Liebster Blog Award

OK, if you’ve been following me here, you know that I’m fairly new to this “blogging” thing, but I’ve been invited to participate in this really cool thing, and I am looking forward to spreading the love, too! I want to thank TheOriginalPhoenix for nominating me! I wish I could nominate HER blog – it’s fantastic and you should go read it!

HERE ARE THE RULES FOR THOSE OF YOU I NOMINATE:

  1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 11 blogs.
  5. Notify those blogs of the nomination.
  6. Give them 11 questions to answer.

11 QUESTIONS FOR ME:

  1. What’s one of the biggest but hilarious mistakes you’ve made?

    When I’m speaking, fairly often I mix up words. It was worse when I was a kid, and mostly benign – I’d say things like “on” instead of “in”, for example. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s like sometimes my brain just quick searches and stops on words that sound similar, but aren’t quite right. There were quite a few times it got a bit embarrassing. In particular, one time, during an oral report at school, I meant to say something was “exotic” and I accidentally said “erotic.” I’m much more comfortable writing.

  2. Why did you start blogging?

    A couple of very good friends of mine suggested it after my hospital stay, and I figured I’d give it a go in hopes of sharing bits of my story with friends and family in a way that would, hopefully, educate them a bit and do at least a little something to reduce stigma. I had no idea that I was stumbling into my passion. But man, am I thankful for those few who gave me a little shove in this direction!

  3. What would you do with a million dollars?

    Pay off my grandmother’s mortgage first and foremost. Take my daughter to Disney for the BEST week of her life. Pay off all my student loan debt, my car, my medical bills. I’d put $250,000 in a savings account with good interest for my daughter, buy a modest home (you can get nice ones where I live for around $175,000), put $200,000 in a savings account with good interest for me, and then use the remaining $200,000-ish to help out friends and probably go on two more epic vacations – one with my friends to somewhere tropical with impossibly blue water and one with my daughter, out of the country to explore and learn more about our world at large.

    ******** Almost all of this plan would be shot if I had an opportunity to see David Gilmour live for anything up to $500,000. Gram’s mortgage, Disney for my daughter, and her nest egg savings account are non-negotiable, but I’d toss everything else out the window to hear that Fender Strat over real speakers and see the man-god himself on stage (it’s been a dream since I was six years old, don’t knock me for being irresponsible with my imaginary money!)

  4. Where is your happy place? Why is it your happy place?

    Nantasket Beach in Hull, Massachusetts. Ocean, waves, rocky outcrops with tide pools at low tide, the strip, and so many memories of being there when I was a kid with my Nana and Papa. Since they died and their house was sold, Nantasket is the place I can most easily go to recall tangible conversations, sand-castle and boogie-boarding adventures, jokes, sarcasm, penny candy, cotton candy, The Carousel, and so much love and happiness. Plus, the ocean & salty air is just so perfect. I don’t get there often, though, so my second happy place is probably on my couch, snuggling with my daughter.

  5. What’s your favorite literary genre? Why?

    I honestly don’t think I have a favorite genre. My favorite books are pretty diverse: Lord of the Rings, Angela’s Ashes & ‘Tis by Frank McCourt, The Given Day by Dennis Lehane, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. So… Fanta-mem-noir-goth-roman-tragedy?

  6. What’s one of the best gifts you’ve received?

    I assume this means tangible gifts. When I was in second grade at Christmas I got a digital watch from my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money at the time. I don’t remember if it was the only gift she was able to get me or not, but I remember opening it and being so excited and, honestly, completely blown away that she had gotten it for me. I wanted a digital watch more than anything and they were pretty expensive back in the day. And the old classical guitar my Papa gave me the summer between 6th and 7th grade. His neighbor was going to toss it, and Pap stopped him and said, “Well, Sheila might like that.” When I went down to Nana and Papa’s house for summer break that year, he took me upstairs and pulled it out of his closet and I was so far beyond stoked! I wish I still had it, but it was lost in a move, I think. I am by no means a talented guitarist, but getting that thing and learning even basic rhythm guitar was a pretty influential process in my life. Papa also bought me my first “regular” acoustic guitar when I was in 8th grade (I had to practice and use the classical for a full year and get straight A’s both semesters before he’d spring and spend actual money on one. It was a black composite-wood Fender starter guitar. The whole kit probably cost $125. But I had that thing until college, when it was stolen out of a car by some jerk. I stopped playing for a long time because I was too shy to play around people, so I wasn’t playing in my dorm room due to the roommate and, when I moved in with my ex, I was too shy to play around him, too. I just got back into it a few months ago with an acoustic I got along the line somewhere that was just collecting dust, and I’m freaking loving it! (even if I’m only playing the same five songs over and over.)

  7. How many stereotypes does your existence contradict? (Feel free to describe them.)

    Oh man. What a question. Well, I’d say I contradict just about every “woman” stereotype (but so do most women I know, because stereotypes are stupid and women are bad ass). I contradict stereotypes around what creates the trauma necessary to live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I’d like to think I contradict the stereotypes and misconceptions around what it means to live with Bipolar. I think I contradict a lot of the stereotypes of young(ish) & single mothers. One area I’ve noticed I seem to actually fit a lot of the stereotypes around is Massachusetts/ New England native culture. That’s honestly probably the only stereotype I do fit, and that one’s not to a “T”, either. Because stereotypes are STUPID AND MOSTLY HARMFUL. And no one is a full embodiment of a stereotypical caricature.

  8. What are your favorite things about your life?

    Definitely my daughter, my amazing friends (truly amazing), my family, living in New England, and the fact that I am finally in a position to actually find out more answers to this question – to explore freely and without restraint what I do and do not enjoy about being on this beautiful, fragile, wonderful rock for however many years I’ve got left.

  9. What’s one of your hobbies besides blogging?

    Photography. I don’t have a camera right now beyond my phone, but I definitely have fun with that. One day, I’ll get my hands on a nice DSLR again, and a computer with Lightroom and then I’ll REALLY have some fun! 🙂

  10. Coffee or tea? What’s your favorite brew?

    Coffee, definitely. I do enjoy tea – particularly Tetley (as my Nana drank) and Chai – but if I had to choose one for the rest of my life, there would be no question. My blood is probably at least 50% coffee at this point – mostly Dunks. (See, New England stereotypes – I told ya!)

  11. Do you think the world is getting better or worse? Why?

    I’m not sure how to answer this. I think we’re in for great things if we can just ride out and contain the current badness. I see all of the conflict and scary things happening now, but I also see the activism, compassion, and openness of the younger generation. I choose to be optimistic and view everything happening now as the death throws of a dying, archaic, outdated, maladaptive, and harmful view of the world. Medical advances and other scientific endeavors promise a bright future, if we can hold on to them. I see the potential for a truly amazing future for our little human race, as long as we can play damage control until egotistical, raging, small men don’t have access to nuclear codes and we stop treating the earth as a profit generator.

11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME:

  1. I’m currently working through listening to Pink Floyd’s entire studio album catalog in order (live will be next). I’m up to Wish You Were Here.
  2. I grew up in a house that was so far in the woods, it was a 25 minute drive just to go grocery shopping.
  3. I was born in Boston, Mass.
  4. I drive a 2015 Subaru Impreza.
  5. I’m in the process of quitting smoking. (2 days down!)
  6. My first concert was Backstreet Boys.
  7. I’m a sci-fi geek, currently re-watching all of Stargate SG-1.
  8. I’m terrified of earth worms. (I know, I know… laugh away, but it’s true.)
  9. I occasionally write poetry.
  10. My favorite Ninja Turtle is Donnie.
  11.  I kind of suck at coming up with lists like this.

THE 11 BLOGS I NOMINATE ARE:

  1. The endlessly talented James over at inshort:MentalHealth
  2. My dear blogger friend and kick-ass PTSD Mama Betty at Betty’s Battle Ground
  3. My friend over at Twisted Up Inside
  4. The amazing Morgan
  5. The lovely Natasha Tracy at BipolarBurble
  6. The awesome Kitt O’Malley
  7. The wonderful Emma over at Love Hope Peace Initiative
  8. Ramblings of a Discontent Millennial
  9. Sam over at Let’s Queer Things Up
  10. Rhythm of the Days, extra props for your versatility as a blogger!
  11. Chelsea over at Monsters Living in my Mind

11 QUESTIONS FOR THE NOMINEES:

  1. What is the single most important driving force behind your blog?
  2. What’s your best memory?
  3. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?
  4. Do you have any other creative hobbies beyond writing? Feel free to share what they are!
  5. Favorite band?
  6. What’s your typical morning routine look like?
  7. What’s your favorite Self-Care technique?
  8. Dream vacation location and activities?
  9. What advice do you have for other bloggers?
  10. What’s the most useless superpower you can imagine?
  11. How’s your day going? 🙂