During the week before I did this interview, a mom messaged me on Facebook. We’d worked together at the factory where I was working when I got married, and then pregnant, and then fired.
“I’m not happy,” she said to me, going on to explain that while she had a degree in teaching, she wasn’t feeling fulfilled as an elementary school teacher. She enjoyed it, she said, but it wasn’t her passion, and that lack of passion was manifesting as a distinct sense of ennui in her life.
She and I did a bit of back-and-forth, me asking about her background, education, and passions and her telling me what she’d like to be doing in an ideal world. I told her about blogging, tutoring (which she’d already tried), and all of the ways to monetize her creativity. This girl is an amazing poet, artist, and an all-around philosophical powerhouse with lived experiences of anxiety and depression. She has so much to offer the world through creative expression, but she had no idea how to tap that energy and start creating.
I was so, so glad that weekend that I’d booked Mary Hetrick for my upcoming episode because it was so timely, given that Wednesday-evening message session.
How does one, as a single mom, identify, hone in on, and – most importantly of all – follow her passion?
If anyone could exemplify successfully doing just that, it was Mary. Mary is one of those people who’s so completely herself. She’s honest and authentic, she’s got an amazing natural voice and a talent for communicating big ideas in relatable ways.
I started off asking Mary to talk about the upholstery business she’d started in Jamestown, N.Y. – Electric Chair Upholstery. Here’s an excellent article on that endeavor written back in November of 2016 by a publication out of Buffalo, N.Y., Qween City Press.
At the moment, Mary said during her interview, she’d grown so much as both an upholsterer and business owner that she was taking a break on giving new quotes, finishing up what she had, and working on getting a commercial space in downtown Jamestown.
“I just feel like I’ve gotten too big now…”Mary Hetrick
Mary and I spent over an hour talking about her passion, for upholstery of course, but also for about a thousand other things. Mary is like me. Her brain is on a thousand channels at once, she wants to try everything (except heroin), and when she’s talking about those passions her energy is through the roof. The two of us hit it off quick, and the interview is a super energetic conversation about how important it is to know yourself, to chase down your passions like a dog on a rabbit, and the absolute importance of being flexible and adaptable in both your willingness to reach out and try new things, and also to adapt to the direction those new experiences turn you toward.
It was everything I wanted to communicate to that mom in our messages, and I hope I was able to. But if I wasn’t, I hope she hears the episode and gets it. Because this episode is a great example of how audio can surpass written narrative in terms of conveying emotion and intangible but essential elements like passion, which feels like the main component of Mary’s entire being.
From there, Mary and I went on to discuss Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, which she’s producing in Jamestown later this year. In addition to being an upholsterer, a wanderer, a dreamer, a philosopher, and a creator, Mary is also a hardcore feminist of the best sort. She’s firey and mouthy, but also respectful of the fact that everyone has a different amount of feminist passion within them, and she’s ready to meet those who want to explore their feminist leanings more deeply at whatever level they’re at while still being open and available to those who have no interest in feminism whatsoever (so long as they afford her and her ideals that same respect).
Mary’s production of The Vagina Monologues will be the first ever in Jamestown, and she’s excited to bring awareness to women’s issues, money to her local domestic violence shelter (the Anew Center), and voices to the women who’ve signed on to deliver Ensler’s monologues to a whole new audience.
You need to check out this episode, and you need to go see Mary’s production of The Vagina Monologues at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts’ newly-renovated Multimedia Studio on February 28 and 29 of this year. Stay tuned to the event’s Facebook page for expanded scheduling, event, and ticket information as the date draws nearer. I’ll also be posting more about how things are coming along as Mary updates me.
Alright kids. What are you passionate about? How have you found ways to build that passion into your life, and what do you think your life would be like without it?
If you haven’t found your passion yet, or haven’t found an outlet for it, what would you do in an ideal world to make that happen? Comment below, and start conversations about this intensely personal and important topic with those close to you. If nothing else you may end up having the same type of high-energy conversation that Mary and I reveled in during the recording of Episode 8 of Two Moms Day Drinking.