My father is Armenian and my mother is from New Zealand, of British origins. I was born in Australia, I grew up in New Zealand and I now live in the USA. I consider myself a mixed-race New Zealander, but my home is the US, it’s where my son was born, where my husband and I met, and where our life has flourished together.
The term ‘place’ draws from a variety of meanings with reference to defining my identity. Place isn’t just a physical place in the world, it’s how I exist, my ‘place’ in the world. I would say that my identity is mostly drawn from my life experiences and the people I’ve spent time with. Those moments and those souls have left lasting imprints and have shaped who I am today.
On guiding principles
Honesty is at the forefront of my guiding life principles. Being honest and true to myself is first and foremost. Being honest with the ones I love comes next, and then being honest with the world around me by always projecting a very true sense of self to the world. Honesty is the foundation of living a real, authentic life. Since I can remember, my momma has drilled into me the importance of honesty, she would say that if you’re always honest, everything would always work out, and to this day that’s remained true.
Authenticity flows from honesty. Authenticity allows you to truly be yourself and being yourself is freeing, it brings with it self-acceptance and true happiness. In the most beautiful way, my life is my work and vice versa. I live and breathe my work, it’s an extension of who I am. For me, the importance of authenticity is not a learned principle, I truly believe I was born with the desire to be myself, always.
Love is my next guiding principle. Just loving, loving everything, everyone, and life in general. I try to practice gratitude and love constantly throughout my day. It’s not always easy, but as soon as you choose to love, everything in life feels bright. To love is a conscious choice, it’s a decision that everyone can make.
Photography by Anna Ritsch
Styling by Carolina Orrico