who you are. Yeah and just think like, literally think like, okay, I literally feel like a blessed person, right now so, who am I? Do I like that person?
Silas: Yeah, that's a great starting question, just start at "Do I like myself?" An underrated question. Self-exploration is really unlike any other emotional experience. It's so intense and it's so honest and so raw, but nothing else is more fulfilling.
Jessica: Yeah, it's true. Well, thank you so much for your time today!
Silas: Of course, thank you!
Jessica: I'm excited to see you when this is over.
Silas: I know, me too and congrats on the sooner marriage.
Jessica: I know. I am kind of excited about it. I was like it was gonna be December and now it's in 37 days.
Silas: Exciting. I'll be counting down.
Jessica: Yes! Have a great rest of your day.
Silas: You too, bye.
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