• _whatshesays

LARISSA

Larissa | Public Health Analyst | Traveller | Swimmer | Lifelong Learner | Awkward | Currently in Dallas, Texas


Instagram: @life_w_larissa

Blog: www.lifewithlarissa.com


1) THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS?

Black Lives Matter. I’ve always been the introverted, shy individual who’s been scared to share her thoughts in case it offends anyone. Black Lives Matter helped me find my voice, teaching me how other people interpret my message is not on me. I should share my truth regardless.

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2) THE WORST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS?

Being separated from family and friends during this pandemic, and the heavy sensation of loneliness. Naturally, I’m an introvert so I didn’t think it would be that much of a struggle, but not having that human interaction when needed is hard. Especially since right now is not the time to be going out and making new friends.

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3) YOUR BIGGEST WISH FOR THE NEAR FUTURE?

That people truly take this time to listen and learn, and use their newfound knowledge to make changes in their lives. It doesn’t have to be something big and splashy and showcased over social media. But taking the time to have conversations with your children and/or friends about what you’re learning; going out of your way to support Black owned business and Black creatives; making it your norm to diversify your feed. It makes all the difference.

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4) YOUR BIGGEST WORRY FOR THE NEAR FUTURE?

That the United States continues to suffer the devastating effects of COVID-19 because people can’t comply with regulations that protect themselves as well as others. Also, the growth of stigma surrounding COVID-19.

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5) A CONTEMPORARY WOMAN YOU CURRENTLY ADMIRE?

Can I name three? First, my mother. That woman is a force to be reckoned with. Not only is she hilarious, but she also has everyone’s best interests at heart. She moved to a country where she knew nothing – just for her kids, and her work ethic is amazing to me.

Second, Simone Manuel. I grew up swimming competitively and to see a Black woman breaking through in a predominantly white space is everything.

Third, Simone Biles. She is talent, grace, and inspiration all-in-one. Literally how does she do what she does? Hard work, dedication, and a ridiculous amount of flexibility!

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6) A ONE-SENTENCE MESSAGE TO OTHER WOMEN?

Everyone didn’t like Jesus, so don’t expect everyone to like you; do your best with what you’ve got and be proud every step of the way!


A few more questions about the current situation (covid-19, lockdown, black lives matter protests, politics, finances, mental health, health, and so much more):


7) THE WORLD HAS BEEN CHANGING DRAMATICALLY IN RECENT MONTHS, HOW ARE YOU COPING?

Honestly, at first I wasn’t coping well. I was experiencing information overload and it was a lot to take in. No matter where I turned (i.e. television, radio, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), people were sharing their thoughts, concerns, disbeliefs, and research about COVID. I didn’t know what to believe, when there was contradictory information everywhere. So, I stopped consuming so much information. I don’t watch the news; I only listen to streaming services (i.e. Pandora, Spotify, SiriusXM) in the car; and I took a much needed break from social media. Currently, I’m coping a lot better. I feel like I have a better understanding of what’s going on and the steps I need to take in order to protect myself, my loved ones, and others in the community. I’ve also started watching a lot of TV. Wayyy more TV than all of last year combined, just in these past few months. And I had to come to terms with myself that it’s okay if I want to lay on the couch and not to anything all day. It’s not required to be grinding 24/7, even if that’s the message that’s being pushed out these days.

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8) WHICH CHANGE HAS AFFECTED YOU THE MOST / HAD THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON YOU PERSONALLY? 

Black Lives Matter has had a large impact on how I currently navigate my life. Refer to question one for more information on how. The discussion of mental health has also had a large impact on me. As a psychology major, I have also been a great advocate for mental health; however, I’m kind of hypocritical because I haven’t been the best at taking care of my own. Part of what makes me feel better is helping others, so as long as I could help guide others in the right direction they need to go or provide support in ways that are needed of me at the time, I am able to divert focus from myself and my needs to others and their needs. However, spending a lot of time alone these past few months have forced me to sit with my emotions more so than usual, and brought to my attention it’s important to take care of my mental health as well.

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9) WHAT ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE MOST?

Moving forward. A lot of people (and I used to be one of them) are discussing how they can’t wait for things to get back to ‘normal’. But what exactly does that mean? We’re currently living in a historical moment – one that I hope will be accurately depicted in history books. Do we want to go back to the way things were? People are speaking out against injustice; people are standing up for what’s right; many truths are coming to light. Don’t we want to change our new ‘normal’?

In terms of COVID, yes – of course, we want to reduce infection and death rates. We want people to start caring about others, and recognize how their actions may directly or indirectly impact the livelihood of someone else. We want the hygiene practices to continue as we battle this virus. But in terms of society, let’s make history. Let’s make change. Let’s throw out ‘normal’ and create a new world where people don’t have to live in fear due to who they are as a person. Where people in power have to answer to the law despite their authority. Where people can take a deep breath and say, I can finally breathe.

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