interviews

bionic woman.

note the t-shirt. i think that pretty much sums me and Jaime Sommers up.
note the t-shirt. i think that pretty much sums me and Jaime Sommers up.

Well, I’m okay. I ended up not spiraling, just felt like I was. I’m okay. I’ve also started working out daily – this is helping tremendously with my overall attitude, and in fact once I hit publish on this I’m about to go do it again. But you know what I’d really like right now? Thicker hair. What vitamins do I need to pop to get longer, thicker hair.

Here’s some more navel-gazing questions I saw somewhere and felt like answering:

1. Who Do You Love?

Oh my god, Internet. Who do I NOT love? Obviously I love my immediate family – you have to love those people, even when they drive you nuts. (I know I drive them nuts too, it all evens out.) I deeply and immensely love my little girl; I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that kind of love, until she showed up. And I have a whole list of friends who are precious pieces of my heart, who I am so blessed to know.

…when I love you, I love you big and hard and fiercely. Really, the only way you can muck that up is by lying to me or to not be who you told me you were.

2. Do You Have Enough Money?

Nope. Nopety nope. I literally, at least once a day, think about winning a phantom lottery somehow. And not even a big one – I just need someone to give me $500,000 so I can pay off my credit card, buy a new car and a house, and take some amazing trips. Whatever’s left over I’d save some for Miss M’s college bills and give the rest to someone in great need.

3. Are You Healthy?

I’m assuming this is a physical health question. Yes, it’s the one area of my life I know I am blessed. I am healthy. I need to get in shape, but I am healthy. I can walk and run, I am strong, and I have a healthy immune system and no bad things living inside of me. (Other than my darker thoughts.)

4. Do You Think You Are a Good Person?

I’m a total goody two shoes. Like, it took me a really long time to figure out what people meant when they said “Netflix and chill.” I totally would have said yes, if someone suggested we do Netflix and chill. It’s my WASP, vanilla upbringing, I just know it.

But I think being a good person is a lot more than just having manners, not robbing and pillaging, not murdering other people and animals. I think it boils down to: are your words matching your actions? And other than that, do you act from a place of integrity. I don’t hurt people intentionally. Do I make less than stellar choices sometimes? Yes. But I don’t hurt people intentionally. And when I hurt someone, I say “I’m sorry,” and I mean it. I don’t do that “I’m sorry, but you…” thing, where you look like you’re apologizing but you’re foisting your own bad behavior off on the person you hurt. It doesn’t matter what happened or why or your reasons behind it – you hurt someone, who cares how you feel about it? Just say sorry. When I find myself dealing with someone who can’t do that, it tells me exactly who and what I’m dealing with: someone who lacks character and integrity. I may fuck up a lot, but I fix my mistakes. Or try to learn from them at least. It constantly amazes me that there are so many people out there who can’t or refuse to do this; it seems like the one area in Life we can all do well at because we’re all always fucking up. Just own it, darling. We all mess up.

5. How Old Are You?

Inside I’m 12, biologically I’m 44, in my soul some days I feel 1,500.

6. Who’s Your Best Friend?

Me myself and I. I can’t tell you how many times lately I’ve talked myself down off a cliff.

7. What’s Your Childhood Dream?

I think I took a wrong turn somewhere, going into teaching. Not that teaching hasn’t brought me a lot of joy, good friends, and a sense of doing something good in the world. But I’ve often felt out of my element in it; there are just things I don’t get all obsessed with, like classroom arrangement and organization and themes. And teaching adverbs through fun and physical movement. I’m not joking – I work with people who lie awake in bed at night, unable to sleep, trying to conjure up activities that are fun and educational…to teach adverbs. Me, I lie awake at night imagining what I’d do if I won the $500,000 lottery. Or torturing myself over something I said or didn’t say, did or didn’t do.

When I was a child, my favorite thing to do was make believe. I think I wanted to be on stage – my mom took me to a student ballet performance once, and I was so blown away by the ballerinas dancing around up there, I asked to learn to dance. So I was signed up for ballet and tap…hated the ballet stuff, loved the tap. But the teacher wouldn’t let me just do tap dancing, and I cried and refused to go back. And now I don’t know how to do either.

This has always been an issue for me. Ask any of my friends. When the struggle gets real, I sometimes run for cover. (I’m working on it.)

At any rate, I think I should have been on stage. Or working behind a stage. The fact that stages are not a part of my life and have never really been a part of my life sometimes bothers me. Just a bit.

8. How Often Do You Laugh?

Not enough, but when I do it’s magnificent and I feel better. And while, intellectually, I know it’s better to laugh; our bodies and our minds NEED laughter…emotionally, I think it’s okay to sit with somber pain once in awhile and get familiar with what yours looks and feels like. It’s okay to go a day without laughing, just crying and the sads. It’s not fun. But it familiarizes yourself with it, so you know how to deal with it.

9. What Makes You Smile?

Anything ridiculously cute. Babies, kittens, ridiculous little kids being ridiculous.

10. Who’s Your Most Dangerous Enemy?

Me myself and I. I am at once both my own best friend and my own dangerous enemy.

Oh, and Donald Trump. But he’s everybody’s most dangerous enemy.

11. Do You Think You’re Strong?

Yes. But I don’t often feel it.

12. What Was The Most Important Thing You’ve Done So Far?

Oh, by far have Miss M. She is my best blessing, my very best blessing. Her dad and I are co-parenting really hard, planet Earth, to help her grow up into a good one for you, one who will leave you a bit better than she found it.

13. What Was The Most Stupid Thing You’ve Done So Far?

I mean, do you have an hour? The list could take an hour.

I really want to say “climbing a 7 ft chain link fence at work and breaking my 4th and 5th metatarsals,” because I think that moment stirred up a lot in my marriage and set some things in motion. But then again, are there really any stupid things? You make mistakes and you learn from them.

Stupid there is not; refuse to learn there is. – Yoda, channeled by Amy.

14. Do You Love Yourself?

Sometimes. I will tell you I am a good self-soother, once I pull it together. And I have to pull it together an awful lot, so my self-soothing skills right now are at a maximum. However, overall, this is an area I’m just not very good at. Or, rather, maybe I’m good at loving myself but not forgiving myself. I think the two go hand in hand – I can forgive other people so much easier than I forgive myself. Even when I muck up and someone forgives me, I spend a lot of time continuing to not forgive me. It’s a problem, though I am always amazed by and grateful for someone else’s grace and forgiveness.

15. What Do You Fear The Most?

Sharks. Death by fiery plane crash. Being in a fiery plane crash into an ocean and then being alive eaten by sharks. Lately, I’ve been reading news articles about hikers being stalked by bears in the woods and then mauled to death, half eaten. What?? Well, just put that on the list.

I also fear never being in love again or being in love and not being in loved back. But then again, the right love is hard to find, and hard work once you find it. That I’m in LOVE! feeling only lasts so long, gets you so far. I think, sometimes, people love each other a lot but don’t make each other very happy. Love isn’t the fix; consciously showing up and being on the same page as your partner is. You have to find a way to fill your own voids, or you’ll spend a lot of time wanting your partner to do it. Which they won’t, trust me on this, because they’ll be too busy hoping you’ll fill theirs. People are like banks – if you’re constantly withdrawing from your ATM, you’re going to find yourself with one empty, angry bank account. That means making constant withdrawals on your partner AND yourself.

(I sound fabulous, don’t I? Well, yes. Just remember I’m about to get a divorce.)

16. What Is Your Favorite Word?

Mantequilla. It’s Spanish for “butter.” Yo quiero tu mantequilla. I want  your butter. Delicious and inappropriate, all at once. It could totally make a good Lady Gaga song. And if Lady Gaga writes a song called “Yo Quiero Tu Mantequilla,” I’m suing.

17. When Was The Last Time You Cried?

I’m in tears right now. (I’m joking.) Yesterday. I rarely go a day, these days, without getting at least slightly weepy at some point.

18. What Is The Best Thing That Could Happen To You Right Now?

Someone handing me $500,000 with No Strings Attached for no reason. Getting to be mentored by one – or more – of my favorite storytellers. Either way, I’d be over the moon. If both happened, I’m pretty sure I’d finally be sure there was a God.

19. What Is The Worst Thing That Could Happen To You Right Now?

Have I not been through enough??? I mean, I feel incredibly fortunate I’m not very sick or nursing a very sick loved one. I have food and a roof over my head; I am not dodging bombs and living in a war torn country. I am not a refugee from a war torn country. My fortunes are enormous. But emotionally, over the last year, I’ve been through quite enough, thanks. Got my badge, wearing the shirt. Would like some of number 18 now, okay?

20. Picture Yourself In 5 Years From Now.

Stable. Loved. Happy. (With $500,000 in the bank and toiling in an apprenticeship with a master.) But I’ll take just the other 3 if I can’t have the two in parentheses.

21. Do You Regret Anything?

I have always said I rarely regret anything. I do have about 3 regrets in my life right now, but they’re so navel-gazey. And also, more than that, they were mistakes that taught me a lot.

I think I regret not traveling when I was younger. I wish I traveled more.

22. What’s The First Thing You Do In The Morning?

Check my phone. After I hit snooze on it 10 million times. This phone thing, you guys. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I was a lot happier and more focused before these became A Thing.

23. What Are You Thinking Just Before Going To Bed?

Just trying to focus on going to sleep and staying there. Miss M and I have found a Sleep Hypnosis thing on Spotify. Our favorite is the Scottish voice man who lulls us into sleep by talking about being in a mall that’s all crazy and loud on top, but taking an escalator that descends us slowly, level by level, into peace and tranquility…and sleep. In a Scottish dialect. I like all accents, but there’s not a whole lot I won’t do for someone who sounds like Tom Hiddleston or James McAvoy.

24. What Was The Highest Point You’ve Ever Been To?

Are we talking emotionally or literally? Literally, I’ve been to the top of one of the World Trade Center towers. The last time I was in New York City, I stood at the window of my Brooklyn hotel room looking out at the two light beams that spotlight where they stood. I just felt a mixture of awe and how magnificent they’d been, that I’d stood right there, at the top of one of those spotlights, so high in the sky. And then tremendous sadness at humanity, for what it can do to itself. We are once magnificent and terrible.

Emotionally, I’m still waiting. I don’t think I’ve gotten to the top of my spotlight yet.

25. If There’s One Thing In Your Life You Want To Change Right Now, What Is It?

I would like to stop overthinking. I would like to not be jealous of anyone or anything. I would like to celebrate more, and worry less. I think if I were able to stop overthinking as much, this would all fall into place.

26. What Are You Proud Of?

Miss M. She’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

27. Sum Up Your Life In One Sentence

Woman makes plans, God laughs.

28. Name The Thing That Annoys You The Most

Oh my god. Strangers all up in my grill (there’s a 3 foot personal circle, strange humans, a ring of My Space/YOUR Space – respect the circle until we know each other) (unless you’re Tom Hiddleston, Gerard Butler, or Ryan Gosling. And then crowd away.)

And people who can’t make a friggin’ decision in the grocery store. Get what you need and move, strangers. MOVE.

29. What Is Your No 1 Question To God?

Why, God, WHY?? (I’m sorry…it’s the first question that pops into my head when someone says “God.”)

30. Do You Have Secrets?

Oh, I have a lot of secrets. For someone who airs her dirty laundry out to dry here regularly, for someone with diarrhea (I always, ALWAYS, have to google how to spell that word – and you UK people with your extra letters in words are NOT helping) of the fingertips, I got a LOT of secrets. You’d be shocked at what I don’t tell you.

I KNOW. I am a still water, that runs quite deep.

31. What Makes You Laugh?

Irreverent, ironic humor. Caustic people. And stuff like this:

32. Are You Happy?

If I had to take a week and ratio it out, I’d say (right now) 2 out of 7 days I’m pretty happy. I’ve got food in my belly, a nice place to live (with a pool), good friends who love me and I love back, a family that just handles its dysfunctions as gracefully as possible, a beautiful/exhausting/silly/smart little girl, and I’m okay. I’m going to be okay. It’s those 4 days where I see something that upsets me, or someone says something that throws me off track, or I check my bank account and get all freaked out, or I want something I can’t have or that’s not right for me…it’s those 5 out of 7 days that are doozies, real doozies, you guys.

My goal, by this time next year, is to be the reverse: 5 out of 7 days happy and content. What is so odd about this is that I thought leaving my marriage would make this happen. What happened is that I found out in many ways I am a lot happier…but there are things going on inside of me that were always an issue, and these are the things I will work on to build a Bionic Amy.

…For the record, when I was little one of my favorite TV shows was the Bionic Woman. I wanted to BE Jaime Sommers. I wrote to Jaime Sommers and told her this when I was 5, and she wrote me back an encouraging letter and sent me a signed picture. Also, Jaime Sommers’ birthday is the same as mine: February 23. I’m pretty sure IT WAS A SIGN. Here’s a conversation from a recent version of that show that is more proof:

Jaime Sommers:

Who are you?

Jonas Bledsoe:

You have fifty million dollars worth of my property inside you, so I guess you could say I’m your landlord.

Jaime Sommers:

What do you want from me?

Jonas Bledsoe:

I don’t know, maybe you died three days ago and you just haven’t realized it yet.

Jaime Sommers:

Is that a threat?

Jonas Bledsoe:

There are no free agents here Miss Sommers. Sooner or later, you’re gonna have to make a choice. It goes something like this: heads, you lose; tails, you die. Welcome to the game.

Fairly certain Jonas Bledsoe is The Universe, talking to all of us.

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