“Most of us are excellent at being self-deprecating, and are not so good at the opposite. Tell us your favorite thing about yourself.”
I’m a loyal friend. Always have been. I can’t think of a time when I haven’t been loyal to a person. Problem for me is that being loyal opens me up to being burned. Betrayal is not something I really do so when it’s done to me, it stings worse than a wasp. I have been betrayed more times than I have betrayed.
But once I’m someone’s friend, I’m a friend for life unless he or she conspires to really hurt me. I’ve had falling outs with friends and made amends (sometimes to the point where I should have let the friendship go). I’ve also had falling outs, tried to make amends and was not successful.
I’m not loyal in everything—I haven’t worked at a company for 10 years. And if I get burned professionally, I’m not above cutting myself off from that connection. But if I could choose one favorite thing about myself, it’s that I’m a loyal friend, and it’s the reason that I am still friends with some of my former middle-school classmates. I feel very fortunate to have the friends that I do.
When I was 16, I thought my life would be something out of 13 Going on 30 or The Devil Wears Prada. I thought I’d be living a posh life in New York City as a magazine editor who wears fabulous designer clothing and makes a ton of money. I imagined the fantastic dress suits like Donna Karan and Elie Tahari that I would wear. I figured I’d be prancing around in Jimmy Choos. My purses would have a seal that bared Prada or Fendi.
Now that I’m 30, my life doesn’t look anything like that. The closest to designed I can get is Coach (affordable designer if I save up for a few months). Prada leather is still kept in glass cases locked from the likes of me. I have yet to even try on a pair of Jimmy Choos or Christian Louboutins. I haven’t bough anything Donna Karan since I pulled myself out of my bipolar credit card debt. And by the way, I’ve discovered I don’t like Fendi or Louis Vuitton. But I never fail to be envious when I see others carrying the namesake totes.
My life consists of middle-class labels—Old Navy, Gap, Express, New York & Company. I used to care more about designer garments and shoes but not so much anymore. I buy what I like whether it’s an affordable $17.99 or a splurge of $300. (Yes, $300 is a splurge for me because it’s money usually saved up during the course of a year.) I own a ton of Jessica Simpson shoes (I like her fashion more than her music), Skechers shoes, and assorted purses (such as Puma and Adidas) bought at warehouses like DSW. And to be honest (because I’d lie to you), I’m okay with what I buy. I’m too “fat” to fit into anything designer anyway. I can’t imagine the eating disorder I’d have if my closet were full of designer clothing.
So, yeah, I’m pretty much okay with the life I have.
If I could tell my 14-year-old self anything now that I’m 30, it’s that life will get better. And it has.
On February 14, 1996, I tried to kill myself for the first time. Well, it was at least the first time I vocalized it to anyone. And as a dumb 14-year-old, I called all my friends to say good-bye because I was despondent over not having any friends. (Insert eye roll here.) Well, these friends called the police who promptly showed up at my door. I’m also happy to say I’m still friends with those same people today.
If I could tell my 14-year-old self anything, it’s that I’d find a wonderful husband, marry into an amazing family, and settle near a mall with the most commercial square footage in the United States. (Malls are important to a mallrat like me.) I’d tell her that she’d develop some fabulous, godly friends and have two jobs that meld her love of reading and writing. I’d tell her that one day she’d head a successful consulting business and have the ability to manage her own income.
I’d tell her that she’d still deal with rough spots in life. That things wouldn’t always go as planned, that prayers wouldn’t always be answered the way she’d like them to.
I’d also add that she would be diagnosed with bipolar disorder and her mental illness would be well managed with medication, therapy, and love.
I’d tell my 14-year-old self not to despair and that the only way out is through. That she has to travel through the tunnel of dark to get to the light of dawn. But that darkness is only a tunnel, not an endless dark sky without hope.
And finally I’d add:
Get over yourself, you little shit. You’ll deal with worse problems that you can’t even fathom. And what’s more? You’ll surive. You’ll be a survivor.
If I could be a mistress of any kill in the world, I’d want to conquer the field of singing.
I love to sing, but unfortunately I’m not terrific at it. I’m also not terrible but if you heard me singing in a crowd, you wouldn’t look over to see the fantastic voice belting a tune. I’m just decent. And I hate to be just decent at anything. I guess it’s better than being bad, but yesh, singing is a skill I would love to be master (er, rather, mistress) of.
It’s a new year and my goal has been to get to the gym on the weekends. I’ve been trying to do 30 minutes or more on the elliptical. As such, there are 10 songs that I’ve selected that help me get through that crunch. In parentheses is the length of the song.
3. King of the Dancehall: Beenie Man – The only song that I own by the Jamaican dancehall king, this is another song that’s actually crass. But the beat in the chorus helps keep me on track. (3:37)
4. Bionic: Christina Aguilera – A high-energy song from the get-go, this futuristic hi-tech sound makes for a heart-pumping few minutes. (3:21)
5. Less Talk More Rokk (Guitar Hero Version): Freezepop – Anything by Freezepop is pure techno heaven and perfect for exercising, but the slow beat at the beginning builds up like a roller coaster ride, taking you through musical twists and turns. I love this song to get my energy up then leveling it out. (4:59)
6. Bulletproof: La Roux – A dance hit during the summer of 2010, this song keeps me going nonstop for 3 straight minutes. (3:26)
7. Nothing in This World: Paris Hilton – I’ve listed Paris Hilton’s music as a guilty pleasure because, really, who should be listening to her? But thanks to some solid producers, this social heiress made a song that’s worthy of exercising to. The catchy beat revs me up on the elliptical. (3:11)
9. Come into My World: Kylie Minogue – How I could I not include a pop queen like Kylie on my list of workout songs? This song has a steady tempo that’s great for leveling energy out before cool down. (4:32)
10. Make It with You: Bread – It’s no secret that I’m a fan of soft rock, and this Bread song is perfect for slowing my heart rate down. (Or conversely, warming it up.) It’s a mellow song with great tempo. (3:14)
I grew up with a great many things back in the 1980s through 2000s. But technology has progressed rapidly since then and I’ve compiled a short list of things my children (if I ever have any) will never know.
1. A typewriter
2. Jem & the Holograms
4. Tube televisions
5. Getting up from my seat to change the channel (before remote controls were ubiquitous)
6. 8-track player
7. Reel-to-reel music
8. Mix tapes (especially taping music off of the radio)
9. Napster (when it was cool)
10. A rotary phone
11. Life without a cell phone
12. Using physical books in the library to perform research
13. Duck Hunt (a Nintendo game)
14. Great comedians like Bob Hope and George Burns
15. Walkman or a Discman
16. Dot-matrix printer (or waiting more than a minute for a full sheet of paper to be printed)
17. Floppy disks (the 3.5 hard ones and the actual 5.25 floppies)
18. Who Shot J.R.? (aka nighttime soaps like Dynasty, Falcon Crest, and Dallas)
Anything else you can think of adding?
My favorite series of books were the Sweet Valley Twins/High series. To be honest, I liked the Twins (middle grade) series better than the High series. I think I maybe touched one SVU book and didn’t find it particularly intriguing.