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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

me....again?

Yes, I am at it again with the interviews. We all know it is all about me anyway, so suck it up! I know you want to pull out your Scrapbooks on the Atypical One in anxious anticipation of what will spill forth this time, so get to it, and let’s get started.

Julie of the Ravin’ Picture Maven extended her interviewing skills to any takers, and, well, her posts are always so open and thought provoking that I could not possibly resist the temptation. How silly of me to forget that I would actually have to re-assemble my brain in order to answer those questions with anything even mildly coherent. The results follow. I was certainly long-winded, but I’m not so sure about the coherent part.

In other news, Pam over at the MarillaAnne Blog answered question #4 from my interview questions to her. I recommend following all of the links. The trip may not be short, but it is worth the ride.


1. What hung on your walls as a teen, and why?

Goodness, this takes me back. In my first year of teen-dom, my sister and I shared a room. I believe there were pull out posters of Leif Garrett, Shaun Cassidy, Parker Stevenson and Scott Baio on the wall then – oh and I forgot Jimmy NcNichol. I guess I just really dated myself with that answer. In my defense, she was the older sister, so I can blame it on her.

That year, my grandparents died and we moved into their house. As a result, I had my own room for the first time. It was a pretty small room, but it was mine. I am relatively sure that the only things I had hanging on my wall at the time were a few poems and a poster of Styx from the Cornerstone album – remember albums? I think this was when I really started figuring out that many song lyrics were just poems set to music. I always had a preference for free verse, and musically speaking, I preferred lyrics which told a story and didn’t sound like forced rhyme (as a result, most of my favorite Styx songs were some of the lesser known ones). I also entered the age of liking folk around this time, so I may have had one or two Harry Chapin poems. He put out a book of song lyrics and poems entitled Looking…Seeing (very strange artwork in that book). I don’t think I had anything particularly decorative on my walls.

2. How do you make a decision? What factors weigh more for you? Do you rely more on logic, or emotion?

You really do want long answers, don’t you? This is akin to Mary’s justice/forgiveness question to you. I suppose it would be best to start off with a disclaimer. I really do not make decisions well. The flip side of my ability to often see both sides of any given situation is the inability to stop creating lists of pros and cons for each side. This is often true even for the simple things (like deciding to go out to eat. My husband and I are like the vultures from Disney’s animated Jungle Book. At all other times, he is pretty decisive).

I am an extraordinarily logical person, although my logic might sometimes be a shade on the atypical side. My brain is quite capable of taking in all of the important qualifying information, separating it into categories, and judging the potential risks and benefits associated. I rarely have any doubts about the logical side of my decision making skills, and yet…. If I make a decision based on logic alone, I never fail to feel a vague sense of everything being unsettled. I am sure to worry about every possible thing that could, and probably will go wrong.

I almost never rely on that logic when making a final decision. My emotions – guided by indefinable perceptions of the implications of decisions on those around me – demand to have their final say. I am an emotionally driven person in almost every area of my life. I simply MUST feel what I am doing, or I am unlikely to do it at all. Unfortunately, fear is a feeling, and there are times in which I make decisions by not deciding anything at all. In those instances, and in instances where I allow the logic to supersede the emotions (because I KNOW it is the right thing to do), I tend to allow the guilt voice to speak to me in the still moments for years to come. I guess this could qualify as regret – even when the results are shown to be confirmation of the original decision.

See that? I couldn’t even make a decision about how to answer this question. I was going to support it with examples and the like, but, well, then I would have to decide which ones to use. It really is amazing that any coherent posts ever come out of my brain!

3. Is your life what you thought it would be when you were 12? Either way, how do you feel about that?

Oh my goodness. Well, I must tell you, goals have never been my strong suit. I was always much more connected to the interpretation of atmosphere and the observation of things that were in the present. I have a vague recollection of thinking, while I was still young, that I would be at home with my mother forever, and taking care of her. She was a single parent to my sister and me from a very young age. I did have aspirations to become a singer when I was young, but I never had the talent to support that desire.

Now, by thirteen, I had started having much wider vision into the futurescape. Depression began to take a bigger role in my life. I am relatively certain that the goal of “starving writer” had entered my psyche by this point in time; however, part of me also assumed I was going to die relatively young. I am not at all sure that impression has changed, but my definition of “young age” has changed a lot over the years.

I did manage a few years of writing, but not professionally. I entered into an era of almost starving, but the writing dried up with the finances – possibly due to the fact that motherhood had entered the picture by then. On motherhood, I have been asked many times if I always wanted a lot of kids, and I have always answered honestly. I don’t think I ever gave it much thought. If pressed, I probably would have assumed I would have two children, most likely girls. This is because my mother and her only brother had each had two kids. My dad actually had four, but I grew up without him having much day-to-day influence on my life. I qualify it that way because his lack of presence had a lot of influence on my life, but not of the day to day variety.

As a teen, I once had someone say of me, “Whoever marries you will never be bored!” That was not necessarily a compliment. The fact is, I guess I always assumed that great passion would be a large part of whatever filled my future. In that regard, I would say my life is not the way I would have envisioned it at 12 (and I am also pleased to say that I have, indeed, become quite boring). Geez, four paragraphs have been written on this, and I haven’t even started on the second half of the question!

My emotions on the subject are like a bubbling cauldron of great contentment and vague regret. The ingredients are loathe to intermingle due to their chemical make-up, so each time I sample the steaming brew, I come away with a different taste in my mouth.

I would not trade my children for anything in the world. I appreciate my husband for his many good points (and tolerate the not so good – in part because he also tolerates mine). I have a decent life filled with the ever present joys and irritations so integral to human relations. BUT. I wonder sometimes how to reach deeper within and touch the passionate spark of essential me-ness in order to let it run free, even amid the triviality of dirty laundry and midnight cries. I ponder who I will be when the nest is someday empty, and I have very little idea.

4. If you overhear a stranger who needs help or information you could provide, are you likely or unlikely to jump in? Why or why not? Give an example.

I am an introvert. It therefore comes as a surprise to me that there are actually times that I will jump into a conversation with helpful information. If I am standing in line at the grocery store, and the cashier and patron in front of me are having a discussion about something, and neither of them knows the answer to a particular thing (“Do you know who sells kerosene?” for example), I am likely to supply the information if I am aware of it. Likewise, if I am in a group of parents at a rec sporting event and someone needs information about the way the program is run, where to find some athletic supply, or how to get to a certain field, I will pop in with the information. I must say that I tend to wait until I am sure no one else is able to supply the information first. Oh, and I always feel guilty when I do jump in. I hate to feel intrusive.

I think the reason that I am more prone to jumping in with information in these settings is that everyone is on a somewhat equal and unsure footing. If I have even the mildest tinge of doubt in my information, or if I feel that someone else there has even slightly more experience than me on the topic at hand, I am more likely to remain silent. Occasionally, I have been known to direct people to a good source of information on the topic. Now, if I am directly asked the information, it is a different story. I do not ignore direct requests.

5. What is something you wish you could do, but can't?

There are so many potential answers to this question. I wish that I could play a musical instrument. I wish that I could find my passion and be a better teacher to my children. I wish that I could master routine and exhibit a solid model of organization, cleanliness, and competence to my progeny. I wish that I could work up the courage to stand up for my own needs without feeling guilty (or becoming selfish). I wish that I could feel the same kind of rush that is obtained from a first kiss/first love/first personal accomplishment of deep merit without losing any of the stability and coziness of the familiar. I wish for many things. But, none of these truly fit the category because I could do all of those things if I simply learned to muster up a little determination. Therefore, I will simply say that I wish I could sketch artistically when all I can truthfully manage are unconvincing stick figures (they look more like noodles than sticks in my hands). Heck, I can’t even manage a straight line on my own.

Thank you, Julie, for what turned out to be some very tough questions. Thank you everyone else for wading through my literary equivalent of peacock strutting. May you each have a wonderful day. Now, where did I put those tissues?

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5 Comments:

  • Oh contraire...it can't be all about YOU.
    Everyone knows it's all about MEMEME! ;-)

    It WAS fun giving it a read though.

    (as one logic person to another--)

    By Blogger Mel, at 7:28 PM  

  • You're welcome!

    And thank you for some fascinating answers.

    I liked Sean Cassidy too. :) But I never really had posters on my wall. it offset my aesthetic. I had art. :)

    Yes, I like long, in-depth questions and answers. Did I use the word probing? If not, I should have LOL.

    You definitely provided awesome insight. One thing I find from these interviews is the depth and breadth of self-awareness...and of sharing.

    Plus, always good to know someone else feels the same way I do about intervening. And now I understand why...you explained it perfectly.

    And...that rush? I have been sort of missing it lately. Maybe a last gasp before sliding into middle age. I don't know.

    By Blogger Julie Pippert, at 7:29 PM  

  • I have a decent life filled with the ever present joys and irritations so integral to human relations. BUT. I wonder sometimes how to reach deeper within and touch the passionate spark of essential me-ness in order to let it run free, even amid the triviality of dirty laundry and midnight cries.

    Dude. I don't know that I ever could have found those words, but they strike a resonant chord within me.

    This was great. I'm glad you keep doing these interviews. I feel like I know so much more about you.

    And to add further fodder to our twin daughters of different mothers, my father was never an everyday presence in my life. My mom pretty much raised my brother, sister and I alone (with much help from my grandparents).

    I just kind of assumed I would do one set of questions and then be done with the interview thing, but... if you want to send me some questions, I wouldn't complain.

    By Blogger Mary-LUE, at 12:34 AM  

  • mel - sorry to disillusion you, but the only parts which are about YOU are those that I (in my greatness) allot as your portion. ;)
    -------
    julie- middle age...eek....i wonder how it is calculated. If it is done on a genetic basis, my husband is either way past middle age or still five years from it (depending on which side of the family tree). And me? Well...

    I am loving reading all of the interviews too - for the same reasons, I think.
    ------
    Mary -

    Yeah, that's one bit where I said, "Yes! that's exactly how I feel!" only to remember that (doh) of course it is, since I wrote it about myself. None too swift sometimes, let me tell ya!

    I did the frozen in headlights thing again with your request, but I will try to come up with something. I am so awed by your interviewing skils, though, that I might CHOKE in the process.

    -t

    By Blogger atypical, at 1:20 AM  

  • Hey Dear, I've got to tell you ... I'm really enjoying this getting to know you (and everyone) so much. It's fairly amazing what we open up and tell, if someone just asks.

    My out of order responding to you continues. Today I answered your #3 question about Me and Texas.

    By Anonymous MarillaAnne, at 11:03 PM  

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