Thanks to Sandy for the 5 questions. Anyone who wants to play, email me or leave a comment, and I will send you your 5 questions.
1. What's the best advice you've ever gotten?
“There is only one constant in life. That is God.” My brother gave me this advice at a turbulent point in my life. Whenever I look back at my life, I see nothing but chaos and an endless struggle for stability. I moved around too much. People around me came and went, my heart broke over and over again, until I swore never to rely on anyone again. But eventually I would. Eventually, I’d let my guard down and allowed people in. I was ever cautious. But when the trap sprang shut, I always lost my limbs.
Trusting that there is a God, that God is always there, never changing, ever stable, was a small comfort. It was something. At least.
2. What do you know now that you wish you would have known 10 years ago?
That I am capable of making a situation much worse than it already is. 10 years ago, I was impulsive, given to react to situations without really thinking about consequences. Over the last decade I have had the opportunity to suffer the consequences of my actions. Some of those wounds are still raw and painful. Some of those wounds became infected and threatened my life.
As a result of that, I am now more insightful, more able to consider my impulses and more guarded in my knee jerk reactions. As tough as they are, at least today, I consciously tell myself that I wouldn’t want to make bad situations much worse than they are. I still don’t always succeed. But sometimes, I do. That has to count as progress at any rate.
Sometimes I wonder how different my life would be if I had known this, had this insight 10 years ago. Perhaps I would have suffered less.
3. What person has been the single biggest influence in your life (for good or bad)?
My pdoc in Toronto. I saw her for a total of 7 years. Before her, I’d never been in therapy, was uncomfortable at expressing myself. I didn’t have a lot of confidence either. She sent me to a psychologist for an IQ test. Then she discussed the results with me. Apparently my score was 137 which was considered higher than average. Yet, having come from almost flunking out of high school and barely meeting the minimum requirements for university entry, I found all that hard to believe.
But week after week, we’d talk. I said a little more each time. She believed in me and continued to believe in me until eventually I thought it was possible that I could be successful in university. I went on to achieve more than I ever thought possible, and an Honours degree in 3 years.
4. What do you really want to learn about?
Not much that I wouldn’t want to learn about. Anything and everything, from the meaning of life to polar bears.
5. What do you wish people knew about you?
I wish people could see how much of an effort I put out there. Look past the façade I put up and see the values I hold about friendship, loyalty and trust. With so many issues around relationships, fear of abandonment, fear of rejection, I often seem distant, introverted. Some people may even find me boring. But if they pushed past the initial barriers, they might like me. I don’t know. Maybe.