This is such a fun positive thing and I’m happy to be nominated and involved. The lovely KellyKinetics nominated me and I’m super excited to try to answer her questions to the best of my ability lol and to nominate 11 people myself! Yay. You should totally go check out Kelly’s blog… lots of great information with a positive vibe. One of the topics on her blog is dance and movement… I used to be involved in belly dance and I remember being bashful at first, but it really proved to be a transformative experience for me. Movement has been such medicine for me over the course of my life and whenever I fall away from dance (ballroom, zumba, belly dance, etc), I always find my way back and chide myself for ever leaving. Check her stuff out.
I’m glad that I made this a priority to sit down and give myself time to really focus on this post and not worry about other things.
And quite frankly this probably couldn’t have come at a better time for me, being in the midst of my dissertation it’s all too easy to get bogged down with academic writing, feeling stupid, feeling overwhelmed, and worrying about deadlines, and, well, everything. So this is a wonderful reminder that someone might just get something out of my blog/like what I have to say, and that I contribute to the community of awesome writers here. So there’s that, and that reminder came at a much-needed time.
Admittedly, I think that “sunshine” might not describe me, as those who know me well might say I’m far too sarcastic for that, LOL, however, I do try to post tips and inspirational things on my blog so that hopefully you can take what might be useful for you. I know when my anxiety was at its worst I didn’t have many resources to draw from or people to talk to… so I hope my blog may help in that regard and show someone that you can go from having near daily panic attacks to speaking at conferences in front of 80 people.
Yes, I shook. Yes, I did it anyway. So can you (if you want to). It just takes time.
Anyhow, now I’m going to answer the 11 questions Kelly provided 🙂 Yayness.
1. What part of the world do you live in? Have you always lived there?
I live in the United States, in the state of Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. I’ve lived in the midwest all of my life… Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Illinois, Pennsylvania in that order. I’ve liked it for the most part, but lately winters have been getting to me so I hope to move a bit South to the Carolinas or Florida in the next couple years.
2. What motivated you to start your blog? Has it gone through an evolution?
I’ve always written. I have so many full hand-written journals dating back to 3rd grade. lol. I did have a blog on Livejournal for a while and then migrated over here. I think that writing has always helped me sort through my thoughts and I love the idea of building communities around shared thoughts online. It really helped me when my anxiety was bad. I think I was motivated to start this blog when I was reviewing books for the fun of it, and then it sort of evolved to suit my purpose of processing what it’s like to be in graduate school and managing severe anxiety. I think I try to keep my blog topics narrow, so as to not be all over the place, but I wouldn’t be surprised if my blog continues to evolve as I do.
3. What is your favorite food?
Cheese. Hands down. If you’re ever at a Greek restaurant try Saganaki… or “flaming cheese.” It’s goat cheese that they flambe (often in front of you) and it’s AMAZING.
4. Would you say you are spiritual or religious?
I’ve gone through different phases of this throughout my life, and recently fell away from most of it. But if I had to pick I would say spiritual fits more for me. I don’t typically follow any sort of dogma, though I do think there’s some sort of higher power out there and that this life can’t be all that there is. I can’t get behind any teachings that people somehow interpret as means to shun or shame people into behavior that matches their own. Yuck.
5. Has there been a time in your life where you ignored what your intuition was telling you…..if yes, what was the outcome and how did you deal with it?
Hah. Yes. In my younger years in undergrad I stayed in a relationship way too long. It wasn’t healthy, I think I knew it, but I stayed… likely for a lot of reasons that I wasn’t conscious of at the time (my… sort of different upbringing and idea of what relationships look like). So as a result my mental health suffered for a long time. And finally I broke away, but it took years. Years longer than it should have. I used to use relationships as an escape, sort of like an addiction, if I focused on them then I wouldn’t have to face things within myself.
6. What would you prefer? travel to a beach resort or go on an excursion through Europe?
That’s tough because I tend to prefer beaches, but not “touristy” ones. I wouldn’t want to be on a beach with hundreds of other people. If it was a more private resort like Turneffe Island Resort I would pick that. If not, it would be Europe. I’m a fish… so I would probably pick the beach lol.
7. In harder times, how do you find peace within yourself and keep moving forward?
To be honest I’m not sure I ever find peace within myself. Sometimes I’m better at it than others… usually what ends up helping me find peace is getting in touch with my creative side, whether that’s through writing, dance, making jewelry, etc. And sometimes I reflect on how my thinking patterns were shaped by early unhealthy experiences.. that helps me to get a better more realistic perspective.
8. How would YOU define Self-Love?
I used to bristle at this term. Uh, I would say feeling comfortable in your own skin and doing things that are conducive to nurturing that. So trying your best to accept yourself the way that you are instead of trying to fit what people think you “should” be like… recognizing where those “should” messages come from and working to get more in tune with the life you really want to live. It’s not beating yourself up for failures. It’s learning to stand up for yourself and pushing through fears that may come along with that. Taking care of yourself, making yourself a priority even when it seems like other people might not.
9. What do you prefer, cats or dogs and why?
DOGS. I love all animals, but I would always pick dogs. Probably because I grew up with them and I have no desire to work so hard for a pet’s affection. LOL. I have met cats that were affectionate, I just feel like my energy and vibe jives more with dogs. I’ve dealt with far too many aloof people in my life, I don’t need any more of that. lol. I’ve met some rad cats, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a cat hater.
10. Would you rather go out to see a movie or stay in to read a book if you have spare time?
Probably would lean toward staying home, as most movies don’t interest me. That’s funny though because I’m going to see the Mr. Roger’s movie tonight. lol. So I would say it depends, but most likely staying in to read.
11. Do you celebrate christmas? if Yes, what is your favorite thing about Christmas, if no what other holiday do you observe and what is your favorite thing about it?
I do… sort of, but it doesn’t really have any religious connotation for me. My family isn’t very close so we exchange a few gifts, don’t really decorate much. Usually I just spend it with my mom. Holidays are hard for me because my family doesn’t usually bring up warm feelings for me. And I don’t really know how to act around other people’s families. I’m just normally uncomfortable. So I have mixed feelings about Christmas, but I do really like the decorations and lights.
Ok, here are my 11 nominations
My questions for you 🙂
- Where do you feel most relaxed and at peace? (e.g., your room, the beach, etc)
- How do you typically handle conflict?
- What drew you to blogging?
- Who has been a major influence in your life?
- Do you consider yourself more introverted or extroverted?
- What brings you fulfillment? Do you get that from your career?
- What major event in your life has shaped you into who you are today?
- Are you a forgiving person?
- How do you think your friends would describe you?
- If you were stranded on a desert island and you magically didn’t have to worry about food or water (or sunscreen)… what three things would you bring?
- What is one of your favorite songs and why?
.This was a neat process 🙂 Thank you again to Kelly for nominating me.