Stories: Taylor [No. 1]

Q: What brought you to Oakland and why have you stayed?

Taylor: I am originally from Arkansas - I came out here 2011 to be with my family. I worked with my dad in San Jose for a bit in our dispensary, chilled down in Santa Cruz for a while and then ended up here, in Oakland. I am involved in this community called “Psy-trance” - so I bounced around and made some connections through there - this city just fit a lot better. I also just started going to Laney College for welding. I’ve only completed one semester but I want to eventually start making a bunch of art and fabrication. I would love to open a company that makes custom wrought iron gates for businesses and houses, really cool interactive pieces. I want to make them a little bit more fun and playful, not just so “YOU CAN’T ENTER”. 

Q: What is joy to you?

Taylor: I feel that joy is an immense flooding of the full self, this spontaneous combustion of feel-good bubbles. The goosebumps, the warmth, anything that makes you pump a little bit more blood for that reason. 

Q: What brings you that joy?

Taylor: First and foremost it would be my dog. Dancing and music would also be right up in that line. Spending deep, intimate connections with people and loved ones. The sense that we can be two random people on this planet and still totally find a meeting ground out of nowhere is so awesome. And I guess another thing that would bring me joy is healing/therapy through hot-springs. I like to hike up to the springs and rest there for a bit, it is so rejuvenating for my skin and body. 

Joy is an immense flooding of the full self, this spontaneous combustion of feel-good bubbles.

Q: What do you do to spread joy?

Taylor: Anyone that I make eye contact with I make it a point to smile. If I pass someone within speaking distance I will make it a point to say “Hi, hope you have a nice day”! I know we walk around with our phones in front of our faces, so I try to be intentional in making connections with people. I like to sing to people and be full “momma-bear”. Whenever people are sick and not feeling good I’m like “I’m putting on my tutu, I’m bringing over soup and we are going to get our nails done”!  I just try to make people feel good because it makes me feel good - I don’t expect anything in return. 

Q: What is something that you would encourage / challenge others to do to spread joy?

Taylor: I would challenge people every single day of their life to make it a point to have one moment of a meaningful connection of conversation with a total stranger - every single day! There is so much more we are missing because we are too afraid to talk to someone and to get that connection. You never know what opportunities you are going to miss just because you didn’t say hi to someone. There are wormholes and portals you can travel through and thats through the souls of different people.

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Taylor is also a barista at Crasftman and Wolves in San Francisco. Taylor has a sweet story and amazing outlook on life and people. Be like Taylor, talk to strangers and spread joy!