I don’t normally like to be in the spotlight…I’m more a “behind the scenes” kinda lady. But since this blog began in the spirit of sharing, I thought that just for today–while it might be extremely awkward and uncomfortable for me–it’d be fun to continue with that tradition, step out of my comfy little coccoon, and share a few random facts about me and my little world.
It’s sort of long, so if you’re not interested in reading it ALL, feel free to skim. If you’re not interested in reading it AT ALL, I hope you enjoy all the pretty pictures…
I learned to draw from my mom & dad. My parents are both artists, so I learned early on the importance of shapes, shading, fine art, a respect for the traditional masters…and always rinsing your paintbrush.
A have a younger sister. My sister is a few years younger than me, but has two teenage daughters (I got a late start in the kid department). Aside from our mom, my sister’s been the biggest mom-spiration to me when I had Myla. She’s very talented, creative, and WAY tough. I go to her when I need the flat-out truth about whether or not I should be worried about something, or if I just need to “suck it up” (as they say in the army).
I spent four years in the U.S. Army as a Photolithographer. Basically, I printed maps and scowled a lot. I dealt with some VERY difficult people, but I also learned that I’m pretty stinkin’ strong. Despite the difficulty, it changed parts of my personality forever–for the best. Plus I got to roll around in the dirt in the woods. And remember that time I found a 5-inch centipede in my field gear?? Good times.
I got a late start. My husband and I were married for SEVEN years before we decided to have a kid. Best decision EVER. I never really considered having kids, I just never really gave it much thought. It was my husband’s awesome idea, really, so he deserves a million high fives. I just needed some time to give it some actual serious thought. She wasn’t an accident, though–she was VERY thought out…probably TOO thought out. But once I’m in, I’m all in, and she’s been the most challenging–and most absolutely magical–thing to ever have happened to me. I always say that if I’d never had her, I’d never know, so I’d be quite happy and fulfilled, thank you. But I can’t even begin to explain how much happiness she’s brought to me, and how intensely ecstatic I am to be her mom.
I played roller derby for a few years. I wasn’t super great or anything, but it felt REALLY good to skate around and knock other girls down. And when YOU got knocked down, you didn’t even mind. It was worth it, as long as it was a good hit. I sprained my collarbone and my jaw in derby, got countless fist-sized bruises, separated my fibula from my kneecap area, and twisted my ankle, and it was all worth it. You could all hate each other, and then get on the track and still play a great bout, and hug each other afterward because of the general respect it takes just to get on the track. I can’t explain how much I love derby. (Sadly, I don’t play anymore, but I still love it.)
This also might explain why I started putting Myla on skates when she was two…
I tattooed myself. Not something I’d recommend to everyone, but I have some prior tattooing experience, and I felt confident I could pull it off. It was awkward, and at one point I was afraid I was totally going to mess it up, but I love it. It’s from a retro photo of a girl roller skating with a pillow strapped to her butt, except I drew my own derby skates on her. It sort of signified my whole “all out–but carefully” attitude about most things, especially in derby. Bonus: the little girl had SUPER curly hair like Myla.
Although someone recently told me I don’t LOOK like it (whatever that means), I have many tattoos. I even trained a little to learn to tattoo from artists in different places we’ve lived. I never really developed this skill the way I would have liked, but I have had some very brave friends who let me tattoo them over the years.
Myla wasn’t always interested in drawing. We spent three LONG winters in Fairbanks Alaska, which is well below negative temperatures for 8 months out of the year. My husband was deployed. Myla (who had just turned two) and I spent a LOT of time indoors. We had to find ways to entertain ourselves. This usually involved tea parties with water, stacking up megablocks, baking soda & vinegar volcanoes, and trying not to climb the bookshelves. Eventually, it turned into fingerpainting and drawing on ourselves. It was hard, but it was fun. By the time she was three, she began turning her little doodles into “monsters,” and was suddenly VERY into drawing (and has been ever since).
I like to sing. I don’t have a picture for this…but I learned guitar in high school pretty much so I could have something to sing along to. I have an alternate-life fantasy that I could play Fantine in Les Mis, Judas in the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar,” or Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors (mainly because they have the coolest songs). Bonus trivia: I get teary-eyed at the National Anthem and some spirituals. Basically anything with the big feels.
If I could have dinner conversation with any of my favorite inspirational figures, I’d want Terry Gilliam, Sia, Jim Henson, Amy Poehler, Maurice Sendak, Beck and Tom Waits. Okay, so it’d be a pretty big dinner party, but think we’d all get along.
I am a horrible cook. I am not domestically skilled in the slightest. Anything I do in that field is purely functional. All of the creativity I have in so many other mediums stops dead cold at the threshold of the kitchen. One thing that has helped: getting one of those services that sends ingredients to your house for you to make your own DIY weekly meals by following a set of instructions. It’s a worthwhile splurge. It’s like paint by numbers: I don’t really know what I’m doing, but BAM–I have a delicious meal when I’m done.
I’m a perfectionist. The funny thing is, I THOUGHT I was pretty “laid back.” This line from my sketchbook explains it all: “I didn’t want to be perfect. I just didn’t want to make any mistakes.” …Yeah, I actually SAID that to a counselor once, and it wasn’t til those words came out of my mouth that I realized THAT was what being a perfectionist IS. I think it got worse with the deployments, and having full responsibility of the happiness and care of our kid on my own in Alaska. That’s a lot of pressure! Nothing in our lives is perfect, of course. But the fact that it wasn’t (and couldn’t be) and I expected it to be, frustrated me and made me feel bad about the way I was handling things. It’s weird, but I’m working on it.
Random tidbit: If you had asked me when I was five, I might have told you I wanted to be a ballerina and a vet. Which is funny, because I’m completely clumsy (and I’d just make a horrible vet).
I hate magicians. I repeat: I. HATE. MAGICIANS.
Another random tidbit: When I was a kid, I used to think if I practiced hard enough, I could learn telekenesis. Don’t ask me why. It was a combination of a bunch of sci-fi movies and strange books. I was a weird kid.
In my natural habitat, I have a potty mouth, which sort of blossomed during my time in the military. Despite this, I DO NOT swear in front of Myla. Sometimes it’s hard, but I’ve learned to appreciate words like, “goshdarnit” and “DANG.”
We have two dogs. A boxer named Scout, and a boston terrier named Adie. They are both old ladies who love and tolerate eachother. And we love and tolerate them immensely.
Adie (the boston) was my “hairy baby,” so she especially took awhile to warm up to Myla when she was born (mainly this occurred when Myla became old enough to eat–and floor drop–solid food). Scout, however, has always been a big sweet teddy bear (except with other dogs. She has dominance issues, probably from being bossed around by the boston).
I’m forty-one. Yeah, you heard me. If you’re young, I know that sounds ancient, but you know what’s awesome about forty? I. Don’t. CARE. I know who I am, and I’m pretty happy with that. I’m introverted, but I’m not shy. I’m awkward, but I can handle myself. I’m like a happy little snail with my shell, and I come out when I want, and I tuck in when I want. And I’m totally comfortable with that. Now the fun part is getting to know OTHER people!
I have a back disorder that I discovered after an injury in the army. I have some fairly rare thing called B27 in my blood that they don’t really understand (my sister has it too, surprisingly). They classify it as “spondyloarthritis,” which basically means “ongoing chronic back pain that we don’t understand and can’t really do anything about.” It’s always been a sharp pain in the same exact spot. Sometimes I am fine, and other times I’m in so much pain that I can barely walk. It’s become such a normal thing to live with, that even I get tired of complaining about it, so I just grin & bear it, because what else can ya do? But it basically means I’m in some level of back discomfort AT ALL TIMES. I’ve tried every treatment I have access to–from injections to infusions to medication–and they’ve all either had horrific side effects, or didn’t help in the slightest.
I love my job. I work from distance as a graphic artist for the army’s MWR in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. I design posters for all of their events & facilities. I worked in-office for a couple of years, and when my husband was relocated with the army, I was lucky enough to have them keep me on. I love the people I work with–they were a great group when I worked in-office and they’re a great group from far away. Working from home sometimes means that my “desk” is occasionally on the floor, surrounded by dogs, and that in between work orders, I can throw a load of laundry in, or empty the dishwasher.
So that’s about it. And now I feel a little…exposed. Not my ENTIRE life in a nutshell, by any stretch…but enough to have fun with. So while I hurry and wrap myself up tightly and snug back in my snail shell, what are some strange and interesting facts about you? Think of three things, and comment–tell me some trivia or quirks about your own life!