** I will be in Charlotte, North Carolina this Friday, August 21st. Anyone in the area is invited to join me at a very happy Happy Hour at Roosters in the South Park area. I will be arriving there around 4:30 in the afternoon and I may not leave until closing. If you need more details please email me at TwentyFourAtHeart@yahoo.com **
A few years back, Neil from Citizen of the Month began a massive project called The Great Interview Experiment. The idea was for writers from all over the blogosphere, regardless of fame or stature, to take turns interviewing each other. The person who was scheduled to interview me disappeared like a puff of smoke before fulfilling her commitment. As it turns out, her disappearance worked to my advantage. One of my favorite Twitter friends, Mo, from One Ping Only jumped in and filled the gap.
What follows are questions sent to me by Mo (in bold print) and my answers. Thank you Mo for taking the time to form such well thought out questions!
1. You've written on your blog about how the car accident three years ago completely changed your life. The time since has been filled with pain, challenges and terrifically difficult changes. Not to diminish that part of the experience in the least, but have there been any positives that came out of it?
Yes. I'll be honest though and say I couldn't name a single positive thing the first two years. It was a very bleak time in my life. Now, however, the positives are not only showing up, but multiplying. The biggest positive has been all the wonderful people I now have in my life as a result of Twenty Four At Heart. I never would have begun the blog if I weren't going through my accident recovery.
I've met people here in Orange County because of my writing. I've met people all over the world because of it. Some of you I've only met virtually, but as time goes on I meet more and more of you in person too. It brings me unbridled joy.
Second, I'm now doing something I've loved to do my entire life. I'm writing. One of my friends told me, "This has always been inside you and now you have the opportunity to live it." It's true. Writing brings me a type of fulfillment that nothing else does. I've been writing my entire life, but now it's in a forum I love.
I'm a very lucky person.
2. What is the biggest or most surprising thing you have learned about yourself throughout this post-accident experience?
Oh, this is a hard one. I don't want to be negative or overly dramatic, but I've been to hell in a way few people ever have. Seriously. And I survived it. I look back at the worst of it and I honestly don't know how I got through it. I did, however, and I'm in a better place now. I don't think of myself as a strong person because I was clinging by my fingernails and barely holding on through the worst days and months. The fact that I did hold on, however, I suppose shows I'm stronger than I think. I guess I'm surprised I found the inner strength to get through it.
3. You went on a zip line earlier this year. What is the next challenging adventure you'd like to undertake?
The zip line in the St. Lucia rain forest was so fun! I was high on endorphins after having accomplished it. I loved the jet skis in Hawaii. Jet skiing with two working arms is no big deal. Jet skiing for me, however, was really painful and difficult. I definitely want to do it again many times in the future though. Hopefully my arm will improve and it won't result in such high pain levels next time.
I know it sounds odd, but I miss gardening. It would be a huge accomplishment for me if I could ever do it again. I'd also give anything to be able to lift a full si
ze camera again. I miss photography. For now, my point and shoot camera is fine. As simple as they sound, for me, activities like that are challenging. Gardening and photography are two activities I'd love to be able to do again someday. I actually think I'd start crying if I could accomplish either. I would be so thrilled.
4. You seem to enjoy traveling a great deal and have been to many places. Where is your favorite place to vacation?
I hate to fly. I hate to travel. I love BEING places though! I love the city of Heidelberg in Germany and I would love to return there sometime. I love visiting New York City. My first choice of vacation spots though is usually someplace warm and tropical. I'm not a cold weather person at all. Hawaii is one of my favorite spots. Kauai is my favorite island, but for some reason I usually end up on the island of Maui.
5. What country have you not yet been to that you want to visit?
I'm dying to get to both Australia and New Zealand. My dream is to take about six weeks (three weeks for each country) to explore. I hope to do this once my youngest starts college so it's a ways off still. I also need to win the lottery between now and then in order to make it happen!
6. Aside from the obvious things to love about living in Orange County, what do you love most about living there?
Crashing the Swinger's parties and taking blackmail photos.
Ahem. Just kidding.
I can't imagine living somewhere and not being able to see the ocean whenever I want. I don't care much about sunbathing on a beach but I need to be able to walk and see the water. I need to hear the waves crashing and smell the salt air. It's a huge part of who I am. The mountains, the palm trees, the weather – all of that's great too. Even the extraordinarily insane people here are fun(ny). It's all a matter of not taking the affluent lifestyle seriously and having a good laugh at the expense of those who do.
7. What is your favorite kind of cuisine to treat yourself to when you're eating out?
I love food (as evidenced by my fat ass). What I like just depends on my mood. I like spicy food. Chinese and Thai are two favorites. We have great Mexican food in Southern California too.
8. Aside from me (of course), who would you have liked to spend more time with at BlogHer in Chicago?
I was really bummed you and I never had the opportunity to sit down and talk in Chicago. It was so crazy and chaotic there. Next year we need to sneak away for a drink.
I don't know if there is one person. I read a ton of writers and I just wanted to meet as many as possible. I'm very, very, shy in group situations so that part was difficult for me. I did better when I could run off with just a couple friends at a time.
I consider Neil a good friend and I was happy I had the opportunity to hang out with him a lot. I got to rub boobs with Mr. Lady and have a little chat with Redneck Mommy too. I have no complaints. In that type of chaos it's hard to get a lot of time with any ONE person. Next year I'll do a little more pre-planning and hopefully improve even more on the experience. (I'll bring a flask to help ease me over my shyness too!)
9. Just between us 😉 wh
at is one secret guilty pleasure you indulge in?
If I told you it wouldn't be a secret anymore, would it? Especially if I told you here on 24 with thousands of ears listening in! (Shhhh! I have a crush on my rabbit!)
10. Finally, if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
I don't know a lot about trees. What immediately comes to mind are the oak trees in the canyon behind my house. Those trees have survived through 100 mph Santa Ana winds. They've survived through wildfires and earthquakes. They've hung in there through all sorts of shit and they still stand there slightly battered but sturdy, enduring, and proud. I think I have a lot in common with those oak trees.
© Twenty Four At Heart