I love these posts Lil! I'll answer them all because they're good questions and I'm greedy.
1. Think of something about (the place where you grew up; your family; your school) that gave you your sense of the world and your place in it?
My parents treatment of my brother. He has a bleeding disorder that should probably have claimed his life over the years. A combination of the NZ healthcare system and my parents ensured he's still here today, 35 years young. I grew up the middle child, and with my older brother constantly hospitalised, my sister and I were effectively raised by nannies/carers, I'm not going to claim there wasn't any childhood resentment, but I learned quickly that this was an example I could aspire to. To just look after people. The healthcare system never charged us much, for any of the visits, surgeries, medication (maybe a $5 co-payment for prescriptions?). It was covered by the tax payer, and so I'm happy seeing my tax going towards people who need it. My parents did all they could, and they told me years down the line they felt more comfortable than they expected, focusing on their oldest child - because for whatever reason my sister and I accepted the need for this hierarchy of attention. The odd fight and tantrum, but for the most part we knew he needed more than we did.
I like to think that's carried on. I'm doing well, comparatively, so when other people need and get something I don't, I'd rather give than take.
2. Are you an open book? If so who’s your best reader. If there’s 100 pages, what page are they on?
Now more than ever. My partner reads me the best - I couldn't tell you what page she's on but I can tell you she's writing the rest of the story with me.
3. What have you learned recently about your family that wasn’t the story you told yourself?
That we are as dysfunctional as any other.
4. What important lesson did an earlier romantic relationship teach you that helps you in your current marriage?
To enjoy the little things. A previous relationship had me seeking every major thing in life, she wanted to chase big things and I had to want them as well. It burnt us both out, and my current relationship we call a solid afternoon of gardening together a good outing.
5. What is one thing you remember from all your changes in the last 10 years that made you feel vulnerable (beyond your comfort zone) or felt a little challenging.
This one is hard. I need to consider it more!
6. Are you carrying any resentment that you could let go of if you thought about it. Would it be a benefit?
Absolutely. Tiny things people have done that irked me over the years. Sometimes at night when I struggle to sleep, my brain helpfully cycles through these small encounters until I'm angry again. I will be working on letting go of things. Clinging to them does me a disservice and grants them too much time in my head. I doubt they've ever thought of me again!
7. What are some questions you have about your life now that you’d like answered in the next year.
Can I develop the courage to send any of my writing pieces off to an agent? Will my current vegetables be a bumper crop? Equal importance, now that I have them side by side..
8. What is an experience of success that you still feel good about?
Leaving my depressing and stressful office management job, to enter an IT realm where I feel 100x better about myself and my work.
9. What is your road not taken?
Oooh too many. I don't focus on it though. They're just different iterations of me. But I'm the one that's here and now, and I like it.
10. What idea or attitude did you once believe that you later discovered was false?
I once held quite nasty thoughts about the queer community in general. I've long since changed from that, but I don't forget that I was once an absolute shithead for zero reason. I consider myself a staunch ally, and thanks to the behaviour of the past I know what crap to call out when I see it.
11. When you realize that everything is made up -all religions, nations, patriarchy, democracy, etc are ideas made up by people, what then do you believe?
Just here for the ride. To enjoy what I can, with whoever I can, and hopefully leave a small segment of the world better for having me in it.
12. What does an equal relationship mean to you?
When we add to each other. I don't think a relationship will ever be equal in a percentage sense, because we're never at exactly the same levels. But her success is my success, and vice versa.