Ten things….about me:
1. I’m called Caramel by some of my youngest friends. The young daughter of our dear friends called me Caramel instead of Carolyn one day and it has stuck. Another coincidence: I was substituting in a kindergarten class a short time later and I introduced myself as Carolyn. Towards the end of the day a child tugged on my arm to get my attention and said “Caramel, I was wondering…” So, Caramel it is.
2. I’m an HSP, INFP, and introvert. This means that I tend to process things more deeply than many people and need time alone to recharge. I do not enjoy or feel comfortable in social situations where everyone is milling about sharing small talk. These situations are overstimulating for me and I usually want to retreat as fast as I can. I love intimate dinner parties where conversations can go a little deeper or even bigger gatherings where I can find a quiet space to talk with a small group of people. Outdoor events are great for this!
3. I always seem to run a little late and there is a mad frenzy as I am about to leave (often with swear words involved). I think this is rather a newish thing for me but I would have to check with my family. The mad frenzy has always been there but feeling that I have more time than I actually do is new. I am aware that I am doing this so you would think I could allow a bit more time but no… It is not logical.
4. I won public speaking awards when I was young. This might not seem to quite match my profile (see #2) but speaking on a stage when I was prepared was actually something I enjoyed and was good at. I was also my high school Valedictorian. I think part of the reason I liked public speaking so much was because it gave me a platform to share my writing.
5. It’s a big deal for me to invite people into my home. I can entertain and am rather good at it, but I rarely do unless the house is already full and a few more people don’t really make any difference. My home is my sanctuary and the place I retreat to when I need to be quiet and recharge. Entertaining is a bit at odds with this. I wish sometimes I was more of a hostess.
6. I play tennis once or twice a week with the same group of tennis friends. I came to tennis rather late in life but I have always gravitated to racquet sports and was a badminton player in high school. I learn a lot about mindfulness and being present from playing tennis. And about being grounded and confident and strong. The quality of my tennis game is directly related to how I am feeling and what I am thinking. I play my best when I am totally present, focused, and happy. I think this is called being in the “zone.”
7. We were back to the landers in the 1970’s. We were vegetarian and grew our own food. I remember our grocery bill at the time was about ten dollars a week. There were a whole group of like minded people who were drawn to this area at that time and we all socialized and grew businesses and raised our families together. We are still close friends with many of these same people.
8. I am a messy creative. When I am doing anything creative I am a wild woman. Even as I am typing this I am surrounded by cards, pens, notes, a journal, massage oil, a glass of water, a cheque book, and a basket to hold whatever is not out on the table. When I cook or garden or paint it is even more chaotic. There is not much organization but lots of passion. (I will do a photo journal of this one day so you can see for yourself.)
9. Twin boys run in our family. My grandfather was an identical twin and my great uncles were fraternal twins (one was tall and dark and one was short and blonde). My daughter just gave birth to twin boys. All we know for sure about this newest set of family twins is that they are very, very cute.
10. I earned an income from being a school teacher for most of my life but never fully identified as a teacher. When I was leaving high school with little idea of who I was or how I wanted to navigate the world a teacher of mine suggested I would make a good teacher and so that was what I proceeded to become. It was the easy, practical, and it turns out wise choice: teaching allowed me to stay in the country where I wanted to live and make a decent salary. It was not a calling for me as it is for some people. The part I really loved was the end of the day when the children left and I could be quiet and dream up interesting things to do the next day. Another favourite part was creating a welcoming, homey space and featuring art prominently in our lessons and on the walls. When I felt overstimulated, which was frequently, I would go into the hall and let the colours of their art seep into my tired soul.