Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Honest to Goddess Truth

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions, as well as those who simply expressed voyeuristic interest in this little show of exhibitionism. I can assure you, I have no plans for an encore performance.

Shephard: I'd really like to know the biggest and most fanciful dream you have, the one that makes your heart go all giggly at the thought of achieving it. Jayne: Arrrgh!! Shephard stole my question! But really, I'll ask again, in case you try to elude it: what's the dream in your heart that you're avoiding pursuing right now?

I want to live in a lovely home with my true-love and our dogs. The house will have a fabulous porch, where I can play my cello, and divine gardens so I can play in the dirt at my leisure. I will also have a bathroom of my very own and a couch, a real couch, not a futon, or a hand-me-down couch. I want to have a job where I do whatever I want every day, which is likely to change every day, because that’s the kind of girl I am. Oh … and here’s the kicker, the part that feels like my personal Mount Everest, looming large, and nearly unattainable, I want to have a solid sense of unconditional self acceptance and love. I want to like myself all the time, and even cut myself a break when I screw up.

Dick: At times you are strong and fearless. Your blog is rich with characters, experiences and relationships that substantiate that. And yet other times you seem, not weak, but fragile - like a blown glass flower that could easily be crushed if mishandled. Some would say what you have is a gift. Others would argue it's a burden. What do you say?
I thought about this sweet question a lot and always came up with BOTH as my answer.
I don’t know that I’m any stronger or more courageous than anyone else. However, I’ve been around long enough to know that I can handle a lot because I have, and shying away from scary things makes for a pretty boring life. Easy access to my emotions makes me seem emotionally fragile. It also allows me to empathize with others almost effortlessly. I suppose I could try to keep these feelings under wraps, but I’m committed to living an honest life. Trying to present a façade of perfection and invulnerability limits intimacy with others. I don’t want that kind of loneliness in my life. Sure, I'm in terrible pain sometimes. I hate those times when I fall to pieces and feel completely defenseless. But if I had to choose, I’d rather have this kind of pain than the numb torment of isolation, indifference and self-ignorance. And it always seems that for every moment of anguish, I experience many more moments of equally intense joy.

Nosthegametoo: What is your first memory of romantically loving someone, beyond that of innocent child-like infatuation??
Kyle: I know that nosthegametoo asked already, but I'd like to ask in a more specific-yet-vague way: When was the first time you fell deeply in love, so deep it hurt as much to be near that person as it did to be away from them? This can refer to anyone, regardless of whether or not you were romantically involved.
I thought I’d been in love before, but when it happened for real, my previous experiences seemed to pale into trivial episodes of infatuation or neediness. I was 26 years old when I met him. We lived over 1,200 miles away from one another. In a year’s time we spent less than a month in each other’s company. Maybe the fact that we were apart made the element of romance and emotional intimacy more intense than it might have been otherwise. Likewise, our treasured meetings were all the more passionate, and yes, sometimes exquisitely, poignantly, heartbreakingly painful.

Steve: If you knew that you had two years to live...and that's all...what would you do? Why? I’d quit my job, cash in my 401K, sell everything I have of value and travel around sponging off all of my friends and family. A while back, when I was changing careers, I had a long talk with my Dad about what I was doing. He told me that if he could go back and do one thing differently with his life, he’d work less and spend more time with the people he loves. I knew exactly what he was talking about because my job had taken over my life and I rarely saw friends and family. I still don’t spend nearly as much time with the people I love, especially those who live far away from me.

Chick: Have you ever received anal...if so...did you like it & why?! and, what is your favorite book? (purely based on imaginative writing & story).
1.) Yes. Yes. Back in the day when I had a sex life, I remember doing it because it felt good.
2.) It’s difficult to choose just one, but I will for the sake of brevity. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. This has been one of my favorite stories for as long as I can remember. The themes of redemption, learning from our past, it’s never too late to change, no one is entirely bad, the love of money is toxic, and being a good person really can make a difference, are values and ideals that I hold dear. Dickens didn’t invent these ideas, but he managed to bring them all together in a smashingly good little book.

Polyman2: In the few short months that I've had contact with you, you seem like an open honest caring unselfish individual. I know you've had you share of hardships and emotional turbulence, but you seem strong and well adjusted and can handle it, so why do you think you are bipolar? Why accept "official" explanations? You seem to me to be just a little overly sensitive. There’s a difference between character traits and symptoms. It’s entirely possible for me (or anyone) to have all the lovely qualities you’ve described above and still meet the criteria for Major Depressive Disorder. It took me a while to come to terms with this myself. I used to see my Depression symptoms as character defects, and think that somehow I had to WILL myself to get better. It was a welcome relief to have a diagnosis and effective treatment. I’m more fortunate than Lu. Medicine works fairly well for me. I’ve benefited from talk therapy over the years as well. For a little peek at what I look like when I’m not taking care of myself and my meds aren’t working, go here.

Stephen: I'll give two questions and you can choose either or both. If you could go back and re-do a moment in your life you feel you were wronged--what would that be/how would it be "fixed"? There’s only one "wronged" that still plagues me. It’s far too complicated to explain here, and the details don’t matter anyway. The real challenge for me is to figure out how to make sense of the betrayal, grow from the experience and put it in it’s proper place in my history.

Financial Security. Beauty. Brains. Mental Health. Physical Health. Complete single-hood. Complete companionship. If you could only have TWO of the previous items--which would it be? I’d choose Brains and Companionship. Of course, this choice basically dooms me and my loyal canine companion to living in a cardboard box, dodging insults and broken bottles, while mumbling to myself as I hobble on my one good leg down to the public library to work on that pesky little M-Theory puzzle that’s been baffling everybody.

RUSerious: (finally, an intelligent question) Do these pants make my ass look big?
Sweetheart, the only way those pants could look better is if they were in a crumpled heap next to my bed

Lu: What time are you coming over this evening? Cocktail time, of course
Can I borrow your black FMPs (the strappy ones with lower heel)? FMP's with a low heel? I'm confused.
Ooh Ooh Ooh! I just read Polyman's question. Can I answer it, can I, can I please??!! No, that wasn’t nearly enough begging.

No_the_game: If you had a chance to change your dating life what would you do? Would you go for a guy who makes you fall in love (u know crazily in love thing) or guys who can give you sense of emotional & financial stability?
The nature of Love (romantic love), as I’ve known it, isn’t an either/or experience. In the beginning I feel a little crazy … okay, this is ME we’re talking about … A LOT crazy. After a while, things settle into a more comfortable sense of emotional stability. Even though the "crazy" part is thrilling and exciting, it’s often also filled with painful longing and uncertainty. I hate that part. I’m always happy when it dawns on me that I’m genuinely comfortable and at ease with someone I love. Money? It's never been part of the equation. I’ve never been financially dependent on a man and I think I’d have to deal with feelings of inferiority if I ever found myself in that situation. All in all, when I think about being with someone in a love-relationship, what I’m looking for is my "match". I’ll know it when I feel

Al: "Do you know the way to San Jose"? Google: MapQwest

Clew: I have a 3 part question: If you could kill someone and get away with it, would you? Thought about it once ... a long time ago. He died of natural causes. Who would it be? Can’t say. What did they do to make you want to kill them? He hurt some people I love.

Aisha: What is your height and weight? I’m 5’9" and don’t know how much I weigh. I’d guess it’s somewhere between 175 and 400 pounds (probably closer to the lower end of that range). There was a ceremonial burial of my bathroom scale in 1992 in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania. Scales are no longer welcome in my home because I use them as tools for self-deprecation. If it narrows things down a little, I wear a size 14.

Your life seems very full with a lot of twists and turns along the way. When you first started out on your own, did you have a specific goal/idea of what you wanted to do and where you wanted to be or did you let fate take your hand and throw caution to the wind or did you have the plan/goal and then decide to let the twists and turns of life take you through?
I had a plan but I changed my mind a lot. First I wanted to be a concert cellist, then a physical anthropologist, sociologist, teacher, psychologist, and biologist. I attended three Universities before I got my BA and ended up with a degree in Sociology because when I ran out of money that’s where most of my electives were. Most of my jobs were happy accidents. I needed a job, applied for a lot, and got the right one. As far and my non-work life goes, I’ve been open to new experiences while trying to stay true to myself and maintaining my core moral values. The times in my life when I tried to exert too much control over my fate are when things seem to go terribly wrong. It's always good to have a plan, but the plan needs to be flexible. Some days I wake up and wonder how the hell I got here. Other days I wake up and think, "Wow, what a ride!"


At 9:05 AM, Blogger Anonymous Assclown said...

I think you learn more about the people asking the questions than you do the person answering them. I mean, just look at some of the questions and what they say about the who asked them.

At 10:49 AM, Blogger clew said...

You're just jealous that I took your questions.

At 10:59 AM, Blogger naive-no-more said...

This was amazing, T. As if we expected anything less. Very brave and honest answers. I don't know if I'd be willing to put it all out there like that just yet.

At 10:59 AM, Blogger Laurie said...

That was really interesting, Theresa - and brave. I don't think I could do that on my blog..

5'9" and a size 14? You are perfect! :-)

At 12:24 PM, Blogger littlefeet said...

hey...i wear a size 14 too...well...when i am not pregnant... :)

love the answers hun...


At 1:14 PM, Blogger Shephard said...

I think you dream sounds highly attainable, or at the very least, worthy of obsessive focus.
And I didn't know you were a cellist. I learned something!
I can see you sitting there, playing the cello... :)

At 2:02 PM, Blogger AndyT13 said...

Very enlightening T. Great post!
I was, of course, just being playful with my non-questions. Thanks for sharing beautiful you!

At 3:53 PM, Blogger Bougie Black Boy said...

ah..... I love it... yeah i agree with AC. you learn more about the questioner, than the anything else.

Love your honesty.

At 7:59 PM, Blogger theresa said...

AC - Why the hell did I work so hard on the answers then?

Clew - Women in general intimidate him.

Naive - Thanks. Some of the questions were difficult, but they probably could have been worse.

Laurie - ... and this is why I have a giant crush on you.

Monkey - After Trout comes out to meet the rest of us, we can trade duds!

Shephard - Playing on a wood plank porch in my bare feet is my favorite. It kinda makes me tingle.

Andy - You know I got buckets and buckets of Love for you!

Stephen - I'm just glad I don't really have to pick just two.

At 10:50 PM, Blogger ZooooM said...

Awesome. I read through the questions before you answered them and decided I didn't have anything creative to ask you. So I waited for the answers to come out today. Thanks so much for this little interview you granted.

At 1:05 AM, Blogger JayneSays said...

"Easy access to my emotions makes me seem emotionally fragile. It also allows me to empathize with others almost effortlessly." Ah, this is something (yet another) we have in common. I love the way you articulated this, as well as the rest of your answers. Thanks for sharing,

I've said this before to you, the way you share your vunerabilities while standing strong in your power is one of my favorite human traits and you display it beautifully, Dear. So many people see this as weakness, but we know how wrong they are. (PS I didn't realize you were my height : ) I love tall women, makes me feel comfortable when I'm around them, at home (family of giants))

At 8:48 AM, Blogger Blazngfyre said...

I'll be a size 14 for the rest of my life!


I've missed you T!

At 9:32 AM, Blogger theresa said...

Zoom - I had enough on my hands with the questions I got. Thanks for chiming in at the end though.

Jayne - Being tall with broad shoulders, I'm rarely confused for a delicate, waif-like creature. I avoid Amish communities for fear some industrious farmer will hook me up to a plow.

Blaze - 14 has it's advantages. It's the most common afterall. I always find plentiful treasures in 2nd hand consignment stores.

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Polyman2 said...

Your a great gal-
I'm too much a coward to be open.

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a tease.

At 11:03 PM, Blogger Maverick said...

no plans for an encore performance?? Wrong answer!

BTW, you can sponge off me if you ever get to that point in your life. I can show you around :-)

Maverick P.I.

At 8:46 AM, Blogger Lu said...

I know how much you labored over this post, and you pulled it off with your usual brilliance and charm. I can't even imagine your being anything but honest and open, and you managed to reveal just enough about yourself to answer each question honestly and openly without compromising your privacy. I'm proud to call you my friend.

On a more serious note, I feel I must respond to your answers to my questions:
1) re: cocktail time--the Grey Goose is chillin', but would you mind picking up some olives? Try to get the ones without the red things (I hate those).
2) re: FMPs with a low heel--remember who you're talking to. If I wear a shoe with more than a 2" heel, I end up falling on my ass and the shoes no longer qualify as FMPs. Also, remember who my partner is--he thinks I'm sexiest in flannel PJs and doesn't even notice when I make love with my socks on.
3) re: poly's question--I'm through begging, dammit. Besides, you did so well with your answer that I guess I'll just have to put my two cents into a post of my own...

At 10:41 AM, Blogger Tiger said...

...fab-u-lous!! ;)

(& then as I glance down & notice my word verification letters... good LORD, why do they have to put that many b's & d's in ONE string? 85% is far too many for this slightly dyslexic typist. ugh!)

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Julie said...

Woowee! That was lovely! I love learning more about you. You are so facinating and alive! I'm bummed that I missed out on the deadline for answering my question though! If you are ever in Portland, I will take you to happy hour and ask to my heart's content.

At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did you want to do this?

At 12:13 PM, Blogger theresa said...

Poly - We all reveal ourselves, some more directly than others.

R.U.Serious - You should talk ... you, with your sexy scared bunny ways.

Mav-Chik - You can always ask, I just won't promise to answer.

Lu - Post something!!! ... and I definitely know how you like your martinis!

Tiger - Thanks. I hate word verification, but I hate spam more.

Julie - Portland? It's a date Girl!

Popeye - Honestly, I'm impulsive and didn't think it through very well. It wasn't horrible, but it was definitely uncomfortable.


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