Psst – I Want to Tell You a Secret (or 27) About Me…

Psst – I Want to Tell You a Secret (or 27) About Me…

Me, at a recent performance

When I first started this website in January 2011, posts like this – where bloggers go behind the scenes and share a little bit more about their “personal lives” – were super popular. In fact, you probably won’t be surprised to know that the structure of this post is pretty much a direct rip-off from Corbett Barr’s “33 Things I’ve Never Told You“.

I always wanted to do a post like that, but didn’t quite feel ready to open up like that. After all, my blog was only a few weeks old – I didn’t have my “blogging voice” together enough to feel even remotely comfortable opening up to you all about who I am and what I believe in.

Well, drawing a bit of inspiration and strength from Passive Panda’s recent post about opening up more authentically, I’m finally ready to do it.

So, what follows here are 27 things you don’t know about me. You probably don’t care, and I honestly won’t blame you if you don’t get through all of them. But for those of you who have enjoyed hanging out here at Common Sense Marketing, I hope these random musings give you some insight on the girl behind the curtain… Enjoy!

1. I’m a farm girl at heart. Not only did I show market lambs at my community fair growing up and enter the Fair Queen pageant (first runner up!) after my junior year of high school, I was the two time Junior Champion Homemaker as well.

2. I come from a very musical family – several of my relatives are professional musicians, and I can play six different musical instruments (piano, oboe, saxophone, hammered dulcimer, viola and handbells) with varying degrees of competency. Family get-togethers are a blast because we all wind up singing together and performing for each other.

3. I’ve wanted to be a writer since the fourth grade, when my teacher encouraged all of us to do a year-long in-depth study project on something that interested us. I never once, in a thousand years, pictured that this is how I’d eventually live out that fantasy.

4. I am a bleeding-f’ing-heart social Democrat. As a bisexual, I’m obviously pro-gay marriage, but I’m also pro-choice, pro-universal health care and anti-war. Do I think we could be a bit more fiscally responsible? Absolutely! But at the end of the day, I believe it’s the government’s responsibility to ensure that the basic needs of its citizenry are met.

5. That said, I don’t have a problem if you disagree with me on any of those points (in fact, I’d be surprised if some of you don’t strongly disagree). That’s fine – I think we’re stronger as a country if we hold opposing viewpoints and debate the merits of different ideas instead of lording our views over each other.

6. I’m straight up, Midwestern nice. If you tell me you have a problem, I will go out of my way to help you fix it. Oh, and I’ll bake you a pie, too. Believe me, it’s a problem when it comes to marketing…

7. I am honestly, truly terrified about the idea of starting a family, even though my husband and I plan to do so within the next year. Kids scare the crap out of me, and I can’t see how I could possibly be responsible enough to bring another life into this world. Any parents out there want to chime in with words of reassurance?

8. I’ve moved houses 15 times in 26 years. I’ve been in the same city now for almost three years, and I’m starting to get a little antsy… If you have recommendations for where I should live next, leave them below in the comments!

9. I am awkward as hell in person 🙂 I’ve always been a bit of a dork (heh – understatement of 2011…), and it’s been a huge challenge for me to get even remotely comfortable talking to new people and fitting in in new situations.

10. On the subject of being a huge dork… I graduated high school with four academic letters and four varsity letters in public speaking. It doesn’t get much dorkier than that, folks (although I did get my varsity letter in discus to balance it out a little)…

11. I don’t honestly believe that you can “have it all”, which is something I struggle with as I think about what my ideal balance of day-job career, internet businesses and family-raising should be. I think you can have some of a lot of things if you really focus on aligning your life towards your priorities, but I think that there are also trade-offs you make in order to prioritize one thing or another.

12. I sing like a mother-freaking rock star in the car, but I’m terrified to sing in front of actual people. I’m thinking of developing a 12-step plan to learn how to karaoke that involves me traveling to podunk towns near my home and singing at run-down bars while I gradually move closer to home (and closer to people I actually know).

13. I am hair and makeup challenged. My mom was a farmer for most of the time that I was growing up, and she never put much of a priority on teaching me the feminine arts. I’m still trying to figure it out, which has led to some uncomfortable, truly hilarious style moments in the last few years (including one truly unfortunate look my friends titled “Barbie goes to a gay bar”…).

14. I have about $11,000 in credit card debt that I’m working to pay off. That’s a really, really hard one to admit, but I also think that if financial issues were swept under the rug less often, people would be less likely to make stupid decisions. Most of that was accumulated when I was much younger (and wayyyyy more stupid), but paying it off has become a much bigger priority now that I’m thinking about kids and self-employment again.

15. And on that note, I’ve recently decided to make it my goal to go back to self-employment within the next year. You all know I love my day job, but I’m ready for a change and I’d like to have the flexibility to raise children on my own terms – not within whatever time I have leftover from my job.

16. I love alcohol and drinking. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a very responsible drinker and I rarely get piss-drunk anymore – I just really love the taste of beer, red wine and my personal favorite drink-of-choice, Jameson.

17. I hedge. A lot. It’s probably the Midwestern nice girl in me, but I find it so hard to take a stand on things or speak up when I truly believe in something. (And I kid you not, I actually wrote that sentence as “but sometimes I find it so hard” the first time. Yeeesh…)

18. I cuss like a sailor, and so do my closest friends. This doesn’t make me any less nice – I just love the way any and all language can be used to convey a point and sometimes swear words just feel so good rolling off the tongue 🙂

19. I have no sense of direction, I’m not able to tell my left from my right and I frequently lose track of what day or month it is. Honestly, it’s a miracle I’m able to wake up every morning, get my pants on and make it to work somewhat close to on time…

20. My husband and I have been together almost eight years, which sounds absurd to me (where has the time gone?!). We went to the same elementary school and started dating when I was in high school. He’s fantastic 🙂

21. I was raised Christian but don’t currently consider myself to be religious. Maybe I will be again at some point, but right now, I’m pretty turned off by how frequently religion is used to justify hate. I believe more in people and their ability to do good than in a hypothetical higher power.

22. I love to dance. I’ve studied belly dance for almost eight years and have performed professionally around the country. For me, there’s just nothing like expressing music through movement and then sharing that with people. Perfection 🙂

23. I am directly descended from people who were involved in the Salem Witch Trials (the “good” side, not the witch side).

24. One of my life goals was to be an extra in a Hollywood movie, which I checked off the list with the movie “Whip It”. If you watch the scene where Ellen Page’s character goes to her first derby match and winds up chatting with Kristen Wiig at the merchandise booth, you can see me in the background in a blue shirt.

25. I am afraid of spiders (really, pretty much anything with eight legs…), alligators, large bodies of water and of never doing anything “great” with my life. It’s stressing me out that I’m having so much trouble coming up with a purpose or mission for my life, even though I know I’ve got plenty of time to get my s*** together.

26. Every year, on our dating anniversary, my husband and I embrace our white trash roots and go out to eat at the Old Country Buffet. Don’t judge me. All you can eat steak and pudding? Count me in!

27. I spend way too much time on celebrity gossip websites. My current “five” are Olivia Wilde, Ryan Reynolds, Mila Kunis, Emma Stone and Hugh Laurie. (If you know what kind of “five” I’m referring to, share your list below. If not, send me a private message :))

So, there you have it – Sarah Russell in a nutshell. After going through the process, I highly encourage you to try it yourself. It’s incredibly liberating to put yourself out there and let people either take it or leave it.

Cheers, and have a great week!

11 Responses to Psst – I Want to Tell You a Secret (or 27) About Me…

  1. Benny says:

    Great list! I always enjoy reading posts like these. I want to do one but not yet. You’re the second person that has said they were in a movie as an extra! How did you get to be an extra? Living in Jacksonville, there aren’t many big movies that come here to film. That’s one of my goals too.

    Singing in the car is one of the best things about driving!

    I’ll take a pie if you’re making them!

    I have a guess what your list of “five” means but I’m not 100% sure. But I have an idea. 🙂

    Great to learn more about you!

    • Sarah says:

      Hey Benny! I grew up in MI which passed this huge film industry tax incentive a year or so before I moved out, which brought a lot of films to the area. Whip It was filming some scenes in Detroit, and I just responded to an ad on my newspaper’s website and got to go be an extra for a day. It was quite an experience, that’s for sure!

      And yep, I think you picked up on what the list of “five” is all about… 🙂 Let’s just say it involves the words “free pass”!

  2. Jon says:

    Hey Sarah,

    Midwestern nice and you like your Jameson. Nice!

    I’m with Benny, how did you score the “extra” role? That’s pretty neat.

    You know, I didn’t have you pegged as a celebrity gossip junkie but it’s endearing. Have fun with it 🙂 I wonder if a similar post is in the works for me now (hmmmm…).


    • Sarah says:

      Haha – I think the celebrity gossip thing started as a way to procrastinate, but then I got suckered in. No Kardashians, though (I do have my standards… 🙂 )

      And yes – you should definitely do a post like this! They’re way fun to put together 🙂

  3. Chas says:

    I have a whole lotta luv for belly-dancin’ dorks 🙂 . You put all your cards on the table- that is quite refreshing. I was an extra in Keanau Reeves’ first movie- it tanked and went straight to video- One day they called about 300 of us back and only used five of us- we spent the day on the lawn playing charades, were paid and had a buffet for lunch. I also did an all-day photo-shoot for a magazine ad; we had a catered Breakfast and Lunch. Make-up gave me a black-eye and put me in handcuffs, but, it was worth the $500.00 I made for the day, even though I had to wait a month and a half to get paid. Thank you for revealing so much- you are very interesting.

    • Sarah says:

      Hey Chas – That’s awesome! I didn’t wind up getting paid for working as an extra, although I did get free craft service meals. I was on set and working from 10:00am until 4:00am the next morning – they still hadn’t dismissed us, but I was leaving on a road trip at 7:00am so I wound up leaving early.

      But really, it was more about the experience than about getting paid for me (although it did give me some interesting insight on why drug use might be so common in Hollywood – those are some long-ass days!!!).

  4. Kait says:

    We have a lot in common. I am also hair and makeup challenged, my middle name is “hedge,” (I always find myself writing “maybe” “usually” “can be” “you might find” etc. in posts), I’m awkward, I’m terrified of having children, I’m from MI…so many things! I loved reading this list, and I’m so glad I stumbled across your site a couple days ago. Off to read more of your articles!

    • Sarah says:

      Holy crap, you’re like my secret sister!!! Always glad to hear that there are other awkward people out there who are just as hair and makeup challenged as me… 🙂 What part of MI are you from?

      • Kait says:

        Battle Creek. Although if I’m being honest, I only lived there until I was 3…so besides a couple visits since then, I don’t have the best memory of it. I do still consider myself a Midwesterner though, even though I’ve moved.

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