About Me

I originally wrote this in February 2009 for Facebook. I updated it a little in September 2010 when I put in on the blog.

 1. I was extremely shy as a child. I spent a lot time by myself but never felt lonely, partly because I preferred being alone and partly because of books. I loved books and still do. I would immerse myself into whatever I was reading, bringing the characters and their worlds to life in my mind. When I was reading, I could become anyone else and be anywhere else. I could go on daring adventures and solve mysteries (Nancy Drew) or fall in love with the man of my dreams many times over (Mr. Darcy). I could be the extroverted, life-of-the-party girl everyone wanted to hang around. I could be the person I was always too shy to be.

2. I'm still shy, and I still prefer to be alone. I'm an introvert. I've accepted this. My personality type is wall flower. At parties or get-togethers, you'll most likely find me sitting at a table, watching everyone or in the background helping out rather than participating in the fun. It's where I'm most comfortable – out of the spotlight and just under the radar. I don't know why I prefer to be invisible.

3. I'm horrible at making small talk. Getting to know people and making friends has never been one of my strengths. As I've matured, I've intentionally put myself in social situations to help me break out of my shell, but I usually just end up feeling awkward. Although I've gotten better, I still have a long way to go. But the point is I'm moving in the right direction, even if it is only baby steps.

4. I prefer small, intimate gatherings to big shindigs. I absolutely loved my 30th birthday party. A month after my birthday, I invited three of my good friends who also turned 30 that year and their husbands to my house where we celebrated with a "29 and holding" party. It was low-key but lively, filled with great conversation and good food. While I may not have many close friends, the ones I've made, I've kept. They are dearer to be than any treasure.

5. A few months after my 30th birthday, I experienced my first symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. A year later, when I had another attack and I allowed my neurologist to run more tests, I was officially diagnosed with the relapsing remitting form of MS. Although it's been six and a half years since that first episode, I'm not quite sure I've fully come to terms with what it means to have MS because most days are good for me. I have a few (most-likely permanent) issues, but they don't really hinder me and are invisible to everyone but me because they are felt rather than seen. When I switched drug therapies in 2008, I had an MRI of my brain which showed a significant increase in the number of lesions (white spots showing demyelinization) from the year before, and my neurologist was surprised I didn't have more disability. I now have MRI's every six months, and so far there's been no change. I haven't had a relapse since April 2008.

6. I absolutely love my 30's because I really feel I've come into my own. I have a much better sense of who I am and what I stand for. I am a more fully-formed individual. I'm more confident. I don't feel a need to conform in order to belong like I did when I was younger. If you don't like something about me, I'll survive.

7. I'm getting closer to 40 (I turned 36 in Sept. 2010), which in itself doesn't scare me. But I thought I'd have done so much more by this point than I have. Life is moving so quickly, and I want to start living instead of just passing time, so I'm making plans to start filling it with experiences and "tell me a story" memories. And that involves a passport ... and flying. (When I first wrote this, I'd only been on an airplane once– well twice, I did make it home safely.)

8. I want to go parasailing and ride a zip line. I want to learn how to kayak, scuba dive and rock climb. I want to go "pretend sky-diving" in a wind tunnel (I don't have enough courage to do the real thing). I want to travel. I'd like to learn to snowboard – it looks sexier than skiing, but what do I know; I've never done either. I want to spend more time with my nephews, taking them to plays and juggling shows and football games and parks.

9. I want to get married again. I thought I'd be married until old age. My ex-husband felt otherwise. But I'm not hurt or angry or depressed. I'm happier now than I was then. Living with someone who feels trapped weighs you down and takes a huge toll on your self-esteem. Once I got past the "why am I not enough for you" phase, I came to the realization that the relationship I had nurtured for 11 years had left me drained and empty because it didn't grow. I had given so much of myself to someone I couldn't make happy and had received so little in return. At the time, I felt it was worth all the effort because I could see the potential we had. Now I know that nothing is worth making you feel unloved, unappreciated, and insignificant, no matter how green the grass looks on the other side. I'm not saying I was perfect. I wasn't. I'm not. But through the mistakes I made, I learned how to be a better wife, companion, and friend.

10. Since I was a teen, I've felt that part of my family will be created through adoption. I don't know if this will ever be feasible for me, but it's something I feel strongly about.

11. I'm a pretty good cook. I like to experiment with different spices and cooking techniques. I make a killer pot roast, although it's so easy anybody could do it. Other requested favorites are creamed spinach, mashed potatoes (seriously!), and enchiladas verde. I prefer carbohydrates to sweets, unless its brownies – brownies pretty much trump anything. I love potatoes (mashed, diced, sliced, crinkled, fried, baked, pierogied [okay, I made that last word up-kind of-a pierogi is a pasta stuffed with potatoes]), pasta (especially homemade mac-n-cheese with tomatoes and onions), and homemade bread (wheat, sourdough, spice, etc). And Mexican/Latin food; salsa verde is one of my favorite ingredients.

12. I enjoy trying new foods when I go out to eat. If I can make it at home, I'll usually pass on it at the restaurant. I think a lot of people get stuck in a culinary rut and just stay with the few foods they know. I love to try new flavors and cuisines! The only foods I don't really experiment with are my proteins. I don't eat any weird animal products (gizzards, livers, marrow, brain, etc.). I occasionally consider becoming a vegetarian, but realistically, this will never happen (I love a good steak, and I could never give up sushi), but I find myself eating less and less meat.

13. I can't function in an unorganized environment. My mind has difficulty focusing; I get overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that needs to be done, and I don't do any of it. Or I get super focused and only get one thing done, but it's done to perfection. So I make lists. It helps. The "going-too-far" side of this is that I've been known to rearrange store's shelf (putting like items together by type or color, etc.) to help me make a decision. I try not do to this if I can help it (I know it's weird), but the sections of some stores, I swear, have no rhyme or reason (I'm talking to you TJ Maxx).

14. On the flip side, cleaning is the bane of my existence. It never ends.

15. I find that chores are much easier to handle when accompanied by a great audio book or music. Bust a move!

16. If I were a superhero, my super power would be to read minds. Lame, I know, but I'm interested in knowing what people really think rather than what they think I want to hear. Flying would be cool, but my stomach does flip flops when I'm on a swing, so I don't know how well I could handle flying. If it has to be an active power, I'd choose something protective or to be able to move things with my mind or control the elements.

17. I like surprises, but I also like to know how a movie ends before I watch it. But after watching the Sixth Sense, if anybody had told me the ending, I would have been pretty ticked. There are some exceptions.

18. I reread my favorite books over and over. If it's good, I can't read it just once; reading is about the journey, not the destination.

19. I miss my grandparents. I wish I had appreciated them more and taken the time to really talk to them when they were alive. This is one of my great regrets.

20. I love going to the beach, but I don't like lying out in the sun or getting in the ocean. (Playing in the water would be more fun if I had kids, and I do like swimming in a pool). If I'm on the beach, I'm building sand castles, taking a walk, or reading a book under a large umbrella. Sitting in a swing or hammock on the porch of an oceanfront home at night, listening to the waves come in, spending time with loved ones, is my idea of heaven.

21. I love thunderstorms. My cat on the other hand hides under the sofa or tries to run outside; her logic defies me.

22. I hate roller coasters (see stomach flip flops in #16), but I love the lazy river type rides. Surprisingly though, white water rafting sounds like an absolute blast!

23. I'm passive-aggressive which truly irritates me, but I hate confrontations (even little ones). I'm working on this. Baby steps.

24. I'm neither left nor right. My political beliefs cross the aisle depending on the issue and are too complex to be put into a box and labeled. Over the past few years, I've begun to see things less in "black and white" and more in shades of gray. Unfortunately, the media's political focus appears to be on the fringes of both parties, where the loudest, not the most, people reside. I have a low tolerance for extremist views and inconsideration. I may disagree with a person's lifestyle, religion, or political beliefs, but I acknowledge their right to live their life according to the dictates of their own conscience, and I expect to receive the same respect in return.

25. I believe we should never stop learning and trying to better ourselves. So the next thing I'm going to do is learn to knit. Then maybe I'll learn sign language so I can speak to my friend Jennifer when her hearing is finally gone. (Surprisingly, I met her in 1993 in a beginning ASL class. I should have kept up the lessons.) Then I'm going to learn the piano.

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