I’m a generalist. I love to love people, talk and learn. I want everyone around me to feel okay and supported. I love resolving conflict and don’t hold grudges. I’ve been told I care too much. I’m learning to balance caring with sanity.
In the last two years, I fully realized how thin I spread myself over thousands of people. My work involves being in touch with hundreds of people every week, and I have felt burnt out for longer than I remember not feeling that way. I’m from Northern Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C.—but I have lived in New York for seven years. We’re a city of drained pedestrians and work is our modus operandi. Working for something outside of what nourishes and heals us.
I don’t want to be married to my work, but I also have no desire to date or be in a partnership. This doesn’t make me feel rudderless. I think it’s massively important to talk about vague uncertainties and finding passion in the day to day, the motions, the waves. Working towards values, not goals. So many of us have been conditioned to seek approval, validity, value, fulfillment in people’s opinions and physical things. It’s imperative that we help each other feel value, not just in self worth and partnership, but all realms.
I feel happy seeking truth and kindness over everything else. I see beauty in balance and intersectionality. I feel most alive when hiking, walking around the city, dancing alone, or in lively conversation. I’m always listening to R&B. My family shaped me—my parents and three sisters—but my most important relationship has always been with myself. At the risk of sounding hubristic, I fully embrace who I am but know it’s a privilege to have this attitude.
I get out of bed for the small things. How the light hits the garden outside my window, people watching, jaywalking on Houston, riding a bike at dusk, knowing summer will always come back, listening to The Read every day. Mornings don’t come naturally to me, and now innate realities and chronic pain have forced me to become patient with myself as I wake up. That’s something I wish I had known: not to take my health for granted.
As far as skin care, getting rosacea in my mid twenties changed my perspective on beauty. Since LESSE launched, I have had the Ritual Serum in constant rotation—and have now gone through 24 bottles! My most consistent ritual is water! I use a Walter Berkey filter and constantly chill glass bottles in my fridge. My beauty routines are mostly natural now but I still play with makeup from time to time. I keep it minimal and believe a concerted effort—both internal and external—can impart real change, but it’s been best for me to pull back from any over-consumption of products. That’s not to shame anyone who operates differently.
For life in general, I don’t have rigid rules. I’m not sober, but barely drink. I’m not celibate, but haven’t had sex in two years. I have never really dated in this city, but I’m not opposed to it. I tend to not look too far ahead, but I do actively work towards values and purpose over goals.
My advice for life is, simply; seek balance, peace, pleasure, affirmation, security and love in the small things — and, ultimately, your relationship with yourself.
Find Lissie here. Photography by Carolyne Lorée Teston.