Q: Itâ€™s interesting to me that you describe yourself as someone who loves solitude, yet having met you I see someone who is incredibly easy to talk to, to feel comfortable with, and to get to know. What kinds of situations tend to make you appreciate solitude more than others? And conversely, in what kinds of situations do you feel really more gregarious?
I am and always have been very much an introvert and a loner. I can spend hours wrapped up in own head, thinking, writing, reading, searching, wondering, reflecting. As a child, I wasnâ€™t really into toys (at all) but would stay alone and read. Also as a child, I asked for a calculator for Christmas. The next year I asked for a dictionary and the following year I asked for a thesaurus (my mother had to ask me what that was). These are not exactly toys for a child that wants to be ahem, popular, or social.
I am socially anxious (although few believe this). I push myself HARD to be sociable and friendly and it generally exhausts me. Classic trait of an INFJ personality type. I am also very easily over stimulated. Lots of people, crowds, noise, etc. can send me into massive panic attacks. I had my first attack as a young child. My parents took us to Times Square. The noise, the people, everyone bumping against me walking by, confusion. I literally froze in my tracks and could not move. When faced with those types of environments, I tend to limit myself and make a hasty exit if I feel the anxiety coming on. I consider myself somewhat hypersensitive and as such all the noise, emotions, activity of others seeps into my pores and I get overloaded.
I believe people find me easy to talk to and comfortable because while introverted and socially anxious, I am incredibly accepting. Having been exposed to a great deal of pain in my life,a great deal of empathy and wisdom has come from my despair. I believe that is what people respond to.
Like most people, I am gregarious when I am confident, the subject matter expert in the room. Again, somewhat contrary, I am a good leader. I have excelled in management in my career. Keep in mind I am a Gemini. Gemini can be quite contrary.
Q: As someone who loves language and languages, Iâ€™d love to know more about what got you interested in language, too. Which ones do you speak (or read or write)? When and where did you learn them? Are you studying any languages now?
I am into communications of any form and language is the utmost. I studied Spanish for six years and loved it. I speak it terrible now. If you donâ€™t use it, you lose it. My father in law spoke twelve languages fluently and I was constantly in awe. My husband has the gift but he is better with voices and accents. I really would like to learn Esperanto. The idea of a universal language intrigues me.
I know some Swedish, German (German and Austrian varieties), Afrikaans, Polish. I donâ€™t speak any fluently. Would love to. My husband and I hosted foreign au pairs as a choice of childcare for many years. I just LOVED learning about their cultures, language, customs and more.
Naturally, working in communications professionally, I am constantly faced with HOW to get the message across, HOW to enable an â€œahaâ€ moment, how to get people to understand. Again, language, words, pictures, you name it.
Q:You are probably the most prolific blogger I have ever met. The volume of writing you accomplish, and the depth of the individual posts, the discipline of your writing, are amazing. I admire â€“ and truth be told, envy â€“ your ability to write post after post, essay after essay, that nail their points and touch your readers. How do you do it?
Guh. I donâ€™t know? The stuff just comes out of me. I have to get it out. Words run around in my head like a swarm of bees and I must get the them out. Thank you for the compliments. I have always been a writer. Always expressed myself better in writing than in person. In person, I get nervous, overthink, trip on my own tongue, talk too fast, etc.
My blog is very raw and unedited. I do wish I had more time to improve the quality, and such. Writing is clearly my passion. My adoption blog probably is one of my better venues as the saying goes â€œwrite what you knowâ€. I know the pain of adoption trauma and as such I am sure that comes through.
Q: What kind of jewelry do you make? Can you share some pictures? Iâ€™d love to see some of your work.
Ha. Susan asked the same question. I do beaded work mainly. I have occasionally got into some metal work but ended up burning my hair with a soldering iron. I tend to avoid it. Pictures? Sure. I can dig some up. I had an entire album at one point. Itâ€™s great for holidays and gift giving and I do sell my stuff at the occasional craft fair here or there. Here is a few samples: bracelet, another bracelet, a simple set, earrings, simple necklace, turqouise, and a watch.
Q: When I met you and your sons this spring, I was impressed by how respectful they were, but even more by their self-confidence. These are qualities that every parent would like to help their children develop, but not all of us succeed. What are things youâ€™ve done as a parent that you believe have most contributed to nurturing these qualities in your sons? How would you describe your parenting style generally?
Aww, thank you. But I must agree. I am blessed with truly wonderful sons. They are very good boys. My oldest son, the old soul, is one of the most caring, sensitive, mature boys his age. He is great with younger children. Everyone adores him and I hear that all the time â€“ often from complete strangers. My youngest son is a bit more emotional (like his mother) where my oldest is like his father — even keeled. As for parenting? Hmmm. I donâ€™t know. Seriously.
They have been so easy. I can tell you that I am extremely respectful of their feelings but not so much that I am a â€œfriendâ€ or a pushover. Equal amounts of firmness and caring. I must also seriously give credit to our childcare providers over the years. Again, we hosted foreign au pairs. Young women between the ages of 18 and 26. We were very lucky to get matched with very mature, responsible, caring young woman that fit well into our family. They deserve as much credit, if not more, as my husband and I do for the type of children we have. They would often spend more time with them than we did during the work week.
I also keep myself very aware of my own youth and childhood and what I liked and disliked. I remind myself of what hurt my feelings, where I felt neglected and try be mindful of those things with my sons (and my daughter too!).
Finally, my husband is a truly wonderful father. Boys need a good male role model and my husband spends a significant amount of time with them. My husband did not have a close relationship with his own father and like me, he learned from his own childhood and tries to give his sons what he did not get.