Honestly? I believe a big part of it is the way my parents raised me. I learned to read at age three, was in gifted classes not long after starting school, always at the top of my class. My parents apparently believed that it was their job to keep me from getting full of myself, so they gave me little praise even when I did really cool things. My father would tell other people he was proud of me, but never me. When my younger brother made the honor roll for the first time, he called my mom and demanded she get pizza that night to celebrate. She complied. When I made the honor roll, it wasn't celebrated, it was expected. I would have been in trouble if I didn't make it. Plus, my dad (who has been discussed aplenty in this LJ) wasn't interested in any of my stuff. He'd bitch about wanting us to do things together, but what he meant was he wanted me to do his things. He hardly ever pretended to be interested in the things I liked, and frequently belittled them (like my love of reading, that wasn't useful. Even when I was in grad school, he'd pester me to take some useful courses, like accounting. When I was in grad school.). He saw my brain as a tool for his convenience, frequently interrupting me in the middle of whatever I was doing to make me research something for him. My mom always said it was because I was "so good at it." Thanks for the backup, Mom. When our family got a Net hookup, I tried and tried to teach him to dial in himself, but he wasn't interested. Why should he be when he could just make me do it?
I'm sure there are more reasons than that. But I think that's the one at the core. And recently I've been working through a lot of anger and resentment at my family, especially my father, so yeah, this is what I think.
2. What kind of novel is it you're working on? (I've been skimming my friends list of late, so if this's been answered, forgive me).
A deeply depressed grad student with a bitchy roommate, cruel classmates, and a deadbeat boyfriend attempts to put her life back together in the aftermath of a suicide attempt. Though I never attempted suicide and I got rid of the boyfriend earlier, it is deeply autobiographical, and I'm not sure I'm ready to visit the dark places I'm going to have to to write this. Right now I'm more inclined to work on my idea for a comic. It'll get written one day, though. I'm sure of it.
3. Where would you rather be living? Anywhere in the world.
Ummm... anywhere but here? *SNARK*
Seriously (and Atlanta isn't the worst place in the world, it just doesn't seem to like me), the place I've lived that felt the most like home is Nashville. I get misty-eyed just thinking about it. Those places -- they're my places. And how I miss them.
As for places I haven't lived, I'd love to live somewhere in the British Isles -- probably London, but Scotland fascinates me too. Boone, North Carolina, despite being the site of the worst summer of my life, is practically the only Southern small town I'd like to live in. I'm afraid when I get out to San Francisco next week (!), I'll fall in love and just refuse to leave. Chattanooga and Savannah have always seemed like cool cities.
4. Were you to win the lottery tomorrow, what are the first three things you'd buy?
First I'd pay off my credit cards. Boring!! Then I'd take some friends out for a fondue feast, get a stylish new wardrobe, and go hog-wild on books and comics.
5. What got you interested in mountaineering (or at least, reading about mountaineering?)
I'm not so sure it's the mountaineering as much as my well-documented fascination with disasters (I have "shipwrecks" on my interest list). Thanks for letting me borrow that book, by the way. :) I do love the Appalachians, but one of my main impressions from Into Thin Air was "Why would I want to endanger my life doing this, when I'll be so oxygen-deprived I won't remember or enjoy much of it anyway?"