Tuesday, November 27, 2007

You asked - Part 2 - The Inner Me Edition

Today I answer some more of your questions. I answered the first batch here and had so much fun answering all your silly questions. But you all had more than just silly questions, you had some pretty deep ones too. In today's post, I'm digging into what makes me...well...me.

Frigga asked:

"What are your thoughts on the lottery?"

I don’t give the lottery much thought, actually. I’m one of those people that says “Oh, I’d love to win the lottery”, but knows I never will, mostly because I don’t play. Haha. Seriously, though, I don’t play because I’m not a lucky person when it comes to gambling, or winning things. I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve won anything based on luck. If it is a prize based on talent, knowledge, trivia, or accomplishing a specific task, then I have as good a chance (if not better depending on the challenge at hand) as most people. But if it is a prize based solely on luck of the draw, count me out. I’ll go to a casino with a group of 6 friends, for example, and I will bring my allotted $50 (I never spend more, it is not worth it). Within the hour, my $50 will be gone, and I’ll be benched, watching everyone else play. My friends, be who they may, will invariably come home having tripled their money, I’ll come home empty handed. I will walk in a store with two other people and we’ll each buy a scratch ticket…they’ll both win, I will not. I am one of the only people I know who’s been to Vegas, seriously enjoyed herself, and spent less than $10 actually gambling. And most of that was spent on the nickel slots while waiting for my free drinks. Seriously, I don’t win at things. Therefore, I don’t play. I might as well open my car window while I’m driving and fling the dollar bills out as I go. Same return. Once in a blue moon, if the lottery prize is large enough, I’ll give in and buy a ticket. I think I do this mostly so I can participate in the “what would I do with the money?” conversations. But I’m not a gambler, and thankfully, I don’t have an addictive personality, so I don’t feel the need to keep trying. Besides my personal feelings about myself gambling? My feelings are that if you can afford the tickets, and it makes you happy to fantasize you will win, then by all means, have at it. Somebody’s got to win it, right? I don’t have many thoughts on the political repercussions of the lottery. It’s just not something I’ve given much thought to.

She also asked: "Would you be more, or less, stressed out if cell phones didn't exist?

I’m not sure. I’d probably be more stressed, because as I mentioned in Fun Monday a few weeks ago, my cell phone has become a sort of security blanket for me. Being that I am single, and spend a large portion of my time alone, my cell phone gives me a certain sense of security. I’m never completely alone as long as my cell is with me. If I’m feeling unsafe, I call someone to keep them on the phone with me and keep me company until that feeling passes. If I’m lost, or the car breaks down, I call for help. If something interesting happens, I can have someone to share it with instantly on the other end of the line. If I’m feeling lonely, the cell phone, and whoever I call, can keep me company. If some freak is trying to talk to me, I can grab the phone and appear distracted, so they leave me alone…I’ve even been known to fake a conversation with my non-existent husband or boyfriend, to ward off unwanted attention. Therefore, for me, my cell phone offers a level of comfort. My cell does not stress me out. If I don’t want to be reached, I turn it off, or I don’t answer it. It’s easy. The only time cell phones may add stress to my life is when others are using theirs in ways that irk me. As in, when store clerks are too busy talking about their sex lives with their friends on their cell phones, and don’t notice that they’ve rung up my shoes twice, or when the idiot behind me in traffic is so into his conversation that he almost drives into me as I stop at a stop sign. Or by far, the biggest cell phone pet peeve, the inconsiderate jerks who insist on using their cell phones in a movie theatre. But for the most part, I ignore these idiots, and don’t let them get the best of me. And for me, the benefits of having a cell phone, far outweigh the negatives. The thought of losing my cell phone now that I’ve become accustomed to having one…oooh, yeah, my blood pressure just went up a bit…

Julia asked a fantastic question:

Have you ever suffered from anxiety? Or do you have a phobia?

I’ve never suffered from anxiety. Like most people, I’ve had moments of high anxiety, and even slight panic attacks, but never anything that would qualify as anxiety in the clinical sense. As far as phobias, however, I have two major ones, neither of which really fit into any actual “named phobias”. I have this unreasonable fear of “ledges”. It’s not exactly a fear of heights, because I can be in high places, and as long as there’s a fence, a window, a barrier of some sort, I’m okay. My fear is more a fear of falling over a high edge. It doesn’t even have to be that high either. If I sit on a wall, say a 6 foot wall, and someone makes a sudden movement, that panic feeling, quickening heart beat, breath catching, hands sweaty feeling, instantly overtakes me. And it’s not with just me either. I remember going to the grand canyon and I was having mild panic attacks watching others stand so close to the edge…the fear of them falling over was overwhelming. It's a strange phobia to suffer, because it's not limited to your typical "scary" locales, I can sufferit at any time, anywhere there is some sort of "edge" someone could lean over...scary. By the way, I wrote the answer to this question last week, and then I went to bed, and proceeed to have an extremely frightening dream about exactly this fear. I even wrote a poem about it for last week's "Writer's Island".

My other fear is harder to explain. It has to do with water, but it’s not exactly a fear of drowning. I can swim, be out in open water, in a pool or the ocean, in a boat, and I’m not afraid of water, I’m not afraid of drowning. My fear is very specific…I cannot in any way shape or form stick my head under water. This does not include running water, such as showers, but still water. Whether it be the ocean, a pool, or my bathtub, I cannot stick my head under water. I just can’t do it. There is no talking me into it. There is no holding my hand and telling me you are right there…there is NO Way. I panic immediately and hyperventilate. But the minute I lift my head up, I’m fine. I can float on my back with my ears in the water, no problem. I can even snorkel with goggles on and something to breathe out of (though that took some doing), but sticking my head under water and letting go of that control? CAN’T DO IT, WON’T DO IT. This stems from being thrown off an inner-tube when I was a child and getting stuck under it for a few moments (seconds really), but I just cannot do it. I don’t’ think I’m going to drown, I don’t think anything bad will happen, it is not rational, it just is.

And LilMouse(Jill) really made me think with her request: Tell me 5 fundamental things that make up your life/character, etc.

Wow. That’s quite a question. Fundamental, basic, essential, that’s a loaded question.

1. Easily the first one is family. I would not be anything if it were not for my family. Everything I have accomplished, everything I believe in, everything I am, has its roots in my family and my upbringing. I have the two most amazing parents a person could ask for. Life was not always perfect, and our relationships were not always as solid as they are today, but they have always had my brother and I, and our futures, at the forefront of everything they’ve done. Now that I’m an adult, my parents are my friends, my mother, without question, my best friend. My relationship with them, with my brother, and on a lesser level, with other members of my extended family, is at the root of my purpose for being.
2. My independence. I think something that really defines my character is my ability to be alone. Unlike most of my female friends I don’t mind being alone. In fact, I sort of thrive on it at times. It brings me a certain amount of strength to know that I CAN be alone, and be okay with that. It’s not just being alone in terms of not having a man in my life, it’s the ability to be alone in general. To live alone, to shop alone, to travel alone, but to not feel lonely. To make decisions about my future, such as buying my own place, alone. To figure out how to fasten a bracelet or zip up a dress without someone to help me. Bit things, little things, all signs of my independence, all make up an essential element of my character.
3. My relationship with people. On the flip side, another fundamental characteristic of mine is the ease in which I make friends. I will talk to anyone, young, old, male, female. I have made some amazing friends in the strangest of places, on a train for example. I think I can be highly approachable, so it makes it easy for folks to open up to me. Complete strangers will tell me their lifes woes, or their greatest successes, and I don’t mind either, I’ll listen, I’ll advise, I’ll celebrate with them. I truly feel that “people person” is a fantastic way to describe me, I love people, and am comfortable around them, love to study them, get to know them, be part of their lives.
4. My creativity. Whether it’s writing, taking pictures, or just putting together outfits, creativity is a huge part of who I am. I don’t do anything without trying to add some sort of creative flair to it, and I’m known by friends and family as the one who can add a little extra special “something” to a letter, an outfit, a gift.
5. My faith. I’m not a highly religious person, but I’m a supremely spiritual person. Without getting too deeply with my issues with organized religion, I’ll just tell you that for the most part, it doesn’t work for me. That said, I believe in God, and have a faith that travels with me no matter where I am. I see God in everything I lay my eyes on. I’m one of those people that can see the colors on the leaves of a tree and be amazed at God’s touch. Without my faith, I’m not really sure how I’d make it through life, and am thankful I don’t have to find out. I don’t preach, and very rarely do I even discuss my faith with others, unless the topic comes up, but I live it every day, and it shapes who I am in every way.

And there you have it. Thank you all for your very insightful questions. I still have about 10 more of your questions to answer...stay tuned, I'm working on those.


Jill said...

ack i didnt mean for it to be complicated, sorry if it was! i feel the same way about lottery or gambling. that's really funny! why WOULD a cell phone stress someone out? unless its the idiot turning left into your lane because they're not looking where they are going because they're on their phone. idiots. umm yeah. and i agree with you on faith, i mean i go to church when we're back home, we havent found one here yet, but i see god's touch everywhere! and that is so great!

Anonymous said...

Check out the update at my place. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I can not put my head under water either.
And everyone gets on me for it.
They just don't understand why I can't - and I can;t really explain it either - but I can't.
Enjoyed the post.
Waving at you from New York

Rebecca said...

Very good answers! I had forgotten I asked those. And the ledge thing I totally get, the water thing kinda strange. Of course I have some unfounded fears that others would consider strange too. ;-)

qualcosa di bello said...

your description of your fear of the head-under-water thing made a feeling of panic rise within me...i immediately thought of my absolute, unexplanable fear of being in total darkness. i developed the fear as an adult & cannot connect it to anything rational. i guess we all have something...

& cell phones...i like mine very very much...but what i like better is that my young, beautiful, single daughters have them for the reasons you described!

it is so cool to get to know you through these snippets!

Anonymous said...

Wow, those were some intense questions.

I'm so with you on the lottery/gambling things. I hate feeling like I'm throwing money away. Proably because I'm so...er...frugal.

Miss Frou Frou said...

Finally getting around to playing blog catch up and have enjoyed reading your posts over the last month.

I too am unreasonably afraid of falling... again not a height thing, as I can stand at a lookout or even go on a plane - I just can't look over the edge, or have someone lean against a window high up. I once had to crawl across a landing space on my hands and knees as there was no guard rail, even though the landing was probably 10 feet wide!

I think in a previously life I was thrown or fell over a cliff - probably the sweet, virginal sacrifice to the gods - yeah right!

Jill said...

i also meant to post about the ledge/edge thing but my internet was being pissy. i so hate the slow camera pan overs of big city buildings looking down from like a helicopter that they do on all the crime shows. it freaks me out. i lived on the top floor of the "dorms" for 4 years with no issue. but dont let me dream aobut someone on the edge of a building. i will NOT be able to go back to sleep. ick!