I met Courtney in about... mmm... 6th grade. So, about 10 years ago (harharhar). We went to different elementary schools and then merged into the middle school with all the other kids. I hated middle school. In fact, I barely even remember experiences (post traumatic perhaps?) but I do remember people. Even though Courtney and I didn't necessarily run in the same social circle often I just remember that she was one of the NICE girls. She really was, she was so friendly! As much as my memory wants to group all the kids I grew up with into one big "snob" category... there are just some people I can't do that with. Like Courtney. She just wasn't one. She was sweet.
And so fast forward to the wonder and magic of facebook. And reconnecting. And figuring out "holy CRAP that is NOT how I remember that person" when you really get to know them again. I have no idea what is in a persons minds-eye when they think about what to associate me with from our younger years (and believe me, the thing that they most likely remember is SUCH a far cry from who I am now).
So, now we're both on facebook and both commenting on the little things we see on each others pages. I don't know this Courtney.** I mean, I DO (STILL NICE! YES!) but we're really pretty much strangers. And it's kind of awesome. Because I feel like I have a new friend.
And you know what else? When the shit hit the fan in my life... guess who was such a huge cheerleader for me? Yup, that's right... the high school cheerleader: Courtney. She gave me a HUGE boost with her care and concern and her encouragement. Because it turns out... she's BEEN there before. And it gives me hope to see what it looks like to move on with your life. And be happy. Because she IS.
So give her an "A" for awesome and let's get on with our little interview.
Hi Court! I'm SOOOO happy to have you here!!! Why don't you tell us a little about your fabulousness:
Hi, I'm Courtney Smith. I'm 35 years old & would say that I have just begun to figure out who I am...
When I put the call out there for good people to add to my blog, you answered (lucky me!)... so you must have thought about it, and maybe even wondered what I was going to ask... what DID you think I would interview you about?
I imagined it would have something to do with being a woman, or UU, or marriage...I honestly had no clue, I just figured it would be an interesting thing to participate in.
Since we grew up in the same town, can you tell me what you think of small town life? Especially life in a beach town?
I can honestly say that I enjoyed growing up in a small town; I always felt safe & knew that I could pretty much knock on most doors in town & someone in the house would know who I was or know who my family was. Of course that was the downside as well...it's very difficult to be a sneaky teenager when everyone in town knows who you are... While I was growing up in such a small community it didn't really dawn on me that I lived in such a beautiful, safe community...it just was my norm, so I think I took it for granted more often than not. It wasn't until I was older that it hit me that I was fortunate to have grown up where I did.
As for growing up in a beach town, I loved that as well. There was a certain laid back rhythm in the summers that I coveted.
Do you have a particular memory from the past that you go to every time you need to find strength? Something someone said to you? Something you overcame?
I've never been one to look back to moments in the past in order to move forward (or at least I don't do it consciously)...I have somehow always just dug deep & found strength when I've needed it & believe me there have been plenty of things I've needed to overcome...
What do you do to get through a hard time?
I find that I do a lot of internal dialogue & process situations (almost to a point of delirium) & once I make a decision I don't waiver from it.
Red wine also helps when I'm really stuck ;)
Is there any one person that you always turn to? Can you tell us about this person?
I can't pick just one....
My husband Todd is extremely supportive & is always encouraging me to challenge myself. He's an incredible listener & offers tangible advice. He also allows me to act crazy & still loves me....
My college roommate, Michelle, (or Mojo as I refer to her) has been my bff since we were 17. We were placed together as roommates our freshman year of college & pretty much lived together throughout our college experience. She is an amazingly strong, intelligent & supportive friend...What I love about her the most is that she doesn't judge, she has allowed me to make some awful mistakes because she knows that they are mine to make & she has always been there to help me pick up the pieces of my life & move on.
If someone said to you that you could leave your job behind and start living out your DREAM, where do you think that would take you?
It would most definitely take me to a warmer climate...but I think I would still do social work in some capacity...it's in my blood.
What do you love?
I love...a good snuggle, a solid handshake, laughter, red wine, movies that make me cry, books that make me imagine, soft sheets, dancing, spending time with my nearest & dearest friends, cheeseburgers, a perfect 78 degree day with a little bit of breeze & no humidity, my mom's hugs & her mac & cheese (if you haven't had it, it's amazing), going for drives with no destination, holding my husband's hand, kissing, painting my toenails, helping people, new baby smell, finding a great bargain on something amazing, & my life as it is right this moment.
Do you have something that you are REALLY good at? Like, so good that people are in awe of your ability?
I am gifted at the art of being tactfully blunt....
I've been seeing other bloggers and friends use the New Year to think of ONE word to live with for 2011, for me it's really hard to choose just one, but do you think you have a word?
I've taken part in a few interviews/guest spots before. I surprised myself by what actually came out when I was writing for someone else's blog for someone else's readers... what did you imagine yourself wanting to share?
Based on the last 2 years of my life I wanted to share that it's ok to question choices you've made in your life, but you can't just sit with them in that stagnant place...you need to do something if you really feel you need to make changes...Change can be awful & scary & overwhelming & stressful, but life is really too short to not live it...
I pondered divorce for over 2 years before I woke up one morning & thought to myself, "if I don't leave today, I'm never leaving" & so I left. It was the bravest & craziest thing I've ever done & so difficult to explain to people in my life who just didn't understand my choice. I got to a point where I stopped explaining myself & just started living & that has made all the difference.
I want people to know that there is life after divorce...it shouldn't be this scarlet 'D' we are burdened to wear. Shit happens, people change & relationships morph...it's how you choose to grow during those times that make you who you are meant to be....
Have you wanted to start a blog? Do you think you would?
Not at all...I just don't think of myself as creative enough to pull a blog off, but it's been fun being a part of yours ;)
you said you've just begun to figure out who you are. What hit you like a ton of bricks to discover about yourself? can you name at least 3 things that you can definitely without a doubt feel 100% about when you say "this is who I am"?
My divorce hit me like a ton of bricks (even though I had been thinking about it for 2 years prior to leaving) & it has allowed me to discover who I really am & what I really want out of my life. I felt like I wasn't myself until I left my first marriage. I felt as if during the previous 10 years I had been going through the motions, but not really partaking in life; rather, I was following the course I was "supposed to". By letting go of my need to please others I took care of myself for the first time ever & chose not to feel guilty about it. It was liberating & I feel whole.
Three things that I can definitely without a doubt feel 100% about when I say "this is who I am"....1) I am a caretaker, 2) I am confident, 3) I am a planner.
Let's go out with one more thing... can you please share a little philosophy you have about something, anything.
Life is too short to be miserable, so don't settle for a life that doesn't give you pleasure...DO SOMETHING to make the changes necessary to live a happy & healthy life
**little known fact: Courtney's Mom 'JSM' (as I like to call her) taught me how to knit a few years ago... and also? the apron I wear when I'm pretending to be a 50's housewife was sewn by none other than 'JSM' (Courtney's Mom... remember?)