If you’ve been wondering what Jitterberry is, it’s a nickname that I’ve existed under online and offline. Even Chris (someone brilliant) often calls me “Jitter” (and I often call him something other than his given name because it’s the same name that was given to my dad and well…)
Who am I? A work in progress but let me tell you all about what I’ve come to know so far.
I’m 28. And I really like that as an age. Finishing schooling didn’t make me feel like an adult. Turning 18 didn’t make me feel like an adult. Having children didn’t make me feel like an adult. But something about 28? I’m starting to feel it and it feels alright. And maybe it is actually less about feeling like an adult and more an acceptance that there isn’t really this big division between child and adult, it’s all a charade. But 28 feels like the “real” 18, it feels like the age I probably should have started having children or maybe would have if I’d put some considered thought into it. But getting to be 28 with a 4 and 7 year old is brilliant and I feel like this is the time of my life I will probably always remember as my favourite. I also hope that I continue to feel that about every stage.
On that note I’m glad I was a younger mother. I feel like if I had had time to prepare for motherhood, I would have found myself with a lot more uncomfortable unlearning to do when it actually arrived or I’d have felt committed and loyal to ideas surrounding childhood, parenthood and education from that preparation that I’m really glad I’m not. I feel like I still had so much connection to my own childhood, that I could relate too much to a child to leave them to cry or dismiss their opinions and emotions. And I feel like I hadn’t had time to build up the many voices of society and conventional parenting advice in my head that would tell me how “wrong” it would be to breastfeed to sleep or co-sleep or have night feeds as a toddler or feeds at all as a four year old when none of these things are cause for concern at all. So as I was facing various things, I had me and I had my child and we figured it out together. At first it felt like I was always on the back foot with parenting because of the lack of preparation, now it feels like it was an advantage.
My own childhood was actually pretty wonderful. And it probably had more to do with who I am as a parent than the timing. My parents are brilliant people and I think that’s what makes for brilliant parents, really. I think so many parents attach and detach from the wrong aspects of the relationship with a child because that is what is validated in our society. So they detach from the child’s needs (the concept of forced independence) and attach to the child’s choices and outcome (the ego of parenting) but I really see this as just leaving hurt children and hurt parents. And hurt is the most powerful poison. I try my best to do the opposite but that is perhaps a whole other post.
I went to school, my children do not. So did I hate school or something? No, I enjoyed it BUT I was extremely overwhelmed by it. I was philosophical from a very young age and that for me translated to a lot of anxiety. I spent my childhood blaming myself, feeling abnormal and weak but I’ve come to understand that the concept of schooling had a lot to contribute to the situation and that people don’t sit comfortably with the thoughts that I do, they just don’t have the same thoughts at all. And I’m not sure if I would prefer that or not despite the difficulties anxiety has contributed to my life.
I’ve always had few friends because I like to be very invested. I can enjoy the company of others and even admire them but every relationship is a commitment to me and one I take very seriously so friendship takes me a long time to grow into with a person. If you want to be my friend, you have to be quite dedicated to the long haul and I understand completely when people are uninterested in that. Similarly, attraction takes a deep connection for me, I don’t develop crushes on people I do not know very, very well and I am extremely loyal to the subject of my affection to the exclusion of all others. Chris and I however, are not married; I find it kind of a bizarre concept, I do not need nor want a Government or religion or anybody outside of the relationship to officiate our feelings and I don’t want somebody to feel eternally obligated to me for legal reasons, I like knowing it is a choice they continue to make every day from a place of freedom (I know for many that is what marriage is, it is just not something I feel connected to). But I do believe and hope we will be together always.
In the interest of saving some things for my memoirs and your time (ha)…
- Who is your hero?
- If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
New York. In theory. Where I live now is the first place that has genuinely felt like home.
- What would you change about yourself if you could?
The way past choices may have impacted on the health of my body, I’d like a clean slate to start from now please. But then when I learn better and commit to doing better I’ll probably need another restart.
- What is your favourite book to read?
Animal Farm, George Orwell. A person seeking power is a very strong red flag which makes the entire structure of society laughable and terrifying.
- What makes you laugh the most?
My family and friends. Probably myself actually, I mix up words a lot.
- What was the last movie you went to? What did you think?
Pitch Perfect 2. I went for the company and popcorn, both were lovely. The movie itself? Forgettable.
- If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
My most favourite days are those where I wake up with nothing in particular to do and nowhere in particular to be.
- What is your favourite game or sport to watch and play?
Play? Absolutely anything. Watch? Absolutely nothing.
- Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car?
- If you could hire someone to help you, what would they be employed to do?
I would personally love a photographer who just followed myself and my family capturing all the small moments of our day unobtrusively.
- Who is your favourite author?
- Do you like or dislike surprises? Why or why not?
One of my worst nightmares, I like to feel very, VERY informed and prepared.
- If money was no object, what would you do all day?
What I do now. But with less financial stress.
- If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
I’d relive my children’s childhoods over again.
- What are your hobbies?
Rearranging my home.
- List two pet peeves.
Lying. That is probably more than a pet peeve. And half jobs; when somebody says they’ll do something but they only do part of it… I am sometimes that somebody.
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
I get overwhelmed thinking that far ahead.
- If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?
Compassion, integrity and awareness without the anxiety side effect.
- What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep (and why)?
About 36hrs during a World of Warcraft expansion release.
- How often do you buy clothes?
Too often. Less than I used to.
- Have you ever had a secret admirer?
- What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
Buy a one way plane ticket.
- What was the last thing you recorded on TV?
Maybe like the OC when I was a teenager, we don’t have a TV currently.
- What was the last book you read?
Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson, I don’t read often because I find the act of reading very difficult.
- Are you a clean or messy person?
Clean. I clean when I am anxious and I’m anxious a lot.
- What’s your favourite family recipe?
Veggie “Sausage” Rolls.
- Do you love or hate rollercoasters?
I love them but I can’t go on them any more without some serious consequences because of vertigo.
- What’s your favourite family tradition?
Our annual beach holiday.
- What is your favourite childhood memory?
Travelling to Europe.
- What’s your favourite movie?
- How old were you when you learned Santa wasn’t real? How did you find out?
I feel like I always knew. One Christmas Eve though I came out and saw the grown ups wrapping all the presents and that confirmed it. I wasn’t upset, I was impressed my parents went to so much trouble to give us things without wanting the credit for it. It was actually quite a transformative moment.
- What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
Deck of cards, pen and paper.
- What was your favourite subject in school?
Study of Religion. I’m not religious but I find culture very fascinating.
- Do you collect anything?
Nope… wait, ideologies?
- Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion?
Not really. If I want to wear it, I’ll just wear it.
- Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
I thought introvert but I’m not so sure any more.
- Have you ever had a surprise party? (that was an actual surprise)
- Does your family have a “motto” – spoken or unspoken?
Intentional and consensual living. The kids oft say we are a co-operative family.
- If you were ruler of your own country what would be the first law you would introduce?
I’d get rid of the concept of laws entirely.
- What three things do you think of the most each day?
Disease, destruction and death. And how to prevent and avoid them.
- If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
Just wait. I’m an acquired taste.
- What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee?
Ricky Gervais but I don’t drink coffee.
- Who was your first crush?
A boy with the same last name as me. I thought that was how it worked since every married couple I knew had the same last name.
- On a scale of 1-10 how funny would you say you are?
To myself; 10. To close friends and family; 8. To acquaintances; 1.
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
5 years was already too much.
- What was your first job?
Donut King, it was only for a few weeks. My next job was even shorter. The next one has yet to exist.
- What is your favorite family holiday tradition?
- Who is the most intelligent person you know?
- If you had to describe yourself as an animal, which one would it be?
- What is one thing you will never do again?
I’d love to know what surprised you most to find out? And is there something else you’d like to know about me?