Sierra Sizemore said she has dreamed of living in New York for a long time. She went to fashion school in New York. Her dreams had come true, but she quickly found out that her dream needed to be put on pause.
Sizemore left New York and went on some adventures to find out who she was. She said that her unique experiences brought her here to the University of Oklahoma. However, her dreams of making art in New York is something she still is reaching for.
LO: You said you’ve gone on many seeking yourself adventures when you realized maybe this dream needs a pause on it. What was it like going on all these adventures like what was something unique that happened?
SS: At first it was like I was trying to escape. It was more of me trying to escape my reality. So it was just like trying to figure out what I really wanted in life because for the longest time it was fashion school and I didn’t really have a plan after that. I was like ‘I’m going to go to fashion school. I’m gonna live in New York City. I’m going to fulfill my dream.’ and then when that didn’t happen, I just felt really defeated. So I went on all these trips and then I kind of found all my adventurous spirit through that. So I had been to New York when I was 18 and that was my first big trip. From then, I knew I wanted to see more. I had been out of Oklahoma, but it was to Disney World when I was 10 and didn’t remember a lot of it. So I wanted to see more.
I just kind of had a thirst for that and I had a lot of cool experiences like when I went to Chicago…that’s the craziest story I have like I don’t do a lot of stuff like that often but yeah when I spent the night in Wrigleyville at a Santa-themed bar crawl and it didn’t end the best. When we were leaving the bar crawl, our phones had died and we didn’t have a portable charger. So we were trying to find a Walgreens to find a cord to charge our phones when we went into this sandwich shop and my friend was intoxicated to say the least and she kept walking around and said ‘I will pay you a $100 if you order us an Uber. Nobody would order us an Uber, but this girl that was working there she was 16 she got her three friends to come and pick us up which wasn’t the greatest decision. My friend would not walk back to the subway she’d say ‘it’s too cold I’m not walking back to the subway,’ so she got in the car with these three random strangers-obviously I’m not gonna let her in the car alone-so I went with her. On the way home, they tried to sell us weed and fortunately we got home safe. It was a very interesting situation. That’s probably the most interesting thing that’s happened to me to date, though.
LO: So do you think after that event it brought about that adventurous spirit? Like almost an exhilaration from that?
SS: Yeah I think that was like an adrenaline rush from that trip. At the same time it made me more cautious. So I was more aware of my surroundings and especially everything that’s going on in society. Things are crazy so it kind of brings things…puts things in a perspective. I think just looking on Pinterest…and seeing all these pictures of vacations it gives me vacation ideas. It shows all these cool things you can do and all these cool abandoned places you can go to. It’s kind of…everyday it’s a reminder of that. I wish i could go on more trips but unfortunately I’m poor [laughs] and can’t afford to go. But hopefully in the future I’ll go on more.
LO: You said this trip made you more cautious. Has that stopped the adventure?
SS: Not at all, actually! I think being more cautious means I’m looking more at my surroundings more and paying more attention to what other people are doing around me. I don’t live in fear of what other people are going to do I think you just kind of have to forget about that and just live like no one else is around you.
LO: Have you found other adventures here at OU?
SS: I think after taking that year off of school I got too much in my comfort zone because I had gone back home so I was stuck in that space-in that headspace-and so when I came back here it was really hard to get out of it again. So coming back here it’s really hard to do that again so I haven’t branched out much. Which is weird for me because I’ve always been kind of like the fearless kid I’ve just done whatever. But like anxiety, and everything like social anxiety and depression and everything has kind of kicked it up a notch since I got back to Norman. I think I just got stuck in a routine and I haven’t really created an adventure out of that yet.
LO: How do you think your life would be different if you didn’t go to New York?
SS: I wouldn’t have a tattoo of New York, that’s for sure [laughs]. I got this after I went to New York for the first time. If I didn’t go to New York I don’t think I’d have as much purpose. New York has so many opportunities. I think if I didn’t have that inspiration I would just be kind of stuck-I’d be in limbo. A small town Oklahoma girl with no purpose. I feel like a lot of people are like that until they find that inspiration and New York is that inspiration for me. Like that’s what I’m working towards.
LO: How do you think you got to that point to find out that that was your purpose?
SS: Literally on my 13th birthday I was looking on Pinterest-it was before my 13th birthday-I was looking at cake ideas and I saw one that was like New York City themed and that was how I got obsessed with New York City. Since then, I just looked at pictures of New York City. I paid attention to movies that were based in New York City. It was like this is where I want to live every day. It was just that daily reminder just because it’s such a vast area for opportunity and so every movie is filmed in New York City.
So it’s like every time I see a movie that has new York city I literally say out loud ‘that’s my city’ and I get so excited and I don’t know how that came to be. It’s just one day it clicked and I was like that’s what I want to do because before that, my dad kind of projected his dreams on me. I went through a country phase when I was in middle school. I painted my room red and brown-the ugliest colors-literally I don’t know what I was thinking. I got all these western decor and I got western shirts and I got my first pair of cowgirl boots. Then literally a year later it was like a 360 and I said I’m gonna be a city girl that’s who I am that’s my identity and I stuck with that ever since.
LO: So what would you say is your identity now?
SS: I’m a city girl through and through [laughs].
LO: So no change?
SS: Not at all. I’m very adventurous and I don’t like to get stuck in a routine I feel like it’s hard to do that in New York City. But it’s also really easy to be adventurous because there’s something different around every corner.
LO: If you could go back in time and see your eighteen year old or even middle school self, what would you tell them?
SS: Work harder in school so your dreams will come true sooner. Because I didn’t work hard in high school. Just try harder because it’s really hard now, looking back. Knowing I didn’t put that effort in, knowing I didn’t care enough and I’m paying for it.