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Conversations with the Inspiring Seantel Trombly

Today we’d like to introduce you to Seantel Trombly.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Seantel. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
When I first moved to Boston in 2013 to study architecture at Wentworth Institute of Technology, I immediately started to discover the ways a diverse city community would alter the way I viewed myself. Soon, after living on my own, I started to really uncover a lot of things about myself, I came out as being queer I started paying a lot more attention to my mental health, etc. Long story short, during my Sophomore year, I went to a retreat held by Coby Kozlowski called Quarter Life Calling at a center called Kripalu in Western MA. It was here that I learned many of the practices of mindfulness and meditation that I still try to bring into my everyday life.

At the time, being only about 19 years old, and in the midst of my college career as an Architecture student, bringing the mentality this lifestyle I desired to live in into practice on my own was difficult, but to this day, I owe it to being the thing that saved me from my darkest times. It was also during this time, I began writing, as well as joining a new group on my campus called W.I.L.D (Women’s Institute for Leadership Development). Throughout my 3rd and 4th year at school, both my writing and this group took off, I started my YouTube Channel called Writing Our Makeup where I uploaded videos of me performing my spoken word poetry as well as providing the occasional advice, and also held the position of President for WILD. I was lucky enough to perform as both the president of this group and as a poet at Wentworth’s Women @ Wentworth Event, host monthly open mic’s at Pavement Coffeehouse for WILD, host a Take Back the Night event at Simmons, and also give the commencement speech for my undergraduate graduation.

However, through all of my luck, I owe my life to writing and my community, it is through both that I have managed to push through every dark day and keep showing up for every day of my life. Currently, I am working at a residential architecture firm in Cambridge, continuing to write a book I aim to publish featuring stories and poetry within each chapter, and pursuing my own small-scale installation work to uncover ways in which architecture has its hands in our social world.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Mental health has always been a big obstacle for me. The universe has ways of finding your weakest points at times and really making you come face to face with them when you feel as though you are at your lowest. I am both a queer person and a survivor, holding with me the weight of hate, misogyny, discrimination, and pain. Some days, still I find waking up to be the hardest thing to do, never mind feeling the need to keep writing, keep filming, keep standing up in front of people every week to and speak authentically about many of these issues. I think if one were to look through a certain perspective, you could find many obstacles throughout my life that might make one feel pity for me, yet I have never desired that. I try my best to look back at each and every turning point as something that has tested my strength and made me more of who I am, stronger on the other side of every page I turn in my life.

What should we know about Seantel Rae / Writing Our Makeup? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My work is entirely inspired by love. When I was young I learned that love and hate can only be measured in the way light and darkness are, darkness is only known by the lack of light, therefore hate can only be measured by the lack of love. Most of my writing aims to relate to others by looking at painful experiences through a manner of love. I hope to teach/guide/walk with someone back through the memories they hold far beneath the surface and sit with them there to look at what or who it was that caused them pain and to maybe forgive, or smile. Of cours,e I am only human, and maybe only one of my lines may connect with someone in a way in which is deemed successful, but if that is the case then I am happy. I hope that as I continue to learn about myself and life I can continue to write, film, perform and connect with people, and we can all learn to navigate this life a little better.

Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
It would be a lie to say that I wasn’t influenced by the experiences that came before me. Coming to terms with who I am, especially with my sexuality was very difficult. I would say that during the period in which I began writing was when I “found” myself, but this “finding” could be described as realizing how much I didn’t know about myself. I felt like a mystery, which was horrifying. Learning myself, applying myself, and showing up for myself at the same time as being there for my friends, peers, and especially my family felt impossible and my relationships took a significant hit. All the years after coming out and coming to terms with the trauma, I’ve survived in my life have led up to writing being the platform that created the peaceful ground I met the rest of the world at. It saved me.

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Image Credit:

Nichole Logan, Molly O’Handley, Joe Mahoney

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