Today I'm excited to share the interview with my cousin-in-law, Julie. When I first moved to the city, Julie lived about six blocks from me. Julie was a reader in my wedding, and has been a part of most of my favorite Special Family events.
Julie's interview, after the break:
1) What is your name, and who are you?
My name is Julie Lynn Special-Powers to be completely accurate. I am a 32-year-old physical therapist living in the suburbs of Chicago.
2) How do you know Kate?
Kate is married to my cousin Scott and she has been a happy addition to the family!
3) Tell me about a typical day in your life.
Well if it’s any day but Thursday, I am up early to go to work either at the outpatient clinic at the hospital in Downers Grove or logging extra hours as a therapist at the nursing home in Hinsdale. Usually I am up and out the door by seven and then home around nine Monday to Wednesday. After work Thursday to Sunday, I’m usually out to dinner with a friend, having a glass of wine with coworkers, or at family dinner on Sunday night.
4) What’s the most challenging part of your life (could be a pet peeve, a work or family issue, whatever).
The most challenging part of my life is probably the fact that I am constantly questioning where I am and where I want to be. I have been trying to practice more “present mindfulness” or to put it better “living in and for the moment”. It’s much more a practice than a well-honed skill at this point.
5) What are you likely to be doing at 8pm on a Saturday night?
As a general answer—out of the house. Often I can be found hanging out on my cousin’s deck with a bottle of wine and good conversation or I am frequently out to dinner with one of my college friends somewhere in the city. I’m not a fan of crowded or noisy places, I would much rather have some laughs and chats with an old friend or my family.
6) Paint me a picture of your life in five years.
Wow, that is a really difficult question! In my dream world, I would be married with two kids and a couple dogs living in a house with a cute yard and a great porch. Not sure if it’s in the city or burbs but life is happy, calm, and full of hope. I’d also like to have some more stamps in my passport with an international trip at least every two years. I would still be working as a therapist but hopefully in a part time position. Friends and family would still be an important part of my day-to-day—hopefully with visitors stopping by and lots of fun plans on the calendar!
7) If you could be given any gift, what would it be?
The absence of worry, I have always been a worrywart; constantly, thinking and rethinking of what I could do, should do, and regretting what I didn’t do. I wish that I could live for the moment and enjoy the present fully.
8) What part of your morning routine do you consider essential?
Easiest question so far—Diet Coke. I know it’s going to kill me but I’m not a coffee drinker so the Diet Coke in the morning is essential to me becoming a pleasant human for my patients!
9) What one deceased person would you like an hour with?
I would love to have an hour with Grandpa Special; he passed before I realized that I hadn’t gotten a chance to really know him. Even when he was living, he was a man of few words but I always admired his devotion to our family and his kindness. I would love to thank him for pursuing my Grandmother (even if she was a tough cookie) and creating the family I love so very much.
10) If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you guy and why? Have you been there before?
Can the answer be everywhere? Honestly, I would love to see every part of the world if only my finances and plane anxiety would let me! But I guess the best answer for now, is Australia and New Zealand. I have wanted to go there since I was a kid and (crossing my fingers) may get to go next year for a couple weeks with some good friends! Both countries just seem so peaceful and beautiful…a whole different life from here in America.
11) You have ten minutes to give a speech to college seniors. What do you talk about?
Enjoy the time you have in those years before the REAL life stuff comes along; Savor the fact the biggest stress is deciding where you will go tonight; Life gets very complex and adventure isn’t as easy to find once you’re older. Travel, stay up too late, fall in love, and blow a few paychecks on ridiculous things! You will never be as fearless and open to the world as you are when you are 22. Pursue a career that gives you fulfillment not prestige. Cultivate a few close friendships and give your parents respect (you will need them more than you think); don’t get caught up in keeping score.
12) What is your all-time favorite song?
Hands down favorite song is “One more time” by Daft Punk; that song was my anthem when I was living abroad in Europe. It brings back amazing memories of happiness, freedom and youth. Seriously, it’s my jam.
13) If you weren’t in your current occupation, what would you like to do?
I would love to be some type of travel planner but not a travel agent. I love to research new cities and find the most interesting places to see (especially off the beaten path spots). Or maybe working on some TV show on the travel channel…stopping in new places every week, trying exotic new foods, and appreciating different ways of life.
14) Tell me about your family.
My immediate family is my mom and I. Dad has been out of the picture since I was about four. My mom worked hard to do the job of two and gave me the love and support of a hundred parents. But truly, I consider my aunts, uncles, and cousins my family too. I am very lucky to have been brought up with close ties to my extended family—something I appreciate more and more the older I get. Most people don’t get to spend time with their cousins often but I have been blessed to have them as not only family but now as friends. I am thankful to have been born into such a loving, caring, and funny family!
15) What do you “know now” that you wish you “knew then”?
I wish I knew that I was strong and that even if I fell there would be someone there to catch me. I think I would have taken more risks, pushed more boundaries and leap further from my comfort zone.
Thanks so much, Julie! Only a few more weeks until the conclusion of the interview series - if you would like to be featured, please send your interview answers to kate at katespecial dot com.