This week one of my good friends who I actually know IN REAL LIFE stopped by for a little blogger to blogger interview. Eleanor is a totally awesome chick who is just about as hip and cool as they come!
Eleanor asked: I've always admired your achievements in education and the success you've experienced professionally. How do you see yourself managing those elements when the Ear Doctor and your family begins to grow?
Katie answered: Thanks so much for your compliment! Doing my job day in and day out it doesn't seem glamorous or admirable in any way. I just come in, do my best and go home to my puppy and my man. And then when I describe what I do to a new friend I'm kind of taken by surprise that little ole me is doing something that sounds so cool.
As far as the future goes, we haven't nailed anything down for our future and what will happen to my career. We've tossed around everything from me going back to work as soon as possible to me stopping work for the next 10 years. It's hard to tell what will make the most sense for us in the future because I just don't know all the variables involved. I have no idea how I'll feel or what sacrifices I'll be willing/able to make.
But I'll tell you this right now: If I do get to stay at home with my babies I think I will feel pretty lucky and fulfilled.
Eleanor asked: Since I met you, years ago now, you've always represented what it means to be grounded. I'm wondering, has there ever been an issue or life question posed that's thrown you off balance?
Katie answered: This is tough to answer. So much of my self-image is wrapped up in being perceive as grounded, successful and smart. Admitting that something has thrown me is a BIG deal. But here it is.
After the end of a hard relationship and in the middle of feeling all alone I wondered if God truly existed. I wondered why I'd chosen to adopt a lifestyle that requires me to be so different from the rest of the world. I wondered if there was a real reason to give up experiences that everyone else seemed to enjoy VERY much. Was I missing out on things for nothing? It was a very hard moment. But one I feel that everyone of faith goes through. A doubt, a wavering moment, a trial of that faith. Without this moment I wonder if I could ever really emphatically claim that my lifestyle is MY choice. It is what I know to be true. It is what works for me. Without this moment of land-beneath-my-feet shifting I might just be living a life that was easy for me. A rut too deep to get out of. A worn path too comfortable to leave.
Now I know. It is true. It is the way.
Eleanor asked: Speaking of transparency, how do you manage being so conspicuous in this open forum of the web? Has it ever come back to bite you?
Katie answered: To be perfectly honest, I'm not quite as transparent as you might guess. I sensor a lot of what I write to make sure I don't offend. I don't use my real full name. I don't fully expose my opinions on politics and I don't often mention my religion. I'm a wimp a lot of the time.
That being said, the amount of myself I share has defiantly bit me on occasion. In the beginning I had a horrible and painful run-in with an old roommate via this blog. I often get mean off the wall commenters who cut me to the quick in 1 little sentence. My delete trigger finger is very quick. I've just learned to take it easy and let things go.
It's actually been a very good growth opportunity to try to see myself and my writing from an outside perspective.
and now for the flip side...
Katie asked: What do you consider your secret, nerdiest trait (besides your undying love for Harry Potter)? What would your hipster friends be surprised to learn?
Eleanor answered: Ha ... oh the things one must hide from hipsters to play it cool ;)
I think I'm surprised when they're thrown off balance by my nerdiness; it's relatively well integrated into my personality. The nerdiest stuff really is related to HP and fantasy, comic books and science fiction. I'm a HUGE Star Wars fan, same with Lord of the Rings. I could watch the entire extended edition of the LOTR trilogy, WITH interviews mind you, on repeat for the rest of my life and not get bored.
I've also gotten reasonably "techy" in the last few years. So, when I talk about coding a website, however amateur I am at it, people do a double take.
Katie asked: What role does faith play in your life? I'm not just talking about faith in some kind of higher being, but faith in anything.
Eleanor answered: This last year has been one big test of faith, and I'm infinitely grateful for it. My relationship to faith is ever-changing, but I've truly learned that my life is dysfunctional without a solid investment in it. I've found it incredibly therapeutic to loose faith at times; it reminds me how unconditional our relationship is. At some point, it always ends up right back on my front door step. And when it does, I step aside and let it in.
Katie asked: Why no comments on the ole blog? Isn't the back and forth between writer and audience one of the best parts of the medium?
Eleanor answered: No, you're right ... you're right. My relationship to the blogosphere is complicated at this stage in my life. I'm a really transparent person, and I've realized that transparency can be as hurtful at times as brutally honesty. So, at one point, I decided that cutting off comments gave me more freedom to move in this space without the immediate repercussions being public as well.
I think I'm growing toward a more sturdy me. And when that Eleanor arrives, I can ignite those reciprocal conversations again.