Jimi: Hi my name is Jimi, I have here with me a very special guest. The most special guest we’ve ever had in conversation. Her name is Daniela, and today we’re going to talk about love.
Daniela: Hi, happy to be here.
J and D: *laughs*
J: Alright, let’s get right into it. Daniela, what’s a movie that resonates with you about love?
D: I could say so many, but I feel like a movie that resonates with me is “About Time”. To me that movie serves as a perfect reminder of how important it is to be present and to make the most out of the life that you’ve been given. You know, life can bring so many precious moments and I think the main reason why I love this movie is because it always puts me at ease and gives me a sense of peace that I long for from time to time.
D: And I’m going to say one more...another would probably be the movie Columbus—and no, it's not about Christopher Columbus. For me it's a movie about life's intricacies and how, when put in a reflective mindset you can experience it as both sad and beautiful simultaneously. Even though this movie does not necessarily explore the romanticized version of love, it does introduce a more personal and familial interpretation that, to me, is both painfully relatable and comforting in so many ways. This movie just moved me to tears after the first watch and I just love it so much.
D: What about you? What’s a movie that resonates with you about love?
J: I mean, first, that was beautifully said. I think the ‘About Time’ movie is definitely something that we try and watch when we might be a little overwhelmed with things or just want to kind of reset, but don’t you have another movie that you’re not thinking about that I think sort of provides that same feeling inside of you?
D: *laughs* Ummm, I don’t know. I’m sure you’re probably thinking about ‘The Day After Tomorrow’...
J: Yes! The Day After Tomorrow. The movie that I have seen more than any other movie, even my favorite movies. I’ve seen that probably 3x more than other film I’ve seen in the past.
D: Yeah, I feel like in the span of the last 2 weeks I’ve probably seen it like, 4 or 5 times. I might see it again today. That definitely is a comfort movie, but when it comes to love it’s not the one that comes to mind. *laughs*
J: I hear that. Yeah, so a movie that resonates with me...the film that was big in me understanding the spectrum of what pertains in love is ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’. I was like 17 when i first watched it. And it touches on so many aspects of maneuvering through this really unique love story. You watch all these non linear memories of a relationship over time but this movie is different, it was like a rom com reinvention. It touches on regret, acceptance, soft moments of togetherness that was all very new to me at that time. And almost like an introduction on everything else that is involved around a relationship and i’ll always appreciate it. It’s a darker movie, but the thought that the people we love this life leave a permanent mark, helps me remember how fragile a heart can be, you know?... The ones you get to hold and your own.
D: That was very beautifully said.
J: Thank you.
J: I have another question for you. How was love portrayed for you as a child?
D: You know when I think of me, myself as a child, one of my favorite memories was when I was in second grade. I remember my mom had dropped me off very early at school and I sat in the cafeteria with the morning lunch ladies waiting for more kids to arrive. When it was time to finally head upstairs, I was surprised with a beautifully decorated locker that my mom had snuck up to surprise me with. So, I feel like through her eyes, all through out my life and to this day my mom has always gone out of her way to make me and all of my family feel super special. It really truly is such an honor to be loved by her. I think that’s one of the many ways that I feel like love was portrayed for me as a child.
D: My Dad on the other hand, as a kid, he would always take me on long drives with the windows down and music playing loudly. I think quality time with him was very special to me and of course, my taste in music was heavily influenced by him growing up. He provided me with a great deal of reassurance which helped me to feel secure in my developmental years. Both of my parents have worked so hard to provide such a safe and comfortable living for my sisters and I just feel like I will always truly appreciate them for that. What about you?
J: Thank you for sharing that. I think that it’s been such a long time since I’ve moved here and have been able to get to know your family on a very personal level and it’s been a blessing to be able to see this dynamic, the beautiful culture that you and your family share, and everything that y’all provide for me its just really cool.
D: Yeah, we’re so happy to have you.
J: I think your memories have so much detail in how you retain things. Like, you literally have the memory of an elephant. I think when I look back on it I have these little pieces that I can recall, and I don’t really even know why they’re significant, but it’s almost like the film I was talking about. Where it’s non linear and just kind of all over the place in the way that you can kind of reflect back. But for me growing up, my favorite moments at home were when we’d all be in the same room, specially the living room after dinner time...watching anything on tv. It wasn’t any specific movie or show, but it didn’t really matter what it was. You know, my family, we were just all over the place and to have that togetherness was really nice. I think it was probably the most stable part of that time in my life. And when we got older, it didn’t happen as much. My sister and I had both moved out, but when we would visit and we’d be back in that same living room with something like an old recording of American Idol where my mom would try and vote on her favorite singer 2 days after the voting ended, we we’re all just present there. I’m happy to have those moments to cherish. That togetherness was a big way i felt love was portrayed growing up.
D: One of my favorite things to do with your family every time we visit is to just lay around and watch movies. I feel like your Dad has probably the best collection of DVDs to choose from. So, it’s always nice to watch and then get to see his perspective on whatever it is that we chose to watch that night.
J: Aw man, yeah I really don’t know any film that he hasn’t seen or that he doesn’t have. It’s insane, I don’t know how they’re going to travel with all of them. I feel like that’s probably going to be the priority. The majority of the boxes they’re going to have whenever they do move here is going to be DVDs. It’ll just be by genre, instead of “kitchen”, and “living room” it’ll just be...
D: all alphabetized.
J: Yeah. What’s your favorite way to show love?
D: This is a really good question. I think i'm always striving to be a reflection of my mom. Like her, I love making people feel warm and special no matter who they are. So, I'm definitely someone who loves deeply and always want to make sure that my loved ones are well taken care of. While my two main love languages are quality time and acts of service i always strive to be a reflection of all of them.
J: I definitely see that for you. I think one of my main love languages also is...acts of service?
D: (confirming) Yes.
J: Nice. And I’m still discovering my favorite way, but right now, and this I’m sure is act of service, but I really enjoy making those regular daily moments more intentional. For example, i’ve been making those egg muffins, and i try to approach it like “alright these are gonna be the best eggs she’s ever tasted”, and present it like i’m tryna earn us an apron on master chef. I’ll use the cookie cutter to get a perfect round shape. i’ll add dots of hot sauce symmetrically around the plate. Any way i can make a little moment more sincere. That’s currently my favorite way to show my love right now.
D: Yes, it’s truly the best having breakfast in bed every morning because of you. Like, I feel like I’d never feed myself. So I’m really grateful for all the times you’ve fed me.
Do you think love is simple or complex?
D: True love is simple. True love is beautiful. While there is no question that all love has its complexities, I believe that with the right person, it doesn't always have to be complex. You know, with the right person the complexities are never as complicated as they sound, especially when you both are working towards a mutual goal of understanding and resolution. So, that’s really how I just view love in general.
J: I feel the same way. I totally agree. I mean, I think love itself is simple. like you know when you feel it. It can be the timing that makes it complex. It rarely happens when you expect it, but that’s life. Throw that in with us as individuals and all those external things...that can make love really complex. Just to understand we’re all carry our own kinds of baggage. So, when you’re allowing someone into your life and them into yours, it can take time to let those walls down. Sometimes you don’t even get to see those walls go down; it’s a privilege. And then when you do really let another in, hopefully it’s reciprocated and that’s when the real work comes. Like you’re talking about. Understanding the complexities of each other and you learn a lot about yourself too, once you get to that place with somebody. And when you do, what will you do with it? it should all be so simple, but i mean complex isn’t always a bad thing either. It’s definitely worth it. I think you just gotta find the right person that’s worth the work. If it’s right, it won’t feel like work. it’ll feel like something like watering or providing for and just allowing to see bloom or...
D: For it to grow!
J: Yeah, for it to grow. To become something larger than you.
D: I love that.
J: Thank you.
J: Last question, what does love mean to you?
D: Love to me means so many things. Love is when my cat says bless you when I sneeze, love is being asked how I feel. It is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. It is going beyond yourself and stretching who you are for someone else. Its being kind to others, showing empathy, Its you making sure all my drinks are Dani proof, so i don't make a mess. Love is just very special. It is something i always want to continue feeling for as long as I live.
J: I love that, I really love that. And for the record, anything that doesn’t have a lid on it or that you can really just twist on or seal safely, is not Daniela proof.
D: *laughs* this is true, unfortunately.
J: You know, off of that, to me it’s a gift. I think that’s how everything you’ve expressed is something you feel gratitude towards when you can observe or be present in that feeling. I think it’s continually defining and redefining itself for me. all love is different. For me, it’s gotta start with a real connection and from there, how can you build around it? like create a foundation. To have someone that wants to grow with me...to have those principles and goals align and even when they don’t necessarily align, to want to find a way to make it work for each other. To be that person to someone else. I mean the feeling, that’s easy. you can’t really control that anyways, you just know. But the opportunity to protect that person, their heart, and to get to reciprocate and help them grow along side you. It’s just a gift. I guess I’m trying to say that love to me means wanting to provide whatever you can to help your partner grow into themselves. And when it’s true, they bring out the best versions of yourself too, so you’re growing and evolving in unity.
J: But at the end of the day, we’ve been trying to explain love forever...I don’t think i know much, and hopefully that just allows more space for us to grow in this thing we call love.