Have you ever had a moment where you come across words, phrases, or even a quote and it just hits you in that deep place? A quote that in ways defines you better than you could ever define yourself? I had this moment last year when I was searching for new quotes that I wanted to feature on my journals. I always want profound meaningful and uncommon quotes for Soothi journals. I strive to find words and text that might resonate with all those seeking deeper self-awareness.
During this search, I came across an Instagram post by Erin Van Vuren and I loved her way with words. I started looking into more of her work and this is when I found her poem that I just knew needed to be on a journal. This poem encapsulated a lot of what I am striving to become in my life. When I read it, it got lodged somewhere in my memory and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. After a few days of not being able to forget it, I decided to reach out to Erin and see if she would be interested in collaborating with me to create a journal with her work.
We launched this journal last summer and it has quickly become one of our best-sellers. Since this is one of my favorite journals in our collection, I wanted to present a profile of Erin for those that also love this journal and want to understand the meaning behind it.
Some excerpts from my interview with Erin Van Vuren:
Q: Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from, what got you into writing poems?
I am initially from Southern California. The tri-county area, that's where I was born and raised. Now I'm in Miami. Last year I decided to leave the corporate world and the whole way too expensive living situation going on in California and branched out and be with my girlfriend who was in Philly. We were in Philly [there] for six months and we both said forget the cold and we trucked down here to Miami.
My parents taught me how to read when I was two and I started writing stories when I was three or four years old. I started becoming really good at it and started using my imagination. When I was really young I became a professional writer for a major newspaper as a movie critic. At 11 years old I would write for the Los Angeles press. I went to every movie premiere and interviewed all the celebrities and had a really awesome article. Later on, one day my dad said “ok, so what next? You want to do something like change up your article…” and I said, “I don't want to do this anymore.” He asked, “why?” And I said, “I should be the one getting interviewed.” My dad laughed at me and then asked me, “so then what dreams do you want to follow that are pertaining to that?” I thought that it was going to be acting, and so I followed that for years.
My father passed away and a lot of my family passed away. During this time writing was suppressed for many years until three and a half years ago, when I left a bad relationship. All of a sudden it was like Pandora's box open inside of me because I was finally taking care of myself and putting me first on a journey of just myself. No relationships. Just me, and I started practicing a lot of self-love and becoming successful in other areas of my life. I started writing, I was waking up in the middle of the night writing. all these things were coming out of me and somebody said to me to start posting. It was actually J. Allensworth who saw me post something on a regular Instagram page of mine. He said “you're brilliant! You should start a writing Instagram page.” I figured, why not, and I started it in January 2015 and It just grew very quickly. I skyrocketed quickly and everybody saw the flames and asked me to write a book. So, I did and that is my total life.
Q: What do you aim to communicate with your art?
I don't even comprehend that I ever didn't write. My main thing is to inspire, motivate and empower any other human being especially women with the messages that I put out there and I sort of want to wake people up a little bit because I had to wake myself up and become self-aware. The only way to do that is through punching people in the gut sometimes with a piece. Sometimes I have to punch my own gut and when I have to do that those usually are the most popular pieces because it punches everyone else in the gut.
I've always loved putting myself out into the limelight because I am writing a message to the public and having them hear me when I public speak I have the kind of voice that people hear and understand and listen to and I've enjoyed that.
Q: What was the inspiration behind this particular poem? How does it feel to have so many people so deeply resonate with the poem? I noticed someone even got it tattooed!
I will not be another flower, picked for my beauty and left to die. I will be wild, difficult to find. And impossible to forget.
I honestly, I was so tired of being in relationships where I was picked for some sort of beauty and I don't just mean picked for my beauty in terms of my looks…I mean like my life the things that I give to people, that kind of beauty the internal beauty and I had always attracted. This was not just relationships but also friendships with people that were greedy and just took and took and took from me, whether that was my love or something else, and they never gave back. In this process, I depleted so much of myself and lost myself so many times that I said I am not going to do that ever again. I'm going to be wild and free... I am going to be difficult to find and I'm going to have some walls up but healthy walls… and I'm going to make myself somebody. I'm not going to allow people who are just toxic to come in anymore.
I decided this because I wanted people to have to earn my trust in things. It took me a long time to learn this because I came from such a chaotic and toxic childhood. I just assumed that certain things meant love and I was very wrong on all those ideas.
it's a very important piece of mine because I wrote it for myself and I wrote it to remind myself. Most of my pieces say “you” in them and very few of mine that says “I”. Normally I'm speaking to everybody else to empower them, but this one was for me and because of that I think people actually feel this one the most. Brittany Spears reposted it and a ton of others reposted it. Celebrities have gone as far as tattooed themselves with it and a bunch of companies have approached me asking if they can I have this on this and this and I'm like WOW like I didn't know it was going to blow up like that.
I think it's because it came from such a genuine space. It was a profound turning point in my life and I think that when any writer takes something that's so true and so genuine and so profound in their life they put it on paper that everybody feels that energy and they relate to it even more because it's not bullshit. It's real.
Q: What’s next? What are you working on and what can your fans look forward to seeing from you?
Well, I actually I have a few secret projects but I can't talk about them until they're done because there with major corporations. But for me personally when I'm working on is actually my second book and it's completed and ready to go I am just working out a few kinks with making sure that my cover and back cover is perfect. This one is very specific. It has one main theme and it's to walk people through a certain process that everybody in the world can relate to and I am extremely excited about it. I think it's going to touch a lot of people because it even moved me and helped me, even though I had already written everything and knew about it. I sort of re-walked myself through the process.
Q: Who are your biggest influencers?
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. He Wrote The Little Prince and there is no other story besides that one that has touched my imagination like that story has. I reread that book countless times and reread it again countless more times. It's one of the most magical books but I think adults relate to more than children. And I also love and actually just started reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. She was a huge inspiration of mine with writing because she's just very real and she helps other people rediscover their magic with writing and their genius. All my best friends are writers too and they inspire me every single day because we all lift each other up. So those are the main ones for me a little prince will always be my number one magical inspiration.