Interview 8: Me
“While I think it’s important to know how to make yourself happy, my most happy moments live in the people I love and the important moments in my life.”
-What is your definition of happiness?
“Happiness to me means being secure and safe. When I think of being happy, I picture doing things I enjoy with people I care about and knowing that everyone is okay. While I think it’s important to know how to make yourself happy, my most happy moments live in the people I love and the important moments in my life.”
-What makes you happy?
“My family, particularly my niece and nephew, my friends, my boyfriend. Accomplishing something. Creating something. Doing something that matters. Traveling. The beach. Rollercoasters and street tacos.”
-What physical objects or technologies affect your happiness and why?
“My phone and social media is a big one. It can make my happiness go up or down depending on what I see. Most the time my happiness goes up because I can stay updated with important moments in my family and friends lives that I may not get to see often. My computer or TV. I enjoy staying up to date on shows that I like to watch.”
-Has limited access to water affected your overall state of happiness and if so, how?
“Water hasn’t seemed to be a big issue actually. I use about two gallons a day for drinking, washing my face, and brushing my teeth. I have a solid amount of water saved up for when I need to take showers, which also requires about two gallons each for me, or when I need to wash my clothes. Not having running water does make activities more challenging, but it hasn’t really affected my happiness.”
-What is one thing you wish you could do right now that you feel would bring you happiness, but you are currently unable to do it because of your environment or access to water?
“See all my people or check social media. Download another book to read because I have gone through the ones I brought with me.”
-How has your happiness changed since you have been here?
“I really struggled at the beginning. I was nervous to come in the first place, but I knew I would learn a lot and never regret the experience. Once I got here, there was a lot that I had to get acclimated to very quickly beyond the water restrictions. I had to learn 7 new personalities and how to navigate them. I am someone that enjoys down time and I had to learn to really remove myself if I needed to recharge. Now that I am halfway through this experiment, I am trying to soak up everything I can and just really be grateful for this opportunity.”
-As of 2023, the extreme water regulations are newer to the United States population, yet in other cultures and communities around the world, the energy required for securing and maintaining water is consistently this difficult, if not more. How has this experience allowed you to empathize and think about other areas and cultures of people that have such limited access to water or has it?
“I would have to echo some of the other participants here and say that it hasn’t completely allowed me to empathize, but it has allowed me to maybe understand some pieces of it. I am not nearly in the same type of environment here that many other people around the world are in when it comes to water scarcity. I have an abundance of water I can use if I need it. It is not strenuous to retrieve my water either, but I do see how thinking and priorities must change when you are put in this type of environment.”
-What or who has provided you comfort and happiness while being here?
“I knew Na.Ru before coming into this experiment and she has been someone I felt like I could talk to. Nayara, Jack, and BCC are all people I feel have really helped my happiness level at one point or another in this environment. I also have enjoyed reading and getting to enjoy the sunsets and night skies without the light pollution of the city.”
-Can you tell me anything else about your current state of happiness?
“There are bound to be aspects of a new environment that one isn’t use to that will affect his/her happiness. However, I feel like I have done well here despite a bumpy start and I am going to work really hard to enjoy the time I have left.”