One of the blogs I follow recently posted questions and answers designed to help the readers get to know her. I admire her honesty and transparency in doing such an exercise – http://jennadee222.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/getting-to-know-you/, and thought I would follow in her footsteps by answering the same questions here.
What is your real name and where do you live?
My real name is Joy. When I was born, I was given the name Alda Joy, with Alda being my maternal grandmothers first name. I was called Joy from birth but, after 9/11, the province I was living in wanted everyone to officially use their first name, for security purposes. Rather than be forced to start using my first name, I chose to legally drop it. So, my birth certificate simply reads “Joy”. As for where I live, I’m a Canadian who currently lives in Calgary, Alberta.
What makes you sad?
Insensitivity. Suffering. Unkindness.
What are your major mistakes?
I’ve made some epic mistakes in my life – enough to fill a book – but my major mistake in recent history was my last marriage. I knew it was a terrible mistake just two days in but I stuck with it for 11 years and 3 weeks, hoping it would change for the better.
But, the thing about mistakes is that we all make them. I am a different person – much stronger and wiser – for having made my mistakes. Instead of being defeated by them, I have chosen to use them as stepping stones.
When was the last time you cried?
Yesterday. I am an emotional person, and things like kindness and happiness can bring tears as much as sadness and disappointment. But, the saddest I’ve been in a very long time was Easter Monday 2012 when my beloved dog, Max, had to be put down just 3 days after getting terribly sick (the tests showed he had a massive intestinal tumor). He was only 7 years old. For a number of reasons, he was my guardian angel and will always have a very special place in my heart.
What makes you angry?
I’m more apt to get upset than angry. But, something relatively simple like people driving erratically, impatiently, or dangerously in traffic has the ability to get to me like few other things. I’m working on it though!
What is your most recent happiest memory?
It happened just last Friday when I was offered THE ultimate job. It was the culmination of several years of job uncertainty interspersed with bouts of unemployment. To say I am thankful is an understatement!!!
When were you most scared?
Many years ago, my youngest brother, my son, and I climbed Mount Katahdin, the highest mountain in Maine (U.S.) at 5,269 feet. I have a strong fear of heights so it took an act of will to make this climb, which involved not only going up and down the mountain but across ‘Knife’s Edge’ at the top of the mountain. Mount Katahdin has claimed 19 lives since 1963, with a number of those being from falls from ‘Knife’s Edge’, which narrows to 3 feet wide for about 3/10 of a mile.
It’s worthwhile mentioning that the climb was done without ropes or any special gear, just using handholds and footholds, with blue paint strategically spattered on the rocks to guide us. It’s also worthwhile mentioning that overcoming my fear of heights in such a dramatic fashion inspired elation afterward like no other. It was a life changing accomplishment.
When were you most brave?
I could answer this by saying climbing Mount Katahdin but I think I was most brave the day I fled my marriage with only what I could fit in my small car, and drove 3 provinces to start a new life in a new city with no place to live, no job, and knowing only 2 people. The journey from then to today has not been easy but I have never regretted taking that leap of faith.
What haven’t you done that you wished you had done?
My goal is to see more of the world. I am relatively well travelled but the majority of my experiences are more than 20 years ago so I would like to pick up where I left off.
What makes you different from most people?
I have experienced the lowest of the lows in many aspects of my life, and my life has also not followed any kind of predictable course. But, we all have a different story of our lives, and that’s what makes us unique and interesting. I hope others will appreciate my differences as much as I try to appreciate theirs.
Who has influenced your life?
My relationship with Jesus Christ is the single greatest influence of my life since 1996. My grandparents were also tremendous influences in my life… my maternal grandfather, in particular. I learned invaluable lessons like kindness, giving, doing the right thing, humor, wisdom, staying young at heart, and being an inspiration to others just from watching how he lived his life. I still miss him.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned?
I’ve learned that no mistake is an end, in and of itself, as long as you resolve not to let it be. And, that doing the right thing, staying true to what you believe, and being a person of character and integrity is always, always, always worth it. Even and especially when it means taking the tougher road (which it usually does…).