I just can’t seem to settle on one topic tonight, so I’m going to give you 10 random things you may not have known about me…

1. I’m an introvert at heart – I’ve had to really work hard for years to develop my networking and public speaking skills (and honestly, it all still makes me rather uncomfortable). These days, I can turn it on when I need to, but I find I always need a little time to decompress.

2. I can’t wink – If I try really hard, I can scrunch my face enough so one eye will eventually close (while the other one is only mostly closed). So, it always makes me feel a twinge of anxiety when someone winks at me, because I feel like I’m supposed to be able to wink back and all I can do is just smile and keep talking to create a diversion from my lack of wink-ability.

3. If I ever won the lottery, I’d go to school forever – Yep, I’m a super nerd, and I’m okay with it. What can I say? I just really love learning new things, and I think part of the reason I’m so happy working on a college campus is because I really miss being in the classroom. Plus, if I won the lottery, I could afford to take all the classes I really want to take and leave the rest behind (I’m looking at you math).

4. I’m a work in progress – I’m in a much (MUCH) better place than I was in those high school and college years when I was struggling with my eating disorder and depression, but I still have to work on my self-esteem and my body image daily. I tend to deflect compliments, and I still don’t always feel comfortable in my own skin, but I can recognize my progress and that feels pretty good.

5. I miss New York – The city, the food, the energy, and all the people I love there. I think there are places that are just part of you. No rhyme or reason. You just feel this visceral connection somewhere deep in your bones. I felt it the first time I looked out the window of the airplane and saw the city sprawled out beneath the clouds. And every time I traveled outside of the boroughs or Westchester County, I always felt like I was leaving a piece of myself behind.

6. My favorite book of all time is Stephen King’s IT – Look, there are a lot of great books out there, a lot of books I really, really love. But gun to my head and I’m forced to choose one book to take with me to a deserted island? It’s going to be IT. Every time I read IT (and I must have read it at least 40 times by now), I immediately want to start over when it’s finished. King is a master of detail and characters, and those kids in the Loser’s Club? Yeah, I definitely would have been one of them.

7. My “People I Want to Have a Beer With” List – Stevie and I started this a whole lot of years ago (at some point when we were dating), making a list of the people we admire, people we’re fascinated by, people we just want to sit down and talk to and spend a little time with. The list is pretty extensive (because I find a lot of people seriously fascinating), but if I had to narrow it down to my Top 10 right now, here’s who I would choose (in no particular order): David Lynch, Carol Burnett, Maya Angelou, Ellen Degeneres, Brit Marling, Jeannine Capó Crucet, Ann Wilson, Lewis Black, César Millan, and James Spader.

8. Competition ruined sports for me – I was always an active kid. I would much rather spend my days out running around playing, rollerblading, riding my bike, swimming, throwing a ball around, etc. than to be cooped up indoors. Through elementary, middle, and high school, I enjoyed playing basketball, softball, volleyball, and even track (though I preferred to stick with discus, long jump, and high jump than to take part in any running events). But somewhere in early high school, sports just stopped being fun. I enjoyed participating for the fun of it, for pure enjoyment of the sport and self-satisfaction at a job well done. Between a coach who kept signing me up for relays after I told her I had no interest in running, and a few girls on my teams who were more interested in proving they were the best than actually playing as a team, I decided I’d had enough of sports by sophomore year in high school and decided to stick with band, choir, art, writing, photography and my part-time jobs instead. And you know what? I don’t regret it for a minute.

9. I don’t want to live in a world without Cadbury Eggs – I know. I know. They’re ridiculously sweet, and kinda gross with that runny, gooey center that oozes out when you break the chocolate shell. But damn I love me some Cadbury Eggs! They’re the one chocolate treat I seriously crave (probably because they actually disappear for a good portion of the year). Every year since we’ve been together, Stevie and I try to stockpile Cadbury Eggs when they’re on sale after Easter. We sock them away in the fridge with every intention of making them last the next several months. But somehow we end up eating our way through them way too fast, and then we spend the rest of the year pining of them and counting down the days ’til we start seeing the commercials on TV or notice the baskets of them popping up next to the checkout lanes in the grocery store. And yeah, guess what time it is folks???

10. I have a deep hatred for raisins – It wasn’t always this way. I imagine I ate my way through a few dozen boxes in my youth. What kid hasn’t? I never would have said raisins were my favorite thing. Mostly I guess I just never really noticed them. Then, when I was in therapy in college, one of my counselors led my group through a mindfulness exercise using raisins to help us focus. And for the next 10 minutes or so, there was nothing else in my life but raisins. And what did I learn from that little exercise? Raisins are fucking nasty. They’re shriveled little pieces of gummy after-fruit that sort of taste like dirt before you chew them, and sort of taste like lightly-sweetened dirt after you chew them. But the beauty of the exercise was that I learned how many things in life we simply pass by on auto-pilot without really experiencing them. It taught me to slow down, to focus on the present moment instead of constantly fretting over the past or worrying about the future. Because right now is the only moment that is really important–and let’s face it, life’s far too short to spend it mindlessly eating raisins.

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