I can’t let this slip another day. Both Chad and Ed, two people I deeply admire at Yahoo, have both tagged me on their weblogs. That means I’ve got to tell the world five things about myself that I you probably don’t know. I’ve had to go back and rewrite this twice, so the first thing about me you probably don’t know is:
1) I have a really hard time talking about myself. However, I love hearing about what other people think of me. So, I usually don’t talk about an aspect of my life unless directly asked. This one doesn’t have a story, it’s just a fact. That’s why this post from me took so long to create. 🙂
2) I once had a middle school assignment as a note delivery boy during a brief, enjoyable semester in school. While other note delivery kids would stop and chat with friends, I tried to be the fastest. I employed quick walking shoes and a penchant for figuring out quick routes. Not only did it help me deliver notes quickly during peak hours, but it also improved my ability to navigate quickly from classroom to classroom. There was also a kid who knew me in a Geometry class who used to jump up and start leading the class in cheering “Gordon! Yeah!!!” every time I walked in to deliver a note. I think he just liked to disrupt the class, but it was still awesome.
3) My family kept parakeets when I was a kid. “My” parakeet (with 4 kids, each ones has to have their own) was named Crocus, and he was Green with a bright yellow forehead that got less stripy as he got older. This was still in the stone ages of bird care, when everyone got their pets from pet store chains, and fed their birds only seeds. I still cringe when I think about the lessons I learned later about raising and caring for birds, because it makes me feel kinda bad for little Crocus and his flock. Later on, I’d live in an apartment with a roommate’s entire flock of parrots in the main room. One of the African Greys took a liking to me, and would repeat my “Hello” in a flawless imitation. She’d also ask for me when I was gone, calling out “Where’s Gordon?” in my roommate’s voice. I love birds. They’re smart. But I still consider myself a dog person.
4) Back before I was considered smart (taking math courses and the like), I got into a stupid competition with a friend. It was fourth grade, and we both tried to out-long-book one another for a book report. I chose Jane Eyre based upon the thickness alone, and he actually outbid me with a choice of Les Miserables. It was a terrible idea, and I sped my way through the damn book as quickly as I could. As a result, the only plot point I remember was that there was some crazy woman in the attic of a man who tried to get with the main character. I recall doing some half-ass job on the report, and created a hideous cover with a dog, a tree, and lightning. Or maybe that was Hound of the Baskervilles. Whatever. I got a C and learned that I should never again try to draw a cover on anything I do without some serious training. Years later, i’ve now signed up for a drawing class near my work, so I can learn how to draw a dog, a tree, and lightning without getting a C. 🙂
5) I’ve always been afraid of failure at the “next level” of life, regardless of whatever accomplishments i’ve got at the current state of things. In High School, I was terrified of failure at a math & science academy I was headed to. During that academy, I was terrified that “real” college would be too hard for me. During college at USC, I feared being exposed as a know-nothing punk when I got into the workforce. And now, during my tenure at Yahoo, I constantly feel like I’m in a position I don’t belong in, with people way more able all around me. It’s a feeling I don’t like talking about (because it’s kind of socially unacceptable), but it’s a feeling I’m comfortable with and know. I think it helps me motivate myself to be prepared for the next step, and try harder when entering a new phase of life.