Monday, January 5, 2009

Five Questions...

Michelle insisted on asking me a few questions (okay, I begged her to interview me).  
Be careful what you wish for. These questions were harder than I thought they'd be.

1. What is your best memory? Why do you think it has stuck with you all these years?
This is really hard to answer.  If you ask me again in a month or a year, I will tell you something different.  Right now, I am remembering the spring and summer of 1995. I was living with my Grandparents.  My mother had created a toxic environment around me in my teen years and when I left it was like breathing for the first time. I looked at the boyfriend and said, "I don't need you anymore." I broke up with him (he makes an appearance in #3) and I started to become myself. I stopped caring what other people thought of me. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was getting the hell outta Dodge in September and I just had fun for 6 whole months. I never felt so free. When I finally got to my dorm room in the fall of '95, I said to myself, "I never want this to end!" I knew it was it was the best time of my life and I made the most of it.

2. Have you ever had a recurring nightmare? What was it and why do you think you kept having that nightmare? (In other words, did you analyse yourself?)
When I was about 5-6 years old I had a dream about being put through a series of ringers and gears and pulleys. It was like a cartoon. It wasn't really scary, but it would sometimes make me feel strange. I was being extruded into shapes or flattened like a pancake. The feeling of the dream was what stuck with me. I could feel myself being squished, but it didn't hurt. Why? I was different and constantly being molded into something less like myself. Ooh, sudden brainwave! I would also dream about my mother falling apart like a 3-dimensional puzzle and I would have to put her back together again.  That one is pretty much self explanatory. My mom has always been a mess.

3. It's (however many years ago) and you just had sex for the first time ever. What went through your mind?
Ugh! I felt awful. It was 1993. I was 16. He was my first boyfriend and he was two years older than me. I never thought he was cute. I remember struggling for something reciprocal to say when he would tell me I was beautiful. Um, you're persistent? Punctual? I was more attracted to the attention he gave me and I became co-dependent. My mom and second husband had recently divorced and I was a lonely kid.  So, one night before play practice he got carried away and I didn't know how to say NO.  I was embarrassed and he took my feverish cheeks to be a sign of passion. The whole debacle made me late for rehearsal and I felt like everyone's eyes were on me when I walked in the door. It was like they could see what had happened. The boy bought me McNuggets, because I must have been "hungry after that workout."  Ahh, I was not the confident, together lady you see today. I dated him for nearly two years.

4. What have you dreamed of doing? Why haven't you done it?
I want to live in New York City. I have my whole life. I was too afraid when I was younger.  I felt like I missed my opportunity to do it when I stayed in Ohio for college. Now, it's all about finances and family and reality, bah! We have a whole support system here for Violet and that's more important than my dream of riding the subway while doing the NY Times crossword puzzle and walking to my Greenwich village loft after an afternoon in Central Park.

5. Since high school, what experience or event has changed you the most? Describe the experience and how have you changed.
Motherhood has changed me the most. I don't know if I can even begin to express what it has done to me. I was a selfish, lazy, time waster before I had Violet. I can remember laying around for days on end, letting dishes pile up and trash overflow, all the while complaining about how bored I was. I'm a believer in constructive boredom, but I never seemed to capitalize on it when I was just me. Then, we had to really work hard to conceive and I started to grow up, FAST.   I was so excited to have a baby and yet the reality of pregnancy nearly broke my heart. It was nothing like the vivid dreams I had had where my body seemed to be filled with warm, ambient light and joy shot out of every pore. Vomit shot out of my mouth instead. I wanted to die, everyday, for four months. My co-workers treated me like a science experiment. I could hear the irritation in their voices when I needed help lifting something (I worked in a used book store).  I was reprimanded for taking too many sick days and for snacking on the job. The snacking was not against the rules, but apparently I was encouraging a specific, over-weight, depressive staffer to snack instead of work. All of these people who had been my friends for years, suddenly looked right through me,  like I was a ghost. It was a sad initiation into the Mommy Club, but it made me realize how shallow my friendships had been up until that point in my life. I had to find a new tribe and that's not easy to do when you are confined to Mommytown.  I did it though and I am much happier for it. I walked through fire and came out on the other side a different person.

Whew! That was a mental workout! Thanks Michelle. Who's next?

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