I was born in Minnesota, moved to Tennessee when I was three, and we returned to Minnesota when I was eight. There are so many things about my upbringing that shaped who I am today, but it was mostly being raised in a big family and living freely in nature away from society. My parents wanted us to be off the grid, so we lived up in the woods and were homeschooled. My mum had ten kids, all in the comfort of her own bed— wild.
We had a small farm with a huge garden and a lot of animals; chickens, goats, sheep, bunnies, dogs, cats. We were taught how to live off the land and build or make things we needed. Being the second eldest of ten carried a lot of responsibility and forced me to be a leader at a very young age. My position in the family shaped me to be self-motivated and a self-starter. Characteristics needed in a freelance career. I’m now a photographer and creative director living in Los Angeles.
My parents shaped me to be who I am. My father is one of my best friends. We’re so close— he always gives me the longest lectures so that I’ll learn from my mistakes. My mother taught me to be frugal and independent. She always told me I didn’t have to conform to society's idea of success. I never, never felt pressure from my parents to be something I wasn’t; they always believed I was capable of anything I put my mind to. And they were right.
First thing in the morning, I chug water — it gets your organs awake. Then I either like to write down my dream, if it’s significant, or journal my affirmations for the day. Then I’ll meditate and stretch, before I splash my face with cold water or take a shower to wake me up. Then I’ll make a smoothie, take some vitamins, and stare out the kitchen window. It’s lovely!
I mask at least twice a week. I used to apply masks at night, but now I prefer to utilize that glow-glow during the day. So now I’m a morning masker. Before the mask, I wash my face with LESSE Refining Cleanser and, after, I apply just a little of the Ritual Serum. My skin feels so nice when I stick to this simple ritual.
Knowing that I get to wake up and be creative is something I really look forward to everyday. This time at home has made me realize how much I love being in creative environments. My film camera is one of my favorite objects, along with the objects that connect me with nature— I love snowboarding, surfing, skating, hiking and long walks on the beach.
“It’s amazing how beautiful someone can be, just by being who they are inside. I’ve always been in awe of that ability we have as humans. I personally feel the most beautiful when I’m around my sisters and close friends. When people truly understand you and love you, that’s when beauty is found. The beauty of helping someone in a time of need or doing something kind for no reason — these things make me feel alive.”
Being in nature helps me renew; a hike really pushes my reset button. Hierve El Agua in Oaxaca is one of my favorite places to visit. I feel so energized when I’m in a place that blows my mind with beauty. So it’s no surprise that my life goal is to be back in the countryside with a farm and a garden. I’d also like to have classes for kids who don’t have access to nature or cameras. They’d be able to come to the farm and learn about gardening and taking care of animals, and also learn about film and digital photography.
I find beauty in one’s soul. It’s amazing how beautiful someone can be, just by being who they are inside. I’ve always been in awe of that ability we have as humans. I personally feel the most beautiful when I’m around my sisters and close friends. When people truly understand you and love you, that’s when beauty is found. The beauty of helping someone in a time of need or doing something kind for no reason — these things make me feel alive.
I wish the younger me had let go of things a bit more and not let people damage her perspective on life. I’ve learned a lot and believe life happens to us how it’s meant to be, but it would obviously be nice to get around some corners faster. I’m working on letting go of the past, and learning to trust people again.
Peace, equality, unity— this is my wish for humanity. Things will work out, when it feels like all hope is lost. Remember that.