I’m a very layered, wonderfully complex creature outside of being the normal average woman lol. Let me tell ten things you probably didn’t know about me.
One: I love to fish. If there is a body of water nearby, I will fish it. I pond fish, deep sea fish, lake fish, shore fish, surf fish, pier fish, and sometimes on slow days I have to go buy fish. I love to catch fish, cook fish, and share when my bounty is overflowing. I have been fishing since I was 10.
Two: I love to dance and I love music. Bachata, Meringue, Salsa, Two-Step, Do What You Feel Step… I love dancing. As far as music goes, I love it all. Jazz, Reggae, Hip-Hop, Trap and Gangster Rap, R&B, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, Classical, Instrumental, Latin, Soyka, Dance hall, I just love music. I have an active bucket list of music artists I want to see before I die. I have been to lots of music concerts for all sorts of genres, and I have been blessed to see some of the best musicians America (and the world) has to offer.
Three: I love to cook. I love to bake. I’m a country girl, and kind of a food snob (lol). I love home cooked meals, I love dives, and I love anything that’s original. If it’s not from scratch and made with soul/love, I don’t want it! I also love to have small, intimate dinners with close friends. I love international foods, and I love going into different communities to enjoy authentic cultural experiences. That’s one of the nice things about living in Florida.
Four: I’m a Carolina Girl, and I love the Carolina Panthers. While I don’t watch football anymore, I still show my support for my favorite professional football team whenever and wherever I can.
Five: I love water. I love the ocean. I love the lake. Water helps me detox my mind, and my life. I enjoy catching sunsets, and I enjoy being in beautiful places near water like my friend Sherry Kappel. Where there is water, there is peace. I also love boating. I have taken (and passed) boating safety courses to ensure when boating in the ocean I don’t kill my damned self (lol).
Oh yeah, I hate wearing life jackets…so if I die in the ocean know in advance I wasn’t wearing one. You’ll never see me wearing one. I’m living fast, trying not to die too young. There is nothing like being like near water, with a nice adult beverage, meditating on the meaning of life, or just fishing.
Okay, enough of the nice good stuff.
Six: I have grandkids (4 to be exact). I kindly asked my children not to make me a grandma until I was 50, because I have always had kids in my life. I needed a break. I raised my siblings ( my mom left us home alone for work and to date), and then went on at the ripe old age of 18 to have my first kid. I was 20 when I had the second one. I went from being a kid, to a kid keeping my kid siblings, to a teen parent. I never really had a childhood, or an adulthood for that matter. My life has been spent taking care of others, I want time to just do me.
So, I didn’t want anyone to drop kids off on me with the expectation that I was going to be the reliable old grandma/babysitter. I ain’t that granny (lol).
This grandma is unashamedly unreliable. You’ll come out better asking me for money before asking me to babysit, although on a rare occasion I will babysit when I’m in town. One son has all the children. I’ll do better when I turn 50, which is 4 more years. Sometimes, you have to be selfish to survive.
Not sure why kids selfishly bank on their parents as babysitters with no regard for them having already done their time of 20 plus years raising kids, but I’m not the one. I’m standing up for myself. I don’t want to be that complaining grandma too afraid to say no. #noregrets
Seven: I don’t like getting old. My bones ache now, and things I never had to deal with before (like facial hair on my upper lip) freak me out. My hair texture has changed, and it’s getting harder and harder to maintain my “almost-obese” weight (lol). I gave up trying to be skinny. Now I just want to be healthy. As I get older, I appreciate the small things. I appreciate kindness. I appreciate hearing from my kids. I appreciate good, genuine friends, and the good and bad times of my life. They made me the person I am today.
One of the nice things about getting older is that I now see the world differently. I’m more open to meeting new people, getting outside of my cultural norms and exploring the world. I don’t need to have a passport to see the world, I can simply Google a different community near me and take a trip.
I have decided I don’t want to die too old. It seems old people are very lonely. Living here in Florida (aka heaven’s waiting room), it seems older people don’t have lots of friends (friends die before you, or move closer to their kids), struggle getting around (especially when moved away from families/children) and aging is place is only good if you have a strong support system. I see lots of sad seniors eating alone, shopping alone, and losing their cars in parking lots (I can’t tell you how many old, rich people I have helped get to their cars so they won’t be robbed). I hope my light is snuffed out at night while I’m still mobile and in my right mind. Unexpectedly.
Eight: I do lots of things to survive. I have lots of jobs/gigs. I write grants, review grants, I consult with nonprofit and government entities, and I teach people how to write grants thoroughly (which is why I tend to write in long-form). I like what I do, although I will never be rich from doing it. I also test products for a large American home improvement supplier before they go on the market. I test appliances, tools, outdoor stuff, kitchen stuff, bathroom items, furniture, etc.. I was invited after writing a scathing review of one of their services. I now write honest opinions about products the supplier is considering retailing online and in-store. It’s fun, and it saves me lots of money on household items. (So, fill out those store surveys people!)
Sometimes I cater meals, make fried pies, and bake cakes for customers, but I do lots of things to keep from having to beg (and get laid off from) someone from another 9 to 5 gig. This is my life, and I hope I can continue working like this until I get old enough to retire. It’s stressful at times, but I wouldn’t trade any of it. I like earning my keep. Screw the American nightmare, I’m just trying to survive. It takes a village to raise a child, and it also takes a village to survive this new economic reality we’re in.
Nine. I had a very hard childhood after my parents divorced at the age of 5–6.
I’m estranged from most of my family (a long, terrible story for another day). I have one brother and one sister (my sister was post the photo above). I am the oldest kid, and I was treated the harshest by my mom after my parents divorced. Sometimes it’s just easier to make your friends family to cut down on all the family bullshit. I pretty much had to raise myself, and I have had very few people I could actually rely on throughout my life. I was in and out of foster care. Not sure how I ended up half way decent, but I did. It was a rocky start at first, but I got my shit together and became somebody.
Both of my parents have mental illness…diagnosed later in life (after they had kids).
I was the first of my siblings to finish college, surprisingly. I was an adult student, with 2 children, but I did it. My siblings went into the military. My sister has been enlisted for 21 years. My brother did 5-years, including a few tours in the first Gulf War. I have a relationship with my sibs. We don’t see each other often, but we help each out other when we need to. We are all we have, as our parents never really helped us.
I feel like I was always the outsider, so I have always made my own paths in life. Sometimes, I feel bad sometimes because my children don’t have good relationships with their maternal grandparents, but I don’t blame them. Some people are just hard to love. I’m a soloist, a loner, and more recently an introvert. I get more accomplished when I’m alone. Besides, it seems my old friends and acquaintances only talk to me when they want something (i.e. to pick my brain, exes wanting sex, money). Out of sight, out of mind is my new motto. I enjoy meeting new people, with great minds, and wonderful ideas on how to make the world a better place.
If you’re not talking about any of that stuff, I’m not too interested in talking to you.
Ten: I’m an empath, and it causes me so much trouble. Usually, I can see things 2–3 years in advance, and I have a habit of bluntly telling people the truth. Let’s just say it rubs people the wrong way. I often find myself giving people warnings about all sorts of things, and sometimes I see things (characteristics) in people which are unflattering. People don’t like the truth!
I learned people are not receptive to such information that doesn’t flatter them, so I just keep it to myself. If someone asks for an opinion, I’ll give it…but if they refute it and deflect, I make a mental note of their maturity level and keep it pushing. I don’t do flowers and fluff when I speak.
I shoot straight from the hip. Those who need the words to be wrapped in bubble wrap, sprayed in febreeze, and spoon fed can’t take me (lol). I have better things to do with my time than to babysit someone’s feelings.
Another downside of being an empath is I am super sensitive to person’s spirit. Sometimes I can sense things in people that are not good (or at least not good for me). I call it a blessing because it prevents me from making mistakes which could damage me emotionally. The older I get, it seems the harder it is to recover from such missteps. I’m more guarded with my spirit and soul. I pick up negative things easily.
Being an empath keeps me up at night, causes me to wear my feelings on my face (especially that ole resting bitch face, when it’s appropriate), and causes me to overthink things. Sometimes, I know when something bad is about happen a few days before it does, and it drains me waiting to see what it will be. It’s a blessing and a curse. In any event, I’m grateful to have this gift. It has been a life-saver (when I use it).
Welp, those are my 10 things. I hope you feel you learned a little more about me. Thanks to Interculturalisticman for the challenge. Sorry I cheated with pics, but I feel sometimes words can’t do somethings justice.
Marley K., 2018
Being different since forever!