BADASS: ERIN JOHANSON
I met Erin on social media a little while back. Even through our friendship exists over the internet, her charisma and authenticity is apparent through everything she does. I am so happy to have her as the first of many Badasses featured.
How did you find your path/story?
Still in the process!! I’ve realized if we’re lucky enough to be put on this earth, the only way to give thanks is to make a difference in it. I always tell myself when I’m old and grey I want to be able to be overly fulfilled with the way I lived. If not now then, when? Life is too short to wait around or care what people think, in realizing my path will either be blank or boring, I got my ass up and decided to make it how I want it because nobody else will do that for you!
What is a significant moment that helped lead you to where you are today?
Last summer my friends and I went on a cross-country tour in our 12-seater van to help promote my boyfriend and his brothers’ music. We would sleep in our van, brush our teeth and wash our faces at truck stops, we were eye level with the fog on the mountaintops, it was just an absolute dream. Months later, I go home and I find myself at the community college signing up for pointless classes. I was bawling in my car on my way home with registration papers beside me and I thought, “screw this”, if I want to live that “dream” life, traveling the world, being my own boss, living for myself etc. I’m the only one that can help myself do this. So I buckled down, stayed focused, worked hard and kept telling myself that the sacrifices I make today, will make my future and my career SO MUCH BETTER in the long run.
How did you find what makes you happy?
Through trial and tribulation! Haha, I think it’s important to cut out all the negativity in your life. If it doesn’t make you happy, cut it out. I try and surround myself with good people that want to see me do well. Listen to yourself and do what makes YOU truly, genuinely happy. Not what makes your mom or dad, your boss, your boyfriend or girlfriend happy… just YOU!
What does authenticity mean to you?
Authenticity to me is being real and comfortable with yourself. It is embracing who you are and what you have to bring to the table. Now a days, with social media being such a huge part of our daily lives, it can get hard to differentiate what’s real and what’s a façade. We each have something to offer to this world, enhance it and use it as your weapon!
What is one piece of advice you would give to your middle school self?
Pay attention in class!! Boy was I a daydreamer. I would also tell myself that this is such a minuscule fraction of my life and not to sweat the small stuff.
What does a successful day look like for you?
When I’ve made someone laugh! Hahah hmm, I prefer waking up early, working or creating something I can look forward to working on or applying to the next day. Whether it’s selling something on my Depop shop, meeting with a friend, making a YouTube video or just spending the day with good people and having good laughs and conversation.
What is the hardest thing (personally or professionally) that you have had to face? And what have you learned from it?
My parents got divorced I was 12 years old. I felt lost for some time but then, I kind of picked up the pieces and hid it inside. Recently, I’ve found myself dwelling on it and I feel like it’s because I myself didn’t cope with it as well as I could have when it was going on. I’ve learned things may not always go how you planned, but they happen for some kind of reason, and it’s always for the better.
How do you handle tough days or situations?
If anything gets too tough, I'll take a break, sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and if I’m lucky I'll have a dark chocolate with sea salt chocolate bar at hand! Driving around in my car, windows up, music blasting… that would be plan b. Never overwork yourself, never stress yourself out, I always make sure to treat myself with relaxation or a good book when things get too hectic.
What is your proudest moment?
My family has a commercial salmon fishing camp in Kodiak, Alaska and every year our neighbors will have a party and all the fishermen and fisherwomen will get together and it’ll be this big cookout. This particular house has a big mountain behind it and so I finally hiked it to the top. Proud moment for this lady right here!
How do you handle societal pressures to be a certain way or do certain things? (ex: pressure to have sex or drink or dress a certain way)
I think this goes hand in hand with being authentic, if it isn’t you, don’t do it. You should never have to feel uncomfortable doing something you don’t want to do. My mom always told me “saying no is much cooler”. You know that old quote that goes something like, “because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind?" Listen to it! When it comes to dressing for societies “standards”, I say, go wear the funky pants or the cool glasses. It’s better to be different! Go against the grain, and turn some heads while doing it! If society frowns upon you wearing it, all the more reason to strut the streets in it!
If you have any questions you want to ask a badass, leave them in the comments or contact me directly!