Here are Andrea's fine questions and my honest if uninspiring answers:
From your blog and writing it’s very clear that you’re a total people person. When were you first aware of your ability to connect with people and did it affect your decision to be a therapist?
I genuinely like most people and that makes it easy to care about their lives. Although I grew up in a working class neighborhood, I've always been able to relate to people from all kinds of backgrounds. Even in first grade, I remember noticing differences and being drawn to what makes people unique and interesting.
I fell into counseling. I trained to be a high school English teacher. That changed when I followed my then-husband to Germany, where he was an American G.I., and I landed a job as a Counselor in an Army Education Center. I loved it from the first moment. I'm a good listener, I can size up people and situations pretty quickly, I'm tenacious, and I know how to find or create resources. I use to call these the 3 C's: caring, competence, creativity. All that makes a huge difference when you're trying to help someone. Although I see myself as a counselor, much of my career has also been as a self employed business owner--first with my own counseling and case management business and more recently in a variety of small business enterprises. Both have given me a good balance in the ways of the world.
Do you have a favourite (geographical) place? Where and why?
The beach on the bay in Provincetown Massachusetts. I have walked that beach in good times and bad, dreaming and scheming and building and rebuilding my life. Provincetown sits on the tip of Cape Cod at the ocean's edge, home to known and unknown artists and writers of all kinds, and for hundreds of years the town has somehow managed to accept people as they are. Plus the light on outer Cape Cod is like no where else.
If you had it to do over again, would you give full-time freelance writing a chance earlier in your life?
Hmmm, the short answer is yes. But I wouldn't trade all the experiences I've had that in one way or another contribute to the writer I am becoming. Sometimes I think I might have finished my graduate work for a PhD in psychology; recently I wondered why I didn't pursue an in MFA in writing, and sometimes I still think about hitting the road to present some of the "happiness" workshops I care so much about. And I wouldn't trade the times I've developed businesses and helped others do that too. All that said, I am a happy passionate writer these days.
Describe your perfect meal.
Easy question. Mexican chicken and cheese enchiladas with topped with verde (green) sauce and lots of cheese, with a side of guacamole.
How did you and jb meet?
I owned an east coast consulting company and had an opening for a Rehab. Counselor. My friend and Regional Director knew JB from her internship at the National Institute for the Deaf (NTID). JB came to Boston from the midwest to interview for the job and got it. We were friends and colleagues for many months. Then one week I took a vacation and to my surprise I called her the second I got back. We met for dinner. Over coffee and dessert and unexpected surprise, we both knew in that moment that we really cared for eachother. The rest was history. A friend of mine agreed to supervise JB until she could find another job, and we've happily been together ever since. By the way, JB will tell you working for me was the worse job she's ever had.
Ok: if you'd like five questions from me, here's how it works:
DIRECTIONS FOR THE INTERVIEW MEME
1. Leave a comment saying, "Interview me." I'm away next week, so it may take awhile, but be patient and you'll hear from me.
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. Please make sure I have your email address; otherwise I'll list the questions on your blog.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.