The idea behind The Great Interview Experiment is that everyone has a story to tell, and the blogger I interviewed really reinforced that idea. Midlife Natalie is a woman starting over, both with a new blog and a new life. I will let her tell you a little bit more.
1. Your blog is a new blog that you have decided to begin keeping after a major life change: coming out to your husband and family, getting a divorce and moving into a new apartment. This takes bravery most of us can’t imagine. Now that some dust has settled, how do you feel about where you are now?
Some days I am completely fine with where I am now, and other days I wonder if I am making a mistake. Most of the time I know that I am doing the right thing. I know that if I were to backtrack and change my mind that I would regret it. I have come so far. Then there are days…well not really days…just moments…where I wonder if I am crazy. I had a husband, four kids, a great family, and I gave it up. I know I still have kids and a family, but the dynamic of it all has certainly changed. Then something happens to remind me that I am where I am because I couldn’t handle being where I was any longer. I’ve read blogs by people who have done a similar thing and see how at peace they are now after living through the struggle. I look forward to the day I can look back at the bumps in the road and see how far I’ve come.
2. Will you share this blog with the readers of your previous blog, or are you looking for a different audience?
I don’t plan to share this blog with my family or any of my friends from my old church. They all had access to the old blog. In order to feel like I can say what I want to say…what I need to say…I feel like I need to keep it from them. There are too many things that would be painful for them to read I think. I have shared it with some of my regular readers who I don’t know in real life. They were fairly safe. So far everyone online has been completely supportive.
3. What are your top five favorite songs?
Oh…I have a hard time choosing favorites! I suck at making choices. I do love Wild Horses by Natasha Bedingfield, Kiss that Counted by Catie Curtis, Magic by Colbie Caillat, Least Complicated by Indigo Girls, and anything by Little Big Town.
4. You recently wrote about having time alone for the first time in years. What is your perfect idea of how to spend that time?
It has been quite interesting having so much time alone. The thing is the time comes in little snippets so there really isn’t much time to actually do anything. I am usually preparing to get kids or go be with the kids or getting ready for work or bed or something. I had a whole weekend to myself back in February. I didn’t turn on the TV or listen to any music. I left the house once for donuts and take out sushi. I blogged, slept, and read. I think I would choose to do those same things given another weekend alone. I loved it!
5. What is something that you wish the people around you would have said or done to help you when you made the choice to come out?
Another hard question. I think everyone did pretty much what I expected them to do. I don’t think I would have wanted them to react differently. If my parents had just been ok with my decision I think I would have been disappointed. I know that sounds strange, but by worrying and being disappointed they made me feel loved. I truly hope that one day they will be able to accept it, but to see them struggle with it means that they love me and want what’s best for me. They worry that I am making a mistake that I’ll regret. The other day I asked my dad if he wanted to see my apartment. He said he wasn’t quite ready to do that. I was glad that he was honest. He may not be ready to see my apartment, but he still loves me. I have no doubt about that. I haven’t spoken to my siblings in a few months. I know that my sister has made the decision to not talk to me. I’m not sure what my brothers plan to do. I am just taking one day at a time.
6. Are you a dog person or a cat person?
You know…I have to say cat person. I’m sure I could find a dog I like, but I much prefer the idea of an animal that can take care of itself a little.
7. What book or books have made a difference in your life?
I can’t really say that a book has made a difference in my life. Years ago I might have said a book by Francine Rivers called A Voice in the Wind. It reminded me that I could pray without ceasing. I could always say the bible. It was a huge part of who I was. I guess it still is. I loved parts of the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It made me think about what I could do if I just set my mind to it. I might not know what’s around the next corner, but I can adapt to what life hands me. I am an avid children’s book reader. I absolutely love children’s literature. I don’t know how much of a difference it’s made in my life, but the children’s section is the first place you should look if you want to find me in a bookstore.
8. What are you most proud of?
Wow. I’m not even sure how to answer this question. It’s really hard for me to use that word…proud. I know you don’t mean it in a prideful way, but I still have a hard time with it. I think I would say that I am thankful I got to spend 7 years living in another country. It changed me. I was stripped of everything but my family, and I survived it. I even thrived for a while. By taking that step…moving to a place I knew nothing about…I was able to eat with Iranian refugees on the floor of their apartment. I saw ancient history in my backyard. I learned to cook from scratch. I learned how to communicate in another language. I did so many things that I would never have had a chance to experience here in the states. I am thankful for it all. It has made me a better person.
9. Team Edward or Team Jacob or Team I Hate Twilight?
Funny question! If you hadn’t put Team I Hate Twilight I wouldn’t have know what you were talking about. I guess I would have to say that I’m a “Team I Don’t Know Enough About Twilight To Make An Informed Decision On Who I Like Best.”
10. If you could be on any reality show, which one would it be and why?
You know I think I might want to be on Dancing With The Stars. Of course I would have to be a star to be allowed on the show. I just like the idea of learning all those dances. I also think I would like Survivor. I am not a manipulator nor do I think I am competitive enough, but I think I would like the challenge of survival.
Three cheers for courage, Natalie, and best of luck to you!