Welcome to the latest installment of my interview series!
Who are some of your favorite bloggers? I try to follow as many as I can because they have so much wisdom to pass on. (Including bloggers like Shauna!)
That’s what gave me the idea for this interview series. I wanted to glean as much knowledge as I could from those much wiser than me.
This is our twenty-third installment of my interview series, Meet the Blogger, all about Shauna, a fellow blogger. (You can read our previous installment here: www.diffusingthetension.com/meet-the-blogger-introducing-laurie)
Interview series questions
First of all, tell me a little about yourself.
There are so many questions I could be asked that would be less intimidating than this one. Where do I even start?
I’m Shauna, an American woman living in France.
I’m in my thirties, and spent my entire twenties working a corporate career—now I’m writing, taking care of my baby boy(oh yes, I’m also a new mom), and traveling around Europe.
I’m a naturally curious person, and when my interest is piqued on a certain topic, I can get completely lost in research finding out everything I can about said topic.
I can’t keep chocolate in the house, as I have absolutely no control over my consumption.
I’m currently obsessed with true crime, an obsession that comes and goes depending on my wavering mental capacity.
What is your connection to the blogging and/or mental health community?
I started writing for some larger publications before launching my own blog. It’s a parenting blog, with an emphasis on traveling with a baby—but I also have a keen interest in mental health, and try to fit that into my writing when possible.
The initial intrigue with the topic of mental health surely came from my personal struggles with it. From there, I became fascinated with the way our minds work, and wanted to learn as much as I could about people and what challenges them mentally.
During my career, I spent about one year working in an inpatient mental health facility, where I was trained to provide therapy to those suffering from severe Post Traumatic Stress. That was one of the experiences in my life that I will carry with me everywhere. There was so much brokenness and never enough solutions.
What is the hardest part about having a successful blog?
I don’t know how to define success in terms of my blog. That term is a little abstract for me at the moment.
I’d say that right now it’s successful in that I’m enjoying managing it—I’m enjoying everything from the actual writing, to creating the media, to the collaborations and connections with others in the community.
The hardest part, right now, is that there are so many pieces to juggle. It’s not as simple as writing and uploading a post. I’m trying to figure out which pieces are the most important, and prioritize those.
What is the biggest challenge the mental health community faces currently?
It is a privilege to have access to mental healthcare in The United States, and there is something seriously wrong with that.
What are 5 things many people do not know about you?
I’ve recently fallen victim to reality television. I had managed to stay away until I was married and had a baby, and apparently that was the right time to take a deep nose diveinto Love Island and The Bachelor.
I’m very conscious about my purchases when it comes to “stuff”. I hate having extra things that do not serve a purpose, as much as I hate the idea of spending money on things that were not created ethically.
I used to be vegan, and then I experienced severe food aversions to vegetables during my pregnancy, and was advised by my doctors that I needed to begin eating meat and dairy again for the health of me and my baby. The food aversions never entirely passed, so—I’m no longer vegan.
I experience intense social anxiety. While my close friends know this, people I’m not close to usually see me as being anoutgoing social butterfly type.
I spent my entire childhood and adolescence riding dirt bikes and snowboarding. Now, I’m afraid of both.
What is your favorite book and why?
Two books come to mind—one is a novel and one is non-fiction.
Non-fiction: On Writing by Stephen King. Why? Because when I first decided I wanted to start writing, it gave me very tangible advice. Also, he gets into some of his personal experiences during his career that have shaped him as a writer, and I loved to hear his real-life stories woven throughout the book.
Novel: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter. Why? Because it’s dark. It’s twisted. It’s terrifying. It’s a bit of me.
What do you do when you are having a really hard day to lift your spirits?
I’ll try to take a really long walk—this can be a two hour walk sometimes. The fresh air, the movement, the change of scenery, the podcast in my headphones—it can be helpful.
When that doesn’t work, good food will usually do the trick—even if only temporarily.
What makes a person brave?
I think we’re all brave for getting up every day and facing what’s in front of us.
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself and why?
Determined (obsessive?). Why? When I get my mind stuck on something, I can’t shake it. It works in my favor with writing, because when an idea sparks, it will be written. It works against me when the idea that sparks is eating pizza for dinner, when I had a burger the night before.
Open. Why? I’m intentionally open to new experiences. I think I spent a good portion of my life being closed to things that scared me or challenged me, but I’ve found that when I have opened myself up—especially when I’m feeling fear or resistance, I’ve been provided opportunities of growth that would have never presented themselves had I closed myself to the new experiences.
Compassionate. Why? I have seen a lot of darkness in my life, and I’ve seen where the darkness comes from. When someone is acting like an ass hole, my first thought is that they must be struggling. I don’t believe that people are innately mean spirited. I don’t believe that people truly want to hurt people. I believe that people’s behaviors are formed based on experiences, and when the behavior is bad, usually the experiences were as well.
What is your biggest flaw?
Self-doubt. I think that is what affects my life the most.
What is your greatest strength?
The ability to persevere.
What is your best childhood memory?
I loved going to haunted houses put on by the local radio stations around Halloween. I don’t know if this is my best childhood memory, but getting chased out of a haunted house by a clown holding a chain saw, and then falling on the ground laughing, is a memorable one.
Where do you envision your blog in 5 years?
I don’t know. Really, it’s quite new, and always evolving. I’m still not entirely sure what I’m doing.
Where do you see the mental health community in 5 years?
I don’t do well with the five-year questions! It’s hard for me to imagine what will happen in six months, so five years is a bit incomprehensible for me.
Who do you follow to stay updated on all things blogging and/or mental health? Share their links below!
Here are some mental health adjacent Instagram accounts that I enjoy:
@russellbrand shares great quotes that serve as little reminders to me, and I always enjoy reading them—a recent one I loved was “Silence isn’t empty. It’s full of answers”.
@estherperelofficial shares great content related to love and relationships, through the eyes of a Belgian psychotherapist.
@thelatestkate shares encouraging illustrations related to mental health issues.
About the Author
I’m Shauna Dinsart, a mom to a beautiful baby boy.
I’m originally from Seattle, but living in The South of France. It’s likely that I’m in neither place at the moment, as I’m on the move as often as possible.
I consider myself a sort of business woman gone rogue, having built a corporate career in aerospace, and leaving it all behind to pursue a new adventure across the world.
My new life includes traveling part of the time, writing most of the time, and momming all of the time.
Follow Shauna at:
Facebook: Out Momming About
Thanks, Shauna, for participating in my interview series, Meet the Blogger! I loved your responses, and I truly appreciate you taking the time out to answer my questions. Best wishes on all your blogging endeavors!
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Look for a safe space to discuss mental health and connect with others? Join my private Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1206005752776704/?ref=share
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