I generally ignore these ‘things about me’ memes but lately I’m feeling introspective (for a few holy cow reasons that I may get into at a later date :) ) and have decided to take Kate up on her invitation and keep this meme moving. So, 7 things you probably don’t know about me…
I studied martial arts for 15 years. I started here in Montreal, with sil lum hung gar kung fu and when I moved to Seoul I continued with Shaolin (or so they called it :) ) style and Tae Kwon Do. My Korean kung fu classes were interesting. They were each night from 7 to 10 and I started during the rainy season when the school had lost its electricity due to the extreme humidity, really! So we did kung fu to candle light. The class was made up of 3 middle school boys, a businessman, and me. The instructor spoke no English and at the end of each class we sat in a circle, drinking yogourt, and having strange little conversations translated by the boys who knew a bit of English. I think they thought I was the strangest thing, this foreign lady who wanted to take kung fu with the boys! Then when I moved to Beijing I learned some Chang Chuan, a long fist style, from a tiny, powerful instructor who did not speak a word of English. I learned how to count in mandarin through her. I also learned about muscles in my body that I had never previously encountered. That was probably the sorest period of my life. She had me doing acrobatics – flips, those hands-free cartwheels, and movements I have probably blocked from my psyche. I haven’t been to a kung fu class in almost 2 years. I’m starting to miss it.
I make jewelry. I started with some beading a few years ago with my dear friend Marga and have recently begun to combine my new-found love of knitting with beading to create some knitted necklace charms. I’m enjoying it immensely and am about to try selling some jewelry on etsy. My problem is that when I make something I have a hard time imagining selling it! I usually give what I make to friends as gifts or keep them for myself. I love wearing something I made myself :)
When I was 5 years old I changed my name to Harmonica Goldfish. My family moved to New York and I thought it to be a great time to recreate myself. My first day at the park (we lived near Central Park) I told all of the new children I met that I was Harmonica Goldfish and later that day, or maybe week, one knocked on our apartment door and asked if Harmonica Goldfish could come out to play. My bubbie was staying with us to help out during our first week in a new city and she asked, who? I came running out – that’s me! She started to laugh so hard, I remember her whole body shaking.
My real name is Patricia May. After the Harmonica Goldfish situation, my mother sat me down and explained that since it wasn’t my real name my teachers probably wouldn’t use it (I was starting kindergarten shortly thereafter). She then told me that since my real name was Patricia I could start using that name instead if I liked. It was kind of like changing names since everyone called me Tracy. I agreed and was called Patricia for a few years. Now some people know me as Patricia, some as Tracy. And a couple even call me Harmonica Goldfish from time to time :)
I love watching sappy movies. Those feel-good movies about young people achieving their dreams and conquering the odds a la Fame or Rudy or Akeelah and the Bee. My absolute favourite thing is to watch them in a movie theatre in the middle of the afternoon by myself with my bag of popcorn, collection of candy, and a handful of napkins because I always cry at the end. The sappier the better and they never cease to inspire me to go home and create. I swear to God.
I organize my books by colour. This is something new. About a month ago I noticed that I had a lot of red books and decided to put a bunch of them together on this little bookshelf I have. Then I noticed my blue books. So I spent a couple of days clumping my books (I have a lot of books) together by colour. Amazingly I’m realizing that I remember books by their covers (no judgment, just recall) and am finding that not only do I like the visual effect but it’s working for me on an organizational level as well.
I really enjoy being by myself. I’m finding that lately I cherish the times when I am at home cooking, decorating my apartment, working on jewelry, reading, updating my blog, listening to music, gardening (ok, not right now, it being -22 C out, but as soon as the sun and warmth returns!). It really does give me energy. When I was doing my Masters degree a few years ago we were all required to take a Myers-Briggs personality profile assessment and I discovered I was an INFP. People who are INFP’s generally gather energy from within and I’m learning that there’s truth to this for me. Not that I don’t like being with other people! I need to balance my social/work time with time spent by myself to stay focused and true.
So, there you have it. Seven things you probably didn’t know about me. Or maybe you did but I bet someone else doesn’t. In the spirit of Kate’s post, I’m not tagging anyone. Feel free to pick up the ball if you like. I enjoyed the activity!