March 22, 2014

Free Spirit: Rebekah Long

We are insanely excited to start our Free Spirit series today! Each week we will be spotlighting an individual who believes in living free— creatives, dreamers, believers, adventurers and everyone in between. Free spirits believe in you, me and most importantly, themselves. They are individuals with heavy hearts and deep minds. And we are so excited to share their inspiring souls with you! 

"Being a free spirit is more than just a label.  Being a free spirit is a way of life.  It’s care and compassion and flower crowns when necessary!”- Rebekah

To kick off our series we bring you, Rebekah Long, a  22 year old Libra living in East Tennessee. She is a joyful observer of life and an advocate for mental health. Rebekah is currently writing a book for girls who are struggling with mental illness. How cool is that? Her story is truly an inspiration to anyone who has been down a dark and bumpy road. She has defeated her demon and emerged stronger than before. Now she is ready to help others do the same. A true, kind and loving soul. Rebekah lives her life without constraint and full of love. Keep reading to learn more about her passions, style and how she describes the qualities of a free spirit! 

Life Motto: remember how much of a goddess you are when the world is weighing you down

Go-to quote: “Kiss your own fingertips and hug your own curves. You are made of waves and honey and spicy peppers when it is necessary.You are a goddess,I hope you haven’t forgotten.” - Emery Allen

Being a free spirit is something to be proud of and cherish. I live my life as a free spirit by giving love as much as I possibly can. I would consider myself my “own person,” because, even though I care a lot about what people think of me, I do my own thing anyway. Making myself happy is so important, and every free spirit loves themselves first. I’m loud and outspoken, and I befriend you without any judgment, whatsoever. That’s my favorite quality. It’s taken me a while to master it, because it’s so easy to just pick apart other peoples’ flaws. When you’re diagnosed with a mental illness, though, it’s impossible to judge someone else, because everything is put into perspective. You have to be willing to love and respect others, because that’s what you want most of all. Being a free spirit is more than just a label. Being a free spirit is a way of life. It’s care and compassion and flower crowns when necessary!

I dress to feel pretty; I don’t dress for anyone else. My style is kind of a mess. I wish I could put a specific name on it, but, really, I just dress how I’m feeling that day. There’s not a specific person that I model myself after; I just kind of dress the way I think looks fun! I shop everywhere. I love shopping at thrift stores and Cato and WalMart, because, let’s be honest, their selection has drastically improved over the years. I’m one of “those girls” who lives in her leggings, and I’m proud to admit it! I love earrings and necklaces, and, as I said before, I like to make scarves. I have two incredible rings that I wear everyday from a little shop in Market Square in Knoxville called Fizz. One is a moonstone and the other is a royal blue druzy quartz.

Educating, advocating and crushing stereotypes: I’m passionate about so many things! I’m passionate about love and friendships and making sure that everyone is happy. I’m passionate about art and creating things that I see. I like to take something I see in a store (especially jewelry) and find a way to make it on my own. Most of all, I’m becoming passionate about my health. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2012, and it’s been an incredibly difficult journey. I’m finally starting to become comfortable in my own skin and realize that my feelings should be the most important (to me). Educating and advocating is really important to me. I just recently made a little (okay, long) announcement on Facebook about it, because hiding is really strenuous and, frankly, heartbreaking. People just don’t talk about mental illness, and that’s really sad to me. Mental illnesses like Bipolar Disorder have such a nasty stigma attached to them, and I just want to crush them all and let people know that we aren’t all just like the stereotypes.

Thoughts on food: I love food. I love, love, love food. My favorite restaurant is the Tomato Head in Knoxville. I could live off of their hummus. It’s so incredible. The “Oh Boy!” sandwich they make is heavenly. I ate it today, actually! 

Arts, Books, Music: When I really want to keep my mind stimulated, I draw or paint or make something with my hands. I love making jewelry and arm knitting and embroidery. My favorite movies would definitely have to be The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Pride & Prejudice (the Keira Knightly version), and Silver Linings Playbook. My favorite kind of music to listen to when I want to be stimulated is a little playlist I made that’s comprised of strictly piano solos. The song that I love the most on that playlist is named “Opus 23” by Dustin O’Halloran from the Marie Antoinette soundtrack. It’ll bring tears, mark my words. If we’re talking favorite song of all time, it would be “Send Me On My Way” by Rusted Root. I can’t express how that song has helped me through my 22 years. One of my favorite books is definitely The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. That book changed my entire life, and I don’t say that very often. When I read a book and really love it, I kiss the cover when I finish it. When I finished Ocean, I kissed it twice.

Connect with Rebekah on Facebook
Follow Rebekah on Instagram: @kingkongquisha

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