Each month, we will spotlight a new Storyteller in our Storyteller Series, without whom, Project Ava could not do what we do. Read more stories here.
Write an aphorism you live by:
“Don’t ever throw away an opportunity that could be yours.”
This is one of the vital philosophies I live by. Opportunities in life are often rare and making them yours is something you should always try to do. I live by this rule in my academic, social, and professional life. Opportunities can be endless but I believe that taking that initiative to explore variety and options is the key to experiences and sanguine happiness. It can also produce the deepest forms of friendships. I’ve had the opportunities to network with people all over and I would not trade the friends from afar that I have made for any dollar value.
Why did you become a Storyteller?
Inspiration breeds creativity. It could lead to profound discoveries or create a chain reaction of growing inspiration in which people begin to ignite creation, provoke change, or introduce someone to a greater version of themselves. That’s why I am here as a Storyteller: to convey my experiences as a Vietnamese American and the endless concepts and constructs that float into my life. I aim to inspire and give a piece of my wisdom to another person who can use it to do and achieve greatness. If you don’t find inspiration in something or someone, how can your dreams come alive?
Where do you consider home?
I consider home to be a place where I am welcomed and loved unconditionally. I come from Portland, Oregon. It’s a big city but when I travel to another city, a huge agenda item is to visit a friend and “come home” to theirs. I consider home a place where you experience the feelings of enlightenment, security, and warmth. It could be Seattle, Denver, or even Timbuktu. Wherever it is, I know it’s home when I am embraced by a familiar face and can anticipate returning to that home each time I leave.
Who inspires you?
My inspiration comes from my circle of mentors, parents, professors, and anyone who show me the positivity and potential to beneficially impact society. Whether it is how to become a better writer, innovator, leader, lover, or activist, I am inspired by those who see purpose within me. The beauty of inspiration is that it spreads the potential for individuals to achieve the unthinkable and a life-changing success.
What impact do you want to have in the world?
I wish to have the world become more curious. We are all a bit biased and polarized to our own beliefs, tending to be consistent in our way of thinking. I am also guilty of much so. Yet, I challenge myself each and every day to ponder about whatever I am curious about and to explore them further. It might be through travel, video blogging, or a simple Google search. Whatever it may be, I set my sight on seeing it once in my lifetime and to experience the unknown. Curiosity also breeds creativity and its fruition. Question and doubt yourself often and build yourself up.
When did you find your passions?
When it comes to learning and exploration and finding my passion(s), it is an on-going phenomenon. I am a firm devotee to human experiences, so I place myself in the pit of the unknown and try to understand life as it unfolds. When I find an idea or activity I am passionate about, I tend to slowly incorporate it as a part of my life and attempt to apply it to my daily living. Writing, for example, is an art form I only recently began to incorporate more and more into my daily activities. I always loved writing but it as a passion came to fruition when I discovered mediums/outlets to publish my pieces. Now each day begins with a little sprinkle of inspiration for future pieces I want to publish on my Medium blog.
How would you like to improve yourself?
Digital photography while I also learn to become a stronger writer. I want to pair my pieces with photos that capture the essence of the piece. Share snapshots of my experiences with my readers. What’s more shareable than a perfectly lit and spatially well-arranged Instagram photo?
If you’re interested in reading more works by Olyvia, you can find them below: