Thursday, May 25, 2006

Answering More of Your Questions

Last week I gave you, my beautiful readers, the opportunity to ask me any question you wanted. I left some of the questions unanswered so I could have some time to mull them over. Here are my answers (to some of them at least--I don't want this post to get too long...)

Josephine asked who I want to be when I'm 53? In twenty years, what parts of myself do I want to stay, and what parts of myself do I want to change?

Great question and I think about this often. Who do I want to be? Who am I becoming? What choices do I need to make in order to support the person I am becoming?

I really do like who I am. That hasn't always been true but within the past decade or so I've really started to build a good relationship with myself, seeing myself as my own best friend instead of my worst enemy. I do like who I am right now. In 20 years I still want to be able to say that, and not only say it but believe it even more than I do today. So I guess my answer would be I want to be who I am right now but more...more accepting of myself, more passionate and alive, more poetic and honest, more in touch with myself and the world around me, better able to let go, better able to stand in the truth, better able to show up in my life. I want me, only more of me. And I think the better able I am to be real and true, the better able I am to show up for my life, the things I want to stay and change will take care of themselves. I'm not trying to cop out on that question. There are things I want to change about myself. I'd love to loose the 15 pounds I'm still carrying from my pregnancy. I'd love to be healthier--my cholesterol is outrageous for someone my age but genetics plays a big part in that. I'd love to stop holding back so much and really express myself (I do a great job of that here but not so well in 'real life.') I would hope that as I grew into myself those things would begin to happen or I'd learn to just accept it and unconditionally love myself anyway.

Ali la Loca asked what does being a bitch mean for me? Am I happier being a bitch, or is it something I want to change?

I mentioned in my post feeling like a bitch lately. I wish what I meant when I wrote that was the way Ali was defining the word--a woman standing up for herself, a woman determined to be seen and heard. I'm totally for that definition. But unfortunately that's not what I meant. In fact after thinking about it, I think the reason I've been feeling like a bitch lately is because I'm NOT doing those things. I'm not asking for what I want. I'm not having the tough conversations that I need to have. I'm not taking care of me. The result: a woman who is irritable, short tempered, intolerant, and volatile. Hmmm... Guess I have some tweaking of my definition to take care of.

Susannah wants to know about my favorite noun, verb, adjective and adverb.

I love this question because it makes me feel like I'm a guest on Inside the Actors Studio. I can just see it now...I'm sitting in front of the audience and James Lipton is asking me this very question. But as much as I love the question it's harder to answer than you might imagine. Having to pick just one word for each category is difficult. After much deliberation this is the answer I've come up with.

noun: grace

What does that word mean to me? Here's a story. When I was a chaplain I had to break down and purchase a laptop in order to complete some of my educational assignments. A week after I bought it someone broke into my house and stole it. Ugh! I had only made one payment on it. I was telling my CPE supervisor about this and about an hour later the secretary of the department called to let me know that the department had decided they would not require I pay the next year's tuition so that I could purchase a new computer. I was amazingly grateful but that gratitude was also a tinged with guilt. What had a done to deserve this? Why me? I can't accept such a generous gift. Suddenly I had a huge revelation. This is grace. Grace sees into the heart of someone. Grace sees the truth of who we are and treats us accordingly. Grace sees the beauty, worth, value, and wholeness of each of us. And that's how I want to live my life--in grace.

verb: becoming

I like this word because I think this is what life's about--unfolding, being in process, growth, living what's inside you.

adjective: whole

Another aspect of becoming--living out of all your parts and pieces, the entirety of who you are, undivided and undiminished

adverb: passionately

That's how I want to live, how I want to do everything I do--with great passion, with fire, with heart and soul.

Marilyn asked about my occupation because she's amazed to know that I have a three-year old child and a lot of free time.

Free time? Huh? heehee... I think you're confusing having absolutely no social life whatsoever with free time. Seriously, I have no life besides working, parenting, and blogging. Yep, that about sums it up. I get my blogging done in the evenings after Britton goes to bed. I try to get other stuff done on the weekend which may be why I feel I didn't have a weekend when I wake up on Monday mornings. But all joking aside, I work in the Bursar's office of the medical school. In other words I collect tuition payments and deal with other student financial issues. And you know that god complex that doctors are so famous for? Yea, they get it very early on, like in their second year of med school.

Dani asked how I manage to say everything so well, how I turn my experiences into amazing insights for all of you to share?

I'm always amazed, and grateful, when anyone actually gets something out of my writing. When I read my words it sounds like Michelle rambling on and on again. Every once in awhile I'll write something that I really like but most of what I write seems, well, like me trying so hard to express what's inside and not quite getting there.

I still have Lee's and Rebekah's question to answer. They tie into each other and I'm afraid the answer may get lengthy so I'm saving them for later. I just noticed I also have part two of Kamsin's question. That will have to come later too.



Blogger deirdre said...

Wow, Michelle. You've put tremendous thought into these questions and have written about them beautifully. I love your take on grace. It's very comforting.

9:42 PM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

i see you poised gracefully on the verge of becoming ever more passionately amazing... you are inspiring to me! cheers!

10:38 PM  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

Michelle is there any question you would not answer? What question would you long to answer? And is there a question that is answered by the question?
You amaze me that is why I am asking these questions.

12:26 AM  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

All I want to do is give you a big hug and kiss after reading this.

I guess I am just happy to know you.

12:27 AM  
Blogger gkgirl said...

such insights.

i would have had a hard time
with questions like these.

you have a gift for expressing

4:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, I miss the questions. I loved your answers to these though and I agree, you have such insight into yourself. That is a wonderful thing.

6:04 AM  
Blogger Ali la Loca said...

I've been curiously awaiting your answers. Thank you for sharing, again with such honesty and beauty in your words.

Sometimes I feel like a bitch the way you define it as well. I think I have a mix of 70% Ali-Bitch and 30% Michelle-Bitch most of the time. I wish that percentage would change so that I could totally erradicate bitterness and jealousy and short words and petty gestures from my life...

7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

love your word answers! you'd have been an inspiring force on IAS :)

7:51 AM  
Blogger katie said...

what a beautiful, honest post - a glimpse into your heart and soul, thank you.

my favorite noun would also be grace.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Swirly said...

I love this idea, and love your willingness to answer them honestly. Yeah you!

10:06 AM  
Blogger Deb R said...

I enjoyed reading the continuation of "Questions and Answers With Michelle" (I have the image of a TV show stuck in my head...hehehe).

Love the photo!

10:19 AM  
Blogger Josephine said...

Being who you are, but more so...I really like that answer! And the thoughts about being a bitch?

I totally feel you sister!

11:10 AM  
Blogger paintergirl said...

I have wanted to tell you for some time that I love your new pic. You remind me of a very dear college friend whom I have lost touch with. I think you are full of grace and I too want to live passionately . I want people to think of me a passionate freespirit

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, I will ask even if this is not the place because it has been bugging me all morning...

I know so much about you and yet I don't know if you are married to Trey? I thought you were but then the last name thing came up and so it confused me.


12:29 PM  
Blogger dani said...

much much love to you michelle - thank you for your always encouraging words.

you're a true gem!

2:39 PM  
Blogger melba said...

Thinking about time....
My life is just about my family and blogging.
Which is ok for me.
But that's probably why I can read and post so much.
I never go out.

2:42 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

i love to come here and read more answers...more insight into who you are my dear.
and grace - i love that word as well. it seems so huge and simple all at the same time. that word is why i love the song rocky mountain high so much. it just nestles itself into the middle of that song. love it.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

Beautiful answers. Having spent decades avoiding lawyers like the plague, I succumbed and worked with a few attorneys in the tropics. That God complex you referred to?...lawyers have a similar thing...I think "Arrogance 101" is a required course in law school. :)

9:19 PM  

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