Meet the Contributor: Erica Ross

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Erica moved to Rochester from the Twin Cities at the end of 2018 with her husband, toddler, and 3 cats. At first she was anxious about living amongst the endless fields, but she quickly fell in love with this special and unique city. She absolutely loves trying local restaurants, shopping small, and learning about the local art community. When Erica is not working as a Librarian at Mayo Clinic, she is consumed by creative projects. She has poured her heart into making thousands of masks during the pandemic, and now is more focused on making polymer clay jewelry. You can see her creations at: www.thatsassystitch.com.

What gets you fired up?

Vulnerable conversations! I live for heart to heart conversations with close friends, or even strangers. I love to cut through expectations and go straight to someone’s authentic thoughts, hopes, and fears. Topics that I could talk about for hours include mental health, anti-racism work, and the reality of adulting.

What is something you believe everyone should experience at least once in their life?

Living with roommates and working in retail. Not everyone has great roommate situations but it forces people to learn how to share space, be aware how their habits impact others, and how to contribute to the maintenance of the space. This experience definitely is a time of growth and can be riddled with conflict and tension. But it should hopefully make you a better person in the long run. 

I also think that everyone should work in retail at least once in their life. Retail is hard work with very little respect. After dealing with difficult customers, you will likely make a vow to treat those precious souls behind the registers with respect and dignity, shrug off a crappy coupon, and correctly put back products you changed your mind about rather than hiding them in the dollar section at Target. 

What is one thing you are working on changing/ being better at?

Accepting and appreciating my body. Like many women in our society, I have spent my entire life criticizing and being embarrassed of my body. Food was apparently my weakness and exercise was the punishment I deserved. Now in my early thirties, I finally look at my plus-size body in the mirror and slowly but surely start to say nice things to my reflection.

This summer I decided that my body deserved to be in clothing appropriate for the heat. My body deserves to wear shorts, tank tops, and dare I say… crop tops? I have been buying and wearing clothes I would’ve never considered in the past. I am not talking about wild outfits that would embarrass myself and others. I am talking about wearing jean shorts instead of long black leggings. I am talking about wearing a tank top instead of a baggy, black t-shirt. 

Now, on a good day (with a lot of practice), I pull on some shorts and throw on a tank top, look in the mirror and think “I actually look kinda cute.” And guess what, my partner and son love me just the same.

What is an irrational fear you have?

Boredom. I have a fear of boredom. When I am bored I quickly spiral into some existential crisis. Life is short, the minutes and days are ticking by, and I am not maximizing every single moment which rapidly turns into I am just a blip on the timeline of life. I discreetly try to fill every minute of down time with something that provides a sense of productivity, like crafts or writing. However, I REFUSE to ever avoid this dread by willingly cleaning or organizing. 

What is your guilty TV pleasure?

(David Rose Sweater Cookie made by Sugar Shuga Cookies)

Schitt’s Creek. I only feel guilty about the number of times I have binge-watched this entire series. I connect deeply with those who speak in Moira Rose GIFs. I absolutely love watching the high-maintenance Rose family gradually adapt to the quaint town of Schitt’s Creek and transform into loveable and caring high-maintenance townspeople. 

 

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