Cleo Wade On Passion, Compassion, And The Importance Of Voting

by Freya Drohan

Multi-hyphenate Cleo Wade is someone that millions of people look up to. The 31-year-old artist, poet, and activist recently joined Aerie to moderate a  virtual panel discussion across the brand’s YouTube channel about how to start and sustain a passion project. Safe to say, we learned a lot from her insightful discussion. After hearing her wisdoms, we caught up with the best-selling author Wade to hear what’s fueling her right now.

Tell us about the topic of conversation for your #AerieREAL Talk panel discussion?
We focused on the ideas the women came up with, how they are creating change with their ideas, and what inspired it. I loved hearing about each woman’s personal connection to their work.

Why did you decide to get involved?
I have been a part of the Aerie family over the past few years and am always excited to get involved in any of their initiatives. They put so much heart and soul into everything they do. I also feel so lucky that any time I work with Aerie, I always get to meet the most incredible women.

What’s one change you wish you could see in the world?
Compassion. If we truly and deeply felt for the people in our communities, we wouldn’t want them to go hungry, be discriminated against, subjected to violence, or lack access to education, housing, and healthcare.

There are some things we can’t change, but how do you think we can deal with them in a healthier way?
If we are talking about certain things about the world that are science, like gravity, okay we can’t change that. So maybe watch where you step so you don’t trip and fall. If we are talking about things about ourselves, yes there are things that maybe we can’t change. But we can make sure that our coping strategies are peaceful and loving. If we are talking about things in our society, I believe we can change anything. I don’t think our country or our world has to continue functioning or dis-functioning the way it is now.

In your eyes, what distinguishes a passion project from a side hustle or hobby?
I am not sure there is much of a difference. I have never met anyone who wasn’t passionate about their side hustle or their hobby.

What are you passionate about right now?

What do you do when you’re passionate about pursuing something, but you know it doesn’t serve you?
Depends on what it is. If it is toxic, ask yourself why you feel you want to pursue it. The honest answer to that question may make you reconsider going any further.

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