Young Woman Jesse Zlotnick answers Ten Questions.
As some of you may recall, it was International Day of the Girl on October 11. In honour of this day I wanted to interview a young woman to gauge where young women are at in the west. One of the WonderWriters, Joanne Fedler, has a 16 year old daughter Jesse, so I asked Joanne if I could interview her or if she could write something for WonderWomen. Then I thought, what about Ten Questions? Perhaps she could be brave enough and answer Ten Questions – not the easiest questions for anyone to answer. And luckily the bold, intelligent and insightful Jesse said ‘yes’.
Jesse Zlotnick is a year 12 student at Reddam, in Sydney, Australia. She loves cats, winter, Dr Who and Supernatural. She has a secret crush on One Direction and Colton Haynes (from Teen Wolf). She loves watching Choccywoccydoodah and Cake Boss. She spends all her spare time on Tumblr, writing her novel, drawing or singing and playing her guitar.
I am very grateful to have Jesse participate in our community of WonderWomen.
What is the essence of being a woman?
To me being a woman is perseverance. Being able to push through the obstacles in front of me and within me, find a way of holding on to a bit of hope for the future even if the situation I’m in seems too difficult. It’s not giving up. That’s what being a woman is.
What do you feel unites women?
Our ability to see so much, to notice the things that go unnoticed, and that we can talk to each other about them and know what the other means.
How do you stay strong, assertive and feminine?
I spend a lot of time around other people because I have to, but I find that when I’m alone and able to create art or music that I am more myself than any other time, and this is where I find my strength, this is how I ground myself and remember who I am.
What and who inspires you?
Cliché it may be but my mum is my biggest inspiration. She’s raised me in a way that I think is so different to anyone else I know; lots of spirituality, mindfulness, gratitude, and I’m just really grateful that the most influential adult in my life is her. I sometimes lean towards the more materialistic self-serving tendencies of teenagers, and it’s her that pulls me back and keeps me humble, and I know that later in life, even if I don’t see her often or I live in another country that I’ll think of her in every one of my actions and think if what I’m doing would make her proud.
How do you live your life so it has meaning?
I just am constantly reminding myself that even if there is no meaning or reason behind the things that occur to and around me, that this is not important. That the important thing is that I find meaning in sadness and suffering. I remind myself that finding meaning and faith is the best way to get through the tough times.
What contribution would you like to make to benefit humankind?
It’s tough to say, I’m still a teenager, I’m not sure yet. I’d love to discover something or invent something that will improve the world in a drastic way, but I doubt my own ability to do that, so I think I’d like to just do many small things; donate to charity, volunteer my time; just small acts that will improve the lives of some.
How do you stay calm under pressure?
I remind myself that what seems to be so important now won’t be so important in a few years time. I haven’t had to deal with anything too life changing yet, the most pressure I’m ever under is in an exam room, and there I just work methodically and calmly through the issue, not dwelling on the things that I cannot immediately see the answer to, knowing that I can work through these later.
How do you move from dream into action into completion?
I have a habit of having big dreams, and when I want something, I work to get it. When I set my mind to it I create a plan in my head of big milestones that will lead me there. I put in the effort where others aren’t willing to and I work hard to get things done. I motivate myself and others to strive for a common goal, and I see where I need to lead and where I need to follow and do what will get me to my end goal the most successfully.
Three words to describe how you maintain a life balance.
If you could ask any woman one question, what would you ask?
I’d ask how do you keep track of yourself? How do you make sure you are you without imposing on anyone else’s sense of self?