Conversations

Conversation No. 55 – Talking With Shanai

Shanai is from Brooklyn, New York, where she was living at the time of her interview. Her days were spent “working as a manager at a medical practice.”

Shanai’s Most Likely To Is: Most Likely to Inspire

She explained why inspiring people is important to her:

“In general, based on what I am hoping to make my final career… I just love to interact with people and bring out who they are, who they truly are; and allowing anyone to be comfortable and to express themselves completely.

I think everyone is inspired in their own different way, but for me that whole social media form is detached. You don’t really know who those people are. Especially for the kids and the younger individuals I come in contact with, they need something that is more tangible than a picture on their phones, you know?”

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We discussed how different friends can provide different forms of inspiration:

“My friends are all such different people in their own ways, and I have different relationships with all of them. And that also gives me different stimuli.

It could be stimulating conversation, or maybe it is that friend that I can do outdoor [activities] and new things with. Maybe it’s the experiences that we have or the moods that I connect with in the person.

So I try to rely more heavily on my relationship with that person, more than [whether] on paper if we’re necessarily the same. ‘Cuz we could be completely different, but it’s the relationship that I gravitate to.”

Shanai reflected on her journey of personal growth over the past few years:

“I may have the same personality in some ways, but I’ve definitely grown. I would say that I was a child seven or eight years ago. Coming to a place of adulthood and stuff is something that changes a person anyway, and something I’m grateful for is the ability to continuously progress and become a better person.”

We spoke about the ups-and-downs of adulting, and Shanai offered an idea to make the struggle less painful:

“I wish I could take some days off!…I’ve been saying, I think we all as a country should have a week every so often to…like…restart. No adulting! I think we’ll all benefit from it and enjoy it.”

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She talked about why time has become more important to her:

“Just the difference [between] when [I was] young and I could easily have slept my days away, if I wasn’t in school or being with friends. Time flies by so fast and now, you’re almost fighting for a moment of free time as an adult. That’s when it comes into consideration for me.”

Shanai described what she sees when she looks at her city, and the at the country:

“I’m seeing a lot. I’m seeing everything from the beautiful and the good, people doing well and succeeding and progressing in life.

I’m watching a lot of people unfortunately pass away or die young or have people in their family lose children. There’s so much going on around us, it’s hard to emotionally attach to everything. It’s a roller coaster sometimes. But I see hope at least for things to get better.

I know that – for those who are in a bad place right now – that they absolutely have the power, and are strong enough to get through whatever they’re experiencing right now. And for the people who are doing well, I know that they are going to continue to do well and succeed and make a name for themselves.”

She described what she’s trying to do with her art:

“My art in itself is my outlet. So, if I’m in a place that I can’t exactly articulate or don’t understand, art is how I get those feelings out without having to put it into words.

And that’s what I try [to do] when I come in contact with children, giving them that outlet to express themselves in ways that they may not want to articulate…sad feelings or confused feelings or whatever they may be…and being able to get it out without having to say it all.”

Listen to our full interview with Shanai

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