Thursday, October 13, 2005

I've been TAGGED!

In the very best possible way. Beth has tagged me to provide five random things about me. There are probably about a zillion things I could write about, but here's the first five I thought of:

(1) Much of what I've done in my life has been entirely unplanned; I am one of the least direction-oriented people I know, in spite of the fact that I've accomplished a lot. For example, in high school, I had no clue where I was going to go to college. I had top grades and could have gone virtually anywhere, but the thought of actually putting together college applications and essays seemed overwhelming. I had no clue of a major, what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. I was working in a fast-food restaurant, flirting with the boys who worked there; at that moment, I was content.

So one day, in theater class, this girl I had known since 7th grade approached me and said: Hey Theresa (oh, that's my real name). Where are you going to college?

I said, Oh, I don't know. Probably here. I haven't really thought about it.

She said, No. You should come down to State.

I said, Okay.

She said, When you come down to State, we should be roommates. You should major in theater with me!

I said, Okay.

And thus, my future was set. I look back at that moment and realize that everything that has happened to me since then would be vastly different were it not for this random exchange.

(2) In college, I switched majors 7 times! By the fifth major, I found that I loved writing, I loved my first writing instructor to pieces, and I felt that writing was something -- maybe the only thing -- I was actually good at. But the second semester I studied creative writing, I took a creative writing class with an instructor who intimidated the hell out of me. I actually went home and cried after my story was workshopped, thinking I would never write again; he had written 8 pages of single-spaced, typed comments for my 8 page story. Terror enveloped me.

This particular instructor was teaching the next level class, and I was thinking of dropping it. But I approached my favorite instructor and said, "Do you think I should drop the course?" He smiled, in his gentle way, and said, "I think you should take the next class. I did, with no regrets, and wound up getting an MFA in creative writing.

When I win my Oscar for best screenplay adaptation (of my first novel, of course), I plan on dedicating it to my favorite instructor. Without him, I wouldn't be where I am today. I cherish his words every time I walk into my own creative writing class as they are my inspiration.

(3) On a lighter note: I was always a cat person. But I had this boyfriend ten years ago whose dog had puppies. I was pretty excited about it; I mean, puppies are cute, right? Kind of like babies. I could play with them and still be a cat person, right? So, when the puppies were three days old, I went over to meet them....there were 9 in the litter, but there was this one, this perfect little ball of black fuzzy love with golden eyes. One look. One look. Just one. That was it. I was sold and forever a dog person. I brought the little fuzz ball home and he grew into 75 pounds of furry, chaotic joy. He's very full of mischief and energy, always getting in a bit of trouble, but always in such an adorable way that I accept his mama kisses. For the first few years, I thought my obsession would dwindle. It hasn't. It's only grown. I still get butterflies in my tummy when I'm coming home from working, just knowing I'm going to see him. In fact, I kinda have butterflies right now! Oh, his name is Jake....

(4) I'm not a very clean or organized person. However, I am a bit obsessive about organizing my books and my clothes. My books are broken into categories and then alphabetized. My clothes are sorted according to color and then according to type of garment. I have a closet just for accessories, and everything is sorted and put exactly where it belongs. People who know me well are always a bit surprised to hear this fact. The rest of my apartment is always a bit of a wreck; things fall where they fall and it sometimes takes weeks to put them back. But the books and the clothes. Never.

(5) I was a vegetarian for 12 years, mostly because the thought of eating meat made me a bit nauseated. Well, a few year ago, I started eating meat -- in small doses -- when I travelled and found that I was much more energetic and much happier. After a few months of on-again, off-again meet consumption, one weekend, some friends and I went camping. We all consumed mass quantities of alcohol which led to my tasting my very first summer sausage. That was it; I was once again an official meat eater. (To this day I wonder: Why on earth was it summer sausage that crossed me over? Why not a good prime rib???)

Most everyone I know has already been tagged. But I think that Jules and Vanessa haven't been tagged yet. So, tag! You gals are it!


Blogger Julia said...

Love it!

I'm all ga-ga over SuperDog's story!

4:36 PM  
Blogger TessaJ said...

I have some pictures; I'll try and scan them and have a whole day devoted to SuperDog pictures. Such a little love bug. Am about to dash over to read yours -- what a great way to get to know people.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

Oh yes please, pics! That will make my day!

6:03 PM  
Blogger la.dauphine said...

I can relate to all of them: esp. the formerly cat person and formerly vegitariain. Great post!

6:14 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I liked the bit about the randomness in your life and the fact that you had no clue about what you wanted to do and switched majors numerous times in college. My college career was rather truncated, my undergrad degree was political science, I had a business career before getting a PhD in French literature - go figure!

I am a 100% cat person, although I have no pet now. I don't think I could ever own a dog, but who knows...?

Vegetarianism. I've never tried it. I love meat. My 19-year old daughter is a vegan, though.

12:09 PM  
Blogger TessaJ said...

Thanks for the lovely comment! I teach college now, and my students are always surprised -- but grateful -- when I tell them that they don't have to have it all figured out, that they can change their minds and explore their options; or they can do what you did and change paths when they've already established themselves on another.

I think they often hear that they have to have everything "figured out" by a certain age, when in fact, this isn't always the case. Of course, I was very lucky and not completely out-of-control with my decisions, but it all worked out just fine. There are just different ways to live happily.

12:22 PM  

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