Rhetorical Factory and Lofty Goals is the work of Bethany Adams.
I started "Rhetorical" to have a brand for my creative work, being unable to narrow down all my interests into one category, the word seemed like it could fit forever.
I cannot remember a time when I wasn't creating something to sell, or scheming a way to earn funds for an endeavor. At age eight I was selling my clay souvenirs at local gift shops. By 25 I had opened the Rhetorical Factory store after building a clothing brand for five years.
I grew up in Northern Idaho and Berlin, Germany and then moved to North Carolina on my own at 18. I have been fortunate to be exposed to many different perspectives, time periods, and ways of life. Mainly this taught me how limited my perspective is, but also how valuable it is. I've made it my mission to preserve an objective point of view that is unfettered by preconceived notions. I skipped college so that I wouldn't be subtly influenced to participate in business and society in the usual way.
I did attend university for a semester right after high school. I had two classes that made me want to hit the ground running instead of starting 4 years later and in debt. Those two classes were Social Problems and English 103. I found out about systemic disparities in our society. Issues that are constantly perpetuated through the ignorant participation of the members. In northern Idaho there is not much diversity. I didn't realize that racism and sweatshops still existed, honestly. My sheltered upbringing and sunny disposition instilled a deep trust in humanity before I knew any better. So at college age, I still had some idealism that I didn't want to let go of. I wanted to have the energy of my early twenties to work on an idealistic venture in business and creativity. I couldn't sit in classrooms and party on weekends when I knew there was so much out in the world to learn.
For English 103 I had a great professor who taught us how to understand and illustrate philosophical ideas. We read essays from many scholars, all of which impacted me. But when I read Paulo Friere’s explanation of systems of learning, things started making even more sense.
I realized that only by questioning ourselves and the way we live can we ever see our mistakes and our successes. Questions and answers shed light in a dark and ever-changing world. Our only chance at progress is to continuously ask why.
So for me, happiness is a big question mark, it looms before me containing all the mysteries of life, and I can do nothing but run towards it. I do not know what my medium will be from year to year or what dire straits my stubborn pursuit of expression will bring me to, but I am thankful for it all and feel honored that I am here to receive the lessons and be calloused by the challenges.
"For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other." — Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed)