Kate Healy has the unique ability to take the themes and topics that circulate in our lives, and offer incredible insight and perspective. Her words just seem to stick, and can help us to untangle our own experiences, making sense of them. Enjoy our Q+A with Kate below, and be sure to check out her full feature in this month's issue of En Root!
This month's theme is all about time rebellion. Tell us about how you interpret this theme, and how it has played a role in your personal or professional life.
Time is a resource that can carry a lot of emotion and identity within it, so I think time rebellion is the most human of habits, taking as many forms as there are humans. I think it’s natural to experience a mix of urgency and helplessness in regards to time. I really have to validate those feelings for myself, otherwise I’ll guilt myself into working more or let something slip that I wanted to accomplish. Time rebellion has played a major role in my work life because it has contorted the way I search for jobs and opportunities. My vision was limited to "what time will you allow me and what time will you take from me." After years working in restaurants, daycare, and hourly jobs, the feeling of exchanging my life (my time) on this earth, for rent and bills, really got to me. People do all sorts of things when backed into a corner, and I found a way to escape, but it was desperate, unhealthy, and unsustainable. Now that I’m farther from that corner, I have to actively dismantle my escapist tendencies. Instead of obsessively thought-constructing a ladder out, I'm going to build a scaffolding for something sturdy.
At OutGrowth, we believe in designing the space and time to reimagine the path forward. How do you believe pushing back on the concept of productivity can impact our perspective and influence our future decisions?
The push to be productive can feel like nameless pressure. It’s good to identity the pusher. If the pusher happens to be you, take the time to remember what you’re pushing towards. It's always brave to re-center, instead of blindly fighting onward. We’ve all seen what happens to leaders who never, ever pause. This gesture of thoughtfulness is always vulnerable for me, because I’m not sure what to replace pressure with, and sometimes I have to re-name my own purpose. It feels like I’m slowing down, but really it’s retaining the consciousness I’ll need to follow through.
What is one hard lesson you learned in this past year that contributed to your growth?
You can’t control other people by upping your own actions. You might have to find other people, or re-invest in those that are already there. There are people I have wanted to convince or help, and when there was resistance or silence, instead of leaving it there I would secretly start coming up with creative ways to “bring them over." This was soothing for me as an empathic over-giver - “I see something you can’t see, why won’t you let me help you!” but it’s not good practice for who I really am: a creative who doesn’t feel like giving more time to those who aren’t open or interested.
What is one competency or skill you hope to develop in 2023?
I want to pick ONE way of sharing on social media, and remain consistent enough to see if I actually like it or not. I believe I can use social media as a tool, but I’m easily overwhelmed by all the other reasons people use social media, and I judge myself for not liking it at all. However! If I hold onto the very specific reasons I want to publish myself, I may actually be able to use the tool.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by people who talk into paradox, use humor to help us breathe easier, or beauty to help us see better. And my friends, when I'm brave enough to reach out to my true few, they are the most personal inspiration I need.
Maggie Nelson, poet and disobedient thinker—she talks about the difficulty of maintaining your own experience of art when the internet tries to tell you how to feel all the time. I learned of her on the Ezra Klein podcast episode “Let's Talk About the Anxiety Freedom Can Cause," on Crooked Media. This is a big company now, but podcasts within it’s umbrella have helped me come back to myself, and I appreciate the way they make organizing for change an uplifting experience.
Pod Save America—Former Obama speechwriters expressing frustration, talking about limitations in a calm way, and also potential paths forward. I think I just like hearing their friendship too. They are all about calling out “the game” instead of “playing it on someone else’s terms.”
Lovett or Leave It—a comedy show that’s political, the honesty of the people onstage and also John Lovett’s critiques on social media have made me feel like “I can be a voice out there too!”
Rachel Held Evans—an author who wanted to keep her faith but rejected so many of religion’s controlling and cruel practices. She let people know that it was okay to have doubts, that it was okay to question the certainty of authority figures in their lives.
At OutGrowth, we believe in preparing the next generation of leaders. What is one resource (book, podcast, article, anything!) you'd recommend to those looking to carve out the time for growth in the next year?
It’s a book!
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey
This book is all brief profiles about the routines and working habits of creative minds. From Beethoven to Toni Morrison, Kafka to Georgia O’Keeffe, I love opening up to any page and seeing that the greats also had struggles with time, and plenty to say about the mysteries of what makes good work.
What's next? What are you excited about in the coming year?
I’m trying something new, which is to do book voice over/voice acting work. This is something I’ve been encouraged to do by industry professionals in the past, but now have a bit of space to fully commit. I’ve taped two voice demos, and will be building a website soon to support my efforts. I’m excited to keep showing u. Feeling proud of myself is priceless!
Kate Healy is an actor and writer who worked in film, commercials, and runway in Chicago for 10 years. Over the course of the pandemic, she has relocated, pivoted to voice-over work, and will be publishing her poetry this year.