Feather & Flint

27 Things You Might Not Know About Me (1 Fact for Every Year I’ve Lived!)

June 5, 2017 29 Comments

Hi there! In honor of my 27th birthday, which I’m celebrating this week, I wanted to share 27 things that you might not know about me. I can’t wait to hear what surprises you most–or what you can relate to the most!

1. I worked at a Starbucks in downtown Boston for several months when I was in college. This normally wouldn’t have held much significance in my life–it taught me to never sacrifice sleep for a job; to never work in a demanding customer service position as an introvert; and how to make a damn good cappuccino. However, in the last month that I worked there, one of my regular customers worked up the nerve to ask me on a date. We just celebrated our third wedding anniversary in April! (You can hear all about our wedding in these 2 posts: Planning a Wedding That’s True to Who You Are and My 5 Happiest Wedding Memories & 2 Biggest Stressors!)

2. I’m a big Myers-Briggs nerd. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this post: Why You Should Know Your Personality Type!) I use it to understand the world around me every day. I’m an INFJ, and when I found this out in college, it changed my understanding of my entire life. INFJs often feel lonely in the world because they’re the rarest personality type; so knowing why I always felt this way was such an enlightening revelation! If you’re a Myers-Briggs nerd too, let’s talk!

27 Things You Might Not Know About Me | Feather & Flint

3. When I love someone, I can sense their emotions from far away. I used to assume that this ability was unique to me, and I doubted its veracity for a long time. I’m not one to believe in psychic abilities or other impossible-to-prove phenomena. However, I later discovered that this is common in INFJs–our uncommonly strong empathic abilities are to blame. (I write more about this in my post, “Do Soulmates Exist?“)

4. I have two tattoos: an eagle feather on my left arm, and two roses on my right arm. I got them when I was 20 and 21–and no, I don’t regret it! The idea for the eagle feather came to me when I was volunteering on a Lakota Sioux reservation when I was 18. Eagle feathers, which are white with a black tip, symbolize the natural balance between dark and light in our lives. It’s about taking the good with the bad, because both are inevitable and necessary. The Sioux believe that eagles, which fly higher than all other birds, are the messengers between heaven and earth.They believe that holding an eagle feather gets the attention of the heavens; and they’re so sacred that if they touch they ground, they must be burned. They give eagle feathers to warriors who have shown bravery in difficult circumstances, symbolizing the wisdom that they’ve gained from enduring the struggles of war. I knew when I first heard this folklore that I hadn’t earned my eagle feather yet; but after enduring a handful of struggles that changed who I was and brought me a great deal of wisdom, I knew I was ready. (The roses I just got because they were pretty, intending to turn them into a botanical half-sleeve later on–which I hope to do soon, after collecting ideas and inspiration for the last six years!)

27 Things You Might Not Know About Me | Feather & Flint

Photo by The More We See

5. I was vegetarian for a decade. It’s impossible for me to turn off my brain when I’m eating–if it wasn’t ethically raised, I can’t enjoy it. I can’t separate the concept of “delicious food” from that of “living things that I don’t deserve to kill for my own enjoyment.” When I met my now-husband, a lifelong meat lover and cook, he requested (insisted) that I meet him in the middle. I started eating fish first, and later, chicken and turkey. (I still don’t like chicken very much, but DAMN, am I glad that I eat fish and turkey!) I still feel like a vegetarian. My rule is that I eat foods that I can feel good about–pasture-raised chickens from small local farms and wild Alaskan salmon, for example. But I’ll never preach to you about my beliefs on food–what you eat is your decision, and it’s not my place to judge.

6. I first set out to be a singer/songwriter before life ultimately took me in a different direction. When I was deciding where to go to college, I was torn between all of the things that I loved–music, photography, writing, psychology. It felt like a binary choice to me: I had to choose the thing that I loved most, and give up everything else in the pursuit of a single dream. I was accepted into Berklee College of Music–a huge honor–and the matter seemed to be settled. It’s why I moved to Boston, which changed my life in an infinite number of ways; but I didn’t end up graduating from Berklee. I realized that I had painted myself into a corner, forsaking all of my other passions for my love of music… which didn’t exactly translate into a practical career. I still love music, and I’ve written many songs since I left Berklee; but I learned that trying to turn a beloved creative pursuit into a career is sometimes the worst thing that you can do. I hope to bring my music out into the public eye again someday! (To hear the full story, read my post: Why I Don’t Regret Walking Away from the Career I Thought I Wanted!)

27 Things You Might Not Know About Me | Feather & Flint

Photo by The More We See

7. I haven’t always lived in Boston–I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, in a small town famous for its annual horse show and fair. All of my childhood memories were formed in the same home, where my family has lived since I was 6 months old. I moved to Boston when I was 18; and I feel more connected to this city than I ever felt in Philadelphia! (Read my series on Boston’s most gorgeous neighborhoods to see the city through my eyes!)

8. I’ve always loved animals. I’m the person who gravitates toward the dog or cat at a party before I warm up to the people there! My first dog was a gentle-hearted black dog named Molly; and my second was a spunky Westie named Lily. As soon as Alex and I had our own space, we adopted two mischievous black kittens: Stella, who has giant green eyes and a tail that’s always in the shape of a question mark; and Felix, who will kick off a conversation with a simple “meow” and keep it going for as long as you’re willing to respond. Two years ago, we adopted Jack, our Carolina pup who’s known for his giant ears, endless licks, and goofy spirit. (Oh–and he made it into a Wayfair photoshoot once!) I love sharing my home with formerly stray animals who have so much love to give. When you picture me writing a blog post, picture at least two animals curled up on my lap.

27 Things You Might Not Know About Me | Feather & Flint

9. I have a bad habit of fainting at the worst times. The first time I fainted was during a televised choral performance in the Pennsylvania State Capitol. The next time I fainted was during a performance of the Carmina Burana, when I set off a chain reaction of fainting across our choir. Most recently, I started to feel faint during brunch; decided to sprint through the parking lot (?!) as the tunnel vision set in; and ended up in the hospital with a nasty concussion and a scuffed-up face.

10. My secret talent is making badass playlists. If you like folk, indie, alt-country, bluegrass, or singer-songwriter music at all, I’ve got a playlist for every possible occasion and mood. Trust me–you should follow me on Spotify. You should also check out my two curated music posts: My Top 50 Must-Listen Albums and Curated Songs, Photos & Quotes in Celebration of Spring. (Look out for more of these posts in the near future!)

27 Things You Might Not Know About Me | Feather & Flint

11. I have an undying love for the social sciences. I have a master’s degree in psychology, and my bachelor’s degree was in sociology and psychology. I planned on getting a Ph.D. so that I could study the science of love for the rest of my life; but in the course of getting my master’s degree and searching for jobs, I realized that I was really meant to be a writer all along. (Read more about this in my posts How I Came to Be a Writer and Dear Unemployed Recent Grad: You’re Not Alone!)

12. Lemon is my kryptonite–even more so than chocolate! I squeeze lemon on everything that I cook–its bright, zesty acidity makes it my favorite ingredient by far. All of my favorite recipes have lemon in them: my lemon-lavender zucchini bread; salmon with leeks & lemon cream sauce; sweet potatoes with beets & lemon-truffle sauce… the list goes on and on! (I hope to do another recipe post soon, so stay tuned!)

27 Things You Might Not Know About Me | Feather & Flint

13. Daily walks keep me sane. As long as it’s not pouring, you can always find me wandering the streets of Boston during my lunch breaks. It’s a ritual that I developed at my first job, where I sat in a cubicle with no natural light and found myself feeling sleepy and frazzled as the day went on. Taking an hour for myself keeps my spirits, creativity, and productivity high through the afternoon. It’s refreshing to step away from my work to recharge, especially for an introvert and empath who so easily absorbs the emotions of other people. (This is also when I take all of my photos of Boston that you see on my Instagram feed every morning!)

14. When I’m stressed, I organize. I’ve never made a big decision without an extensive spreadsheet. Putting things into a rational order is my way of transforming subjective emotions into a quantifiable science. I use a paper planner so that I can start each day with a prioritized to-do list that I can check off as I work. When I’m procrastinating, I’ve been known to pull everything out of my kitchen cabinets and spend all day putting them into labeled mason jars in specific arrangements. My closet is sorted by color, season, and item of clothing. Did I mention that I have OCD? No, but really, I do 😂

27 Things You Might Not Know About Me | Feather & Flint

15. Artichokes have always been my favorite food. I was likely the first preschooler to ever ask for artichokes for her birthday dinner (with a side of beets!). And I’m not talking about artichoke hearts, which everyone seems to have fallen in love with recently–I’m talking whole, fresh artichokes, spiky leaves and all, dipped in tangy lemon butter. 😍

16. I owe everything to reading. I learned to read in preschool, and I immediately began devouring book after book. I credit reading with every ounce of my intelligence and writing talent. My parents had to set rules around how many books I was allowed to check out of the library each week (our Saturday ritual), and how many I could stack into my backpack every morning (10). I once got in trouble for trying to read all 10 books under my desk during class, reading one page of each book at a time. I suspect that my teacher was more bemused than angry–I remember him asking, “Really?! How in the world were you reading ten books at once?” My house is filled with books–four full shelves that are always overflowing with new finds that I can’t wait to read.

27 Things You Might Not Know About Me | Feather & Flint

17. My backyard is one of my favorite places. What makes our house special is the fact that the Charles River (the same one that separates Boston from Cambridge–but upstream, where it’s smaller and much cleaner!) is literally in our backyard. My dad recently built me my very own canoe; so in my free time, you can usually find me paddling around in a state of glee. We hung a hammock between two trees on the edge of the water, where I love to read on lazy summer afternoons. We have a big porch and a fire pit where we love to share a bottle of wine with friends when it’s warm. We grow a massive vegetable garden every summer, and we planted fruit trees that will hopefully bring us some cherries, apples, and peaches this year. And Jack gets to run around with our neighbors’ dogs whenever he pleases!

18. The Notes app on my phone is an accurate representation of my brain. Whenever I have a thought that I don’t want to forget, I write a note on my phone. Song ideas that come to me as I’m falling asleep; recipes that I want to turn into blog posts; a list of my favorite sparkling wines; books that I want to read… If there’s one thing that someone could read to get an accurate picture of who I am, from my neuroses to my inspirations, it’s my notes to myself on my phone.

27 Things You Might Not Know About Me | Feather & Flint

19. I’ve been an insomniac since preschool. My brain has no “Do Not Disturb” mode, although I desperately wish that it did! I have a vivid memory of lying in bed when I was in preschool, trying to figure out what would exist if the universe had never formed. Total darkness? Was darkness still a kind of existence, or was it the absence of existence? This was me as a four-year-old. I haven’t fallen asleep in less than an hour ever since! (If your mind is filled with existential questions too, you’ll love these two posts: Do You Believe in Fate? and When Places Become Characters in Our Stories!)

20. I once had a tradition of completely reinventing myself once a year, from elementary school through college. It was my way of trying on different identities for size–an experiment in seeing whether other people would treat me differently because of how I looked, or if I would feel like a different person inside because I looked different on the outside. Age 10: Tomboy. Age 12: Whatever the popular girls were wearing. Age 13: Punk rock. Age 14: Trying to be invisible. Age 16: Flower child. Age 19: Red hair, then brown hair, then black (by accident, from too many layers of hair dye!). Age 21: Cowboy boots. It wasn’t until I was out of school that I could finally stop aligning myself with a particular style in order to establish who I was–for other people and for myself. My style today? Feminine with edge, plus a touch of rustic inspiration.

27 Things You Might Not Know About Me | Feather & Flint

21. I was always meant to be an editor. I was pretty insufferable as a precocious elementary schooler, constantly correcting teachers’ spelling. My fourth grade teacher finally found a solution: to make me the first-ever student editor of the school paper.

22. It’s far too easy to make me cry. Some common triggers: Videos about stray dogs finally finding their “forever homes” (or even just the phrase “forever homes,” depending on my mood). Misunderstandings with people whose opinions I value. When birthday or holiday plans don’t unfold how I want them to. When my favorite clothes shrink in the dryer. Being reminded of the fact that the people I love won’t be around forever. (Brb, grabbing tissues…)

23. I love cards–sending them, sure, but especially receiving them! If I get a good card, I save it forever, reading it whenever I need a reminder of who I am and the people who love me. I even take pictures of every card that I get, just in case anything ever happens to the physical cards.

27 Things You Might Not Know About Me | Feather & Flint

24. Some of my favorite musicians that I’ve seen live are Sarah Jarosz, Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, John Mayer (2 times), Grace Potter (3 times), Ari Hest, and Kacey Musgraves. Some of the musicians that I’m DYING to see live are Aoife O’Donovan, BOY, Brandi Carlile, and Nickel Creek. (You can hear my favorite songs from each of these artists in my post, My Top 50 Must-Listen Albums!)

25. I’m a textbook introvert: Quiet in groups and novel situations, taking in my surroundings and listening to other people; but I come alive as soon as I feel comfortable. I’m fascinated by people’s stories; and the only thing more energizing for me than a long, contemplative walk in a beautiful place is a late-night conversation about what really matters in life. (P.S. If you’re an introvert, or an extrovert longing to understand the introverts in your life, you’ll love this post: 15 Strengths & Struggles for Introverts at Work!)

26. Traveling is my favorite thing in the world (get it?). My travel philosophy is equal parts intention and serendipity: I do intensive research before I leave to figure out where the most beautiful places are (and the best places to eat along the way!). I’ll pick a neighborhood to wander each day, with a list of places to visit if we feel like setting a destination. But my favorite thing to do is wander through narrow streets with my camera in hand, taking in the sights and letting the city guide me. I love traveling with my husband, because he’s not afraid to strike up conversations with locals, finding out insider tips and making friends all across the world. Most recently, we’ve visited California, Iceland, Alaska, and France. Next, I’d love to see Amsterdam, Norway, the Mediterranean (all of it, honestly!), and every beautifully ancient Eastern European city.

27 Things You Might Not Know About Me | Feather & Flint

27. I’m basically a blend of 4 fictional characters that I loved as a kid: Matilda, Pocahontas, Mulan, and Harriet the Spy.

So, what do you think? Which facts could you relate to most–and which surprised you most? Do you have any facts or stories of your own to share? I’d love to hear them!

29 Comments

  1. Reply

    Jenny Pillans

    June 6, 2017

    I love the idea of this! I think it’s so great to let your readers get to know you more. Definitely going to try this for my birthday!

    • Reply

      Robin

      June 6, 2017

      Thank you so much, Jenny! I reveal so much of myself on this blog, but I wanted to reveal some happy, fun, everyday things rather than profound, life-altering stories, you know?!

  2. Reply

    Christine C

    June 6, 2017

    What a great post! Some great details and stories that let you and your personality shine through!

    • Reply

      Robin

      June 6, 2017

      Thank you for reading, Christine! So glad you enjoyed it – I know I loved writing it 🙂

  3. Reply

    Heather

    June 6, 2017

    This is super cool and interesting to allow your followers and subscribers to get to know you better.

    • Reply

      Robin

      June 6, 2017

      Thank you!! It was so fun to reflect on myself in a fun way for my birthday 🙂

  4. Reply

    Jordyn

    June 6, 2017

    Happy 27th Birthday! I loved learning more about you and realized we have SO much in common. I am an INFJ too and the test also changed my perspective. I always feel like an outsider and a bit misunderstood. I also have two tattoos and I am a vegetarian turned pescaterian (don’t eat turkey and chicken but still pretty similar if you ask me). I also love reading and traveling. Although I can’t sing and I have no trouble sleeping so we differ in that way (:

    • Reply

      Robin

      June 6, 2017

      Omg! I LOVE finding other INFJs – especially those with whom I have so much in common! It doesn’t surprise me at all that there’s another INFJ out there who has tattoos, can’t bring themselves to eat meat, and loves reading and traveling – we’re such sensitive, unique souls that it makes perfect sense! Do you have a blog? I’d love to keep in touch 🙂

  5. Reply

    Lauren | Glitter & Grandeur

    June 6, 2017

    This was so interesting! Thanks for sharing! I understand the music side of things. I have two degrees in vocal performance and for my entire life (until about a year and a half ago) all I wanted to do was perform. I lived and breathed music. Well, long story short, I got an autoimmune illness and that changed my abilities and my perspective on life and brought me to writing. Which I love. Life has a way of taking you in new directions that you didn’t see coming but that end up being so much better in the end. Congrats on seeing the light in another direction and accepting that decision – you are very brave. OH! and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    xoxo Lauren | Glitter & Grander

  6. Reply

    Anonymous

    June 6, 2017

    I was also a vegetarian for ten years! To my mother’s disappointment, I gave up meat pretty early on in life. I was definitely influenced by Lisa Simpson, but I also genuinely don’t like the taste of meat. I have chicken a couple times a week now because my partner does the cooking, but even then I usually just leave give my pieces to him.

    I have also been an insomniac for what feels like forever. I’ve heard countless stories about how I would just lie awake as a baby, hardly ever sleeping, and it’s no different in my 20’s. It takes me hours to fall asleep, and even when I finally manage to, I usually wake up 3-5 times a night anyway. It exhausts me, but it’s just a part of my life I have to deal with!

    http://www.thesmalladventurer.blogspot.com.au/

  7. Reply

    Chelsie

    June 6, 2017

    Um, I’m so stoked to meet another Bostonian blogger! I’m not based in Boston any more, but I am a born and raised New Englander, and there is just something special about connecting with others from that part of the world. Also, so cool you’ve been able to see so many musicians play live! My husband and I have dubbed this year “the year of the concert” and have seen Twenty-One Pilots and Bastille already and have tickets to see Dashboard Confessional (throw back) Muse, 30 Seconds to Mars, and Imagine Dragons!

  8. Reply

    Juliette | Namastay Traveling

    June 7, 2017

    Happy birthday to you! Haha, I love your blend of four fictional characters. I wonder what ones I would pick for myself?? You’ve given me a new task for this week. Enjoy your special day!

  9. Reply

    Johanne

    June 7, 2017

    Fun read! I looove your tattoos! And I can totally relate to number 22 haha. I cry about almost everything, sometims to the annoyance of my boyfriend. Big things, small things, happy things, sad thing…you name it, I cry! I also love animals. I have one cat and she means the world to me.

  10. Reply

    Anonymous

    June 7, 2017

    I loved this 🙂

  11. Reply

    Louisejade

    June 7, 2017

    I loved this. What a great idea. 🙂

  12. Reply

    D at Be you and thrive

    June 7, 2017

    Robin! What a great idea to write down thoughts and characteristics about yourself each year. It’s so important to realize our uniqueness, passions and gifts! Thanks for sharing them!
    xo~D
    Be You and Thrive

  13. Reply

    Divya

    June 7, 2017

    This post just makes me want to reach through my computer screen and hug you. Every time I find out more about you and how you’ve developed into this wonderful human that you are, it makes me wish over and over and over that we lived in the same city so we could be real life friends and we could have sparkling wine and book clubs and go explore neighborhoods together.

    <3 Happy birthday! To you and Alex and your dad and your sister! I hope your month is full of so much love 🙂 Sending you lots of love from TN!

  14. Reply

    Amanda Frazier | The Light Owl

    June 7, 2017

    Hey! I resonated with this so so much! I am also an INFJ (the real deal! Took the Myers Briggs and everything!) with my Master’s in counseling, bachelor’s in psychology, indie music loving introverted animal-video-sobbing bookworm travel enthusiast! I’m glad I read this post so I can follow along with your blog! It’s always good to find other bloggers that I resonate with. 🙂

  15. Reply

    Alex | sunkissed in december

    June 7, 2017

    I loved reading this! It’s so fascinating to read little (and big) tidbits about others and think about how I compare and contrast. I loveee making playlists too, I’m always that friend who brings a playlist to the party, so I’ll have to follow your Spotify! You’ve also inspired me to take the Meyers-Briggs test again, I took it a few years ago and can’t remember what mine was but it was sooo on point. Lastly, you’ve inspired me to start writing one of these posts for my birthday in December!

    xx

  16. Reply

    Kristin Cook

    June 7, 2017

    I love this post so much! I love that you elaborate on each thing. I find that sometimes posts like this don’t go into enough detail, but yours is awesome.
    I have always referred to myself as a carnivore (and probably always will), but my mom has a small farm that she and my grandaddy run themselves. She takes AMAZING care of her animals and though we do eat pretty much any type of meat (chicken, pork, beef, and fish), I can really appreciate a desire to only consume responsibly-raised meats.

  17. Reply

    Rachel R Ritlop

    June 7, 2017

    OMGOMGOMGOMG You have no idea how excited I was reading this!! OKAY WE ARE TWINS! Like seriously, this shit is deep! So I worked at starbucks briefly too and learned ALL the same things as you, I can sense peoples emotions from far away and am SO impacted by them, I am a huge social sciences nerd, and I completely reinvented myself EVERY year until I was about 22, Matilda and Harriet the Spy were my #goals growing up (no joke, I cut my hair and pretended I was Matilda, and there is an old facebook post floating around about wanting to be Harriet the spy). And like so many more but I am too excited (that last sentence put me over the edge) that I just keep fixing my grammar and spelling and yeah, I’m going to go now because I feel SO creepy <3

    • Reply

      Amanda Frazier | The Light Owl

      June 7, 2017

      LOLLL Rachel this cracks me up because I felt the same way when I read this post except I may have toned down my comment more than you hahaha

  18. Reply

    Kristen Jones

    June 7, 2017

    Happy birthday week! I love reading posts like this! They are too fun. We have so many things in common, too. I’m obsessed with Myers Briggs. I’m an ENFJ! Also, you grew up so, so close to where I live now! I hope your week is amazing!

  19. Reply

    summer

    June 7, 2017

    LOVED reading through this. I’m an INFJ, as well! Also, I used to live in Phoenixville – went to college there! Just moved to the Poconos in March!

  20. Reply

    Ré Davis

    June 8, 2017

    If you like Myers-Briggs than definitely check out (if you haven’t already) StrengthsFinder & Enneagram!

  21. Reply

    Danielle @ A Sprinkle of Joy

    June 8, 2017

    I love posts like this! How cool that you met your hubby while working at Starbucks. I too tend to organize when I’m stressed.

  22. Reply

    Corey | The Nostalgia Diaries

    June 8, 2017

    What a fun list! And you’re right, you are a badass playlist maker! 🙂

  23. Reply

    Nadine Cathleen

    June 9, 2017

    I really enjoyed reading this 🙂 So cool to get to know the little details that make a person so unique! I totally love your backyard one and can now finally relate to it. We have just moved into a house with a garden (in London!) and I LOVE it. I can even hear birds haha and I do NOT hear any cars yeeeey 🙂 X

  24. Reply

    Jessica M.

    June 12, 2017

    This was a really good post to read. It’s so romantic that your husband asked you out while you were working as a barista. I was quite surprised that you had a tradition of completely reinventing yourself once a year. But actually it’s something that I think all children should try out at least a few times. Thank so you much for sharing.

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