20 little things you may not know about me...

Granted if you are a close friend or family member you may have heard some of these before, but I'm going to share them all here for the newbies anyway.

When you decide to become a blogger, you spend a lot of time thinking about how to present yourself to the world - your ideas, your thoughts, your life, and more. And through that process, most of the things we want to ignore or hide about ourselves gets filtered out in favor of the pieces we love (or the way we want to be perceived) and we end up looking like "little miss perfect" instead of the real life messes that we are. Turns out...this is no way to find a proper audience. Unless of course you can manage to keep up that facade and make enough people jealous of your "perfection" that they desire to be just like you. (But who wants to be like one of those people anyway?)

The fact is...nobody is perfect. Nobody.

So today I would like to share with you some honesty, the good and the bad, and a few mysteries about me and the way I function in this world. Maybe somewhere in that mess you will find something you identify with and it will make you feel better because you are not alone. Or maybe you will find me just a little bit crazy, to which I will say...that is simply wonderful!

Here we go...

1. I'm 34 years old, with a blend of excitement and indifference at the thought of turning 35. (That's me above there. Hi, lovelies!)

2. When I was a toddler I tried to swallow a slug. I've yet to live this down within the inner family circle (that and the time I said I didn't want to eat a hamburger because it tasted like "cow") and I plead the innocent, 2-year-old curiosity card every time.

3. I have about 20 unfinished projects lying around my house right now, some I have had "waiting" for my attention for over a year. I start...I lose interest...I tuck it away...I find it years later....I tuck it away again. Suppose I should do something about that, huh?

4. I have OCD, or what I consider a mild case of obsessive compulsive disorder, when it comes to locking doors and some other "leaving the house" routines. It takes me forever to get out of my house and sometimes I even have to go back if I think I may have forgotten one of my "steps". We'll cover that in more detail another day.

5. I'm afraid of wax figures. I haven't always been this way, but somewhere in the second half of my life I developed a phobia of them. There's no explained reason for it either. Weird.

6. I wish I was funnier. Quick witted, I guess. I think the telltale sign that I am not regularly funny is my immediate desire to announce (usually through social media) the occurrence of any jokes I do manage to make. Homegirl is all "Look at me! I'm so funny!"

7. I am not photogenic. At least I don't believe I am. Even the photo above which people seem to like is driving me mad! (And this was a good hair day!) I seriously need to figure out how to silence my inner critic and properly pose for a photo.

8. I have a snappy temper. When I get overwhelmed or stressed I am quick to snap at others, and not in a smart ass way. Most of the time I don't even hear it in my voice - which sadly has not improved with awareness and time - but it has happened enough in my life that I know I have a problem with it and need to be better at apologizing.

9. I am secretly jealous of bloggers who have "made it". While I should be rooting for them, using them as proof that success can happen, or spending time joining their online community, I spend my time figuring out ways to be more like them or separate myself from them. That is going to end today...(moment of inner dialogue)...OK...and...done.

10. I eat toasted peanut butter sandwiches crust first and then around each side in order to keep it square shaped. (But only the toasted ones!) I've done this since I was a kid and it never gets old. I also eat my fruit loops and lucky charms marshmallows in rainbow order.

11. I have severe stage fright. I dropped several classes in college when on the first day I learned there would be a solo speech or other individual presentation required. There was no way I was getting up in front of a group...for anything.

12. I went to hypnotherapy for months to help me cope with that fear. Now, after a few beta blockers and some breathing techniques I can manage to get up in front of others and have a pretty good time. (I highly recommend hypnotherapy if you are looking to improve something or kick a habit. Did you know you can even be hypnotized to become ambidextrous?)

13. I have a problem with authority. I find this odd, because frankly I'm pretty reserved.  I follow rules...laws...and all that sort of stuff as best I can, but when faced with authority my inner rebellious teenager comes out to say a big snotty "hello!"

14. I once got a misdemeanor for an open container. It was an intensely illegal moment...my holding a beer bottle and standing on a dirt road for a total of 5 seconds. I'm not sure how I escaped without jail time. (Can you sense my sarcasm here?) That was my one true brush with the law. (Sorry Mom and Dad if you are just now learning of this! I was 23, so yes, you raised your daughter right.)

15. I have a little addiction to buying books. I have more "unread" books (easily 75 and counting) on my bookshelves than "read" books and yet I continue to buy more. In the past two weeks alone I have purchased 12 new books. It doesn't help that I am slow to finish reading a book. Probably because...

16. I'm addicted to TV. I would rather sit and watch reruns than read a book, go outside, write a blog post, finish a project, or a million other things. That may be a misstatement. I would rather be a person who did all of those other highly productive things, but I sit down in front of the TV and in a flash the day is gone. I know better, but yet, here I sit. (I must be making progress because I am blogging while watching TV. Yay, me!)

17. I rarely fold my clothes before putting them away...if I put them away at all. My closet has about 2 feet of clean, unfolded clothes sitting at the bottom of it right now. And I'll wear about 4-6 of those items to work this week.

18. I use a spray wrinkle releaser to iron my clothes. I have an iron, but I'm pretty sure I've avoided using it for the better part of two years. (That stuff is seriously magic for lazy people like me!)

19. I sing nonsensical songs to myself when I do the laundry. I can't say that about any other household chore. For some reason, laundry (that wonderful mindless activity) just puts the boogie in my brain. (Too bad folding doesn't bring me such joy!)

20. I have no idea why I decided to tell you all of that, except that I want to get to know my readers better and encourage comments here and there. I figured, maybe if you know me a little better...and that I am unapologetically as cuckoo as anyone else...that you may feel a little more comfortable here at joyful.life.

So, that's a block of random and somewhat uncomfortable facts about me! I'll be honest I'm a little bit hesitant to hit "publish" on this one, but in the interest of authenticity I will swallow my pride and carry on. That said, I hope you enjoyed learning a few new things about me, maybe even share in a little of my madness, and that you find my friendly photo is enough to convince you I'm not severely unstable.

Until next time, embrace what makes you different, celebrate your quirks, and remember that you are not alone. We're all a little bit beautifully crazy.



  1. Wow! That was awesome! Loved reading that and getting to know the grown up Mara:-) are you sure you're 34? Dont we have birthdays in the same month? I wonder if I lost a year somewhere!

    1. Oh good! I was a little nervous about putting all of that out there for some reason. I was born in September 1978, so 35 this year. So crazy! And whenever people ask I want to say I'm 33 so we can just go with it. ;)

  2. Oh my, Mara I found your words so heartwarming! So much of what you described resonated with me, and after a fairly rubbish day at work you have cheered me up no end. :)

    I found myself nodding and saying 'uh-huh' out loud as I worked through your 20 points. (Especially - 3,4,8,9,13,15,17 and 18!) It is rare to bump into someone who has so many curious things in common, but it is hugely reassuring to know that I am not alone in these things!

    Thank you so much for sharing. You have completely inspired me to write my own version of this post!

    P.S: We are in the same 'Blogging from the heart' group. :)

    1. Hi Gem! Can't wait to read yours too. I am so happy that I cheered you up! I was having a rough day and even found myself laughing and smiling at this when I re-read it today. Isn't spray wrinkle releaser the best thing ever!?!?

      I'm curious about your OCD tendencies. What do you think is your weirdest one? Mine would be the way I check my lock when I leave my apartment...I turn the knob to the right twice, left twice, right twice again, and then push on the door to make sure it feels locked. My boyfriend thinks it's cute but MAN, I feel absolutely bonkers when I'm doing it and certainly hope my neighbors don't see!

    2. I haven't actually tried the spray wrinkle releaser, but I put freshly washed things that need ironing on hangers so that I don't have to iron them. Ironing is reserved for weddings, funerals and job interviews! ;) - I seriously think I need to see whether I can get wrinkle releaser in the UK though(!)

      My weirdest OCD tendency is probably checking the electric oven hob rings are switched off. I will literally leave the house (after multiple checks to make sure the windows are shut and the curtains and blinds are drawn, then the front door locking checks), get down the pathway and have to go back into the house and check each dial is at 12 o'clock. I can SEE they are, but I need to physically check each one in turn. It's a real pain!

      I find that not being in a rush to get to work and having the time to slow down and be mindful of what I'm doing is a huge help - but the lack of checks can then leave my worrying on the bus. Crazy stuff!

  3. Love the list! and for the record, from another photographer and filmmaker - #1. you are very photogenic. #2. peanut butter crusts are absolutely the first thing one should eat. #2. as a coach AND psychotherapist, I can definately help you work right through that stage fright.. using some basic acting techniques... and yes, you can hold onto those BB's if you need to!
    so there. Carol (from the blogging group)

    1. Thank you Carol! I'll have to find a way to see myself though a photographer's eye. I would love to hear more about exercises for stage fright! I find even in meetings with new people I turn read in the face and get all flustered. BB's can't help me in those unplanned moments. ;)

  4. p.s. have no clue how to publish as anything other than anon without signing on to somewhere! carol mcbride

    1. They certainly make it complicated to comment, huh? I'm so glad you noted who you are!!! Glad to see you here at joyful.life

  5. I love #15, addiction to books. Is that a bad thing? If so, I'm in BIG trouble!

    1. Definitely NOT a bad thing. I just find it funny that I buy faster than I read. Not sure how many other people do that, but I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who fancies myself to be a "book addict"!

  6. Mara, this is the first time I've commented on one of your blogs. Mostly, I just sit back and smile with pride at how wonderful you are at expressing yourself. Couldn't resist on this one, however. Knew almost all of the 20, but have to admit I had no idea you ate the marshmallows in rainbow color order or that you were afraid of wax figures (the lifesize ones, I presume).
    The misdemeanor I believe you confessed to one other time. But, as your very proud Mom........I love all your qualities, even if you don't. It's what makes you the amazing daughter that you are. Love ya, Mom

  7. All this things make you so likeable!

    I need a spray wrinkle releaser, never heard of this, but already know I will love it!
    A good trick I use is to buy lots of books with pictures, like homedecor, cookbooks and sewingbooks. Then I don't really have to read them.

    Wish you a beautiful day

    1. I think I need to do that, Eos. I have some cookbooks, only by the ones with pictures, but it's a total shame that I don't open those either! *millions of booklovers are cringing right now*

  8. OMG, who says your not funny? Thank you for this post, it made me laugh out loud. You inspired me to do my 20 things you may not know about me...


    1. Thank you! XOXO Can't wait to read yours too!