Spotlight on SYSWC Member - Shayna

Cousin Shayna.png

First, thank you Shayna for agreeing to be interviewed!

The purpose is to provide you with an opportunity to share your story with confidence and to inspire others to pursue their creative passions. Let’s go!

Tell us a bit about you

Hiya all, I’m Shayna aka Smiley, a modern day nomad and borderline hippie from the twin island Trinidad and Tobago. As for where I live. Everywhere. I live everywhere. I don’t really have a fixed “home” -haven’t since I left T&T for university- since I move around quite a bit (almost every year). I just finished living for a year in Japan and will head to some other part (currently unknown) of the world. My current career of choice is an ESL teacher i.e. I teach English as a foreign language in non-native English speaking countries. So far I’ve learned and am still learning Spanish, Chinese (putonghua) and Japanese (but I’m not sure if I’ll continue learning Japanese). I’ve experienced several cultures over the years; North American (USA), Grenadian, Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Chilean, Colombian, Ecuadorian, Cambodian and Vietnamese. A combo of countries that I’ve had the opportunity to visit and/or live in.

Reading, writing and positive thinking are the pillars of SYSWC. How much are they a part of your everyday life?

Positivity! It’s seriously part of my life motto. It’s my life actually. I’m a ball of positive energy all day everyday, or at least I try to be. I believe that it’s important to maintain an optimistic attitude even when it’s tough, because good energy attracts good energy. So over the years I’ve made sure to be more conscious and selective of my thoughts, words and actions. I read a lot, I read for several hours everyday. It’s manga though not book books lol. Manga, is Japanese comics. I find the stories very fun and interesting and I do enjoy the art. With writing in a bit of a slacker honestly. I don’t do it as often as I should, but from last year with the start of my blog, I’ve been writing more often. I’ve found that writing down my ideas as soon as I get them encourages me to write more, than if I ‘store’ my ideas/thoughts for later.

You are a creative - tell us about one of the creative projects you are working on now.

My current creative project is my blog. I’m continuing to work on stories that I think will make a difference for someone out there. When I’m writing for my blog, I do so in the hopes that it’ll do one or more of the following things; uplift or encourage others, make someone laugh, encourage someone to reflect, encourage someone to be brave, evoke the adventurous spirit in others, spread happiness, encourage others to be who they are 100%. Oh and in celebration of my return to Ecuador, I’m -finally -working on this crazy video that some cool folks and I started to make during my stint in Ecuador 2 years ago! I’m excited. I can’t share any clips of it yet but I’ll leave ya a snippet of my next blog post:

“My year in Japan wasn’t what I was expecting it to be -been a dream to live there since I was a teen -but I believe that it was necessary. I’m also thankful that I lived in different countries before Japan as it allowed me to have a better perspective of what I’m looking for in my ‘home....’ “

Where does your inspiration/drive to be creative come from?

I honestly have no idea where my inspiration and drive for this comes from. When I think back, I’ve always been a creative individual. For example, as a kid I’d make up silly songs about literally everything, I wrote poems and some brilliant short stories, drew pictures, daydreamed, and found images in the clouds (still do a few of these). But if I have to choose something as inspiration, I guess it’ll be the desire to be free. I view creativity as an expression of freedom. It allows a person to be as bold and as out there as they want to be with no consequences or judgments. So I guess in a way, being creative is being free. Free to be 100% me.

What skills do you still need/want to gain in order to share your story with (more) confidence?

Hmmm tough question. I haven’t thought this far ahead but as I think of it now. I actually would love to (and have started to) learn more about SEO and all that online techy stuff that’s important for increasing online visibility. I’ve been kind of avoiding this for a while because as soon as I start reading up on it my eyes glaze over. But since I know that it’s important, it’s a skill that I definitely want to and will acquire.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Nope, nada. Oh wait! Yes there is. Be happy, be kind, be free.

Where can we find you on social media?

Social media? I’m a hermit. Kidding.

You can find me on Instagram: shayna_fashame

Or on my Unlikeminded blog

Oh, and here are some of my favourite blog posts: Fancy Goats , A Wrinkle in time and The Halluci Nation.

Thank you, Shayna!

If you feel like Shayna is a kindred spirit, that you have so much to express but are not sure where or how to express it, then why not join our supportive online community Share Your Story With Confidence Facebook groupWe share and comment on interesting articles, run reading and writing challenges to help you boost your confidence and organise activities that shine a spotlight on your creative work.

We are small, but we are fierce! 

Karina ThorneComment