11 Random Things

Ah yes, the blog meme.  I was tagged in the 11 Things meme by my friends Ann, John, and Peej.  Yes, I still call them my friends even though they tagged me!

Sometimes these memes are a great excuse to do a reveal, to show a little bit about what makes you tick that otherwise might not show up on normal day to day blogs.  So I actually was pretty happy to join in.  And because I was tagged a few times, I am going to split this post into a few parts – the first part (today) being my 11 Things, plus 11 new questions to ask to some more people (spreading meme love!) – then I will do a few posts to answer the 11 random questions that Ann, John, and Peej posed to those they tagged.  And I’m hoping to get an interview with each of them too, as I have followed them on Twitter and read their blogs for years, and would love to share a little bit of their stories on here (they each hugely inspire me).

So without further ado…

The Rules

1)    Post these rules.
2)    Post 11 random things about yourself.
3)    Answer the questions set for you in the post of those who tagged you.
4)    Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5)    Go to their blog (or email them or tweet them) and tell the people you tagged that you’ve tagged them.
6)    No stuff in the tagging section about “you are tagged if you are reading this.” You legitimately have to tag 11 people

11 Random Things About Me

(1) I was born in Washington DC but consider Hawai’i my home.

I actually don’t know many people who can say that they were born in DC, or who say that they grew up in Hawai’i, but I claim them both.  I lived in the DC area until I was 11, and then moved back to the area in 1988 when I arrived at the University of Maryland.  I have a huge affinity with DC and Maryland, and love my homestate of Hawaii – returning, someday, to one or the other, is ALWAYS in the back of my mind.

(2) I’m not gonna lie – I have a horrible habit of picking my nails and cuticles.

I have done this since I was very little, and I have tried to quit so many times, with some moments of limited success, for a few years here and there. I can’t figure out the trigger, but I know that it is an ugly habit.  I’m not focused on not doing it at the moment, but I know it drives my husband nuts and told him to tell me to cut it out when I am doing it. I give you all permission to tell me the same.

(3) In sixth grade I had a fierce rivalry with a girl named Diane – it was all about grades.

It was kind of funny because when the grades for the term were posted, I remember everyone standing around to not only find out how they did, but also checking to see who was tops – Diane and I were neck in neck.  But by year end, Diane had won.  She got straight As all four quarters, whereas I had two A- grades.  It was a humbling moment for me.

(4) For my birthday in 1992 my friends and fellow Student Government Officers got me a sweatshirt that said “UM” with the words “respect” written across the front.

At the time I was so embarrassed – the gift was a play on the fact that I always said my role – the VP of Administration for the Student Government – was the least respected job on the slate, and probably the hardest.  The other officers wanted to show me that they did respect me and the job, so they gave me “respect”.  But I was embarrassed because I realised with that gift that respect is not something you can ask for, and that I shouldn’t have needed a sweatshirt to show me that. I hope my embarrassment didn’t offend my friends – and I still have that sweatshirt at my father’s house!

(5) I spent a year working on Capitol Hill for my congressman, Neil Abercrombie (now Governor of Hawaii).  I started as a summer intern, and one of the things interns did was take photos sitting on their congressman’s (or senator’s) chair.  I declined the photo opportunity.

Why? Because I thought that only the congressman – who worked hard and was elected to his “seat” – was the only one worthy of sitting in it.  I vowed if I would ever have my photo taken in one of those chairs (they are really cool chairs by the way) it would be as an elected official.

(6) I came very close to not graduating from the University of Maryland. 

My undoing was Advanced Calculus Theory. I hit my limits and that class showed me what I knew deep down – that I was much more of a practical than abstract thinker.  I had to take the class twice.  When I passed it, just barely and a few days before graduation, we took my professor to the bar for drinks. It was a beautifully sunshiny day, we had a shot of tequila and a beer, and life was very very good.  I really thank my Advance Calc Theory friends – George, Sarah, and Keith – for helping me to get through that class.

(7) I run into people I know, everywhere, anytime, and have done even before the internet helped to make random meetings possible.

I always have done, and am convinced lurking around every corner is someone I know…  For example, in 1996 I ran into my Japanese teacher from the University of Maryland while taking a walk on the Chicago lake front.  In 1997 I literally bumped into one of my friends from Maryland while walking down Wall Street.  In 2003 I unexpectedly sat down next to one of my best friends from Maryland on the Metro in DC.  I met one of my Georgetown professors at Dulles airport at arrivals.  The world is a very small place.  I believe if you keep your eyes open (and away from your smartphone) you never know who you will meet!

(8) The hardest thing I have ever done was saying goodbye to my mother, knowing it would be the last time I saw her alive.

My mother was really really sick from breast cancer that had metastised.  I received a call around midnight in August 1999 that I needed to come home, which meant a really quick readjustment of plans (I was due to fly to France on holiday the next day, but instead boarded a plane to Florida via DC).  By chance, I ran into my boss on the flight, and she told me to stay as long as I needed to – but in my head which was full of sorrow and not thinking too clearly I interpretted that as permission to stay for as long as my vacation time allowed. 

When vacation time was over, I stopped by the cancer outpatient treatment center and said goodbye to my mother – she was hooked up on a drip and it was a very public setting.  Neither of us cried, but we both had tears in our eyes – we both knew that this was goodbye, even though neither of us said that truth out loud.

I spent the whole flight home to London in tears, and even writing this down is making me cry…

I wish I had realised that my boss really meant “stay until your mother passes away.”  It is one of my few life regrets, and also the single hardest thing I have ever had to do.

(9)2003 was the first time I did anything remotely athletic since I was 9.

Besides the occasional gym session or swim, walk in the fresh air, or other light activity, I never really did anything athletically oriented until 2003 when I signed up for and did the half marathon midnight walk in London.  The first time I ran consistently since I was 9 was in 2010. I guess my experience shows that you don’t need to be a lifelong active person to get active – and that you can get active even if you are managing other physical issues.

(10)I used to have a set of career five-year plans.  But I haven’t had one since 2007…

When I finished grad school and took my first job, my objective was to become an international business developer within 5 years.  By 2001 I had secured my position as a Business Developer, specifically covering the Latin America and Caribbean region.  Then my next plan was to become an international negotiator.  I secured this role when I changed employers in 2004.  But by the time 2007 rolled around, I didn’t re-set my career five year plan.  I didn’t know what I wanted next – an international job move?  To start a family?  To focus on my husband’s job?  Back to the US? It was all kind of up in the air.  So I decided to focus on trying to have more balance in my life, and did my first triathlon. 

My career path and choices are all still a bit up in the air – but I have had some incredible experiences over the last five years even without a clear end game in mind!

(11)I have always thought about getting a tattoo, but I have never made the leap. And I probably never will.

I know exactly where I’d get it, and even discussed it with my mother at length in 1990.  She said something that stuck with me – she asked me if I would really like whatever I penned myself with when I was old and wrinkled.  I had to answer that I wasn’t sure it would mean anything in the future.  And because of that conversation, every time I think of a tattoo, I find myself wondering if it would actually mean anything to me in the future, so I’ve never followed through.

Who I tag

Now the fun bit – who I tag to write about 11 Things that we may not know about them, and also to answer 11 Questions from me.  Here’s my tag list – I highly recommend each of these wonderful women and their blogs, if you are looking for motivation, excellent writing, and a healthy dose of balance and fun from sports enthusiasts!

Women I Met on Twitter and Who I Signed Up for the Bay Swim With:
Amy Reinink (Amy Reinink)
Kati (Gluten Free Tri)
Amy (Running Around Uptown)

Women Who Run and Live in Colorado and Make Me Wish I Lived There Too:
Lara (Saturday Morning Zen)
Lindsay (Lndsy with an A)

Women Who Tri – And Inspire Me To Tri Harder
Jules (DoubleD Athlete)
Katie (Tri-ing for Pro)
Kelly (My Life as a Trimommy)
Maria (Running a Life)

Women Who Live, Write and Do Sport, But Who Write About Life More Than Sport

Andi (Bringing the Sunshine)
Lori (We Bloom Where Planted)

My questions

1. When was the last time you went to McDonalds and what did you order?
2. When it comes to food, are you a sweet or savoury lover?
3. Coffee or tea?
4. What is your favourite “go to” “easy to make from scratch” meal?
5. What did you study at university and does it relate to your current job?
6. What is one race (sporting event) that you want to do in your life – a bucket list race, so to speak?
7. Can you explain to me why Lululemon is considered controversial? I thought it was just a brand of (mostly yoga) clothing.
8. What is your most favourite travel memory?
9. Airport security – a necessary evil, or just plain evil?
10. Do internet and personal privacy matters ever worry you?
11. Would you rather have time or money?

One response to “11 Random Things”

  1. Thank you so much for playing along Donna.  One of the things I have found to be the most fun is that I have so much in common with the people I tagged but in ways that surprised me.  I too meet people around every corner. One of the funniest was when a friend sat down beside me in Klagenfurt, Austria at the airport. It was a total surprise and completely by chance.  Thank you for sharing the story about your mom. I am so lucky to still have my mother but as you know she struggled with breast cancer and I remember it being the most fearful and saddest time of my life.  I can’t imagine how hard it would be to say goodbye.

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