Tell me about that process. What do strength and courage mean to you when you were going through that adversity and traumatic time?
You know, the funny thing is my mom’s dance company is called, “Zigou-Dam” (zee-goo-dam). She made up this language; and genuinely, still speaks it using her own dialects. Zigou-Dam means “strength and courage” in her own made-up language. So, even before she felt ill, strength and courage was a theme in her life. Literally, she choreographed pieces around it.
So, for me, I don’t know if it is a very British thing or whatever… Whenever things get tough, that’s when I keep my head down. I mean I’m really focused, because I view it as a “center” or an “anchor” – almost part of the motive or fight. So, even when I was younger, I didn’t really understand the concept of “You’re such a brave girl.” I just thought to myself, “What other option do I have? I can’t roll over and play dead.” Life is so important. I am realizing, the hard way, of how if you can try and control your happiness in some way – that’s a very good thing. It’s not a wasted effort. So, it wasn’t automatic. I’m not like a soldier. But, I definitely felt like it was the only option – to be strong.
And courage, being young at heart and in mind (by that I mean being a little bit ambitious with my ideas), I’ve literally applied to so many things. The reason I started writing (and being published) as young as sixteen was because I was trying really hard; and, I was knocking on doors. I was asking editors, “Would you publish me?” It comes from this idea that – not that life is short –but, that it is your life. And basically, (you have) one shot at it. It’s in your control. I wish I didn’t have to learn that as young as I did. But, I did. And, I made the most of it. I use that to justify my crazy ideas (which have come true)…and, I’m really, really happy about.
So literally, adversity fueled my courage and my strength. However, I do think I still would have been very creative because, obviously, my mom is creative and that influenced me. It was my foundation.
What’s beautiful about that, I think, is a lot of parents want to teach the children to be fearless. And, the truth of the matter is we’re going to be afraid, it’s what we do when we are afraid.
Being strong, and having courage, is ultimately the lesson. So the fact that you learned it so young is a beautiful story and an inspiration to all of us – to keep going.
Thank you so much.
With that, in terms of “keep going”, what’s next? I mean, you have View Avenue. And, you’re writing and modeling…
So, what’s next for Patricia?
I guess, on the one hand, my mom is launching her company this year; and, I’m a part of that. My task is in branding and directing aesthetics. So, I am definitely going to try to push that as far as I can.
But, on a personal note, I think with View Avenue – which just started off as a blog – was born out of a bit of frustration from going to stayed, very competitive, academic, private school. And, (this community) always seeing creativity as second-class citizenship to academia and sports. I felt like young people didn’t have a voice in that. I would say that “I love going to the opera” (my mom always took me as a kid); or, “I love world music.” People would scoff and be like, “oh…well…charming…that’s so unusual.” And I thought, “no, that’s not unusual.” My friends literally would talk about La Triviata…or, how silly that girl is from La Bohème or whoever – as if we were talking about Gossip Girl in the same breath. And, it’s unexpected from adults. So, my thing with View Avenue – why I launched it – I want to show a kid could enjoy culture and see it from a kid’s perspective. So, I will continue to champion culture (because) that is what saved me when I was going crazy! (laugh)
Other than that, my plan is to keep writing and to keep supporting my mother in her designs…to keep pushing that as far as possible.
With the final time that we have, what does the word “purpose” mean to you?
It feels positive and uplifting, as well as, urgent. It is something that I I have to have defined in my head, so that all on my “down days” I can call back to it. Whether it is career purpose, general life goals, or just knowing that for me and in my personal beliefs, God has a purpose…or, that “there is a point.” Because unfortunately, I do know a couple of friends who wondered, “What’s the point?”
So, purpose is a really urgent word to try to focus and anchor on in our lives. It may be vague most days, when we are generally in a good mood. But, when we are lost, it is vital that there is a sort of idea there that helps us through.
I know what my personal purpose is in life. I’d like to think that (I have) rough idea – nothing written in stone – of where I’d like my life to go. I recently realized that every single human being is important, and no experience is wasted, good or bad. That’s what that (word) means to me. Purpose is an urgent word.
One last question, what does the word “passion” mean to you?
I (typically) associate the word passion with enthusiasm. But, enthusiasm sounds naïve and sweet. I believe that passion is a little bit grittier, a little bit “angrier” sometimes. I don’t mean angrier in the literal sense of the word. I mean “slightly more aggressive” – I suppose I’m trying to say. I link it to ambition, whether that’s emotional ambition or professional ambition. I think there’s this idea that you can do whatever you want, with whatever you have, and the only thing that’s going to get you through is passion. It’s believing that and not allowing yourself to be sidetracked. Easier said, than done, of course.
(they both laugh)
Brian Westley Johnson is the managing editor-in-chief of Soulivity Magazine, an online magazine-journal which reaches over 150K people monthly across the globe. For over 25 years, Brian has spent his life traveling the world as a business development professional using his skills and demonstrable expertise in sales and marketing strategy and execution to assist enterprising medium and large organizations in achieving growth targets. Now, he has dedicated his life to a new mission – to support everyone in living their highest quality life with passion, purpose, and joy.
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