I talked in a recent blog post about how I have been able to deal with a family crisis (read: a new flavor of an old 3h!7 sandwich) this past month while still maintaining my career, Improv class, and general head-above-water appearance. I may have slightly exaggerated that in one capacity: I have been terrible at social media and communicating with people in general.
I realized I haven’t been on Facebook in over a month?! I’ve written blog posts, but they have been off-the-cuff posts. Some time ago, Jen from Inside of Jen’s Head nominated me for my first Liebster Award. I knew I’d procrastinated a bit, and that, after procrastinating for a bit, I was developing The Fear about just writing it at all. I was embarrassed I hadn’t done it already, so I was even more afraid to start. I overthought who to nominate, I hung my head because I hadn’t responded earlier, and I developed a bit of analysis paralysis. (I think analysis paralysis is even worse in women with ADHD who also happen to analyze things for a living!) I didn’t realize/acknowledge how long I’d been sinking into that form of social anxiety. Couple social anxiety with a bit of old-school ADHD time blindness and it has been, erm, “a bit” since my first nomination. It has been long enough, in fact, that I also received a second nomination from Ali from The Nut Factory.
Clearly, I have rejection sensitivity. It would be nice if RSD always spurred me into action when people did the opposite of rejecting me. Maybe by itself, it would. (Or maybe not, ADHD/RSD + a touch of social anxiety in one-on-one relationships, which fortunately I don’t have in anonymous crowds like in Improv, is tricky). Throw in a crisis? I basically withdraw so far into myself that I don’t remember how to reach out socially after it’s over. I especially don’t know how to connect while it’s still ongoing, as it is currently. With everything being so stressful this past month, my blog has been a source of mental health support (and an unofficial answer to both Jen’s and Ali’s first questions!) My readers are a big part of why. Every reader who takes the time to nominate me or comment on my blog is a tiny bright spot in a lousy month. Knowing that, my deepest apologies to Jen for taking so long to respond, and my heartfelt thanks to both Jen and Ali for their nominations.
I’m going to nominate ten people for each of my own nominations (so 20), and I’m going to answer both sets of questions in one post. (I will, however, just create one set of new questions. I’ll give my poor anxious brain a break on the need to come up with two full sets right now.)
Without further ado, here goes:
Rules of the Liebster Award
The Liebster Award is a blogger award for new bloggers or those with a small following. It is a way of giving new bloggers some recognition and encouragement for their hard work.
The instructions for accepting the award and passing it on are as follows.
- Create a new blog post on your blog thanking the person that nominated you, link to their blog, and put in a graphic of the award.
- Answer the questions that were provided, and then share some facts about yourself.
- Create a new set of your own questions for others to answer.
- Nominate ten others and share your blog post with them so they can accept their award!
1. What is your go-to activity to relieve stress?
I’m going to answer this one under Ali’s first question since the two questions are related.
2. What color best describes your personality and why?
Various shades of purple do fit my personality, in addition to being my favorite color, but I think the exact shade of purple I prefer at any given time probably says something about my mood at that time. Gravitating towards lighter shades tends to mean I’m in a more contented, playful mood, while deep shades tend to indicate more passion or intensity. My blog colors are intense shades of dark purple, but Lavender itself (and the tagline Lavender and Levity) are playful. Make of that as you will. 😊
3. What is your favorite song/band?
Also see below!
4. What is your least favorite food?
I don’t think I have any foods I dislike enough to go “oh, that one.” I can’t even say I dislike the foods to which I know I’m allergic. I just stare at them longingly when I see other people eating them and wish life hadn’t kept us apart. My Romeo and Juliet story stars food. I’ll also eat anything, no matter how weird it is, if you spice it well enough.
When we first started trying to find extra salty foods for dysautonomia, my partner was incredibly proud that he bought old-school American cheese product slices instead of regular cheddar, Swiss, Havarti or other real cheese for our sandwiches. They were terrible, so maybe “American cheese product” should be my answer. (I tried Cheez Whiz for the same reason, though, and oddly enjoyed that. I have no idea why one was so awful but liked the other! If you happen to need to bring your own salt pick-me-up with you, you could do worse than Cheez Whiz.)
5. If you could be any animal in the world (including those that are already extinct) what would you choose to be?
A sabretooth tiger. I would have said a big cat like a tiger or a lion, but once the option to be an extinct animal was on the table, the idea of an even bigger big cat who gets to live in cold places sounds even better. My spirit animal is definitely some form of a cat.
6. If you had three wishes, what would they be?
I’d try for three more wishes, except that I’m guessing a diligent rules-lawyering genie would rule that out immediately. I once wrote out in exhausting detail how I’d phrase my three wishes so that they wouldn’t leave any loopholes. It turns out it would take all three of them to remedy the societal injustices that underpin my trauma “history” in a way sufficiently thorough for my satisfaction – but it would be worth it.
I’m a former avid D&D player, though, so I automatically assume the genie will be inclined to twist my wishes against me. Using wishes is a blood sport in D&D sometimes! So, I’d use all my wishes and very precise wording, but I’d find a way to fix that situation for my family and for the entire world.
7. What is your worst fear?
Failure, but specifically the kind of failure that comes at a pivotal moment and lets the people I love down.
8. What is your happiest memory?
Dining at a “bucket list” restaurant with my partner.
9. What do you love most about yourself?
My ability to tease out root causes and effects within complex systems. I don’t know how to think inside the box, or even where the box is most of the time. It sucks that I can’t communicate what I know effectively, but I don’t think I’d change the fact that I can see systems the way I do. In theory, someday I can learn to communicate more effectively. I want to be able to communicate those complex systems when I do.
10. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
When a reader tells me that something I wrote is meaningful to them. There have been multiple times that I have read just what I needed to read to feel a little less alone on another blog on a “bad” day, so it means a lot to be able to offer that to someone else sometimes when they need it.
11. If you had the undivided attention of the entire world what would you say?
The marginalized aren’t marginalized because of something wrong with them, but because of something wrong with the rest of us. Or alternately phrased: The Golden Rule is a Rule, not a Suggestion.
1. What do you do to try and stay mentally healthy?
I wrote my second-ever blog post on things I do (or try to do) to keep RSD at bay. Those, plus my “Where’s Whoopsie” blog posts (and doing the coloring book pages themselves) help with self-care.
I also do mantra meditation, but I tend to use old-style Gregorian chants or Latin prayers as my “mantras,” even though I use them with Buddhist mala beads. (Religious purists are probably cringing about now, but it helps me to blend concepts into something that is totally new, but works for me.)
I bought a beginner’s jewelry-making kit and some beads on a whim this month, and I’m going to try to make some of my own jewelry. I’ll probably start with mala beads, but maybe branch out into more elaborate designs? (Or maybe I’ll abandon the hobby in a few months. I still have ADHD, after all. There’s always a better-than-even chance that any new hobby will go the way of knitting, scrapbooking, cake decorating, etc.) I’m hoping beading combines the benefits of mantra meditation with repetitive activities like coloring, and that maybe I can start making my own socially acceptable fidgets as a side benefit. I wear a beaded bracelet to work every day, as it provides a fidget and meditation aid for me at work. Everyone recognizes Isoflex stress balls and fidget spinners. People just assume I have a personal style when I wear beaded bracelets.
My partner and I also try to do one “date night” per week – even if it’s as simple as watching Game of Thrones together with take-out – to cook at least one home-cooked meal each week (harder than it sounds with busy schedules and my tendency to faint if I stand up too long over hot stoves) and to take one longer after-dark walk (going late tends to make me avoid fainting in the heat.)
2. What is your favorite song/artist to listen to? Why?
Song: Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence. I have nothing against the Disturbed cover, which I have had recommended multiple times, but it just isn’t the same for me. It’s too in-your-face. The Sound of Silence captures that feeling of the darkness hiding just under the surface of the suburban city I grew up in. It captured the feelings and experiences growing up that made me feel like I lived on a different planet from my classmates. The Disturbed version touches on the darkness part in tone, but it lacks the suburban/false lightness overlay. Without both, it doesn’t have the same meaning to me.
3. If you had a time machine would you travel to the past or the future? Why?
I really want to say the past, because there are so many things I’d want to see firsthand. The sci-fi geek in me keeps going “but if you try to change the past, you always risk erasing your own existence, becoming your own grandfather or some other paradox.” If you go to the future, you can find out what is going to go wrong and stop it more easily without accidentally rendering things worse.
4. What’s on your bucket list?
Visiting every continent. Experiencing every type of natural disaster/weather phenomenon (from a safe-enough distance to not be an idiot.) I have every natural disaster I can think of so far except hurricane and volcanic eruption. I know you can go stand next to erupting volcanos in Hawaii and Iceland. I’m not sure how I’ll pull off the hurricane, but I wasn’t planning to have the others originally, either. I still managed to get them just from moving a lot, so the hurricane will probably work itself out anyway. I’m a living weirdness magnet.
5. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Antarctica. It is the most expensive and complicated of the seven continents by far. It will probably be the death knell of the first of my listed bucket items, since I have no idea how I will be able to afford it. If I can cross that one off my list, I can probably work out the rest of the continents much more easily.
6. Provide 5 random facts about you.
- I don’t celebrate my birthday.
- I have a hydroponic herb garden that I’ve only managed to kill the herbs in twice (in over a year of using it.)
- I’ve been skydiving (but only tandem, not solo.)
- I still play Pokémon Go. (In hindsight, that should be added to my list of ways of maintaining my mental health!)
- When I do cook, I cook without recipes. I’m good when it isn’t exhausting!
My Questions for My Nominees
- What is your Myers-Briggs type? Do you think it describes you?
- Which technological invention of the past 100 years could you least live without?
- If it were solely up to you (no medical, job or family demands to dictate otherwise), what time would you go to bed at night, and what time would you wake up?
- What is your favorite pizza topping?
- What superpower would you choose if you could have only one?
- Again, assuming no financial, medical, family or job demands, and that all options were available where you live, would you rather drive your car or take public transportation?
- If you could only eat stereotypically “breakfast” foods, “lunch” foods or “dinner” foods for the rest of your life, which would you pick?
My 10 (x2) Nominees
- Hip to Be Snark
- Heather Needs a Nap
- I’m Working on Myself
- Narcoleptic Aspie
- The Blog Broad
- a pause, not an end;
- Fell & Run
- A Brave Mess
- The Wisdom of Tears
- Amy Belle
- A Chronic Spoonful
- Hello Melmel
- Upon Reflection
- The Arty Plantsman
- Maladaptive May
- The Migraine Chronicles
- Stained Glass Pieces
- The Perpetual Overthinker
- Queen of the Nightshade