10 WITH A 10: LIZZ maldonado

10 with a 10:
I ask Q's of a 10, snap a Polaroid and share it with ya'll.

This week, drum roll please, the crisp and articulate, warm and wonderful likes of Lizz Maldonado.
Oh, how it warms my heart to document these questions at this time in her life, when her character is her buoyancy and everyone she meets is exposed to the strength fighting its way to the top in her.
She is formidable in the most extravagantly beautiful sense of the word.

I'm just freakin' delighted to introduce you to her.
Read on...

1. What do you do and what does it give to people?
I'm a barber.
I think it gives men confidence and some kind of relief. I can't tell you how many times I've had a dude sigh with elation at the fact that he's just had his haircut, like he can now face the world. It's really all they've got to work with, if you think about it. Women have the luxury of make-up, jewelry etc. but men have to face the music as they are, exposed-nothing to "hide" behind, so to speak. So a good haircut goes a long way in boosting a man's confidence.

2. What's a piece of advice you consistently find yourself giving out but find hard to take yourself?
Trust your gut. A beautiful Italian man once told me we listen with three parts of our bodies: the heart, the head and the "stomach". It took me a minute to figure out the stomach part, but when it finally came to me, he said it was the most important one of the three. The heart, he said, is too stupid and the head too logical, but the stomach, that one, never leads anyone astray. I have this theory that the gut knows your ultimate truth. That we always have the answers because they're sitting right above our loins. Whether we're ready to accept the truth or acknowledge it is an entirely different story and that's what makes it so hard to practice.

3. How do you rely on others to make you better?
I don't rely on others to make me better. I think people can inspire us and encourage us, but to be a better means doing the work and no one can do that for you. I've been doing some hard self-reflection this past year and what I've learned is it can be easy to try and look outside ourselves for answers, but there's something incredibly powerful and scary when we take the time to look inwardly.

One of my favourite quotes,
"We do not see things as they are, we see things as WE are."
Anais Nin

4. Someone gives you 50 mill. What's the FIRST way your life changes?
That's a lot of money. I have a weird relationship with money because i grew up poor, so it means everything and nothing to me. Everything because it stresses the shit out of me and I'm always trying to save as much as I can (for no particular reason) and nothing because it's never motivated me. And oddly enough, I find I'm more generous when I have less of it. Fortunately, it's never been a measure of how happy I am.
I heard a guy say today, "I just want to be rich and happy." For some reason that sounded awful to me because, I think, having alot of money would actually do the exact opposite for me.

So I'd probably do something sensible like buy property and invest.

5. What has compelled you forward more than anything else?
Fear. It isn't a pretty answer, but it's an honest one. My parents are immigrants and they put the fear of God in me, so I suspect that has everything do with it. I'm scared I'm going to get to my death bed and say WHY?
Why didn't I ask that boy out?
Why didn't I take that acting class?
Why didn't I go skinny dipping?
etc...

6. Do you like when people ask you, "Where do you want to be in 5 years?"
Nobody asks me that, thankfully. I mean, I have no idea and I'm finally starting to be at peace with that. It's been so liberating.

7. If someone was handed a script of your inner dialogue this week, what would it say?
There would be conversations with God, a lot of music and some swearing - all coping mechanisms, ha!

8. Are you spontaneous? 
My mom says I'm too spontaneous, only she says "espontaneous" in her Spanish accent. I moved to Toronto four years ago and a lot of people thought it was crazy. Maybe it was but I don't have any regrets over it. I miss my family, but moving away from home gave me the opportunity to change and grow and become my own person. Sometimes when you're doing the same thing all the time you get comfortable and stuck. I like to shake things up and challenge my ways of thinking and being; Toronto has been a big part of that journey.

9. Are you failing differently each time?
Failure sounds like such a harsh word. It doesn't resonate with me for some reason. In my 20's, I certainly made a lot of the same mistakes over and over again, but I was a lot less self-aware. I'm a little wiser these days and not as judgemental of myself because it's just too exhausting. That sense of failing does come over me once and a while, but I try and remember that we need the "failure," whether it's to teach us something, propel us forward or even if it's to help us mourn someone. It's also important to remember that feelings are just that: feelings. Just because we feel them doesn't make them true.

10. Paul Newman or Robert Redford?
Paul's too pretty.
I like them a little rough around the edges, so Robert it is.