1. What is the one accomplishment or event you are most proud of in your life?
Making the cheerleading squad my freshman year. Okay, maybe that sounds petty, but in eigth grade I realized how boring my life was and I really wanted to have something to tell my future children about. For a full year I used my gymnastics and ballet background to make up cheers, work on my flexibility, getting my right leg splits back, and I saved up all my babysitting money that year for the uniform. Nothing was going to hold me back. When I made the team, there were a lot of popular girls who were upset I had made the squad, and surprised I had, showing me just how important goals and planning can be in setting a future.
Being a cheerleader didn’t turn out to be the best experience of my life, but meeting that particular goal set the stage for everything that followed. I know I can do anything I set my mind to.
2. What was the most amazing thing you have seen happen in your lifetime?
Once gravity takes hold of an object on a hill, there’s no stopping it until it reaches rock bottom. The same holds for what I’ve seen of the downfall of society’s morals. I am amazed that in just one short generation, I have witnessed the reversal of so many universally held beliefs. When I was in middle school, the worst insult you could give someone was to call them gay. With the first AIDS cases being reported, and no treatment available, this was a harsh label that nobody wanted, and most people scorned the lifestyle. But with the sudden AIDS publicity also came a fight for understanding and compassion. Amazingly, this compassion then yielded to tolerance, and a reluctant acceptance of a lifestyle that just thirty years before was condemned by every religion, public school (teachers who were “outed” were quietly fired), and the majority of Americans. Now homosexuality is openly accepted, celebrated, and in many cases upheld as equal to marriage. A total reversal and shunning of popular societal and religious views.
3. What is a piece of advice you wish someone would have given you early on in your life?
Don’t just plan for the big events in your life, put some FUN in there too!
4. What was the most valuable lesson you learned from your parents or guardians?
Hard work. People notice when you do a good job, and that leads to other opportunities. A job well done also helps you appreciate the reward more, and the sacrifices made for it.
5. Who were your childhood heroes?
Wonder Woman. She was smart, had a great figure, and could lasso any man and get him to talk. No easy feat, that one. Plus, the boots were cool. Elizabeth Montgomery (from Bewitched) was a close second. I would have loved to be able to wiggle my nose and have whatever I wanted happen.
6. What has made you happiest in your life?
My family (my own and extended). We have the best times together, even when just hanging out. And it’s great that I can always count on them. But music plays a big role too. There isn’t an emotion that can’t be amplified through music, and I could fill a dozen CDs with songs that have brought me through the worst of days.
7. If there’s one thing you could say to your great-great-great grandchildren, what would it be?
Why am I still here? Just kidding. I would tell them to have all the children they can, because when they come to the age that they see how wonderful their own children are and how badly the world needs more intelligent, caring people with an unmuddled head on their shoulders, it might be too late to have any more.
8. What is something you want people to remember about you?
That woman could teach the scriptures like nobody else!