It’s Never Too Late To Learn Something New About Yourself cover

It’s Never Too Late To Learn Something New About Yourself

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I like to think I’m pretty sure of myself, and that I have a pretty good idea of what kind of person I am, that I am aware what my strengths and weaknesses are, and that I’ve carved a pretty decent path for myself.
When you get to a certain age, these things matter, and a certain confidence — or maybe a wisdom — comes with living your life guided by faith, experiences and loyalty to family.
But, according to BuzzFeed, I don’t know myself. At all.


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It’s Never Too Late To Learn Something New About Yourself

Not At All

I like to think I’m pretty sure of myself, and that I have a pretty good idea of what kind of person I am, that I am aware what my strengths and weaknesses are, and that I’ve carved a pretty decent path for myself.

When you get to a certain age, these things matter, and a certain confidence — or maybe a wisdom — comes with living your life guided by faith, experiences and loyalty to family.

But, according to BuzzFeed, I don’t know myself. At all.

Importance Of Cat Videos

According to BuzzFeed, which everyone knows is the go-to source for all things internet worthy (especially funny cat videos, which I can’t get enough of), I am an introvert whose classic Disney icon is Belle, that I should be an astronaut and live in New York.

Video

Not Surprised

There are some things BuzzFeed, via quizzes on the website, are spot on about me.

I do consider myself an introvert. My best friend, a classic extrovert, told me an introvert gets his or her energy from being alone, and that an extrovert gets energy from other people.

So, when took the quiz, I was not surprised when I got this result: You’re a deep thinker and highly intelligent. You find satisfaction in spending time alone or only with a handful of people. You’ve always drawn your motivation from and find nothing more fulfilling than a deep, intellectual conversation.

Hills Are Alive

I’m not so sure about the deep, intellectual conversation part.

But, as the youngest child of 5 kids and growing up in a house that was overrun by those older siblings and their friends, I have totally grown to appreciate alone time. In fact, when I find myself alone in my house now, which is as rare as four-leaf clover, I feel like Julie Andrews as Maria in the Alps, singing about the hills being alive. Seriously.

Just last Sunday I stood in my kitchen, basking in the realization that Matthew was on his date with Aunt Beth, Kaitlyn was in Lancaster picking out bridesmaids’ dresses, and my husband and Tommy were food shopping prior to a trip back to Millersville. I was blissfully, quietly alone.

Time For Me

Time For Me

Nothing

Even better – basketball was over so I had no games to referee; I was caught up on laundry; the dishes were clean and put away; the family room and living room were – more or less – straightened up.

Gosh, what would I do?

Nothing. I did absolutely nothing. For a good 43 minutes. I sat in front of the TV and flipped around until I happened upon some mindless show that required absolutely zero thought process. It was fabulous. Then the front door opened and my wonderful alone-time was shattered. Well, it was better than nothing.

Marcia or Jan?

Who do you think I am?

I knew before I started the quiz what the result should be, and my assumption was right.

Are You More Like Marcia Or Jan?

You got: Jan

Nice try, Jan. It’s not easy living in Marcia’s shadow, but you make the best of it. You’re thoughtful, kind, and intelligent. You also have a clear conscience — doing the right thing is simply what comes natural to you. However, your jealous tendencies are well-known; try not to take things so personally, because your moment in the sun is just around the corner.

Big Personalities

Again, it can be overwhelming being the baby in a family like mine, where one personality is bigger than the next.

But I grew up in a true Irish family, where skin thickens immediately upon birth. I knew early on that, even though I was the youngest, had strawberry blond hair (spun gold, my grandmother always said), freckles and blue eyes and was cute as a button; that no way the spotlight would ever tilt in my direction.

In The Spotlight

In The Spotlight

Happy In The Shade

Guided by that thick skin, though, I never once uttered, “Mary Beth, Mary Beth, Mary Beth,” because my sister was getting all the good things in life.

I did live in the shadow of some pretty dynamic and magnetic siblings, but I liked it there – it taught me how to fly under the radar. Plus, since the oldest three had broken most of the rules, and then rewrote the rule book, there was really no reason for me to try to steal a spotlight. I just didn’t have the ingenuity to do what Beth, Terry and Kevin got away with.

Belle

And, no surprise that I got Belle on the quiz asking which Disney princess reflects my style.

I’m not sure I have a style, so Belle’s description seems as good as any for me:

Your style is clean and classic with elements that feel distinctly Parisian. (Perhaps your other style muses include Audrey Hepburn or Marion Cotillard?) You probably have a uniform or two you know you look good in, and that’s about all you need.

Audrey Hepburn, 1956

Audrey Hepburn, 1956

Uniform

I could do worse than Audrey Hepburn. I don’t know who Marion Cotillard is, so that’s a crap shoot.

Once I read the part of the uniform, though, I was sold. Twelve years of Catholic school, playing sports and now a basketball referee – I’m all about uniforms.

And apparently, had I come of age in the decade BuzzFeed claims I should have, Audrey Hepburn would have been at the top of her game.

You got: You belong in the ’50s!

You yearn for a simpler time when people were polite, curt, and followed the rules.

Maybe people say you’re a conformist, but you know you just like things to stay a certain way. Home is where the heart is.

The late 1960s and the early 1970s always intrigued me – from a journalist’s point of view, those were incredibly newsworthy times (Woodstock, Haight-Ashbury, Charlie Manson, Watergate, Civil Rights just to name a few headline-grapping items). From a female’s perspective, those years were life changing (thank you Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem and NOW). But, my heart always belonged in the ’50s.

Simpler Times

Simpler Times

Image by Seattle Municipal Archives

(CC BY 2.0)

Magic

There’s something magical to me about the ’50s

— from the music, movies and television shows, celebrities were celebrities because they accomplished something more than filming a sex tape and athletes were regarded for their abilities, not their paychecks. And newspapers were the source of everything newsy. There was heft to a newspaper – broad sheets, lots of pages and lots and lots of words.

They were works of art – the very embodiment of facts, social justice, and the beauty of the written word. Had I been alive then… I imagine it would have been a difficult profession to break into, and female sports writers (what I started as) were virtually unheard of. So, I would have been a trailblazer…

But I got in the wrong business, according to BuzzFeed. I was destined, apparently for the moon.

You got: Astronaut

You got: Astronaut

Do what you love, love what you do.

You are an explorer. You are curious about the world around you and the way it works. You look at things closely, and often with a different perspective than everyone else. You’re quite unique, lucky you. Other occupations: researcher, teacher.

Image by NASA

Curious

The assessment sounds accurate, but the profession?

The last time I got on an airplane I had so much Ativan in me it’s a wonder I could walk. I’m petrified of flying. So, astronaut? I don’t think so.

I am definitely curious about the world around me. After all, one of the greatest assets a journalist can have is curiosity. And I’ve always believed everyone has an interesting story – more interesting than my own — you just have to listen for it. So, a researcher would be an interesting career – for the most part I’d be alone (see above) and probably delving into world-shaping events (see above). Perfect.

Not A Teacher

But a teacher? Dear God, no.

Aside from sales I couldn’t think of a worse profession for me. My daughter is a teacher, my brother and nephew are teachers and my best friend is a teacher. I couldn’t possibly do what they do. The thought of standing in front of a bunch of people and speaking – I’d rather be on a space shuttle.

So, BuzzFeed thinks I totally missed my calling, and that I should be living in New York and that my childhood crush should have been Bobby Sherman when it was actually David Cassidy (who briefly and temporarily replaced Elvis).

Marcia Or Jan…

Marcia Or Jan…

At least it was right in the important things – the Brady Bunch will always be the family of my dreams…even if I am Jan.