Hi Jarrod – thank you for talking to us!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I consider myself an artist that follows the whims of an overactive but wondrous brain. I graduated from the University of Florida with a BFA in dance and minor in theatre (there’s a joke somewhere here about me going to school for stimming). That experience brought me to other neurodivergent friends and really helped me heal as a person and see the beauty of the world for the first time. Now I love to write and dance and draw and live my life however makes me happy. Writing has become my most frequent medium, and publishing works has made me feel so much joy. To share the vast experiences I’ve had with the world in funny and sarcastic and romantic and all sorts of other ways- it’s a dream.
When did you first realise that you found some sounds stressful? How does it effect your day to day life?
I suppose I always reached for my ears more than anyone around me, though I didn’t realize it until adulthood. When I worked my first corporate-type environment job I encountered so many constructed personalities, and that made me realize how far I was from that. Seeing so many pretend-nice but actually-mean people had me quitting and going on a self-discovery journey. It was during this I started taking my unique needs seriously, and came to learn my biggest sensitivity was sound. I was always the lightest sleeper around, but the more I paid attention to how my brain worked, I started noticing patterns.
Day to day, I could only access my creativity when I had nothing else planned. If I worked, that night I’d be lucky if I wrote a page. During this time I had enough money saved and lived with my parents, so I took a year off working and went to massage school. This year helped me recover from the burnout of my entire life until that point- having been taught to keep going, keep producing, don’t be lazy, be occupied- I threw all this out the window and focused on me. I took writing classes and danced and cleared out all inner judgement. I got to a point, right before I had to start working again, where I was writing twenty plus pages a day.
So now, we’re at the point where I realize how overstimulation shuts my brain down. I no longer had to act out a pretend personality in flight-or-flight mode. I refused to keep going just for the sake of continuing. I wanted to be the artist I was. For a while it was a balancing act of working little enough to still be able to meditate and return to myself, with enough creative energy to write. Even so, it slowly wore on me and I found myself needing extra days off.
And finally could you tell me how Calmer has helped you?
And this question continues my little narrative here- Calmer came in and changed everything. As I said in my tiktok, the night I went home after being out over 11 hours with work and then wrote an entire chapter for one of my books, that was astounding. To work in a stimulating environment and still have my brain operational when I get home, and be able to have a larger creative capacity for my passions- that’s what calmer has done for me.
I recently moved from central Florida to Washington state with my best friend, leaving an entire life behind. I feel like Calmer came right in with my fresh start in life, and has helped me through several struggles since moving. What’s crazy is this tiktok and blog happened in part because my car was broken into. But I guess that’s the artist’s way- always creating beauty from the rough patches.
Find links to Jarrod's works here: