Jamie Fish spends a lot of time thinking about other people. “I consult with people, help them realize their dreams and overcome their fear,” she explains, not of her profession, but of a knack she has for understanding people in a way they might not understand themselves. “I have always been interested in the human experience. I have a master's degree in psychology and I use it everyday wherever I am," she explains, referring to her peculiar acumen. Jamie's insights are subtle but acute. A few years ago, she helped me navigate an unconscious struggle with professional identity. My understanding of a career was provincial; it was singular: lawyer, doctor, pilot. But Jamie introduced a new concept, a concept that has since defined my professional direction. "Part of the Gen X mistake is that we were raised thinking that success means finding something you're good at, and sticking with it," she said. "And if you find that thing, and you stick with it… then you can do all the things you’re ‘passionate about’.” It’s an antiquated notion – this cultural tendency to identify a career path and begin struggling up that ladder. And, according to Jamie, that’s where Slashies come in. A Slashie is the photographer/musician/social media maven that dabbles in several occupational channels, a revolutionary idea for someone like myself. "They're Gen Y, baby," Jamie smirks, "They do it all." Jamie gave me the words to describe something I wasn't even aware I wanted. She identified a way to do it all, to have it all. She legitimized the possibility of becoming a combination of all the facets of myself that I wanted to explore. And somehow, she advised, I could even get paid for it.
Jamie's indirect guidance was just the shift I needed. But this is just the impact Jamie has on people. Her curiosity, her energy, her astuteness, it all lends to her ability to peel back a person’s layers, without even letting them know she’s doing it. And that delicacy that Jamie has – it comes from her sensitivity. She is keenly aware of the effect a disharmonious energy might have, and so she is always a reliably calming presence. A person who is consumed with nature, Jamie reveres synchronicity and has a deep respect for that intangible current coursing through the organic. And Jamie manages to embody that current, serving as a perpetual reminder that there’s magic at work in the world.
What do you do to pay the rent?
I’m a creative consultant these days, seems to be the best catchall title.
How did you land in Seattle?
I’m from Idaho. My mother’s family has been in Seattle for as long as they have been in the United States so it was a natural return. I’m third generation in the fashion scene of Seattle, my grandmother was a showroom model here and my mother modeled as well—she was even in the Miss Seafair court at one point.
Talk about some challenges you’ve met in your life.
All of it: fear, depression, anxiety, inefficacy, faithlessness, anger, frustration. All those feelings and experiences, which are inevitable but which by embracing and devouring them we become nourished and defined in this life. It’s the bullshit that fertilizes our garden and helps us grow.
What's a great piece of advice you've been given in your life?
Life gives us no more than we can handle and no less than we need in order to learn. Life wisdom #3986 from my mother.
Who do you have a girl crush on?
Too many to count, basically any woman who is connected to herself and her feminine power inspires me. Unfortunately, many women marginalize themselves and create institutionalized systems of oppression by acting insecure and jealous, marking their success by the level of desire they attract in men or acting maleficent rather than nurturing and benevolent. I'm drawn to women who are embodied, aware, creative, confident and above all supportive of other women.
What do you love most about being a woman?
Being a part of the divine feminine and the clothes women get to wear, of course.
When have you been guilty of judging someone too quickly?
I judge everyone quickly; my senses are particularly acute around new people and situations because I’m unsure of my surroundings. So, I take it all in and assess on all levels at an exponential rate. The flaw in that strategy is that it makes me data hungry, finding ease in learning about and understanding them. The result is that when people are open about themselves I have a tendency to trust them, sometimes too much, right away. Conversely, if someone is guarded I often feel threatened. Obviously, not everyone who is open is trustworthy and not everyone who is guarded is dangerous. I know that my judgment’s genesis stems from a hard-wired brain stem survival mechanism (eat or be eaten) so I don’t try to stop it; I just try to meter it with a strong willingness to have my opinion changed. That means staying open to incoming information even when I think I have someone all figured out already.
When have you felt unfairly judged by another woman?
I've been around women who consider themselves to be very intuitive about other people. My experience is that someone who self-identifies as intuitive is usually projecting her vision onto people. After all, if you make a statement about another person's identity and you believe you're always right then it must be true. In that way, you're validating your own assessment of them and confirming you're always right. I think it's a dangerous and limiting belief to always be right and I've found that people who think that have a hard time learning anything from others. To me, this makes intimacy with them challenging.
What do you love about the way women treat each other?
I love it when women get enamored with other women. This happens in new meetings when women immediately appreciate the others' style, humor or intellect and are vocal about finding inspiration in the other. I also see it in more established relationships, women who over the years have grown to love each other more and use that love to bolster and support the other. Sometimes support comes by way of challenging. I think it's the ultimate compliment when women are clear enough to always know where they stand with each other.
What frustrates you about the way women treat each other?
I have a really hard time being around women who won’t acknowledge power or beauty in another woman, especially a woman of power. A woman who won’t acknowledge another woman’s power is difficult to see the beauty in herself. I find this a real drag because I love to see the beauty in the world and her people.
When was the last time you felt vulnerable?
Right now, writing this and knowing others will read it and decide things about me based on it.
Any life lessons to share that you’ve learned in the last year?
Take the leap. Trust your impulses no matter the perceived threats around them. Every time I have had the courage to move through my fear the result has been far more rewarding than I dared to dream it could be. No imagined threat is more dangerous than your actual state of discontent.