Who Am I?

Mask

My husband and I have been working on our relationship lately, which has been lovely, but one question he keeps stumping me with is “Who are you?”

Who am I?  Well I am me… aren’t I?

Apparently not.  I am not the same person he fell in love with, and he wants me to work out who I am, so we can work on our marriage together.

Hang on, did I miss something?  Apparently so!

But it has got me thinking, about what I want from life, and who I want to be.

What makes me happy?  Writing for a start.  I love writing, and the passion for it has come back a hundred fold since the beginning of this year, and I think I am inspired by the likes of Melissa Pearl and T G Ayer who are pumping out books flat out.  And the stories I am writing are just so much fun to write.  I have covered fantasy romance, paranormal suspense romance and historical romance, and looking at creating an epic fantasy romance.  I even tried my hand at erotica this year.

Supporting and Encouraging people makes me happy.  Working as a Teacher Aide I get to encourage children and teens to do their best.  I love seeing the looks on their faces when it all clicks and makes sense.  I enjoy the camaraderie that has developed between me and some of the students I work with.  We can laugh and joke, but I can get serious if they aren’t pulling their weight.  I like to think I am fair with them.

Its not just the students I enjoy supporting and encouraging, it is my friends too.  I want to help them out in any small way I can to make things easier for them, or to make them see the lighter side of life.  I learnt how important this was to me when I was at my worst, and my best friend was always contacting me via facebook, or phone, just to check in, make me laugh (or cry) and just encourage me.  I want to repay that to others in my sphere of influence.

Being with my family fills me with joy.  Although this is only a recent occurrence.  I have struggled with my stepchildren for years, but it is only recently that I have really stepped back and decided that I need to be there for them, probably more than anyone else.  And with my husband and I agreeing to having a family day once a month, where we spend an entire day with the children doing something with them – not just letting them wander off on their own.  This month, we have had two family days, and numerous evenings out playing basketball in the park.  Just being with them, laughing, sharing moments of joy and tears has really built a new and improved relationship between not only me and my steppies, but my own son, and my husband too.

My notebook "collection"

My notebook “collection”

So what do I want from life?  To be happy first and foremost.  This is happening at the moment both in my personal and professional life, and I am lucky that is happening.  Many people out in the world aren’t happy with either.

I also want to be successful at what I do.  And this brought me to how am I going to measure that success?

Interesting question.  I guess with writing, it will be to become a published writer.  But how do you measure success within your family?  Easy answer, that your family are happy and as accepting of me – as I am – as I am with them.  Confused?  I just mean that everyone likes me, just the way I am, crazy weirdness and all.  My husband is slowly accepting this, and it is taking him some getting used to.  But he will.  I don’t want to change my quirks, I like them.

I am also an introvert, which has really explained a lot to me this year.  It explains why I like time alone, and how it is essential that I get it.  It explains my aversion to meeting new people, but being comfortable with those that I know.  Being an introvert means I keep a lot of information to myself.  I don’t share a lot about myself to anyone, only those who know me well.  Those who think they know me, don’t know half of it.

So who am I?  Hi, I’m Catherine and I am an introverted notebookaholic Teacher Aide, who looks after a husband, three sons, two cats, one greedy goldfish, and I happen to like to write.  How do you do?

Advertisements

10 Days Writer Blogging Challenge – Day 5

Day 5Show off 3 of your best blog posts (with links!)

Why are these your best (so far!). Consider comments, page visit stats, or the content.

Introversion and Me – This is a relatively recent post about myself and introversion, and how it all makes sense  🙂  This is the biggest post according to the Stats page.

Pixies vs Elves – Asking what the difference is between Pixies and Elves – because I had been struggling to differentiate them.  also one of the most popular posts, even today with Pixies Vs Elves coming up as the most searched for terms.

Another Angel in Heaven – A major incidence occurred in our small community when we lost of beautiful little 6 year old girl in tragic circumstances.  The entire community rallied together to support the parents and siblings of this little angel.  This is one of my favourite posts because it talks about this beautiful child and how she touched so many lives prior to her death.  My other favourite is my post about a really good friend – Mark Fowler a wonderful man that I only got to know better after his death.  His death also taught me a lot about life and how to life it for all it is worth – because that is what he did  🙂

I sneaked an extra one in  🙂

NZ Book Month – Romancing Medicine with Louisa George – An interview I did with Louisa George in March this year for NZ Book Month.  An intriguing look into the mind of a Medical Romance Writer.  Also a popular post, so I have included it here.

Introversion and Me

These Thursday Blogs are more about me and where I am at, things I am learning etc.

I have written previously about my introversion and how it affects me, and more and more I am seeing how it affects my everyday being.  I think it has also impacted on me and my depression.

I first learned about introversion years ago, but it wasn’t until I went to a business seminar that it was discussed and the lightbulbs just kept winking on for me.  My husband always assumed I was an extrovert, because I worked in a bar and knew everyone.  But that is the difference.  I knew them.  When I first started working there, I didn’t – and my boss was constantly telling me to smile more.  I tried, and once I got to know the regulars, it wasn’t a problem to smile and laugh and joke with them.

But put me in a business situation, like marketing meetings, and I would hide in the corner and hope nobody would talk to me.  Why?  Because they were unfamiliar, and constantly changing, so once you got to know someone, they would up and move away and you would have to start your connections again.

Knowing I was an introvert has really made a huge difference to me and my life.  Now I know that I need time out, I need breaks from those that I am constantly around, and it really helps me to reconnect with myself and come back stronger and better able to face people.

On Facebook, I discovered this wonderful Community called Introverts are Awesome.  It has lovely little ideas, pictures, sayings to feed the inner introvert.  It helps to be part of a group that really understand your need to have time for yourself.

I guess this really came real to me when we had a friend come and visit for my  husbands birthday recently.  My friend arrived with her two daughters, and another friend with his son and daughter.  The house was full – we had my son and two step sons here too.  By the following morning, I had to have half an hour in my bedroom because I couldn’t cope anymore.

My husband and I have recently been having some deep and meaningful’s about our core beliefs.  Mine are Loyalty, (11 years in the same job, was my second job ever, and when I left, it was a 1/3 of my life at the same job), honesty and integrity (making sure all my actions are done with the purest of intentions) and respect.  When I mentioned about being an introvert, suddenly things made sense to him, why I needed to have time out and quiet spells where I could withdraw into myself and refresh my being with peace and quiet.

When I have thought back over my depression, it has been hard to determine what actually caused it.  I think there were lots of different factors, but one thing I am aware of, I needed more downtime to refresh my soul.  I would actually have to have naps and sleep and quiet times all the time, just to renew myself and prepare myself for life.  Funny how looking back on it now (hindsight is a wonderful thing) that I am able to see how my introversion was trying desperately to bring me out of my funk.

And another thought, that occurred to me, I often find my step sons invade my space.  But upon reflecting on this, I think it is more to do with my introversion, I don’t get the space I need when they are around.  My husband has been kind enough to take the boys off on Saturday (for sports and to visit family) because he knows that I need that space to regroup myself.

If you want to know if you are an introvert or extrovert, try this Personality Test over at HumanMetrics.  It was a real eye opener for me to discover I was 89% introvert.

And a strange fact – the world is 80% introverts and 20% extroverts.  Extroverts get the ideas from introverts and run with them.

Another fact – more writers tend to be introverts… Hmmm, wonder why  🙂

There is nothing wrong with being an introvert.  Embrace yourself and your own path, because everyone is different.

Recent Life Changing Events

There have been two life changing events which happened last month.  I’m not talking Mark and Bikeabout depression, because while it is life changing, it is also a long term thing.

What I am talking about are events that are short in duration, but could have long term repercussions for me.  And not in a bad way.

The first event was the Networking seminar.  Yes, weird I know, but it was life changing because it relates to the second event.  The second was the death of a very good friend, Mark Fowler.

Lets start at the beginning for this one, because it could get complicated.  I attended a networking seminar in November, and learnt something about myself.  I am an introvert.  I guess I kind of thought I was, but a simple test confirmed it.  My husband would disagree, he would say I was an extrovert, but anybody can be with a bit of alcohol in them.  Alcohol is a thing of the past for me.

So I am an introvert, which does explain a lot.  I like my own company, I find energy within myself, my real world is the inner world of ideas, understanding and meaning (I am god of my inner world!), I am difficult to understand (even I don’t get me sometimes!), have a public self and private self (I think I have blogged about this before), intense and passionate and tend to bottle up emotions (where do you think depression comes from???), have few close friends (I could count them on one hand), quiet in large groups, concentrate intensely (once upon a time I could), and mentally rehearse before speaking (and still screwing it up anyway!).  That is me to a tee.

So how does that affect me?  Well introvertism means that I don’t do public very well, I don’t do strangers, and I can come across as aloof and standoffish.

We went to Golden Bay for Mark’s funeral, and we arrived on Wednesday.  This was the family day with Mark, so my beloved and I went to a local watering hole with the other bikers and had a few drinks.  I didn’t know anyone there.  And unless I did something, I wouldn’t know anyone there, so I started speaking to a lovely fellow named Karl.  I found out all sorts of interesting things about Karl, and started a friendship that would see me through the tough weekend.

Thursday we were invited to the house, where we stayed for most of the afternoon and into the evening.  I met so many wonderful people.  I guess the fact that everyone was grieving, made it easier for me to put my arm around a complete stranger and then introduce myself.  We had a mutual grief for the man we had all lost.

Long story short, throughout the few days I was in Golden Bay, I met so many more people that I had ever done since I moved to the small rural town I live in, and that was 8 years ago.  I have many new friends, and people that I can call on if I am worried about Mark’s partner.  Once upon a time, this would have been an extremely difficult week for me, isolated and alone, but instead I decided to come out of my shell, share my grief with those who were there and this allowed some healing to come into my life.

Now why did these two events change my life?  First, I took a step of faith and talked to strangers and made new friends.  Second, Mark lived his dream, and it made me assess my dreams.  I want to have a close knit family, I want to write full time, I want to be able to live a full life and get to the end and everyone say – She lived the dream.

So my goal now is to start implementing some changes into my life and start living my dream.  Are you living your dream?  What is your dream?