Kate tagged me in a post the other day as a sort of challenge to answer eleven questions. I loved reading hers so I happily took the bait and decided to keep that chain a-goin'!
So here are my answers to her questions. The deal is then to come up with your own set of eleven and tag some blog friends of your own (so kids, get ready - and check for your name at the bottom!)
1. Why did you start blogging?
I'm an only child and only grandchild. On both sides. So when I moved to Portland, it was a pretty big deal. I was going less than a day's drive north, but it may well have been the moon. And so I started a blog so I could span the distance using my favorite medium: words. It also helped me to pour out everything inside me that was screaming at the state of the world when I graduated and there were no jobs in a writing field available. This blog became the outlet I so desperately needed. The title came from the core of what landed me in Portland to begin with - happenstance chose the place, wanderlust was the vehicle. And so here I am.
2. Where did you go to college and why did you choose it?
I went to Pepperdine University. When I was in high school and beginning my college search there were many places I considered (Tufts, Harvard, Boston College, NYU... I was a California girl desperately trying to get away, apparently) but for some reason I was drawn to Pepperdine. My uncle is an alum so he had suggested it in the first place and it didn't take long after my first visit to know this is where I needed to be. I think I was 15 the first time I set foot on campus. When I was 16 I was accepted into the Summer College for High School Students program and spent my summer living on campus and taking classes with undergraduates, soaking up the sun and enjoying my first taste of real freedom. Among other reasons, I liked this place because it was an environment of faith - something I knew even then that I needed and wanted in my life. So when the time came to apply to schools, I took a risk: I applied to Pepperdine, and Pepperdine only (note: I do not recommend this - all your eggs in one basket makes for a nervous wreck of a senior year). Fortunately, I got in. And spent four wonderful years there. And though my beliefs have changed and grown over the years to the point where I no longer agree with some of the university's practices, I still wouldn't trade my time there for anything.
3. Do you love your job? If not, what would you rather be doing?
I adore my job, and I know I am very blessed in that. I've done a little bit of everything over the years: I worked for two years in a daycare, spent four years in a wonderfully sawdusty theatre doing set construction and installation (where the paint fumes were only matched by the cigarette smoke of our lighting designer), The British Museum doing research and cataloguing artifacts for the Department of the Middle East, two years as an overeducated waitress where I finally checked my occupational ego and finally landed at a winery where I get to learn and educate about wine, host private tastings, play ambassador to the winery at special events and get paid to work with some of my dearest friends. And eat a lot of cheese. Though I'd love to be writing full time (or taking pictures!), I absolutely love where I am right now and have a hard time imagining life elsewhere at the moment.
4. What(or who) is your biggest motivator everyday?
Lately (and by lately I mean the past year), my biggest motivation has been The Future. My life took a small but significant (and unexpected) turn last April and it put a lot into rather harsh perspective. What, and Who, I was (or in some instances, wasn't) living my life for became paramount. It's been rough at times (though at other times, altogether wonderful), but that vision of what is to come is proving my greatest inspiration. A very sweet friend actually told me something recently that lit a new fire under my ass:
"If you are the best person you can be mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually and you strive to do His will, trust it will all fall into place. Never doubt this is where God wants you to be at this moment in your life. Learn to embrace the moments where He has chosen you to be. That is why I love you and your spirit so much - you embrace whatever and wherever you are, or is in front of you at that moment. That is a gift not everyone has."
Whatever that Future brings, that's what gets me going. That's what makes me want to live every day in the present here to its fullest, because these days are the building blocks that are bringing me closer (and the fun of it is that it's an ongoing journey! I never have to give it up! I will always have that motivation! Moooooore exclamation points!!!!)
5. If you could have one song playing in your head at all times, what would it be?
Honestly (and sappily), probably Jared singing "You Can Close Your Eyes" by James Taylor.
(Sorry, I can't help it, I loved it when he sang that)
Or "Crazy Bitch" by Buckcherry.
(Ladies and gentlemen, this has been a test of your sarcasm meter. We now return you to your regualrly scheduled blog post).
6. What does your dream home look like?
Full of love, full of family and full of friends.
And coffee. And cheese.
7. If you had a large sum of money to spend on yourself, what would you buy?
A trip around the world for myself and a few people I love because it's always more fun to share that experience with someone.
8. What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?
9. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
Aside from inflicting my views on an unsuspecting world? (I kid, I kid)
Without doubt, realizing there are wonderful friends to be made.
10. What do you collect?
I used to collect old copies of Louisa May Alcott books like they were going out of style (seriously, probably have about a hundred at my mom's house). But lately my collections of choice are recipes and wine.
11. Do you have a tatoo? What'd you get and why? If not, would you ever consider it?
Nope, don't have one. My dad constantly flips out about this subject (sorry Dad) but I still harbor the desire (cue email from dad noting every reason I should never act on this). I love tattoos and the stories and meanings behind them. Dean and Robin practically have their entire belief system canonized on their bodies. I love that. You can read their arms and learn their stories. And Jared, Mike and Dean all have their wagonwheels as a testament to their brotherhood. Even the lead pastor at my church mentioned he has a tattoo of the Hebrew word for "hope" as a living reminder to never give up. As long as they mean something, I think tattoos can be pretty special.
(Seriously, Dad, I can already anticipate your email about this so feel free to just take a few breaths and relax)
Now... Who's up next? Time to tag some of my favorites!
Robin at Great White Appetite
Brigette at The Fleming Files
Dean at It Was Pancho Villa
Molly at Mr. & Mrs. Rigoloso In Detail
Stacia at Free To Be Stacia Lee
Jodi at Arthur and Lancelot's Adventures
Mari at The Unexpected Harvest
Catherine at The Yale Chapter
Heidi at An Unexpected Staycation
Leigh at Very Loveleigh
Amanda at Marshalls Abroad
Here are some questions for you all...
1. Why did you start blogging?
2. What's your favorite thing about where you live?
3. Where are you from originally and what do you love about "home"?
4. Who is your biggest inspiration?
5. What is your favorite meal? (feel free to share a recipe!)
6. What is the first song you remember knowing all the words to?
7. What is the #1 place on your list of places to go before you die?
8. What is your biggest vice?
9. Do you prefer coffee or tea? How do you take it?
10. What is your favorite part of your day?
11. What character from either a book, movie or TV show is most like you?
Ready... Set... GO!