Know Your Neighbor: Simone Williams

Making New Year’s resolutions to pursue careers, artistic endeavors

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At this time of year, many citizens begin to think about the new year and what it will bring and that includes resolutions to improve a person’s life. Sometimes those resolutions can be tough to keep, something Simone Williams knows well.

“To be honest, I don’t always think about that (referring to New Year’s Resolutions). Some years, I don’t make a resolution because I know I won’t keep it, so it’s pointless. This year, I have two resolutions that I consider worth keeping. I’m excited to try to reach my goal,” said Simone Williams.

Williams’ first resolution involves education. Following her receipt of a high school equivalency diploma from the Adult Learning Center, Williams attended University of New Mexico-Taos to study basic requirements and decide her future career course. After a break from school, Simone made a New Year’s resolution to return to her studies in 2018.

Her only quandary regarding her education includes how to use her studies toward a future career because of her diverse interests. Her personal problems with her daughter’s birth created an awareness and deeper interest in natural childbirth, prenatal care and midwifery. “During my pregnancy, I experienced extreme high blood pressure in my 37th week,” Williams said. “I was rushed to the hospital, not expecting to give up the type of birth I wanted. I had planned on a natural path, assisted by a midwife. The doctors saved me and my baby, and I’m grateful, but what happened was beyond my plans. I’m glad to have a wonderful toddler, Rowan Mae Williams, age three in February and a student at the child care center at Taos Pueblo.”

Williams also is interested in a possible career as a medical examiner. She met with Taos’ Medical Examiner Mary Ann Ferguson recently and was intrigued by the work.

Williams’ second New Year’s resolution centers on her art. “I’m really dedicated to my art. I’d like to see it really materialize, so I’m able to sell it. I’m currently job hunting, but working on my art would be very fulfilling,” she said.

Her artwork includes the creative use of recycled materials. She finds random items on the ground and uses pizza boxes for canvas and ink from a thin-point pen to create a stippling design. Fine dots create shaded areas in the work.

Williams prefers to complete abstract art projects incorporated with poetry. She recently participated in a SOMOS open mic reading to a small audience. Once shy about attempting a project of that magnitude, she now feels more comfortable and plans to speak publicly more often. “Now that I’m more comfortable with my art and incorporating poetry into it. I’d like to keep it going,” said the budding artist.

Williams also makes jewelry from recycled materials, including doll parts, small toys and stones from outdoors. “There’s no need for expensive items. We have beauty all around us,” the artist said.

Her items include earrings, bracelets and charms for necklaces, which Williams calls “big pendants.” She gave some as Christmas gifts.

Whichever career path Simone Williams selects, she realizes that an out-of-town move could possibly result. The absence of traditional native midwives in the community remains an important factor for her because she wishes to give back to the community at a more affordable, comfortable center. Williams learned much about traditional Native American values from her Taos Pueblo family, to which her mother Sheryl Romero belongs. At home, Williams’ family encourages her involvement with educational pursuits. Simone’s family includes her mom, Joe Rodriguez Jr. and siblings Santana and Selena Rodriguez.

Williams gave birth at the age of 17. She strives to provide a good life for her daughter. Williams credits her family for their support in her ability to remain home to care for Rowan. Her daughter has sensitive skin, and Williams has created shampoo and lotion to help her. “I got excellent ideas from Petra Quintana, owner and creator of Que Linda natural products. Coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, vitamin E oil and essential oils comprise the natural items. I use a natural approach to everything, including diet,” Williams said.

After time spent with her daughter and a year of study at UNM-Taos, Williams realizes her lack of job experience. She treasures her time spent as an intern in the classified advertisement department at The Taos News. She volunteered at Stray Hearts Animal Shelter and currently volunteers at Taos Pueblo’s Red Willow Farm.

Williams’ hobbies and interests center on culinary delights and natural materials. She loves to bake. She makes mini pies and cakes, putting together baskets and individual goodies.

Her daughter Rowan is usually nearby, helping her bake or pursuing her own child’s art project while her mom works on hers.

Recently, Williams tried a new experience. She served as stage manager for the recent Taste of Christmas production at the Taos Community Auditorium. She donned earphones and communicated with personnel in the lighting booth to help the production run smoothly. Simone greatly enjoyed the opportunity and the activity.

Returning to the subject of New Year’s resolutions, Williams said, “Resolutions are the opportunity to kick a bad habit and become a new, better person. I think my resolutions should help me be a better version of myself. That’s why I made these particular promises this year.”

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