Q and A with L. Michelle, Southeast Missouri, USA
“I am not the smartest person in the room and, if I am, it’s time for me to change rooms.”
Q: What are you passionate about?
A: I have a number of passions. Studying herbs and their health benefits is my strongest passion. It is also part of my work as an herbalist and owner of my business, Aquarius Herbs and Teas, LLC. Music is also a huge part of my life. While I no longer sing, I love dancing and just vibing to the music of my past and to some new things. I am also rediscovering my love of books, mostly fantasy and romantic things.
Q: What were your younger years like?
A: My younger years were sort of bittersweet. I had amazing grandparents and aunts and uncles that I spent a great deal of time with. My mother raised me and my brother as a single mom, and my father was sort of typical ’70s dad; he was around us when we were with our grandma but pretty much on the fringe of my life until I got older. I don’t blame him. He wasn’t really good at being the father of a small child, but he was actually awesome when I got older. He taught me so much about history, life, how this country works, and so on. He didn’t care for my independent streak as he was old fashioned as can be, but I think in his way he sort of was glad I was like I was because he knew I would be able to help myself. My mother and I had a tough relationship and honestly, we have just now, at 47 and 69, been able to really communicate with each other. We both had to go through our own journeys of discovery to understand and appreciate each other for what we are now, and we understand that I will forever be her daughter, and she will forever be my mother, and all that mess that comes with that. [She laughs.] We do our best to laugh at things that once angered us.
Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?
A: The most valuable lesson I have learned is to listen. I am not the smartest person in the room and if I am, it’s time for me to change rooms. I am forever a learner. I want to be a student because as I get older I understand that what I once knew may not be in line with the times. That’s not to say I have to forget anything I know, but it does mean that the younger people may have something to share and to teach me, and I always want to be receptive to that. I have also learned that it’s okay to fail. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it’s frustrating and may even be embarrassing. But there is a lesson in failure. Study the lesson, get it, and get it good. Then go out and fail some more until you get it right. And you will get it right.
Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A: I have a love-hate relationship with feminism lately. I was brought up to see Gloria Steinem as the leader of the movement. So, I always thought she had black and brown women’s interests in mind. It was later that I learned the opposite to be true. So, that word currently makes me angry. I wanted to be a feminist. But in truth, I always have been. It means that we as women not only look out for each other in all things, but we also tell each other hard truths and hold each other accountable. I think that when the rest of the movement decides to hold the old guard accountable, I think the word would regain a sweeter meaning for me.
MORE ABOUT L. MICHELLE: I love that I was even considered for this blog post. I feel humble that someone would want to ask me questions. I wanted to write for a blog at one time, because I love telling the stories of others as well as my own. I’m currently living in Southeast Missouri in a rather small town, and I work from home on my Etsy business. I also have a small daycare in my home. We make it our mission to educate and inform our babies and their moms on all sorts of resources and opportunities available to them. One of the mommies said we were more helpful than Social Services. [She laughs.] But I love it. I love helping.
Thank you for reading!
Etsy shop: https://aquariusherbsandteas.etsy.com