Here, at the Fat Earth, after traveling for the past four years we felt it was about time that we shared some of the amazing people we’ve met along the way. We compiled interviews and ‘People of the Fat Earth’ was born. Over the course of this series these beautiful humans will share their insights on life, what is important for them and how they live life positively and fully.
Our first beautiful human is Valentine Debonneville from Switzerland. She came into our lives during our stay at the WorkAway project Vukov Konak near Sarajevo, Bosnia. We were immediately drawn to her fire, joy, energy and radiance. She made an indelible mark in our lives and we hope that one day our worlds will again collide.
Valentine has spent a lot of time around the Middle East. In Sarajevo she worked for UN Women providing aid to women in abusive relationships. She is passionate about creating positive change and empowering women.
We asked her about how she stays driven in her vision, her future and about books and music that keep her lightness. She took about five months to answer our questions but said,
“This is long overdue. For some reason I could not open up over the past few months but today I felt good and happy, so I decided to answer. I don’t know if it’s relevant anymore but here you are. Thank you for these insightful questions.”
We totally understand where Valentine is coming from, she answered when it was right for her and we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way! Thank you Valentine for sticking to what feels true for you and for looking after your mental health. This is exactly one of the reasons why Valentine is featured on our blog!
Valentine, how do you stay positive?
I stay positive by first always thinking about what my parents and brother have taught me: to have a good sense of humour. I always think about how laughable situations are and I joke with myself a lot.
It is also important to me to leave room for amazement, this requires curiosity and openness.
And lastly, Autumn light, because it’s golden, is tender and wraps my soul in warmth and gentleness, which is what amazes me the most at the moment.
Where do you see your life in the future? And what would you like to envision for that time?
A few years ago, some friends and I played a card game late at night. The cards are a beautiful piece of art, nicely painted with symbols that can lead to subjective interpretation (this game is called ‘Dixit’).
We suddenly decided to use these cards to predict our future, and the one I got still nurtures my hopes to this day. It was a butterfly made out of map, flying around a pile of books.
This meant a lot to me: I will continue learning all over the world, and this what I wish for my future self.
Have you read any books that have made a big impact on your life?
‘Song Lines’ by Bruce Chatwin. This was gifted to me by my best friend and it was the first time I understood that the perception of time and space was subjective. It’s one of the most beautiful understanding that was gifted to me thanks to this book.
It fostered my openness towards others and my willingness to discover more about this world and humans.
Who or what has made the biggest positive impact on your life?
My partner Damien. His soul is pure, celestial, magnetic and his company gracious. He always manages to teach me something, he reveals the best part of me and we function well together, and ever since we’ve been together I feel appeased.
I love this man.
Would you like to share a musician or band who really lifts you?
Two albums that are stirring to me are:
‘Yadegare Doost’ by Shahram Nazeri. It’s a masterpiece of art to me. I like the music, his voice, the poems he sings, I find them beautiful, powerful, nostalgic, moving and contemplative. It’s a dedication to life.
And ‘Tender Gold and Gentle Blue’ by Red River Dialect. The title reflects all I love about this album. It’s the most comforting album of all times to me. With a touch of this British rock tradition that I love.
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