True, my friend Jenna of Put A Date On It nominated me, but I am happy to have received my first blog award — The Liebster Award! This is an award given to blogs that are new/have fewer than 3000 followers. Frankly, I am happy anyone is reading my blog. Thanks all of you out there who take a part of your day to read my ramblings. It makes me happy to know people are interested in my observations, thoughts, and expressions. Or maybe you just scan through the pictures. That’s OK too.
Here is my shiny award!
The rules for the award are:
- Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog. (Thank you, Jenna! Thank you for being my friend and making my day with an award.)
- Link back to the blogger who awarded you. — Done!
- Copy & Paste the award to your blog. — Done!
- Nominate 5 blogs to receive the award who have less than 3000 followers. — See below.
- Inform them of their nomination by leaving comment on their blog. — Give me a couple of days, will ya?
- Answer the questions you were given. — See below for the exciting answers to great questions.
A. Put A Date On It – Yes, Jenna nominated me, but this woman is insightful and honest, and raw, and funny. And, she has brought out a side of another friend of mine I never thought existed. It’s wonderful to read about how they are growing together. I respect her willingness to share so much of herself online. Not sure I have the courage to do that (yet?).
B.The Learning Curve — Larry and I knew each other in grad school. We have a lot in common. We are both still nerds and love the intellectual side of education/educational theory, and prefer to focus on its practical applications. We are both data nerds. Only difference is, he actually writes about all this stuff so others can benefit from his thinking. Oh, and he makes musical instruments. What’s not to love about this blog?
C. The Grand Narrative: It’s a great blog about really cool stuff – feminism, sexuality, body image – while living in Korea. Academic nerds unite! See more about this great blog in my answer to Question #1 below.
Jane In Mersin: A funny observant Aussie living as an expat wife in Turkey. She finds humor in the mundane. I love that.
Lil Bastard and Me: One of my best friends. One of the most courageous women you will ever meet. She doesn’t post often, but when she does you will learn what it’s like to live in extreme chronic pain and still somehow find the energy to make others smile. I love her.
My questions to them:
- Where do you want to go next?
- How have you changed in the past two years?
- If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
- Favorite meal?
- Why do you blog?
- What is your favorite post that you have written (please provide the link)?
- What’s your fantasy job?
- If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be (and why)?
- What is your “theme song”?
- What can always make you smile?
My questions and answers:
- Your favorite blog EVER (doesn’t even matter if it’s a biggie)
The Grand Narrative. It takes all my interests and rolls them into one! It’s about feminism, sexuality, pop culture, sexual health – all from a different cultural perspective (Korea). I find it fascinating that a male professor writes it too; I’m sorry I didn’t try harder to meet him while I was living there. I appreciate what he chooses to write about; sexuality education, dating, trafficking, sex work, K-pop, body image – no topic is off limits. It would be neat to be able to do something like this is a country where I am living, but here in Oman? I wouldn’t have much to say. And if I tried to say anything, I might get in trouble.
- Cat or dog person, and why?
I’m going to go with dog person, though I grew up with both. To me, dogs are usually better companions and I have more fun with them. That said, I am not really in a place in my life where I am able to have a dog because they require a lot of time. My dog, Brody, was my true companion for over 11 years; one of his nicknames was Mr. Needy because he craved constant attention and love. I enjoyed giving it to him, but it did make travelling very difficult and as a result, I ended up putting my wanderlust on hold for that time. Will I ever be in a place where I am able to have a dog again? I want the answer to be both yes and no; at some point I will need to make that decision. Just not yet.
- Happiest moment?
I don’t have one defining moment here. I am happiest when I am with friends. We are laughing, talking, enjoying happy hour, perhaps playing a game, singing karaoke, but in general we are just kicking back and loving life in that moment. I can feel how happy everyone is just being together. Sometimes, I step back and think, “This is the best.” And I mean it. Those are the moments I adore. I have the best friends in the world.
- How did you come back from a low point in your life?
I’m not sure. I think it was just gradual healing. One year, I lost five people in four months. All the people gone were gone too soon; lives taken in surprise, on purpose, through tragedy. I stopped caring about the loss; I was too empty to care, to grieve. I hid from others, stopped crying. I plodded along every day in a daze of nothing and then, slowly, gradually, it became easier to enjoy who and what still existed in my immediate environment.
- Favorite sound?
The sound of the approaching subway in Toronto. I grabbed a drink with a woman I only met once and we discovered our mutual love for the subway system. She leaned in intensely and asked me if I smelled, felt, heard, or saw the subway first. It was one of the best questions I have ever been asked, for I believe that waiting for the subway is a beautiful visceral experience. I think I feel it first, the whoosh of the air pulling into the tunnel. Then I hear it. The smell is always there.
- Your trashy, go-to, in an airport, magazine?
Us. I am at the point where I don’t even know who any of the celebrities are, but I love checking out the fashion stuff and reading movie and TV reviews.
- Worst habit?
I beat myself up a lot for making trivial mistakes, then I let the feeling grow into something bigger than it really is. I try really hard not to judge people, but I am bad at not judging myself. I’m working on changing this habit, but my brain just naturally goes into this mode. It’s hard to stop once I’ve entered the vortex.
- Why do you blog?
To help document my travels (both literal and figurative). I’ve been to nine different countries in the last year. That’s incredible. I love being able to say that and I want to remember all the places and experiences I’ve had. I’m also dealing with a lot of person growth (see, for example, Question 7 above). Typing is far easier than handwriting, and I HATE speaking into recorders, so the computer has been my medium to record my thoughts. Friends and family requested that I share things with them too, so a blog seemed the logical solution. I used to keep a journal in addition to the blog, but that has fallen by the wayside recently. I want to fix that, because I am finding that I am writing differently for my blog than I do when I am writing just for myself (I’m a lot less open here). The other thing I’ve noticed is that I don’t have a consistent writing style. It’s not intentional, but I sort of wish my voice were more consistent. I’d like to develop a writing personality that I am comfortable with. Maybe I will find one someday.
- Favorite artist? (Any medium.)
What are you trying to do, kill me over here? Choose only one? Never! I adore Georgia O’Keefe. And Neil Finn. Both are artistically sensual in ways that make me swoon.
- What can always make you smile?
My partner. Especially when he isn’t trying to make me smile. When he does try, it works too. He’s going to hate reading this, but it’s true. So there. Sitting quietly and taking deep meditative breaths is also effective, but that’s not nearly as fun. The Blues Brothers works, too.