I met Flora Maria Stamatiades on Facebook. In the best way possible, through a women’s group. The perks, as it were, of being part of an online community. We met one afternoon in Chelsea Market; as we meandered around, we talked about our lives. I felt comfortable immediately with Flora; we’re of the same generation, our references make sense to one another. This is my favorite part of getting to know a woman, to hear about the choices she’s made, that have brought her to this moment, the one where I am lucky enough to take a photo of a woman and ask her about herself, all the while listening.
What is your name?
Flora Maria Stamatiades.
How old are you?
If you were to give your twenty years ago self any advice what would it be?
Listen more to others. Listen more to yourself and trust what you hear.
You will fail, and that’s okay. You cannot succeed if you don’t take risks.
What is your biggest concern for yourself for the next ten years?
If I have to say just one, financial stability.
What is your relationship situation?
I’m in one that works for us. I don’t try to explain it as I get a lot of eye rolls if I do.
How do you define work?
Engaging in productive thinking that challenges my brain and imagination and setting out/engaging in plans to achieve the resulting ideas. Plus, I get paid for it.
There are also, of course, the tasks that make life happen (laundry, cleaning, paperwork). I only don’t call those tasks “work” because no one writes me a check when they are finished!
How do you define relaxation?
In several ways: letting my mind wander (which is very hard for me); physical activity (yoga, Pilates, long walks); laughter; time with friends when there is no agenda.
How has your definition of feminism evolved over your lifetime?
This is tough. For the longest time, I refused to call myself a “feminist.” There were so many negative connotations to the word, and as someone who already struggled with “femininity,” it was too much to take on. But I always lived like one, I think it never occurred to me that I should accept “less” and not fight for “more,” and my mother used to say that I did not have to call myself a feminist because she had been one.
I wrote these at key moments in my journey to now calling myself a proud, loud, feminist:
What is your favorite band/artist?
The Rolling Stones, no question. But actually, there are so many I love, and what I listen to at any given moment is really about what’s going on in my life. I’m currently mulling over a post for my blog about “my three songs,” because there are three, and they say it all to me, for whatever reason.