Let’s Play “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me”

I really enjoy the different memes that include a “tell us 10 things we didn’t know about you“. I don’t care about the bulk of the memes, but I’ve had tons of fun discovering quirks and fun tidbits about different bloggers over the years.

I kept asking myself “what would I share if I were to do this?“. I’m pretty open and personal in my writing (At first I tried to not be, but that didn’t work out. I guess it’s just in my nature to get all personal and awkward and stuff.) so it was hard to find things that I hadn’t already written about. On the gaming blog, I’ve often talked about my eternal schooling, my extreme shyness, my Rocky Mountain adventures, my traveling, my MS and my paradoxical fascination with interpersonal (and especially romantic) relationships, despite having so little interest in them for myself. I’ve even talked a bit about my weird childhood growing up “behind (cultural/linguistic) enemy lines. What could there be left to say?

Not to mention that a post like this is incredibly narcissistic. But I suppose that’s what blogs are, and what this blog is – shrines to ourselves. Others can visit, or not visit, as they please.

So there I went and found 10 things I hadn’t really talked about on the blogs, or things that I had hinted to but never went into detail, or things that I had talked about, but not in the right light. It ended up being a really fun experience, even at the personal level. I think I discovered some things about myself!

1- I love to sing. I’m always singing around the house, in the car, or even at work if no one’s around. I also like to take songs apart and imagine different interpretations. Sadly, my singing sounds something like a cross between a crow and a cat dying, so a personal music career isn’t in the cards. It’s a shame really, because I have great vocal stamina. I can sing all the way to Edmonton (3 hours) without getting hoarse. Once I even sang almost the entire way home from Calgary (7 hours).

2- When I was a kid I wanted to be a space biologist. There was no such thing at the time, but I’m from a generation who was constantly told that their future job didn’t exist yet. My dreams were squashed years later, however, when I discovered I hated lab work. Hated it. To this day, I still fly into a rage at the smell of formaldehyde. So, no biologist, space or otherwise, career for me. Maybe 30 years from now there will be need for a space pharmacist. I’ll be the first to apply!

3- I’ve always thought of my having MS as a blessing. I was especially fortunate about being diagnosed as a teenager. It taught me to make the most of the moment while being ready for the worst. I do all the things I want to do while I still can, but I’m also hugely anal about having good insurance and intelligent savings should I take a turn for the worst (or should something else go wrong). I’m also pretty excellent at managing symptoms, especially the fatigue and the pain, because I don’t really know any different. And it gives me lots of things to be proud of. I’ve done 10 years of college/university at four different schools, I’ve been a university cheerleader, I’ve done plenty of dance shows, I taught skiing for years, I do difficult mountain hikes on a regular basis, I’ve backpacked solo across three countries, I managed a pharmacy right out of school, all while juggling MS symptoms and flare ups.

4- I like swings. You know, like swings in the park. When I was little, my daddy built me a playground in our backyard. When I was around 9, I decided to start using the swings a few times a day. Somehow I got addicted and even as a grown up, I still go to the swings for a few hours a week. It’s a real addiction. If I go too long without, I get nervous, spacy and cranky. And when I get to swing after a long spell without, it feels divine. Hey, some people are addicted to smoking, some people to drinking, some people to porn… A swing addiction is pretty harmless in comparison! And it gives me epic biceps (True story! Ask me to show you sometime.) I’ve had a few swing-related injuries (a broken wrist, a few broken vertebrae, some sprains and a lot of destroying the skin on my hands), but for the most part it’s a great way to enjoy being outdoors, clear your head, make up stories and listen to music.

5- I like sorting things. I’m not exactly sure why, but I really, really, really like sorting things. As a kid, I usually didn’t play with toys the usual way. Instead I’d sort them and re-sort them. Legos, crayons, dolls, cards, Halloween candy – nothing escaped my love of sorting! Later on, in high school I did basic algebra equations and chemistry balancing equations (also a type of sorting!) for fun, the way other people do crosswords for fun. (Only basic stuff though – calculus was borderline enjoyable and anything beyond that didn’t do anything for me.) Sorting just gives me this overwhelming pleasure. Contrarily to what others speculate to me, it’s not about the end result. When sorting something for fun, I’ll usually just mess it up again so I can re-sort it. It’s the action of sorting itself that makes me happy.

6- I can’t recognize faces. The term, which I learned while doing my psych degree, is prosopagnosia. I think most documented cases describe a result of brain trauma, but I think I may have a hereditary form. My dad and one of my brothers also have trouble with that sort of thing. I generally recognize people based on their hair. And yes, that causes embarrassing scenarios whenever someone gets a drastic haircut. Worse, if I don’t get the chance to really look at a new person’s hair, I won’t recognize them at all when I see them again. Which can lead to awkward situations given my line of work! I also tend to stare at peoples faces a lot because every time I look, it’ll seem different. I try to not let that show. Apparently people get creeped out by face staring.

7- I like learning for learning. About all sorts of things. If I were to go back to school, I’d have a hard time choosing between post-grad pharmacy, Disaster Management, Linguistic Anthropology, International Development and Sound Engineering. All such interesting fields! I get all panicky whenever I think of all the things I want to learn about and how little time I have to learn them all.

8- I’m oblivious about my body. For a long time I didn’t really know what I looked like. I mean, I would look in the mirror and know it was me, but the second I looked away, I’d forget. When I’d draw self portraits for school as a kid, I’d usually draw a shapeless blob with yellow hair. (And I don’t even have yellow hair!) As a teenager I was probably the only girl who didn’t struggle with body image. I didn’t have a body image to struggle with. I didn’t really care either. I’ve worked on it a lot (now that I have a relatively high profile job, I have to go clothes shopping more) but I still have trouble knowing what my face looks like (possibly related to #6). I’m also pretty oblivious to what my body is feeling. I wreck socks and shoes all the time from walking until my feet bleed and I’ve had a number of relatively serious injuries that I didn’t notice until much later. I guess I’m always so captivated by my thoughts that my body just seems so boring in comparison.

9- I find personal finance super interesting. Larger scale economics make my eyes glaze over, but anything that involves personal investments, interests rates, bank accounts, heck even taxes, has me riveted. Last time I had an appointment with my financial adviser (as if having a financial adviser despite not being rich wasn’t odd enough), I brought a spreadsheet. Normal people go to their banks with spreadsheets, right? I joke that it’s my parents fault. When I was a teenager, it was a trend in my region for parents to open conversations about uncomfortable topics by hiding books in their kids rooms. All my friends got “Your Body and You”-type books. I got “Personal Investing for Canadians”. Instead of giving me a car for my 16th birthday, my parents brought me to the bank and helped me start my first RRSP. At the time I found it hilarious (to an extent, I still do), but now that I’m an adult who sees so many, so many friends (and especially women!) struggle financially, I’m incredibly thankful that my parents taught me about money management early on. (And I blame my lack of interest in romantic relationships on not getting my copy of “Your Body and You”.)

10- I’ve always wanted to adopt. Preferably internationally for my first. I wouldn’t mind adopting a Canadian child with special needs as a second child. While I could be talked into having my own, I feel no real desire to, at least not at the moment. My maternal instinct is pretty strong and I love any child (or any person or creature, really, I love volunteering at hospitals, senior homes and animal shelters) who needs me. (I’m sometimes asked whether I could have my own kids if I wanted to and I have no idea. I’ve never tried! However, I really doubt I could be capable of a long term partnership with another adult – it’s not in my nature – and I don’t like the idea of sperm donors, not unless it’s a last resort, which could sort of qualify as not being able to have children the traditional way.) I dream of a big family, but given my likelihood of being a single working mother, I doubt that will happen. I definitely want a multicultural family, though. I grew up, sort of by accident, in a multicultural situation and I desperately want that for my own children. I want them to be curious about the world, I want them to not be afraid of language barriers, I want them to understand how cultures work and how they all express the same humanity, but in different circumstances.

And there we have it! 10 things about me.

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