About the Show
Perennials is a podcast for young hearts, old souls and curious minds. Each episode addresses an element of what it really means to grow up, get wise, and try to live a good life. Host Victoria Russell invites special guests to join her for thoughtful, inter-generational conversations about mental and physical health, spirituality and religion, work and education, relationships and more. At its core, Perennials offers a compassionate, contemplative take on the magic and messiness of early adulthood (and beyond).
Once Upon a Podcast: The Story Behind Perennials
I graduated from college in 2013 and landed face first in my quarter-life crisis. The end of school meant the end of a reliable, familiar structure for my life. Being a student had been a huge part of my identity; after throwing my cap in the air, I felt untethered and slightly terrified.
It was time to move back home and into the bedroom I shared with two of my sisters, lugging my student debt with me. My college boyfriend and I broke up after almost four years together. I got part-time jobs but felt paralyzed when I thought about making longer-term career decisions. Anxiety, which I had always struggled with to some degree, reared its head with a vengeance.
I tried to distract myself with drinking, dating and never, ever sitting still. But I wasn't having fun; in fact, I got into some really painful situations. I was running and running from growing up, but I couldn't outrun the perennial existential questions: Who am I? What am I doing here? What do I believe in?
I found myself reading books, watching talks and listening to podcasts that were geared towards women going through their midlife crises. Despite a lot of skepticism and doubt, I gingerly turned to spiritual teachers and texts. Unlike a lot of the advice I heard aimed at people my age, this material cut right down to the roots of pain and longing. There was no messing about or making excuses; now was the time to face discomfort and uncertainty with honesty and compassion.
I yearned for the sense of responsibility and freedom that emanated from people who had truly grown up, not just gotten older. I wanted to get on the path. I didn't want quick fixes or listicles. I knew deep down that this time was rife with opportunity, if only I had the courage to say yes to the call. And so, with stumbling and stuttering and facepalms, I've been spending my twenties seeking wisdom from others and from within. I've been getting to know myself and the places where I'm stuck, in the hopes that I can do less harm and more good, stop trying to be perfect and start trying to be free.
The Perennials Podcast is an extension of this exploration and intention, and it's a way for me to open it up beyond myself. I hope these conversations will inspire us to find our own answers and live with integrity; to look at ourselves and others with honesty and kindness; to engage with the world and people around us more openly and deeply; and to maintain our senses of humor while we dive into the waters of spiritual inquiry and consider who we are and why we're here. Together, I know we're going to make some amazing discoveries.
Thank you for joining me!