And Now For Something Completely Different…

I’m going to take a break from talking about bipolar disorder.  Just for one little post.  Is that okay with you?

See, the thing is that I was nominated for the Liebster Award by lifevivified.  She’s witty and fabulous.  You should probably check out her blog.  I am so pleased that she felt that I was cool enough to be nominated, and I’m accepting the award.  I mean, it’s SPARKLY, y’all.  I can’t refuse it.

liebster-award-nomination

Anyway, this means that I have to answer the eleven questions she posted for her nominees, then I have to list eleven facts about myself, then I need to nominate some other new-ish blogs and give them questions to answer.

This strangely reminds me of those e-mail chains in middle school where you had to answer completely pointless surveys about yourself, and I would always sit there thinking, “Wait, do I like Coke or Pepsi?  I don’t know!”  or “Hold on…what ice cream flavor would I be?  People are going to read into this…I HAVE TO GET IT RIGHT!”  Like there was a wrong answer.  I was weird in junior high (who wasn’t?).  In a throwback to those dumb surveys and because I’m happy to have been nominated, here are the answers to the questions posed to me by lifevivified:

1. How did you get into blogging?  

I started blogging in college almost ten years ago.  I actually have no idea why.  A few years after I started that blog, someone asked me why I write so much. I said, “I don’t know…I guess for the same reason I breathe?  I just have to.”  I blog, I freelance for magazines, and I’ve written three novels (one has been published…but I think my mom bought the only copies that sold).  Anyway, that blog was humorous and light.  That’s why people liked it.  After my bipolar diagnosis, I needed an outlet through which I could try to find the bright side of this disorder and still be allowed to be serious when I needed to be.  I have LOVED the community of followers I have on this new baby blog, and I love the blogs I read. I read all types of blogs, but bloggers with mental illnesses are the most fabulous.  We’re in an exclusive club that none of us wanted to be in.  Rock on.

2. If you could have one superpower (real or imagined) what would it be and why?  

I would want…hmmm…  The ability to make dolphins swim through air.  That’s only because I don’t think anyone’s thought of that one before, and also how cool would it be if dolphins periodically swam down your street?  “Oh look, honey, there’s that pod of dolphins again.  Do we have any sardines to throw out our window?”

3. What are your long-term goals in life?

Hmmm… this is a bit broad.  I would say #1 is to figure out how to follow God better, because I sometimes suck at it.  Then again, try having a brain tumor that causes a list of health problems longer than your arm, and tell me you wouldn’t at least feel a LITTLE bit “what the heck” once in a while.

Other than that, I would like to figure out how to manage my health issues, make a difference to my students, and keep writing.  If I accomplish all that, I’ll be a happy camper.

Oh, and I want a pug puppy.  BADLY.  I must have a pug puppy to achieve maximum happiness levels.

4. If you could live within the setting of one television show or movie, what would it be and why? 

I would pick That 70’s Show.  It’s the only show in which I’ve seen every single episode.  I’m not a binge-watchy type of person, but I got a bad case of mono/strep throat/cocktail of illnesses in high school which put me in the hospital for five days and a month out of school – EEK!  Anyway, the characters on That 70’s Show were my best friends during that period.  We spent a lot of hours together.  I think we could be friends in real life.  I’d need to go back in time and be in high school, though, because otherwise they wouldn’t be friends with me.  Since this is a completely hypothetical question anyway, I’m claiming that this time travel would be possible in that scenario.

Also, in 1970 there was no social media and no Donald Trump.  It was a simpler time.

5. Same question, but pertaining to the setting of a story or book?

I feel like I should be really sophisticated here and say Pride and Prejudice or Twelfth Night or something, but let’s be real.  It’s Harry Potter. I’m a teacher, and I wish I could teach at Hogwarts.  If I had a magic wand, classroom management would be easy like whoa.

6. Which of all your own blog posts, is your favorite?

Uh, I don’t know.  Maybe my first one?  It explains why this blog exists in the first place, so that’s probably significant-ish.  You can read that here.

7. How did you come up with the name for your blog?

My name is Hazel, and I’m explaining my journey with bipolar disorder from my own perspective (behind my eyes).  Also, the current bane of my existence is my brain, which is located behind my eyes.  Lastly and obviously most importantly, it was a catchy Kelly Clarkson song back in the early 2000’s.  Who doesn’t love Kelly Clarkson?

8. If you were going to own an exotic pet (in theory only – we know wild animals do not make good pets), what would it be and why?  

I would probably domesticate the swimming-through-air dolphin that I created in question #2.

9. If you could spend a day with one person (real or fictional), who would it be and why? 

I would pick the queen of England for a very specific reason. My grandma is British, and she’s extremely insistent that I’m proper and ladylike at all times.  For my entire childhood, she would say things such as, “Dah-ling, you’re buttering your roll incorrectly.  Here, let me show you.”  Then she would show me how to butter my roll (or whatever else I was doing wrong).  Then she would always follow up her correction with, “I’m only telling you this, dear, so that if you ever have tea with the Queen then you won’t embarrass yourself.”  I heard that phrase SO MANY TIMES.

Basically, I would love to have tea with the Queen in order to say, “Hey, Nana!  I had tea with the Queen and didn’t embarrass myself! HA!”

10. If you won the lottery today, what would you do tomorrow?

Pay off student loans.  (I HATE STUDENT LOANS!).  Then I would pay off my friends’ student loans.  Then I would pay off a couple random people’s student loans just to give them a nice surprise, because how cool would that be?!

Then I would start surfing the net and planning my trip to Fiji.

11. What makes you happiest in this world?

Adventure.

 

Okay, now that I’ve answered all of the questions, I guess I’m supposed to list eleven facts about myself?  Haven’t you learned enough about me yet?!  I certainly don’t want my arbitrary-yet-sparkly online award to be stripped from me, so I’d better follow the directions.  I’ll make this brief:

  1. I never wear matching socks.  Ever.  Unless it’s an accident.
  2. My beagle is sitting by me while I write this, and he just burped.  Gross.
  3. I think burps are gross.
  4. I secretly do care what happens to the Kardashians.
  5. I hate sushi as much as it is possible to hate a food (which, surprisingly, is A LOT)
  6. I met Caroline Kennedy while at the Japanese embassy and had this overwhelming urge to say, “Hey, sorry about your dad getting assassinated.”  But I didn’t say it. *phew!*
  7. That’s the only famous person I’ve ever met, which is probably good.  Turns out I act like a goob around famous people.
  8. I bred rats in college.  Sold them for $5 each in the dorms.  My roommate was awesome.
  9. Then I became an R.A. and couldn’t do that anymore.
  10. I’m fluent in Spanish and German
  11. One of the aforementioned ten items is a lie.

That’s enough about ME.  Now I have to nominate some fabulous blogs.  Here we go:

  1. An Exercise in Trust – This is one of my friends who blogs about her time living in India.  It’s been a transition for sure, but she recently started this awesome street project where she helps kids learn to make shoes so they don’t run around barefoot all the time.  She’s also helping impoverished women learn how to make and sell bracelets to make money.  She’s a rock star, basically.
  2. Hope in Holland – I found this blog about a woman who’s being SO STRONG while going through her second round of IVF treatments and praying, praying, praying for a baby.  It reminds me that everyone has their struggles.  Maybe mine is a mental illness and hers isn’t, but everyone’s got something.  We all need to be kind to each other.  I admire her strength and openness, so I really like this blog.
  3. 365 Days in the Garden – This blog is also about a struggle with bipolar disorder, and I’m pretty sure this author and I would be friends if we knew each other in real life.  She’s real, she’s honest, and I identify with a lot about what she has to say.
  4. Keanna Moseley – In keeping with the theme of “everyone has their struggles,” Keanna is bravely blogging about what it’s like to be married and divorced by age 25.  It’s sad, but her story is poignant and well-told.  It’s about looking back but also looking forward.  That’s what you have to do with any struggle, right?  Acknowledge what happened and look at how to move on from there.
  5. The Bipolar Mama – This blog deserves a shout-out just because this lady is so awesome.  She does a great job of talking about bipolar disorder in a way that’s serious without being “poor me.”  She’s taking life by the horns and just making it happen.  She’s a little bit my hero.

BipolarOnFire…just so you know, you’re my secret favorite, but I can’t nominate you because you’re all popular and established and crap.  You’re my other hero, just fyi.  🙂

Alright my people, here are your eleven questions:

  1. Describe your life in three sentences.
  2. What would be your one piece of advice to someone going through a struggle like yours?
  3. What’s the weirdest thing in your purse at this moment?
  4. Why do you blog?
  5. Where is the one place in the world that you must see before you die?
  6. If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be?  (Ha ha…middle school throwback.  You’re welcome).
  7. If a song played every time you walked into a room, which song would you pick?  Why?
  8. Describe your childhood in one scene.
  9. Who is your hero?  Why?
  10. If you were about to be stranded on a deserted island, which four items would you bring in your backpack?
  11. What is something very few people know about you?

Phew!  Done!  Thanks again, Vivienne, for the nomination.  🙂

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