Sara Li, Lawrencian, writer, humanitarian, student — and major Gilmore Girls fan — answers The Pitch‘s Questionnaire
Twitter handle: @saruhli
Current neighborhood: Lawrence
What I do (in 140 characters or less): I write for MTV Founders; I freelance web and graphic design; I run a global nonprofit to fight sexual assault.
What’s your addiction? Organization. I have a bullet journal for monthly to-do lists, a planner for deadlines and another notebook for everyday notes and errands. The key to my heart is desk stationery.
What’s your game? This is a very college answer, but flip cup.
What’s your drink? A margarita. Any margarita. I don’t discriminate.
Where’s dinner? Applebee’s
What’s on your KC postcard? Kauffman Stadium. I went to my first Royals game last year, after an entire lifetime of not paying attention to baseball, and everyone was so welcoming. No one cared that I didn’t know any of the players or really anything about the sport; the community was just warm and real. That’s what I think of when I think of Kansas City.
Finish these sentences: “Lawrence got it right when …” We got a Qdoba.
“Lawrence screwed up when …” They increased parking-ticket prices. I get why, but I’m poor and my parking hasn’t improved.
“Lawrence needs …” To take more action to address the increasing homeless population. I understand that we have an advisory board, but we need more than just a committee when human lives are at stake.
“As a kid, I wanted to be …” A princess.
“In five years, I’ll be …” A published author or a United Nations ambassador for equal education around the world. Or both.
“I always laugh at …” Literally anything. If you can make me laugh, we’re going to get along just fine.
“I’ve been known to binge watch …” How I Met Your Mother
“I can’t stop listening to …” Taylor Swift
“My dream concert lineup is …” Sam Hunt, the 1975 and the Jonas Brothers
“I just read …” Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
What’s your hidden talent? I honestly don’t think I have one. I have neat handwriting, maybe?
What’s your guiltiest pleasure? This is really terrible, and I hope my future kids don’t see this, but I love Fifty Shades of Grey. Not because of what you’re thinking, but because it’s so absurd and terrible and not at all attractive that you can’t help but find it funny.
The best advice you ever got? “Don’t wait until you’re ready. If you’re passionate about something, do it now.”
Worst advice? “Subtweet them.” You can be petty and feel good for a minute or you can be a decent person and feel good for a lifetime.
My sidekick? I wouldn’t call them sidekicks, but my roommates. I’m a very “rah, rah, must do everything by myself”–type of person, and sometimes that’s just the worst thing to do to yourself. My roommates are the greatest people who constantly inspire me with their love and optimism. So, Katie, Patrick and Kyle, if you’re reading this, I love you, guys.
What is your spirit animal? Elle Woods, minus the law career
Who is your hero? I stayed with [former Obama aide] Johanna Maska a month ago, and she’s just this quintessential career woman who knows what she wants and has zero qualms about going after it. I’m 20 years old and I feel like I’m constantly second-guessing myself, so it’s inspiring to meet someone who isn’t afraid to embrace her ambition and know that she’s capable of anything.
Who (or what) is your nemesis? Impostor syndrome
What’s your greatest struggle right now? I’m trying to write a book. Every other day, I just sit there and think to myself, Wow, I am not good at this writing thing.
My favorite toy as a child: I had this oversized Raggedy Ann doll that was four times my size.
My dating triumph/tragedy: You ever drive somewhere that you’ve never been and realize that you forgot to bring your GPS and there’s no cell service? That’s my dating life in a nutshell. And I’m bad at driving.
My brush with fame: I met Keiko Agena and Emily Kuroda (Lane Kim and Mrs. Kim from Gilmore Girls) when I was in Los Angeles a couple weeks ago. I’m usually good about meeting celebrities because they’re just people, but I completely lost my cool the second I stepped inside Emily’s house. Gilmore Girls is probably my favorite show, so I immediately reverted back to my 14-year-old self. They were really good about it and we ended up having a pleasant conversation about life and career and whatnot.
My soapbox: I hate the state of political discourse right now. And it’s not just Democrats or Republicans — it’s everyone. We’ve become so polarized that no one wants to embrace this idea that we all just want what’s best for our country. People no longer want to discuss political issues because they’re so tired of the hateful “If you’re not with me, you’re against me” rhetoric. Issues like abortion and health care are complex and multifaceted, and you can’t have that conversation in 140 characters. We shouldn’t be afraid to engage with opposing views and we most definitely shouldn’t avoid conversation because it’s uncomfortable.
What was the last thing you had to apologize for? I got into a fight with a friend where I was really inconsiderate of how they might be feeling and that was pretty lame of me. And that’s basically it. I just suck sometimes.
My recent triumph: I’m working on a creative-writing curriculum for middle school students. My goal is to come into these schools and help students write their own short story and show them how cool education can be. I loved writing when I was young — still do — and I wish I had someone to push me at that age to pursue what I loved. And hopefully, if they like school, then they’ll continue with it.