Best Childhood memory?
Collecting seashells with my Aunt Sue.
Who knows you best?
I'm so glad to report that the answer to this question is, finally, at 41, ME. Sometimes it's hard to hear ourselves— it requires stillness and a lack of agenda. When my life gets particularly noisy, I will often ask myself questions in a journal to see what answers arrive through writing. Developing a friendship with myself is one of the things I'm most proud of in my life.
Who is your hero?
- My daughter. She's overcome so much in her life, and she really knows who she is. She is courageous, brilliant, truthful, kindhearted, and she's always got jokes. My most important life lessons have come from her— she's always been the truest catalyst of my life. If I had the choice to be with any one, at any time, doing any thing, I'm totally down if it's with her (spiders, snakes, and eating onions excluded).
- My surrogate mother and mentor, Celia, who has taught me all manner of important things— how to be comfortable in my own skin (no small feat for a woman), how to throw a dinner party without stress / chaos, how to homestead, how to stay curious no matter how the world changes around me, how to forge my own way, how to support the people I love. She leads by example. She sends me actual mail with article clippings and emails with links to Pinterest boards named things like "In Praise of Whitney." Her unconditional love has been transformative for me.
Last meal you could ever eat?
Excellent bread, good, honest butter, a sprinkling of salt. A beautiful, earthy, crisp glass of wine.
What did you learn a little too late?
It's taken me a long time to understand how important rest is. My relationships, work, and creative endeavors always suffer when I am under resourced. It's counter-intuitive, but the faster things spin, the slower I need to go. Last year, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and it took that kind of crippling illness to realize that my speed of life (and the stress that comes with that pace) was doing so much harm.
What is your most cherished belief?
When in doubt, slow down.
Whitney is a bi-coastal Creative Director and writer based in Atlanta, GA. You can see her agency's work here : www.ampersand.wtf.