Sometimes, you simply have to throw in the towel on a piece of content and shift gears for a minute. That’s what happened today. The words, parts, and pieces weren’t clicking and so, I waved my white flag and turned to this questionnaire, “50 Questions You Should Answer.” I got the idea from Samantha over at The Samantha Show. She encouraged her readers to answer these 50 questions and since they’re more thought provoking than “what’s your favorite color?”, here we are.
Plus, as my site traffic continues to grow, this is a great way for you all to get to know a little more about me!
- What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?
I don’t have a nickname now, but growing up, both Papa Jim and Papa Clark called me “Sally.” In college, “S Dubb” was a pretty regular thing.
- What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
I just listed a few in my review of Loving Frank, but I’m looking forward to cracking open Grace Not Perfection, You Are a Badass, All The Light We Cannot See, and The Last of the Southern Girls.
- How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?
I catch myself doodling in meetings, particularly my 9AM project meeting. I sketch my name, the studio logo, the Power “T” for Tennessee… At least, that’s what I sketched this morning!
- What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and Turn? Try to get up and do something productive?
I don’t usually have a hard time falling asleep – I tend to be exhausted by the end of the day! – but on the occasional sleepless night, I usually give up after a point and either open up my laptop to write a bit or crack open a book.
- How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it?
Less than one. I like the occasional day to myself, but if you want to see me lose my mind, come find me after I’ve been snowed in past the 24 hour mark. It’s a similar story when I work from home. It’s all fine and well until around three o’clock. That’s when I start wishing the dog would talk back.
- Do you save old greeting cards and letters? Throw them away?
I save 90% of them. Right now, they’re in a box in my closet. I intend to do something with them. I don’t know what. (Any suggestions?!)
Fun fact: Both of my grandmas have gotten me the same birthday card not once, but three times.
- Who is the biggest pack rat you know?
My grandma Myrtle. She knows it. I know it. There are department stores that don’t have as many clothes as that woman does. That said, if you peeked in my closet right now, you would be able to confirm that I am, in fact, her granddaughter. Not a spare hanger to be had…
- When making an entrance to a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost?
I try to find the host as a “I’m here!” sort of thing. I’ve never met a stranger, so once I find the host and say hello, I strike up a conversation with whoever is nearest, whether I know them or not.
- What is your strongest sense? If you had to give one up, which would it be?
It’s certainly not my sight… My vision is terrible. I’d say my best sense is sound. I hear everything. If I had to give one up.. I can’t even begin to make that choice.
- How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror?
Too many. I’m a barre instructor. There are mirrors everywhere.
- What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?
I whole-heartedly believed two things:
1) ALF was real and he was going to eat my cat, Rusty. My dad was really good at throwing his voice, and would say, in ALF’s voice, that he was hungry and ask for Rusty’s whereabouts. I’d lose it. My uncle thought it was hilarious, so he gave me an ALF puppet for my fourth birthday. That puppet, combined with my dad’s voice over abilities, is why I’m terrified of ALF to this very day.
2) I thought Grandma would actually get run over by a reindeer if she walked to our house on Christmas Eve. She lived two houses down and would walk over all the time. I was three. I did the math. Grandma + Christmas Eve = Death By Reindeer. Unlike ALF, I got over that belief.
- What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?
Peanut Butter. I’m not even sorry about the amount of it I eat.
- Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?
My sweet friend Hanna. She’s forever doing small things to show the people in her life how much she appreciates them.
- How often do you read the newspaper? Which paper? Which sections?
I read the Sunday paper when I’m at my grandma’s. I browse the headlines, check out sports, and hit the comics. Otherwise, all of my news comes from The Today Show and Twitter. If Matt and Savannah don’t report it, it didn’t happen.
- Which animals scare you most? Why?
Frogs. I hate frogs. They’re right up there with ALF. They jump. I know – that’s what they are supposed to do. But when I walk up on one of those gross things and they jump… chills.
- Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on?
What’s the happy medium? I’m pretty good at confronting conflict, but in a diplomatic, rational manner. I tend to be able to keep my head about me so I don’t react purely on emotion. I like to step away, think about it, then have a discussion.
- What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savored?
One of the girls I work out with told me “You look so strong” after I finished a set of pull ups. I brushed it off at the time, but it really made me feel good. Especially after pull ups. Pull ups are the devil’s creation.
- What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will?
I have a terrible time owning my own talents. Sometimes I’ll go back and read something I wrote six months or a year ago and be blown away. I’ll think “hey, YOU did that.” And I’ll remember agonizing over every little word because it was “so terrible.” Someday, I’ll accept that I’m a good writer, particularly when telling a story.
- Are you a creature of habit? Explain.
In the biggest way. I have a morning routine and an evening routine. I have certain things I do with Knox every single day. I eat the same foods all week. I made the same salad for lunch for THREE weeks. I intervened on myself this week – turkey burgers and broccoli it is!
- Are you high maintenance? Explain.
I’m mid-maintenance. I had an ex-boyfriend call me “high maintenance” once and I was livid. At the time, I was juggling a full-time job AND a full-time schedule of classes at the local community college, along with the pretty steady babysitting gig. I was just happy with waking up when my alarm went off. I don’t think I’ve ever been more low maintenance than I was that year.
My standard beauty routine is usually dry shampoo and a light application of makeup. I don’t leave the house without earrings and a swipe of mascara, even for a 6AM lifting session. But I’m not going to spend an hour on hair and makeup unless I’m going somewhere special. Otherwise, I’m pretty steady – at least until things get chaotic, and then I spiral into the high maintenance territory.
- When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits?
I push myself pretty hard in the gym four days a week and often leave feeling so good and so physically exhausted. My legs were still shaking while I was making breakfast this morning, thanks to a brutal, yet so good, leg day.
- Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends? Why?
Both. I have a few people I count as my close friends, but I feel like I know half of Charlottesville, and would even call them “friend.”
- Are you more inclined to “build your own empire” or unleash the potential of others?
I’m more inclined to work with others to build our empire. Why have something so great if you can’t share it with great people?
- What’s a strange occurrence you’ve experienced but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone?
I’ve told a few people about this… Several years ago, on the upside of a very bad breakup, I had a vivid dream two nights in a row of a man standing in my bedroom doorway. He was fairly tall, but not really tall. He had longer shaggy brown hair, and green-blue eyes. In my dream, I knew him. I had no idea what his name was or anything else, but I knew him, deep down in my soul. That was all this dream was. Two nights of this man standing in my bedroom doorway. Yet it was the most realistic dream I’ve ever had. I sound kooky – and feel kooky – even writing it, but it felt like a premonition. I’m eager to find out if I marry a man that’s sort of tall with shaggy brown hair and blue-green eyes.
- What do you think about more than anything else?
Right now? “What am I doing with my life?” tends to be the topic I ponder.
- What’s something that amazes you?
There are some stunning sunrises and sunsets around here. When I look at them, I find myself wondering how anyone could not believe in God.
- Do you prefer that people shoot straight with you or temper their words? Why?
Shoot straight with me, people. Let’s not beat around the bush.
- Where’s your favorite place to take an out-of-town guest?
Vineyards, breweries, and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. It’s really the perfect Charlottesville day – tour the house by morning, sit at a vineyard or brewery sipping a beverage and eating food in the afternoon. Carter Mountain in the summer and fall is also a great spot.
- What’s one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself? Why?
My taxes. I’ve done them myself before and I hate it. I’ve never been good with numbers, and there are just so many rules and scenarios, especially when you have several 1099s like I do.
- Do you have a catchphrase?
I say “it’s fine” a lot in a totally sarcastic manner, particularly when I don’t agree with something.
- What’s your reaction towards people who are outspoken about their beliefs? What conditions cause you to dislike or, conversely, enjoy talking with them?
I feel like I’m one of the few people who have remained pretty neutral throughout all of this political “stuff.” I believe everyone has a right to speak to their beliefs. What I don’t like is when they don’t listen to the other side and adopt a “you’re entirely wrong, end of discussion” mentality. I like to debate with people who are clearly educated on a topic they feel passionately about. They didn’t just see a headline on Twitter and decide to take up the cause.
- How and where do you prefer to study?
My studying days are mostly behind me, but I study best when it’s quiet, and I’m sitting at a desk. In college, I learned NOT to go to the library when I had a big test. My friends were there and it turned into social hour. I also can’t have music or the TV on.
- What position do you sleep in?
I sleep on my stomach or on my side. I absolutely cannot fall asleep if I’m on my back.
- What’s your all-time favorite town or city? Why?
U.S. city – Nashville. I love that city with every fiber of my being. It’s so full of creativity, good people, good food… It still has my heart.
International city – London. I’ve always had a love affair with London, then I traveled there and fell completely in love with it, the good, bad, and ugly. I’d move there tomorrow if getting a Visa wasn’t such a hassle.
- What are the top three qualities that draw you to someone new?
Passion, kindness, and a smile. By passion, I don’t mean 50 Shades stuff. I mean that they have a passion for something – music, rock climbing, classic cars… something. People are so beautiful when they talk about something they’re passionate about – just watch them. Their eyes light up and their face brightens.
- How has your birth order/characteristics of siblings affected you?
I don’t know that it has. There are nearly 14 years between the twins and I. I can be a little “mother hen” over them sometimes, but I’m also guilty of advising them of, shall we say, parental workarounds? Nothing that will get them into big trouble, but… What kind of big sister would I be if I didn’t share my worldly advice?
- If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be?
Indecisiveness, particularly when it’s about something big. I can spin my wheels thinking on something for ages, when I usually know exactly what to do in my gut from the get go.
- If you could restore one broken relationship, which would it be?
I’d like to reconnect with some of my high school friends. We’ve all fluttered off to different ends of the earth, but seem to be gravitating back towards our hometown at the moment. Maybe I’ll organize a dinner date.
- If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?
I wouldn’t. I love my name.
- Do you believe ignorance is bliss? Why or why not?
To make an overarching statement, I think America as a whole is under educated. I’ll leave it at that. Otherwise, I’ll get on a soapbox and we don’t have time for that.
- What do you consider unforgivable?
Interesting question… There are some things – like murder, child abuse – that I don’t know that I could forgive. However, there is a lot of power in forgiveness – even if you don’t forget. Something to ponder on.
- Have you forgiven yourself for past personal failures? Why or why not?
Yes. Call me naive, but I feel like everything happens for a reason. If I didn’t make mistakes and have disappointments, I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am right now.
- How difficult is it for you to forgive someone who refuses to apologize?
I guess that would depend on what they did… That’s a tough question to answer.
- Do you hold any convictions that you would be willing to die for?
I can only hope I’m a good enough Christian to die for my faith.
- To what extent do you trust people? Explain
I tend to trust people until they give me a reason not to. I like to think people are innately good. This may prove to be my downfall… I do trust my gut though. If I get a weird vibe from a stranger, for instance, I’ll get myself out of that situation pretty quickly.
- In what area of your life are you immature?
I can get pretty pouty when things don’t go according to plan. Nothing throws me more than my schedule veering too far off schedule. There’s also a rather prominent obsession with Disney, which may play into why I still believe fairytales are real.
- What was the best news you ever received?
My acceptance letter to the University of Tennessee comes to mind.
- How difficult is it for you to be honest, even when your words may be hurtful or unpopular?
Not very. I find things tend to work out better when you’re honest upfront, rather than beating around the bush to avoid hurt feelings. The truth has a way of bubbling to the surface – may as well get it out there and move forward.
- When did you immediately click with someone you just met? Why? What was the long term result? Conversely, are you close with anyone now that you really disliked at first?
Several years ago. I fell in love at first sight. No one will ever be able to convince me that love at first sight isn’t real or possible. We were together for nearly a year and it was great until it wasn’t. We broke up – jerk emailed me… – and it took a long time to get over him. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say, so I know now that he was meant to teach me a lesson, not stick around forever. I ended up stronger for all the heartache he put me through. I’m grateful to him for that.
Although there is a teeny, tiny, itsy bitsy part of me that thinks “SUCKA!” every time I see a photo of him and his new wife on Facebook. Awful, I know.
- When do you find yourself singing?
Pretty much always. Especially in the car where I’m absolutely Carrie Underwood. It’s not uncommon for me to hum to myself while I work. I’ve even sang a couple of lines (badly) while teaching a barre class.
And there we have it – 50 questions you should answer. Samantha encouraged her readers to do the same and let her know if they answered them, so I’m passing along that same challenge to you. Let me know if you take up this Q&A session!