Tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Brittin Oakman and I hail from the beautiful west coast of Canada where I live with my husband. I’m a Mental Health Worker by day and equal parts homebody and adventurer by night. Writing has been a big part of my life for many years and is one of the main ways I express myself. I’m a recovering perfectionist and serial multi-tasker who is learning, always learning, to be more intentional with a moment and better love myself and others. My next adventures include moving to Scotland to complete my master’s programme and releasing a book after that.
How has poetry helped you overcome your struggles?
Hmm, great question. I think poetry has given me a voice and outlet when I needed it the most.
It is a constant companion, always growing and evolving through the many season of life. Poetry can capture a single breath or the full spectrum of emotion. One of the most difficult challenges in life has been my anxiety disorder. Poetry, and writing in general, have been a vehicle of healing through my ability to reflect and express myself when all other mediums seem inadequate. Much of my current writing is about authenticity, living intentionally and the human experience. Poetry gives me an opportunity to be brave and connect with others.
What was the inspiration behind your two poems in WYL's Poetry Capsule Collection?
“I am enough” - This piece is about the process, the act of becoming. In all honesty, I think we are always on a journey. A messy, painful, beautiful journey. I’ve found that every aspect of the journey, and of ourselves, is equally important to acknowledge and feel, not just the highlight reel. I often write about seemingly opposing but complementary things. For example, the idea of being content and practising gratitude even as we heal and grow. Being you enough. All of you. Just as you are.
“Stay gentle” - While I don’t remember my exact inspiration for this one, the poem itself is about the idea of staying gentle with yourself in all situations, especially the ones that are more difficult. You can almost think of both voices in the poem as being internal. I have become increasingly more self-aware of my internal dialogue, particularly how it can affect our perception of self and the world. For me, staying gentle can be interpreted as things like kindness, grace and vulnerability. Regardless of circumstance, I believe there is always hope.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Do I have to choose just one thing? Haha. I think I would tell my younger self to be present. To savour experiences and moments with loved ones to the very last drop. Too often, I was in a hurry to grow up, like I was missing out somehow, but every age and stage of life is precious in its own way. There isn’t a parent I’ve met who wouldn’t say “where does the time go?”, I want to hold that close and live accordingly.
What does your Self-Care Sunday look like?
Everyday is Self-Care Sunday for me, haha. In all serious though, self-care is a top priority for me and something I am quite diligent about. On any given Sunday, I would have a quiet morning with some music and tea while I write. My husband and I would go to church and then be in the forest or ocean-side. Nature is a huge source of inspiration and tranquility for me, and a great place to get some exercise as well when hiking, kayaking, etc. I love days when I don’t know what time it is but can be saturated by my surroundings, good conversation and some me time as well. And let’s not forget food, there is always food involved.
Find our collab tees with Brittin here.
Follow Brittin on Instagram @b.oakman