I write about my life – the good, the bad, the ugly, and the just plain hilarious. It occurred to me that I don’t always talk about myself, and it is not a natural thing for me to do. I find it difficult to answer questions in interviews where I am essentially bragging about my own skills (something I am learning to get over with each interview). I also did a little Q&A with the kids, an idea from Facebook, and want to share their answers, too. For now, I thought I would start with my Q&A. Maybe you will learn something new about me, or maybe you will realize just how well you know me! It’s fun, silly, and a good exercise in self-study. So away we go:
Do you have a nickname?
This seems strange, but I really do not. When I was growing up, no one every called me anything but Rachel. I had the nickname of “The Queen” when I was a baby/toddler, but that was just from my family. My mom drummed it into my head that I was not be called “Rach” because it bothered her, and this carried over into adulthood. What is strange is that if someone calls me that now, it is only acceptable from females. When a male says that name, it drives me crazy.
What is your favorite time of year?
This is difficult, since I love Christmas. If I have to pick a time of year, it would have to be autumn. All my favorite things happen during this time, my birthday is in October, the weather is fantastic, and pumpkin makes a huge comeback. Before you ask, I despise Pumpkin Spice lattes, so I’m not so basic, but I do love to eat anything pumpkin. Football season, sweater/boot weather, and autumn colors always make me happy.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I changed my mind constantly and am still not 100% sure what I want to do with my life! I remember wanting to be President, a figure skater, a writer, a nurse, and a fashion designer at different points. I’ve been in different positions with moving frequently, but I know that I love customer service.
Where is your favorite place you have ever been?
Ugh, so challenging. I always tell people that my favorite American city is Seattle. I loved living in Washington, and I loved going to Seattle for the day. The people, the food, the markets, the atmosphere, the gloomy weather, and all the coffee! My other favorite city was London. I swear, I was born in the wrong country – I love all things British. We spent so much time eating, sightseeing, and learning. It was one of the best trips we ever took, and I would love to go back again (and again, and again).
What five foods could you not live without?
Again, so challenging! I love trying new things and finding ways to cook the things I love, and there are not many foods I do not like. If I had to survive on only five things, they would be coffee, apples, water, parmesan cheese, and good bread. If you were to look in my kitchen on any given day, you would find all of these there.
Name something you would change about yourself:
I would change my low self-esteem. There are many things I feel completely confident about – I am a good mother, wife, and person. I am smart and dedicated. On the other hand, there are things that I always beat myself up over. I feel extreme guilt for mistakes, slights against others, or choices that turned out poorly. I always hate how I look and chastise myself for eating anything unhealthy, even though I hate dieting. I overthink all my decisions because I want it to be right (see guilt above). If I could change anything, I would wish for all those insecurities and negative critiques to just go away. I work on it constantly, but it would be great to have a magic wand to wish it all away.
Name something you are afraid of:
I am terrified of death. I truly do not wish to ever die, simply because I am scared of what happens after death and what will happen to my family/friends/the world after I am dead. I am not vain enough to feel that my presence on this earth is necessary for the success of the world, but what will my kids do when I’m gone? What if I die before Andy? What if there is no afterlife and only death? I guess you would not care or know any of these answers, seeing as you are dead. I really do not wish to ever die and hate everything about death. However, I know it will happen – no one lives forever. I have so many questions and thoughts about death, an afterlife, eternal rest, etc. and I hope that as I grow older, I find the right answers to quell this fear. For now, I try to live my life the best I can and to make it as long as possible. I also try to think of life less like a series of deadlines (i.e. always waiting for some moment, deadline, or life event to pass) and to live in the moment.
And finally, name your most significant childhood memory:
Okay, I have 2 to share. The first is the day my dad ate my over-salty pasta for me. I was 3 or 4 years old, and my mom would not let me put salt on my food because I would use too much. I would complain and groan about this, so one night she let me do my own. I think this was the classic “lesson learned” approach that I use with the kids all the time. Anyway, of course I doused my pasta in salt, and it was inedible. My mom told me to sit and finish it, and I tried. My dad took our plates and switched them, and he ate all of mine.
This does not seem like much, but the back story to this is that my biological dad gave up his parental rights when I was 8 years old. It would be so easy to hate him for that action, but I really do not. He had his own problems and issues, and he made a selfish, rash decision that so many people begged him not to make. The value of the story is to remind me that he was not a terrible dad; in fact, he was a pretty decent one. While I can let later decisions overshadow that choice, I have this good memory and lesson (mom is always right, and a little salt goes a LONG way).
My second memory is day my sister and I were in trouble for changing our other sister’s diaper. We were all 6, 5, and 1 year old respectively (if I’m remembering correctly), and my mom was cutting the grass while my baby sister napped. She woke and had a foul smelling diaper. We debated about getting my mom, but she had just started to cut the grass and the decision was made that we could handle this. My parents had just separated, and we wanted to help! We took her out of her crib (how we did this is beyond me) and assembled our changing items. We placed her on a pillow because we felt that the floor was too hard for her, and we successfully changed her diaper. Successfully is a relative term here, because while her diaper was changed, it was put on backwards and we smeared poop on the pillow. My mom came in and was freaked out, to say the least.
Why would I cherish this story? This memory perfectly depicts my sisters and I, and it also shows that from a young age, I liked taking charge and helping others. My sisters are some of my favorite people in this world (relax brothers, so are you). We fought, we laughed, we stole clothes and toys, we kept secrets from our parents, and we were and are still close. It is also pretty amazing that at a young age, we not only knew how to change diapers but genuinely wanted to help. As the oldest of 5, you learn that everyone pitches in because if no one does it, it never gets done. I am doing the same thing with my kids in the hope that it raises them to be responsible adults and not entitled a**holes. I understand my mom’s fear and would be equally terrified if I had walked into the same scene, but this is still a good memory.
As I conclude, I invite you to ask any random questions about me! I plan to post my interviews with the kids at a later date, but enjoy these for now!