The beautiful and sweet Sølvi of The Sheltering Sky tagged me with these questions today. I have stopped doing tags on my blogs since, at a certain point, there is little left to tell. But since it's Sølvi, and since I've been meaning to talk about her blog - which is one of my favorites - I'm going to do this one. Now, go check out Sølvi's blog...when you read her responses, you'll see why we have a lot in common! (I won't tag anyone in particular with these, but if anyone is interested in baring their soul a bit, please feel free to take this tag!)
My ten honest things:
1. I’m very much a lone-wolf and from time to time have to force myself to be social. I think part of this is just me, and part comes from the fact that I was raised as an only child, often in remote locations where we encountered few people outside of the family.
2. I am a diligent worker, but I am not ambitious in the traditional sense. I don’t have a driving need to make a mark on the world, rather I have a desire to live in the moment and experience my life as richly as possible. Having cancer at the age of 29 changed me greatly for the better, and stopped me from taking life for granted ( a terrible flaw of mine in my wild and destructive 20s), but it also made me a bit more frivolous. My greatest ambition is just to live every moment I have on this earth with as much pleasure as possible.
3. I had a very fatalistic view of relationships for much of my life, and when I was younger I was not kind to the people in my life. I’m not sure if it was the feminist generation I grew up in, or the literature I grew up on, but somehow I got the idea that people were generally faithless, and it was pointless to offer devotion or trust that would not be returned. As a result, I was always the unfaithful one in my relationships up until I met my current husband and learned the meaning of a healthy partnership.
4. I did not believe I was cut out for marriage, and never had any desire to have children until my husband and I decided to adopt. Adoption was the first and most obvious choice in both of our minds when it came to the decision to become parents, and if I had the means to do it again, I would choose to adopt a child with medical needs again. It's a wonderful opportunity to give care and nurturing to a child, who, in their own country and circumstances, might not have had the chance at a healthy and full life.
5. I am capable of a great deal of endurance - I’ve run 30 miles on a whim, and climbed many a 14,OOO-foot peak with only my dog for companionship. But I have very little discipline. I am self indulgent and find it very hard to deny myself anything, which isn’t exactly an asset in this particular era in history.
6. I am a literary addict, and as an illustrator I listen to books on my iPod while I work. It’s very easy for me to get lost in the world of literature and forget about the real world around me.
7. I’m not a fearful person, and as a result I tend not to have a great deal of empathy for people who are fearful. I am nearly 6 feet tall and very capable, and I am not a natural victim. This has left me with a great deal of confidence on a cetain level, and is part of the reason I never felt the need to exist inside a relationship. I actually felt more secure and stable when relying only on myself than when including someone else in the equation.
8. Though I have always had that sort of fearlessness on a certain level, when I was young I was extremely awkward and lacking in any social confidence. I was comfortable on an intellectual level, and so fairly at ease in the company of adults. But I felt unattractive and entirely unequal to my peers. This, in me, manifested itself as “aloofness”, and most people seemed to misinterpret me. Apparently I came off as either stuck-up and deliberately remote. I think I still sometimes convey that false impression when I’m uncertain of my footing. It’s a defense mechanism.
9. My mother is my better in almost every way. She is more disciplined, more dedicated, more meticulous, more fastidious, more generous, and far, far more beautiful. Her motives are more pure and her work ethic more structured. She is a disciplined and prolific artist, a world traveller and constant adventurer. When I was a child and we lived in a pioneer-era cabin on a remote cattle ranch, without electricity or plumbing, she could fix fences, ride herd on the cattle, and bake her own bread in our vintage wood-fired oven. She is a tomboy and a great beauty, and always says what she thinks. She makes me feel inferior in almost every way.
10. My father, while a great man in his time and an absolutely brilliant prodigy of an artist, was the source of all my worst qualities. We had a troubled relationship during his life, and I still waver between admiration and unease when I think of him.