Name: Gabrielle Olivas

Social Media Handle/Username: gab_best

Introduce Yourself/Tell About Yourself: Hi I’m Gabrielle, everyone I meet immediately comes up with a nickname for me though so feel free to do so. Gabby is probably the most popular, though there have been some pretty cool and some pretty strange monikers created for me. I’m a 27, Mexican/mixed race cis bi woman living in Normal Heights with my partner and our two cats. I graduated from UCLA with my BA and recently got my MS in education. I will have been sober for four years in April.

What Inspires You Every day? : I feel bad calling her a What but my mama. She is this kick-ass, before-her-time superwoman who put herself through college, had a career as a newspaper editor, kept her own name, and is actually the best mother to ever live. I’m not making that up, if you met her you would get it, she’s a saint. She inspires me because she really does it all with a smile and patience, which is something I struggle with. She’s not a doormat by any means – she has charlie-horsed me many times when I do something stupid – but she has this incredible capacity for kindness that I strive for.

What is some words of wisdom you live by?: “You can’t please everyone.” I’ve wasted a lot of time worrying about what other people think and how I’m perceived, but at the end of the day, I just try to be a good person and if I’m good in my book, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Living in fear is no way to live.

What is your ultimate goal in life? : Oof, that’s a huge question! My ultimate goal in life is to help people. I know that’s vague but that’s where I’ve found the most fulfillment and I find when we get too specific with our plans, the universe generally laughs at us. I work with students currently and my master’s degree is in Instructional Design and Technology so I want to continue progressing in education design and help more people get the skills they need to have a better life. I think access to education is the key to improving our communities and I want to be a part of that.

How have you been during the pandemic and how has it affected you? : I have been relatively alright, only had a few minor breakdowns – I’m joking, mostly. It’s been rough but I know everyone is going through it and we’ve been really lucky to stay healthy and not get the big C so thank the universe for that. We did have to temporarily move in with my parents which was… interesting, but I’m really glad we got to spend that time together and that we didn’t murder each other – I just got a great new job that’s remote so we have our own space again which is a huge blessing. I just really miss hugging people.

What is a message you would like to give others? : It’s okay to feel bad. It’s okay to feel like you don’t belong, like you’re crazy, like you’re the only one who doesn’t seem to get it, whatever “it” may be. There is nothing wrong with having those feelings, but don’t keep that sh*t to yourself – talk to someone about it. A friend, a therapist, a sibling, a parent, a teacher – if the first person you talk to doesn’t seem to hear you, or brushes you off, try someone else. Sometimes people are too wrapped up in their own stuff to be there when you need them, but you deserve to be heard and to be supported.

What else would you like to tell others about you or your life?: I have about 500 half-written songs, books or screenplays that I may one day finish. I have an incredible group of friends from every phase of my life (childhood, high school, college, whatever this adult phase is called) and I highly recommend getting all different types of friends because they have enhanced my life immensely. I love writing music and watching pretty much any sport (soccer, football, basketball, tennis, yes even golf) in my spare time. My favorite artists include Aretha Franklin, Carole King, Blood Orange (Dev Hynes), Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, Anderson .Paak, Toro Y Moi and Tei Shi.

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