Thursday, October 11, 2007

10 things about me

I've come across posts by bloggers where they list things about themselves - rules for being their friends, 100 interesting facts, 10 biggest phobias, etc. I'm not sure if there are rules about doing this. Like, do I need to be challenged or invited to create one of these lists by another blogger? Is there a magic list somewhere that lists the items we're supposed to write about? I don't know, so I'm making up my own list.

10 things about me, in no particular order.

1. I'm terrified of UFOs. This used to be my big secret, but so many close friends know and tease me about it that it's no longer a secret. I've been afraid since I was small. I remember running upstairs, terrified, during the Brady Bunch episode where some of the younger kids kids convinced one of the older kids that there was a UFO in the back yard. We used to drive between Albany, NY and Westfield, MA on a regular basis, and if it was night, I'd spend the whole trip with my eyes closed because I was convinced UFOs were out there and I didn't want to see them. I'm a logical rational person, and I know there aren't little green men flying around abducting people. But still, I'm terrified. I guess that's the true definition of a phobia.

2. I used to be a swim coach. I coached an age-group team at the University of Florida in addition to being the graduate assistant swim coach for the UF women's team for four years. I coached for another three years here with an age-group team at Texas. I had the privilege of working with some of the best swimmers in the world during those seven years. The age-group team in Florida, at the time, was one of the best in the country, and I ran the 10-15 year-old portion of it. Coaching is still my dream job, and I'd go back to it in a heartbeat if I had the chance to work with another great program. And even though part of my job in Florida was overseeing a big summer swim lesson program, I know better than to try to teach my own kids to swim. It wouldn't be good for any of us. So we go to Crenshaw's every summer for lessons.

3. I love candy - gummy bears, candy corn, jelly beans, gum drops - pretty much anything that's pure sugar. But I don't like chocolate unless it's baked in something. So from Halloween through Easter is my favorite time of year - there's aisles and aisles of candy at the grocery store.

4. I love reading. When I was in my first year of college, I took a freshman level writing class just to brush up on my writing. I had enough high school credits to skip the class, but I decided not to. At that point, I had declared myself as a business major. But when the TA for the writing class said that he loved reading books and loved talking about the books he read and he got paid to do those things, a light bulb went on. I realized that I would much rather spend college reading and discussing literature than suffering through dry, boring business classes. I switched majors the next semester. During college and graduate school, I mastered the art of reading more than one book at a time. Now I'll have two or three going, and I'll read them depending on my mood. In addition to loving to read, I love owning books. I know I should use the library, but there's just something about being able to grab a book and read it when the mood strikes me, rather than going to the library and hoping they have it in stock.

5. I graduated from college in three years. I wasn't even old enough to go out for a drink to celebrate taking my last final. I went to a small public/private high school in Florida that offered AP and dual enrollment classes starting in 9th grade. By the time I got to college, I had more than a year's worth of credits stacked up, so I technically skipped my freshman year.

6. I'm painfully shy, but I do a pretty good job of hiding it. I switched schools a lot as a kid, and that didn't help my shyness. I've gotten good at striking up conversations with strangers at social events, but my first instinct is to head for the corner, pull out a book (or knitting now that I've rediscovered that) and act invisible. When I was a senior in high school, one of my friends told me that most people in our class thought I was stuck up because I never talked to them. I was stunned! I didn't talk to them because I was terrified of them, even though we'd all been in school together since 4th grade. I thought they were the "cool" girls and therefore I wasn't worthy to be their friends. I'm still like this. I have several friends whom I view as the "cool" girls, and I live in fear that one day they'll figure out I'm a huge dork and dump me.

7. I've work on the Austin Danskin Triathlon for the past nine years, the last three as paid staff, but I've never done a triathlon. This is even more surprising given that I'm an ex-swimmer, that I used to ride my bike everywhere I went because I didn't own a car until I was 25, and that I'm a solid but not speedy runner. I just can't train for three sports at once. I know I could go out and endure the swim without a problem and therefore focus on training for the bike and run, but why do a race just to endure part of it? I get far more out of working the Danskin than I ever could out of competing in it.

8. I'm slow to make friends, but once you're my friend, you'll never get rid of me. I'm loyal to a fault. You pretty much have to be a knife-wielding puppy killer to get me to give up on you.

9. I list my occupation on my tax return as "mother" to prove a point. We stay-at-home moms ought to get social security credit for the years we spend at home raising the next generation.

10. I love my family more than anything else in this world. My husband and my children are the centers of my universe, and I can't imagine life without them. My husband and I have been married for 10 1/2 years, and I can't believe it's been that long. It feels like just yesterday we got married. But at the same time, I can't remember life without him. The same thing with the kids - I don't remember life without Ella, Lily and Campbell. Well, I do sort of remember life without Campbell, but that's only because he's been here a year.

So there you are, whether you like it or not - ten things about me.


Family Adventure said...

Ten interesting things! I love to read, too. Growing up, kids were always complaining that I was reading and not playing. I don't really remember that, but my family still brings it up.
I do find it interesting that you are able to hide your shyness from others so well. Sometimes, when I meet people who I think seem distant or disinterested, I think I need to consider the possibility that they might be shy. I am not sure I do that enough.
I really enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for sharing.
- Heidi

hokgardner said...

It's funny, even though I'm shy, I forget that other people might be too. I once went to a meeting and met a woman who seemed extremely standoffish, and I was disappointed because I'd heard how much fun she was to talk to. Turns out she's just as shy as I am and was scared to talk to me. We're friends now, though.

Family Adventure said...

Exactly! It's the "me" thing. I think lots of people do this -assume that if someone is acting distant it's because they don't "like me", when in fact it often has nothing at all to do with "me". Insecurities on all sides, I suppose!

Suburban Correspondent said...

Are you allowed to meme yourself like that? Haven't you broken some cosmic blogging law?

hokgardner said...

That's the thing - I don't know exactly what a meme is, (Is it pronounced meem or meemee?) so I have no idea whether I've broken any blogging laws.

t. Cooke said...

1 & 5 are things I never knew. Skipping your freshman year of college is interesting and impressive. Your fear of UFOs is interesting and obsessive, but kind of neat too.

Fun read!

MadMad said...

I'm a huge candy fan, too - but not chocolate (though it will do in a pinch - and often by the handful of chocolate chips out of the freezer - and gummies are my favorite!) The UFO thing, though... that's um... different... Wonder if now I'm going to be adding that to my list of things to worry about...