Interview Part 1

I’ve mentioned before that I like to put documentaries on while I do boring projects because they keep me awake but don’t require my full attention- kind of background noise.  Today I re-watched one of the best documentaries ever made called The Up Series.  This is a series that started in Great Britain in 1964 which follows 14 kids every 7 years of their lives.  In May they will be doing 56 Up.  It is amazing to see the transformation of these individuals from little children to grandparents- the original reality TV.

As I was watching it today I couldn’t help but feel a bit envious of the subjects.  They all hate the intrusion into their lives and I suppose that would be difficult but on the other hand, they have an entire nation who is interested in what they have to say. I have some people who are interested in talking with me and care for me deeply but its been a long time since someone was focused just on me (a selfish desire I know but there you go).

In an interview it is just you and the interviewer.  There is something very appealing about that.  I admit the idea kind of soothes my ego.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to have someone taking notes on the things I’ve said or perhaps finding some truth in my words to make their life better.  That must be a great feeling?

My family is a believer in discussion which I love.  I am always totally open to a debate and love chatting it up on most any topic.

That said, it is so nice when someone just wants to listen.

In the spirit of the UP Series I am going to interview myself with similar questions and perhaps it might be helpful to you or instructive in some way. I am going to do this in 3 parts, first part childhood, 2nd part views on family/marriage, 3 views on politics/other.  Feel free to submit those questions you’ve been dying to ask me all these years! 🙂

1.  What is your memory of childhood?  I had a dual nature as a child.  A part of me was magical, floating, and whimsical.  I loved to dance around the house to my Dad’s old Moody Blues album or to the Beach Boys. I loved my dolls and would spend hours coming up with elaborate ‘scenarios’ my girls could act out (usually involving some kind of orphan.  I always wanted to be an orphan- sorry Mom and Dad!).    I enjoyed being the leader and inspiring others.

Unfortunately I also remember a deep sense of frustration.  I was often frustrated with being a kid, of never being right, never being taken seriously (especially true as a teenager).  Judgements have also always been difficult for me to deal with.  As a child, I was bullied which is an experience you never forget.  I think there was always a side of me that thought ‘if only they knew the real me, they’d love me’ but that ‘real me’ is frustratingly difficult to put into words.  I’m still working on that at 31.

In many ways I was an odd child because I craved attention but at the same time resisted affection. I can’t explain it but that’s the way I’ve always been.

2. What is a happy memory from childhood? There are lots.  I have great memories of boating with my family.  Whether it was  Lake Powell or the Potomac River we spent many happy hours boating together.  I’ve always loved the water and if I had been introduced to the ocean sooner I am sure I would have loved that but boating was a lot of fun.

I also have very happy memories of being read to every night by my Mother and/or Father.  Even when we were old enough to read by ourselves my parents read to us consistently and this was very important to a late reader like myself.  My parents also endowed me with a passion for learning that has helped me to find happiness throughout my life.

3.  What do you think of as the happiest time of your life?  Definitely my college years.  I went through so much change and finally felt some of that frustration I’d been carrying around for 20 years lessen.  Its such a cliche but I finally had a voice and could say the things I’d been thinking.  I remember one time in high school after a fight with my family just thinking to myself- ”nobody understands what I’m trying say”.  In college people started to understand and I treasure that time.

I feel like I got to experience in college, what most people get in high school- the friendships, parties, dances, fun.  I LOVED BYU and am still its biggest fan.  I loved college because I finally had the freedom I wanted for so many years (my Dad even wrote a declaration of independence for me when I turned 18.).  I loved my family but no girl in all the world was more excited to be out on her own than me.  Strangely when many feel college as a burden, I felt a release of my burdens and a freedom that was fabulous. Its a good thing I’m Mormon or I might have really expressed that free spirit! 🙂

4.  What is your greatest accomplishment? Tough question because I don’t really feel like I’ve done anything that great.  In some ways finishing Slam the Dam last October felt like my greatest accomplishment.  It was something I never thought I could do and I did it.  The world would say my MBA was my greatest accomplishment but I never had any doubt I could achieve that.

On second thought, my mission was my greatest accomplishment.  It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and my gift to God.  He knew I’d worked as hard as I possibly could for Him.  I’m grateful to be able to say that I’ve given Him my all at least once in my life. I hope at the end of my life I can give Him my life as a gift just as I did with my mission.

5. What is your greatest regret?  My greatest regret is that I never learned how to read music.  I’m envious of all kids that are forced to take music lessons.  I take voice lessons now but I am always behind because I can’t read the notes.  I have to memorize the sound instead.

I bitterly regret that it took me until 30 to figure out my insulin resistance/blood sugar problems.  I was angry and frustrated a lot as a child and I think a lot of that could be tied back to the fact that I was tired and either on an upper or lower from the food I was eating.  What I would give to go back in time and give the 10 year old me a glucometer and teach her how to eat for her unique body. Maybe I would have just tossed it aside as I did most advice but still I do regret those decades of unanswered questions and frustrations.

I also feel like I had a lot of bad luck.  Just as we found a great school for me, my family moved.  When I was going through all my major transitions, my family was in crisis mode. Everyone did the best they could but I wish a few things had turned out differently.  Oh well.  So is life.  I’m stronger for having faced those challenges and emerging the slightly weary victor.

6. In what ways have you changed as a grown up and what ways are you the same as your childhood self? I think in most ways I’m happier now than I was as a kid.  It might sound crazy but I feel more comfortable in my own skin at 30 than I did at 20, 15, 10 etc.  I compare myself to others less frequently than I used to, it takes less to make me happy and I don’t need the control I used to require.

That said, I still am the same in many ways.  I still am passionate and wish to do something great.  I still feel defensive when I am judged by others.  I am still a fiercely loyal friend and enjoy being with others and being by myself.  I still love art, media and music and it still makes me happy when I can introduce others to things that I love.  I’m a sharer.  I love sharing my happiness with others.

I’m actually more of a reader now than I was as a little girl but I’ve kept that love of learning my parents taught.  Adult life can get so routine and boring.  Reading a new book or learning something new is about the only way I’ve got to be exciting and different any more.

I also gained a witness when I was 14 years old that God loves me and He thinks I’m beautiful.  That has never changed.  I’ve carried that witness in my pocket wherever I go, in whatever challenges I face.

7.  What do you think the 12 year old self would think of the 31 year old you?  I think she would be impressed.  She’d probably be a little surprised I’m single but it was never a big dream of mine to be married.  She’d think it was awesome that I have my own apartment and get to live independently.  She’d also love the open water swimming and be very proud of my accomplishments.  She would probably be the most disappointed in my job- that I’m not doing something exciting or that really helps people.  She wanted to do something great like become a senator or the like.  Still, I think she’d be very pleased with the 30 year old me.

Get ready for part 2!  Please share your thoughts on me and what I’ve said.  How would you answer some of these questions?

12 thoughts on “Interview Part 1

  1. I was just thinking that facing a bully gave me a clear definition between good and bad people. I’ve always had a hard time removing that label and forgiving bad people. In fact, dealing with haters, bullies, hurtful people is not my strength. I wonder if other people that are bullied struggle with this?

  2. Rachel, i loved reading this! i can’t wait for the next 2. i didn’t know college was your favorite. i loved my time in college because of the good friends i made, but i felt so confused about “what i wanted to be” during that time. miss you, wish we could get together more often!!!

    1. Thanks Joni. I have always been a decisive person and I was fortunate to determine a major my first semester. It wasn’t until after college that I had that conundrum of what to do with my life. To be honest, I don’t know if I ever quite figured it out. I’ve realized as an adult that my career isn’t that important to me. Its more crucial that I am working in an environment I enjoy with people I love. I LOVE working from home. That’s more important than a specific job. The things you learn about yourself!

  3. That’s interesting. I think, though, what the participants protest is the lack of control that they have over the production of the interviews. Even if they say what they think it may come out wrong, they’re not allowed to edit it later and they can’t determine which parts the director will include and which parts he will cut. I wrote more about it:

    That’s a cool idea, though! I bet they wouldn’t protest the films nearly so much if they have more control over the questions and which answers are included.

    1. That’s true but just having someone care about your life and opinions is kind of flattering. Nobody really cares what I think about politics or anything else. I try to be educated and informed but like most of us I live a small life. Probably more so because I don’t have a family of my own.
      I like the quote you shared “the series may not be an accurate representation of him as a person, of his life and his feelings, it is a representation of a person; of some sort of universal truth.”.
      Who appeared in 56 up? Was Suzie in this one? She was my favorite to watch but she made it sound like she wasn’t going to in 49 up. What a transformation! I also like Bruce. Do you have a favorite?

    2. I just watched it online. So interesting . Surprised Suzy was back but so interesting to hear her life. Bruce is still one of my favorites if not my favorite. Just amazing to see snippets of someone’s life.

        1. I know. Gives us older singles some hope :). It’s interesting that none of the girls have dropped the series. I bet they wish they had gotten more girls. I did think it was kind of lame that they let the one guy back just to plug his band. Oh well.
          Paul is another favorite. I love their marriage.

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