Making her debut as the childhood version of Mia Farrow’s character in the Oscar-nominated Alice, and best known to genre fans as the Winchesters’ demonic sometime-ally Meg Masters on Supernatural, Rachel Miner is an actress, an activist and a disabled woman.
Her life-changing diagnosis seven years ago forced her to rediscover her identity and reassess how she viewed the quality of strength. A self-taught scholar and a supportive champion of many causes, she’s recently lent her name and vision to a campaign very close to her heart. Miner spoke freely with Hypable about her work on Supernatural, her journey of self-acceptance, and her life with multiple sclerosis.
Rachel Miner spent her most recent birthday in tears.
The reason? Twitter. Guilt, of a kind: over the fact that the influx of well-wishes became too great for her to personally respond to one-on-one. That’s how uncomfortable Miner is with any version of fame that’s been thrust upon her. To the general gossip-rag-consuming public, the cry of an actor bemoaning the trappings of fame can often be dismissed as a case of one’s diamond shoes pinching oneself. Those who get a little more personal information about their faves via fandom and social media tend to develop a more rounded sense of compassion and commiseration, but this social dynamic may as well be my game-show specialty subject and even I have never encountered someone who actively aims to dismantle as many traditional barriers between herself and her audience in the way that Miner does.
“When I first found out about the concept of fame,” she admits candidly, late at night from her New York home — we’re both messy haired, glasses on, curled up in bed, a sleepover separated by screens — “I came to my mother and I said, when wanting to be an actress, I said, ‘I don’t want to be an actress anymore!’ She said ‘Why?’ and I said ‘because I don’t want to be famous.’ I didn’t like that whole idea, that seemed like such an odd construct to me, from a very early age.”
For Miner, who from the age of eight months old would climb into the laps of strangers in restaurants in order to get to know them, the draw to acting was always the connection with other people. “I loved the imagination of it. I started acting at such a young age, because I wanted to. Because I loved being other people, and understanding people, and trying to understand people.” The fact that the mere notion of fame nearly scared her away from the craft of acting is a rather pure idea that, in this circumstance, makes perfect sense — fame is, in my opinion, inherently othering, the absolute opposite of connection.
Miner shares my compulsion to deconstruct the concept. “I didn’t like anything that separated me out from other people or made them feel like they couldn’t connect and that occurred to me right away,” she continues. “Across the years I’ve always been interested from almost an anthropological point of view about what this fame phenomena is, I’ve tried to understand it from all different ways, and there is an oddity, which is, you know, when people, one side gets to know a person who’s on television or something, and the person on television never actually got to know the people who feel close to them. My goal has always been to break that down and not have that exist, because to me it’s so important, just as a human, that we all be able to connect to each other and not feel isolated and alone and different, or less than.”
As a journalist, and more importantly, as a fan, I’ve always found myself drawn to creators who aren’t particularly comfortable being famous — those who find a way to eschew the dehumanizing disconnect that is presumed to be part and parcel of making art that other people enjoy. A featured role in a Woody Allen film during childhood and an extremely high-profile marriage during early adulthood could have put someone less determinedly grounded than Miner on a very different path. But being thrown into the public eye so young and so fast immediately confirmed the fears of her childhood, setting the bar for what she wanted to avoid. “It made me so uncomfortable that people treated me differently, even people I’d known before, because they suddenly saw me on TV or in the papers or something like that, and they would get uncomfortable, and think maybe I was going to treat them differently, so they would act differently toward me. I’ve always wanted to break down that barrier.”
I first met Miner last September, when she and Nicki Aycox, who shared the role of the Supernatural demon Meg Masters in seasons 1 through 8 (different human vessels, y’know), gave a joint panel at Sydney’s Oz Comic-Con. New to the Supernatural community outside of my own living room, I hadn’t requested an interview with the pair, reluctant to put actors I’d never met through an offstage repeat of what I assumed would happen onstage — the sometimes-obviously-tiresome experience of rehashing old stories that they’d rather move on from but that a cult fandom has clung to.
If you know anything about the culture that Supernatural has created, you’ll have a pretty good guess about what happened next — the panel was one of the most fascinating convention conversations I’ve ever witnessed, with a level of personal engagement and comfortability, a lack of performativity, and an “all-in-this-together-ness” that I’d only been accustomed to being a part of in much, much smaller fandoms — not for something as high profile as Supernatural.
I immediately begged my PR contact for a last-minute interview and was granted one, which I conducted while kneeling on the floor in front of the ladies’ autograph table. The piece, my first Supernatural exclusive, delved into the environment the show has fostered for women, both onscreen and off, and I left the interview extremely impressed by the intelligence and insights both women had offered up, and also kind of feeling like I’d just made some friends. If this is a common influence that interacting with Supernatural stars has on the audience, my understanding between the relationship between this show and its fans was beginning to fall into place.
“I have kind of a working theory,” Miner pitches.
We’re still talking about fame, and the rejection of the distance it creates — whether that’s actually safe and sustainable, what it would take for it to be the standard in the industry, for A-listers and fandom icons alike. “I think if you’re open enough, and people feel acknowledged enough, seen enough, they’re less needy, and that whatever that phenomena of fame that can get a little odd, too intrusive into space, and crossing barriers, I think that actually lessens when you’re more open, if that makes sense?”
Yes, I almost scream. Yes, it makes sense, and I have never heard any type of celebrity discuss it in this way before. But I completely agree, I tell her. From the outside it always seems that the less available an artist is, the more they are dehumanized, and the more open someone is, the more that their fans or supporters will be sympathetic to their needs or sympathetic to their privacy, I think that’s true as well. Lin-Manuel Miranda nails it, I think Misha [Collins, of Supernatural, Miner’s primary scene partner and love interest] is a very, very, very good example of that, I tell her, that he, by dismantling his own pedestal, has sort of created an environment that is much safer and more supportive than a lot of high profile actors could ever hope to have.
Miner agrees, and continues: “It is hard too, because I think what a lot of people on the other side don’t understand, is that most of us actors are naturally introverts — that people think you go into acting because you like to be watched, and like to be seen and applauded, it’s often the opposite. It’s that we watch people, and we’re fascinated by other people, and that we observe a lot, and so therefore we kind of fall into being other people, these characters very easily, and we’re comfortable doing that. But it’s not a natural thing for most of us to then be in the public eye, and I think what a lot of people don’t realize is that so many actors, the reason why they’re so standoffish, is they’re just really shy. But I think that creates that negative dynamic where they’re [the fans] suffering withdrawal from the actors, that the fans reach more and more, and they want in more and more.”
“So yeah, I do have a theory there is a possibility of breaking down that barrier but I don’t think it’s easy, and I’m not judgmental of anyone in any situation, because it’s a really tricky thing to navigate. And to protect your own space and to protect your own sanity and all of that. As I say, I do a lot of contemplation, and inner work, and writing in journals, things like that, so it’s not that I never have a negative reaction to some phenomena, it’s that I usually try and work through it, and knock on wood, so far I’ve had success with that. But you know, I’m not claiming that I have all the answers, or that I know that it’s always going to work.”
At present, Miner’s level of engagement is manageable — just about. She acknowledges that just the sheer volume of contact for bigger stars, including her Supernatural leading men, creates limitations: “I’m lucky I’m in a position where I’m not so bombarded with so many people that it becomes impossibility.” Though, it’s shifting — this is where the birthday thing comes up, the first experience in which Miner was not physically able to keep up with replying individually to each follower, a practice that she is dedicated to — (“I want each person to feel separate and different, and not that they’re one of a herd of people.”)
Supernatural wasn’t Miner’s first rodeo, convention-wise.
From age 9 to 15 she starred on the soap opera Guiding Light, which came with its own world of intense fan culture – but at first, even this chance at a more personal connection than she feared fame would ever allow her came with its own burdens: specifically, sitting on a dais at a very young age, forced to accept the fact that she was the center of attention, and living up to the expectations of an audience who have created something about her in their minds.
Accepting and rationalizing that scenario has been, she says, a lifelong process. “What feels wrong,” she explains, “is it’s kind of other people’s creative imagination imbued into you. That, you know, you feel like you have to live up to it, and that can be very uncomfortable, and so now what I’ve learned is, I’m not even going to try and do that, I’m just going to acknowledge how creative the people are that are imbuing that in me.”
Rachel Miner as Meg in Supernatural season 6.
Now that she’s made peace with the procedure, the part Miner loves — the part she seems to live for — is the experience of witnessing or being involved in the open expression of the small moments between human beings, famous or not, in which a few words at the right time, in the right order, can change a day or a life. “Sometimes you can just say the right thing or be the right example of something at the correct moment when someone needs it, and we don’t always know,” she rightly points out. “It could be a smile you give to a stranger on a bus at the exact right moment that really catalyzes and changes their life. It’s just really cool when you get to know that that occurred […] it’s a really amazing gift to be able to have that.”
At the risk of putting a negative spin on it, this sounds, to me — and it’s a concern I’ve had before, a concern that Miner’s colleague Collins has spoken about seeing a therapist in order to equip himself for — like a potentially enormous burden, for one to be the recipient of so much unburdening. Miner recognizes this, but tells me that she has worked very hard internally over many years to not allow anything like that get in the way of what she believes should be a magical experience. “I don’t want it to be a difficult thing, I just want it to be about the other person, and I want to be there for them.”
“At the end of the day, it’s a shared thing. There have been a million moments where someone has said the exact right thing that I needed to hear at that moment, to me. Or artists have, you know, like some piece of music, or some film or whatever, has just been there at the right moment, and it changed everything for me. I think we need to be able to share that with each other. And so one of the ways I process it is that I don’t think it is that much about me, Rachel, being amazing or something. I think it’s just more circumstance that we’re all bouncing up against each other, and sometimes you happen to be, you know, the ball that knocks the other ball into place.”
Miner, 37, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2010.
She hid her condition for several years from even her closest friends — a decision she now calls “really stupid” and “poor handling,” nevertheless motivated by her reluctance to be the center of attention and her desire to be a positive force in the lives of others. “I didn’t know how to broach this subject, and I couldn’t spin it in such a way that it was fun,” she quips. “You know, like, oh by the way I have this great story, I went to the doctor the other day…” She eventually ‘came out,’ as it were, when directly asked about her health at a Supernatural convention in 2013, several months after the airing of her final episode “Goodbye Stranger.” She came offstage and had to immediately start making calls to family members who did not yet know the truth.
As it turns out, Miner had been battling MS through most of her time on Supernatural, even pre-diagnosis. Initially she had assumed that her physical troubles — loss of feeling in her legs, and then her hands, an inability to do some of the stunts she’d pulled off in the past, trouble managing the lethal high-heeled boots that were a staple of Meg’s wardrobe — were caused by something like a slipped disc in her back. The Supernatural production team took care of her every step of the way — they had her doubled for action scenes, they changed her shoes, adapted anything Miner needed to perform without knowing the specifics of her condition. “They took such good care of me, not even knowing what was going on exactly,” she praises. “[After diagnosis] I just kept up the thing, like I never said, it wasn’t actually my back, actually I have MS.”
By the time she was getting ready to film “Goodbye Stranger,” she had told them the truth, however she still isn’t sure whether Meg’s demise was a natural end for the character irrespective of Miner’s diagnosis, or whether it was directly due to observation of her physical state. Miner didn’t actually ask to be written out, but the symbiotic nature of the relationship between Supernatural’s writing team and the actors on set (“There’s a beautiful back and forth relationship… a give and take, they feed off us, they get where the actor’s at, and the actor gets where the writer’s at… We keep adjusting, and so there’s like a call and response,”) meant that the character’s death came at the exact moment she’d been thinking about raising her hand and calling it.
Rachel Miner as Meg with Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins in “Goodbye, Stranger.”
“I was surprised they kept me around as long as they did, because I was also physically — there were points where I was on certain medication and my face swelled, so I was physically obviously not fitting the role the way I used to. So I felt like a lot of shows, just superficially, they would have written me off. The fact that they kept me on is a testament to how decent and not superficial they are, and the fact they kept working around it. But, yeah, they knew something was wrong, so it’s quite possible that they had the character go, because, you know, it was obviously getting to that point where it was just too difficult.”
One reason that Supernatural and its fandom are still so close and present in Miner’s life because the show was her last job. As her MS became more debilitating, she chose to stop pursuing acting roles, particularly because the ones she’d previously most relished and most frequently been offered were those of women whose strength was tied their physicality. “I found that I was reading scripts literally measuring how many steps I would have to take, and how to stay balanced and stuff like that. It kind of lost whatever artistic joy and inspiration I had as an artist — I loved really and fully embodying other people, and I was so focused on whatever pain I was in, and the difficulty I was having physically, that it didn’t feel like I could really do my job as well anymore.” Miner isn’t opposed to portraying a disabled character onscreen, but as of right now, hasn’t actively chased those scripts.
Which brings us to another matter.
Miner’s transition into living with her disability — she uses a mobility scooter in public, and sticks to walk short distances — almost saw her retire from public life altogether. “I wasn’t even going to continue coming to conventions, just because, [to me it seemed] very practical. ‘Okay, I don’t fulfill that role, so why would I be useful there?’ It doesn’t make sense.” She’s openly spoken onstage about being initially unsure what she had to offer, how people would feel about seeing her so changed — in her eyes, not able to live up to what she felt she was meant to represent.
“It wasn’t a sad thing,” she insists. “It wasn’t an ‘oh, woe is me’ thing. It was just like, I didn’t know where I fit in the world, and so a lot of the paradigms that I had in place were suddenly challenged and I knew I couldn’t fit the role I had been playing in the world. I really liked the idea of being a strong woman for young girls to look up to, especially as Meg in Supernatural, the role I thought I had was, ‘Okay, I’m going to be this example of strength, and female empowerment, and all that.’ And so when I started having the physical disability it challenged that to such a degree that I felt like, well that’s a failure, I can’t do that.”
Some of what she recounts here is difficult for me to understand. The coming to terms with any life-changing long-term illness or physical disability can have wildly different effects on the psyche of any given person — from aggressive defiance to utter hermitude. Miner can claim that it’s “not a sad thing” all she likes, but it’s hard to fathom a woman like this — so smart, so self-aware and having worked so hard on shaping her own experiences — suffering fears of rejection, societal ostracization, withering self-worth or even matter-of-fact acceptance due to being found guilty of the crime of appearing in public with a physical disability.
Miner reiterates the common refrain of many members of marginalized groups — that a lack of normalized representation can be a key factor in how people in her position feel about their place in the world. “I literally felt like I didn’t exist, like I shouldn’t exist, because I didn’t know how I fit, because I didn’t have it in my head,” she explains pragmatically. “If we don’t have those examples out in the public, if we don’t have those examples in film and television to say, this is just a different way to be, but it’s a valid way to be, then I think that’s a big problem.”
The multitudes of fans who reached out and asked her to keep appearing and connecting with them can be credited with helping Miner to understand the value and power of her new position — she’s now learned that just by showing up, by being a visible disabled woman in the public eye, on a stage or on the internet, she can be an example of strength to those in similar circumstances.
“It’s given me a new purpose, and a new role, and I feel very, very happy and fulfilled, more so than ever probably,” I’m glad to hear Miner say. “It has brought me to a place where across the years I’ve evolved to going ‘Well, maybe it is really good to be out there with a physical disability, it doesn’t mean I’m less of a person,’ and to be able to interact and be a full human, and a happy human, just with a different strategic situation.”
As a fan, I really miss Meg, I tell her.
The character always felt, to me, like the best mirror for Castiel — the demonic element of Supernatural who forms new loyalties, pursues agency, free will and choice. Given that Heaven’s forces aren’t as compassionate as we’d like them to be, it only stands to reason that those forged in Hell could also forge their own path — getting to the point of personhood, and making choices based on their own opinions and feelings. That’s something that hasn’t really been revisited in the show since Meg, except, kind of ironically, with Crowley, who murdered her in the first place. I’m curious about the process with Meg as a demon, in terms of her becoming a person the way that Cas is a person.
“I love what you’re saying because I think it’s very true,” Miner affirms. “One of the things I loved is that journey, and I always kind of secretly kind of hoped they’d take the character in that kind of direction, but I never asked them to, you know. So it was a brilliant thing, I love that they found that.” She muses on the matter further: “I think it’s actually one of the the most important things about the show, is that they don’t have a black and white good and evil, what they have is individuals navigating their way through existence and finding the grey area that is actually that balance, that is actually, you know, in that moment, making the best decision for everyone, and finding that humanity or whatever we want to name it, that integrity, to make those correct decisions.”
Given the alternate universe shown to us in the season 12 finale, we can expect Supernatural season 13 to include reappearances of characters long-dead — the producers have confirmed as much, without naming any names. When fans have had these conversations in the past, Miner was rarely included as an option, due to public awareness about her MS and her retirement from acting. However, now that she’s become more comfortable about her disability, and now that the door is potentially open for any former star to return in any capacity, I have to know. Would she consider it? There are all sorts of options, including the opportunity to meet Meg’s vessel, unpossessed, who may use a wheelchair…
“I absolutely — it’s so funny, because I love the show so much that, I am hesitant. The only reason that I hesitate to say yes is that I don’t want the fans, anyone in the fandom to think ‘Oh, she wants to come back and they’re not getting her back,’ ‘cause I love the show so much that I think whatever they’re doing is brilliant. I’m not campaigning to try and get back on, because I think I’ll enjoy watching whatever they do.”
You support their choices. Yeah, me too.
“Exactly. But on the other hand, absolutely. I love that character, but I also love that show so much, I love all the people, I would go back in a heartbeat, and then also, to go back to what we’re talking about, for the fandom. I’ve come to such a different place in terms of my disability, where I do think it’s really positive to have people out there who are examples of that. I know I had a fan write at one point that they wanted me back, and they wanted — they were like ‘I already named the episode, “Hell on Wheels.”’ I thought that was great. So I just think it’s really important for us as humans to get over whatever preconceived notions we have that somehow there’s not a possibility. I think it really is healthy, that it even being an option to entertain is like ‘Yes!’ There’s ways to make anything work. I’d do it for all those reasons too. But yeah, as I said, it’s not something I’m campaigning for, and I think the show will be brilliant whatever choices they make. I always enjoy watching it.”
These days, Miner’s time is mostly spent taking care of her body.
She’s constantly figuring out the new rules of her life as her condition changes, the healing time and recovery time necessary. When she’s not travelling to conventions, she’s in and out of hospitals or spending hours in her home gym, following a strict physical regime to combat her symptoms. “The way that MS works,” she explains, “it’s a strange thing. The body is attacking the sheathing, the coating around the brain and the spinal cord, and for each case, it’s attacked for a different amount, and in a different spot, so it interrupts the nervous system in a different way, and so every individual manifests different physical problems off of it.”
For Miner, this usually presents as extreme muscle weakness, bad balance, an inability to walk, and loss of feeling in her hands and feet. “The problem is it goes in and out of working. So I might get it to work well for 20 minutes, and then it won’t work at all, and I’m literally completely paralyzed, and I have to kind of lie down and rest and recuperate, and then I might get signalling back, and then I’ll be able to use my body again. The great thing is with having all of the equipment at home, throughout the day I can go in and out of working out, so that I can get the maximum time in, but it’s just — I have to pay attention to it. I can’t force my body to do anything. It’s literally working or it’s not, it’s not like putting a little more effort in or something.”
“Sometimes you happen to be the ball that knocks the other ball into place.”
In her downtime, she reads a lot. She studies a lot. (“I’m big on just taking college courses, or you know, watching courses, cause now you can download so many great professors!”) She takes her scooter to the park and sits by the water. However, Miner has recently entered a new stage of being, one she says has breathed new life into her, and a new “day job” may very well be on the horizon.
Supernatural has a fan base known for its mass community action and charitable giving — from megastars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki down, nearly every cast member of note has, at some point, rallied audience support for a huge variety of causes. The amount of money raised that can be credited, across the wider net, to Supernatural — from Collins’ annual Random Acts “Change A Life” fundraiser item as part of GISHWHES, which this year racked up $250,000 in three days, to Shoshannah Stern’s scholarship fund for a deaf student to attend her alma mater, must add up to tens — if not hundreds — of millions of dollars.
In recent years, Miner has become more and more vocal about this factor of the Supernatural community, championing her castmates’ causes, spreading enthusiasm and awareness, and contributing herself, both anonymously and publicly. Collins’ work with his registered non-profit Random Acts in particular stands out to her, and his recent drive to save a threatened area of Nepalese forest via Rainforest Trust struck a deep chord. Miner’s support of this campaign was extremely influential, and saw her donating 100 GISHWHES scholarships in order to save 100 acres of land for the region, setting a precedent for other donors.
“That was all I could think about,” she recalls, of the Rainforest Trust campaign. “Any messages or whatever you saw, that was completely just me being me, that was nothing like ‘I’m going to think about what I should do that’s smart,’ that’s just me bubbling over with excitement. It’s very cool, because there are so many people who care so much, and I think that excitement, we all like kind of, there is a containment of excitement amongst us all, and we’re all bubbling together.”
The responsiveness of the community was a galvanizing force.
The next step was for Miner to take the driver’s seat and — gulp — call attention directly to herself in order to create a fundraiser of her choosing. For this kind of work, some of her aforementioned uncomfortabilities fall away: “I’ve always been a kind of quiet supporter, and that’s what’s funny, is that I’m not doing anything that different right now, it’s just that I’m getting more attention for it, or attention to the things that are important to me […] Whatever shyness, whatever introversion, or whatever, it all disappears when I suddenly have something I think is important to talk about.”
Working with Stands — a celebrity merchandise company specifically crafted around developing limited-time-only campaigns for causes – Miner recently launched a fundraiser for another environmental non-profit, Earthjustice. Miner, who tests at a PHD level despite never graduating high school, explains why she chose this organization. “I’ve spent so much time studying how to help the world the most,” she tells me, and gives me the rundown.
Earthjustice is actually a legal team that defends environmental organizations in court, against damaging and dangerous government or corporate legislation. Preventing the sell-off of protected lands, logging, oil rights, the Paris climate agreement — Earthjustice goes to battle in the courts on behalf of these efforts. “In the same way the ACLU was really successful with some of the efforts being made by this administration to pull back rights we have for individuals,” she compares, “the same kind of idea, but for the planet.”
A Stands campaign is always highly themed, with a personal meaning or a call to action in regards to the message of the design concept itself, in addition to the charitable cause, and Miner’s is no difference. Her donor merchandise theme is “Be the Clarence you want to see in the world” — a riff, of course, on the Gandhi quote, based around a beloved throwback to her time on Supernatural. Clarence, a reference to the angel in It’s A Wonderful Life, was Meg’s nickname for Castiel.
“Be the Clarence — ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world,’ be the Gandhi, be the angel, be what it is you most deeply admire, you most wish would exist in this world,” Miner writes. “We look too much to the outside world to tell us how to be, what is acceptable, what standards we are expected to live by, but we mustn’t forget that others are looking to us to set those norms for them, we need to take ownership of this and set the standards as we think they should be.”
In an unprecedented move for Stands, Miner’s campaign also includes an option for those who can’t afford to purchase an item to be matched with someone willing to donate an extra, giving fans the chance to “be the Clarence” right away and contribute more than they’d personally buy for themselves.
There are some other factors that surround Miner’s choice of beneficiary. As a disabled person, she’s more than ready to field inquiries about why she isn’t choosing to raise awareness or funds, at this moment, for her individual condition. Why this, instead of becoming a spokesperson for multiple sclerosis? Does she feel any obligation there? It’s a question that she knows might be in quite a few people’s heads — and the answer is most certainly not that she doesn’t care about others in her position.
“It’s an interesting thing, because I study charities a lot, so part of it has to do with finding good charities where the money actually does the most good, where there’s the most bang for the buck, and where it’s most needed in the world at this moment,” she rationalizes. “And I think finding a cure for MS would be absolutely amazing, but the truth is, within the actual structure of so many of the medical charities and stuff, the amount of money that’s actually allocated to research and the amount of money that actually gets to people and actually changes anything is not always necessarily good, so it takes a lot of vetting of that charity.”
“My personal doctor is working towards stem cell treatments, so I want to help fund-raise for his treatment center, because I think that’s something very viable, and I know him, and I know the money is going directly toward treating people. So that’s something I’d be willing to fund-raise for, but it wasn’t where my head went first in terms of a group that really needs it, at this moment. I was thinking about the fact that as a planet, as a species we’re not going to survive, if we don’t change things environmentally, and that’s honestly where my head went first.”
Meg and her “Clarence” — Rachel Miner and Misha Collins.
Miner may have found her true calling.
She seems to be benefiting mind, body and soul from working hands-on to promote projects like these. “This stretch has been really life-giving to me, because it is so true to my nature,” she confirms. “I’ve always wanted to do good in the world, I’ve always wanted to create positive effects, and it’s changed everything for me, because yes, these last years have been difficult. I’ve been trying to cope as best as I can, but there’s just a lot that… it’s not just that I’ve had difficulties, it’s that they’re always changing so from day to day, it’s always trying to figure out what the new rules are, and then you know, in and out of hospitals, and just figuring out how to take care of my body and things like that.”
“I feel like so much got distracted by all of that. I’ve been just continually trying to find purpose, and certainly doing the conventions and being able to be there for other people in any way that I could, gives me some purpose in everything, but having this stretch where I’m now working with people on projects that I know are really important? That has brought me back to life. I feel like it’s breathed new life into me, and I’m healthier than ever, I’m figuring out how to tackle the physical problems in a better way. Because I think so much does have to do with where we’re at mentally. It’s been a really, really important time, and a really wonderful time for me.”
Regarding activism and spokespersonship as a full-time occupation? She hopes it’s possible, but Miner does not have it all figured out. She doesn’t have a life plan that she’s actively working towards, because she didn’t plan for the course of her life to change so dramatically in the first place. She worries about the fact that she has zero credits or diplomas to prove herself, if she were to transition into a traditional workplace career, say, for an existing charitable organization. She doesn’t know where she’ll end up.
“I do know that this does make me so fulfilled and so happy, and I’m open to whatever manifests next. That’s my whole goal: just wherever I’m most useful, and wherever I can have the most purpose, that’s where I want to be. Fingers crossed for me, things will keep moving in the right direction.”