Saturday, February 28, 2009

Interview Me

A few weeks ago, Melissa/Green Girl in Wisconsin posted an interesting challenge. Basically, let yourself be interviewed by someone via five questions and then post your answers on your blog. Excited to see a meme where I don't have to answer the number of times I've been skinny dipping or what color my favorite socks are, I told her I was game. Little did I know how tough it would be...

Here are the rules:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. (If you don't have one, you can send me your answers and I'll post them here.)
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Here goes nothin':

1. What childhood personality trait did you outgrow or give up since becoming an adult? Was there a reason for doing so?

I was painfully, painfully shy as a child. I still am extremely shy around most people at first - I've maybe gotten it down to one "painfully." So, I wouldn't say I've outgrown it completely, but am more conscious of it. I don't know if it's a trust issue with me or what - because I'm much more outgoing with people once I've gotten to know them. But it takes me a long time.

One of the many reasons to give up that trait (besides the obvious) is I've had people tell me that when they first met me they thought I was mean or a bitch. And while I certainly can be those things at times, I am not inherently either and would never want anyone feel that way.

2. Describe 3 daily rituals that you never miss taking part in.

One: Sadly, checking the internet is probably the biggest one. So much of my life is completely dependent upon it that it's ridiculous. I am not a tech junkie, but I am an information junkie and if I have a problem or question I like to find the answer myself. Now, because of the internet, if I have a question it is answered for me almost immediately. And when that can't happen, I come completely undone. Like I said. Very sad.

Two: NPR. It was always on in our house growing up and it used to bore me senseless. Now I can't live without it and can barely stand televised news.

Three: I have this weird OCD thing I do where I rub my feet together as I'm trying to go to sleep and when I'm waking up. I know. Too much sharing. There's a line in the movie High Fidelity where John Cusack's character lists the little things about his girlfriend that he finds charming or irresistible and one of them is when she's trying to fall asleep she rubs her feet together in even numbers. When I heard that I'm pretty sure I gasped aloud in the theater. "OMG! Someone - even if she's fictional - is as weird as I am! How great is that!"

Anyway... moving on...

3. Have you become the person you thought you’d grow up to become? What part of adulthood is markedly different from what you believed when you were young?

The easy answer to the first part of that questions is "not really." As a child I was always very serious and mature for my age and frequently told that I was born a 30-year-old, or was 3 going on 30, or 13 going on 30, etc. and I think I just always had it in my head that when I got to my 30s I would have it all figured out, finally be the person I was supposed to be and stop feeling like an alien. So I lived it up in my 20s (well, for me anyway) and just waited for it to all fall into place. Not surprisingly, it has been quite the opposite of that and, I have to say, it has not been my finest decade. By a long shot. I have high hopes for 40 though. Hope. Not expectations. Hope. But we'll see. I'm going to keep an eye on Jennifer Aniston and see how she handles it (ha!).

As for the second part of this question... the biggest difference in adulthood is that it is so much more work than I thought it would be. It's just a never ending list of crap to do. All of these balls in the air that you have to keep going with time and money and there is never enough. And I don't even have kids. I think about my friends who have kids - and even the ones where there are two parents in the house - and I think "how?" How is this possible that you are my age - or usually even younger - and you are able to juggle all of this and I'm just impressed when I get my water bill paid on time and there's more than Diet Coke in my refrigerator. I also look pretty young for my age and have been realizing lately that when people find out how old I am the shock is no longer just because of how young I look - it's because I should be waaay more together than I am. Anyway... like I said... high hopes for 40...

4. Given no limitations, what would be your ultimate vacation?

I would buy a plane ticket to Istanbul with a return flight from London one month later and no other reservations or plans made in between. Well, except for a reservation when I first arrived in Turkey. Somewhere on the beach to sleep off my jet lag. I would spend a couple of days in the Grand Bazaar, then stop at a UPS store to ship back everything I bought, and then with whatever amount of money I happened to have left I would just wander in a general northeasterly direction.

I took a two-week trip to Europe by myself once with what I thought was a fairly flexible schedule only to find out exactly what a Type A Control Freak of an American I really was. And Europe - at least the parts I was in - will beat that out of you pretty quickly. I did an OK job learning to "go with the flow" but I know that my trip could have been a lot more interesting if I'd stopped trying to force an agenda on myself. So, my ideal trip would be to try it again, but give myself a longer amount of time.

5. Write your first sentence/paragraph for NPR’s “This I believe.”

This is a good one. I love listening to these on NPR and have wondered what I would write if I ever did one. I usually don't get much past singing that REM song, "I Believe," in my head though: I believe in coyotes and time as an abstract / explain the change and difference between / what you want and what you need / there's a key...

But, Green Girl didn't ask for 80's indie rock lyrics.

I've always assumed that the "I believe" was the same as "how I live my life" and in answering this question I realize it isn't necessarily that at all. For me the "I believe" is a goal. And what I believe in is acceptance. Acceptance of others and of situations. Instead of letting people or situations that aren't who or what I think they should be completely incapacitate me, I believe I should accept them as they are and then try to move on from there. I'm not saying that I believe we should accept things that are bad or dysfunctional. Not at all. I'm saying I've finally come to see that my biggest problems in life come from trying to force everyone and everything into whatever preconceived idea I had. I never fix the relationship with the person that's bugging me or fix a disappointing situation because I can't accept that it isn't what I want it to be to begin with. It's terribly unproductive. And I'm probably not making any sense. Here's the best way I can explain it: Mock me if you like, but there's an episode of Sex and the City (where Carrie needs money and has to take the side job at Vogue) and at the end she says that instead of dwelling on the bad and wasting time wishing for things to be what they're not,

"maybe the best any of us can do is play the hand we're dealt
and just accessorize the outfit we've got."

I find myself repeating that to myself sometimes "accessorize the outfit you've got, accessorize the outfit you've got..." Funny words coming from a girl who rarely even wears earrings. But it helps. And that's what I'm (trying) to believe.

Sooo.... anyone else game?


Katie said...

All righty, Gert...interview me!

gertrude said...

Exxxxcelllent. I knew you'd do it! I'll email you the questions.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh man, I'm a little more in love with you today. The feet rubbing is so crazy--but that's the sort of thing I wanted to know when I asked the question. Everyone drinks coffee, whatever. Food rubbing makes you unique. Your trip sounds incredible--and I am right there with you on how much work being an adult is. I wonder how other people function when I barely keep everything together at our house.
Here's to accessorizing, and to 40! (Coming soon for me)