On January 8th, I received my nomination for the Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award from my friend and colleague, Katy, over at CoffeeTattoos. I am honored to have been recognized by her in this way, and excited to share the following insights with my readers, as well as nominate the writers whom I enjoy reading the most.
- Thank the blogger who gave you the award and link back to their blog.
- Answer the ten questions given to you.
- Nominate 10 bloggers for the award.
- Write 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
- Display the award on your blog or post.
- If you could have lunch with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Why? What would you talk about?
My first thought when I read this question was, of course, I’d want to have lunch with my mom. It isn’t that exciting an answer, and it’s certainly predictable, but there it is. She passed away when I was 21, and I’ve lived a fair bit of life since then. I’m also more open now, at 30, to her advice and experience than I was before. I would love to be able to sit down with her and have a candid discussion about motherhood, marriage, and becoming your own person.
- What are your blogging goals for 2016?
In 2016 I would like to be able to invest more time into the Real Sarah C and deliver some good content. Though this blog began as a personal venture designed to provide myself with a constructive way to sort out my thoughts and emotions, it has taken on a life of its own. Readers who have contacted me to say that they are inspired, comforted, or amused by things that I have written have, in turn, inspired me to write more and to write more meaningfully.
- How are you feeling, emotionally, about the year ahead?
Excited. Scared. As 2015 came to a close, I made some big life changes in regards to my work as a sign language interpreter, and I’m thrilled to see how things manifest in the next year. By that same token, however, life is more mutable than it has ever been, which is a challenge for someone like me. I frequently crave stability, but find myself bored with the status quo.
- When do you think people should have to decide what they want to do with their life? Is 18 too young?
I don’t think anyone should ever be required to set their life course down in stone. That isn’t the way that life works in general, so why should your career or your education be laid out in a brick path before you? And certainly not at so young an age. When I look back on myself at 18 (not that it was so long ago), I see very few similarities between that girl and the woman I am now. To be perfectly frank, I’m not sure that I would trust my 18-year-old self with any decisions that would have impacted my present or my future. In that way, I’m grateful that I waited a few years before I made concrete plans.
- Why do you think there is so much stigma surrounding mental illness, admitting that you need help, and getting said help?
First and foremost, people are afraid of what they don’t understand, and I find that this commonality is the genesis for more social stigmas. Depiction of mental illness in the media also plays a huge part in the misrepresentation of those with mental illness, by propagating unrealistic expectations and stereotypes. For those who have a mental illness, or fear that they do, the perceived backlash from their community is often enough to cause them to delay or even completely deny any help. Cultural values and societal norms are also extremely powerful influences.
- Do you believe in love at first sight or soulmates?
Yes and no. I don’t believe that you can really fall in love with someone at first sight — at least not in the way that I have experienced love. To me, true love, whether romantic or platonic, requires a great deal of trust to be established, and that doesn’t happen overnight. Soulmates, though, are easier to believe in. I have certainly felt that there are people in my life who have completed me in some sense. I am not sure, however, if I believe in the idea of one soulmate, one partner, out of the billions of people on Earth. I think it is possible, even beneficial, to have more than one soulmate.
- Is there anything you want to write about on your blog but you’re afraid to? If so, I think you should write about that for one of your next posts.
I appreciate the encouragement! Fear bridles me, as desire pushes me forward — there are things that I have in my heart that weigh heavily on my mind, that may not ever be fully articulated. I’m afraid of hurting people, of revealing too much, or acting rashly. I never publish anything that I haven’t given a great deal of thought to. That said, there are also a number of things I have considered publishing that will need to wait for their moment.
- When it comes to kids wanting to dye their hair (any color) or pierce their cartilage or nose when they’re in middle or high school, would you let your child do that? Why or why not?
Absolutely. I believe that your body is your canvas, and body modification, if that’s something you’re into, is an important method of self-expression, particularly when you’re young and looking for ways to express yourself. As a parent, I would rather my daughter dye her hair pink and pierce her nose than become rebellious and sullen. The only exception would be tattoos, which are permanent (or at least, very difficult to remove) and expensive. Save those kinds of modifications for later in life when you are more stable.
- When it comes to planners, what do you do? Do you use a bullet journal, Erin Condren, Filofax, etc? Or if you don’t use one of those, take a few minutes to research them all and tell me what you would like to start using.
Every year since I was 16 I have purchased a Llewellyn Witches Calendar. I keep track of important dates, appointments, and family events alongside the lunar phases, astrological events, and other witchy data. Since starting my freelancing business, I also make use of the Google Calendar to keep track of all of my assignments, in addition to appointments, birthdays, and so on. This year, though, I added a Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook in order to have everything written down and in my purse with me throughout the day. I find it easier to plan and take notes when I have it on paper.
- What was your favorite nonfiction book that you read in 2015? How did you find it? Who wrote it? What was it about?
I read Andrew Solomon’s Far from the Tree, a book of essays by the other based on his interactions with families with children that belong to separate cultures than their parents, due to a disability or other differences. I initially read a review of the book in the newspaper and was interested in reading it due to my work with the Deaf community. Solomon had, in fact, devoted a full section of his book to hearing families who are raising deaf children, and their search for identity. I enjoyed that part of the book immensely, and was able to use some of the information therein during my work with Deaf adults and children. The other sections of the book were also very eye-opening, particularly the parts about families living with severe mental illnesses.
Undoubtedly, some of these lovely people have already been nominated by others, but I said I’d nominate those writers who I admire most, and so I will:
Van by the River
Abby Has Issues
My Ten Questions:
- When you are inspired to write song lyrics on your wall, as many of us so often are, which lyrics are they, and why?
- What life achievement, thus far, have you accomplished that you are most proud of? Anything left that you dream of accomplishing?
- Do you believe that literature is a transformative force in one’s life? If so, which books or stories have been most impactful to you?
- Given the ability to grant yourself any superpower, which would it be and why?
- If you were able to transpose yourself into the body of another person anywhere in the world, who would it be and why?
- Describe something that has happened to you for which you have no explanation.
- Out of all the birthdays who have had thus far in your life, which one has been the most memorable? What made it so?
- Are you a collector of anything? If so, what do you collect and why?
- Where do you most want to travel that you have not yet been?
- If someone were to construct a magickal circle to summon you, what five things would they use to call you?