C.J. STRICKLAND IS A HUMAN, AND NATIVE AMERICAN

Clinton Strickland

Your Name: C.J. Strickland

Age: 24

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Occupation: Language Instructor, Fashion Nomad, and Food Instagrammer

Where did you come from? I was raised on a small Native American reservation in Atmore, Alabama, but have since claimed Tokyo as my tribal grounds.

A Fear: One of my biggest fears, presently, is not taking the necessary risks to become the next great designer. I work tirelessly to hone my visionary and technical skills, so to never make it would be heartbreaking. I’m also completely terrified of the ocean – I take sleeping pills every time I fly over the Pacific.

A Goal: To do what I love and love what I do. I’ve never been content with the idea of a 9-5.

A Memory: Earlier this year I began working on a new business that focused on Japanese fashion trends and popularizing it to the Western market. I worked with a few close friends of mine and together we developed the outline for what looked to be a promising business venture. Sadly, due to waning interest from group members and a lack of dedication, the project fell through and I was left disappointed. That was my first lesson in business: never expect others to be as dedicated to your goals as you are.

A Hero: The Man in Black, Johnny Cash. He managed to rise from years of addiction and built an incredible legacy. His extremely honest lyrics have always resonated with me and inspire me to be just as transparent.

A Fault: My greatest fault would certainly be my tendency to burn bridges with people after a negative experience. Sadly, this is especially true with close friends. Because I easily trust people and let them in, I am more hurt and angered when they disrespect betray me. It’s an issue I’ve been working through, but there isn’t a simple solution to it.

A Talent: Oration. I’ve always had a knack for it even from a young age. Though it took some time for it to develop, my talent for delivering a strong narrative and commanding attention when I speak has certainly aided me throughout the years.

A Prized Possession: My kick-ass beaded tribal bolo tie. It was a custom made piece from my uncle and is the perfect statement piece for any look.

A Need: An internship with Paul Smith.

I want More: Opportunities to see my loved ones. I miss them so much.

I want Less: Moments in which I doubt my own abilities and self-worth. Thinking poorly of myself creates unnecessary barriers.

What would you change about the world? Let’s spend fewer hours behind the desk and more time running in the grass with no shoes on.

What do you love about yourself? Setting my sails for lands beyond the barriers of the reservation. Being a nomad has helped me learn how to love myself.

DUSTIN DAVIS IS A HUMAN, AND A STAY-AT-HOME DAD

DUSTIN DAVIS

Your Name: Dustin Davis

Age: 32

Location: St. Louis, MO

Occupation: Part Stay-at-Home dad, part freelance designer

A Fear: My family does rely on my freelance work. In the past, were times when I feared about finances. But really, in the end, I knew that God would provide all of our needs and that fearful thoughts were not something I should entertain.

A Goal: To manage my business and parent my child as best and as efficiently as possible. It’s hard juggling both especially after a long day with a crying baby.

A Memory: The moment my daughter was born. Still brings tears to my eyes – happy tears of course. It really was the happiest day of my life.

A Mistake: I’ve made a lot of them in my life. But I really think they shaped me into who I am today. I regret a lot of them, but in the end they ended up being lessons learned.

A Hero: I wouldn’t really say I have a hero. But my dad would be close – especially now that I have my own child. Looking back on how he influenced my life gives me hope in how I will influence my child[ren].

A Fault: Hoarding the parenting role (if that makes any sense). Ugh. I hate it and my wife does too. And sometimes I loose patience, especially in the middle of the night when there’s a screaming baby.

A Talent: Oh gosh. I hate talking about myself in this way. HA! My wife says I’m great with people, great photographer and designer, and great with problem solving. Not sure if those are talents or skills

A Prized Possession: Probably my camera[s]. I love documenting life, especially now with our girl.

A Need: Hmmm. I can’t think of any NEEDS. A lot of wants. I would love for a way for my wife to be able to stay home too so we can just all be together all the time.

I want More: Patience. I really think if there’s anything specific to my life, it’s that. And more date nights with my wife.

 I want Less: Sometimes I think I want less stuff. Sometimes I want to just simplify my life. But it would be a shock and would be so hard to do that.

What would you change about the world? Why can’t we all just get a long? I feel there is so much hatred in the world. It sounds hippy, but we need more love.

What do you love about yourself? I love that I’m so awesome. Seriously though. I feel I am a leader – and I really like that. I think that it’s really helped me in a lot of my life, especially my life as a husband, father and with my business.