Who the f* are you?
I’m a soon-to-be-thirty, soon-to-be-PhD, soon-to-be married former Midwesterner turned North Carolinian (or at least, for now). I’m a scientist (epidemiologist, if you wanna get fancy) who studies public health, food, and obesity, so I may write about those things. But honestly, probably not. No one needs another soapbox, and there are plenty of other places to debate over whether sugar is evil, if local trumps organic, or if coconut butter cures all woes.
What I probably WILL write about is what it’s like to be a female scientist, a graduate student (for now), a pushover, a bleeding heart, an agnostic, a sometimes-cook, a Netflix addict, waffling vegetarian, and inconsistent runner, trying to find balance and joy despite an overwhelming and conflicting needs for a) perfectionism and b) lying horizontal on the couch, drinking too much wine and watching terrible crime dramas.
Likes: all the normal stuff that’s too boring to list, reading, reading, more reading, making messes, being outside, beverage parades (you know, when you have glasses of coffee, soda, wine, etc. all in play simultaneously), and my cat, Pierre Escargot.
Dislikes: stinky cat breath (in humans or in felines) and mean-spirited people. Oh, and long lines. Not because I hate waiting (though who doesn’t), but because I always think they could be avoided through more careful planning. It’s the German in me: give me efficiency, or give me death! (or at least something to read).
Why should I care?
Well, maybe you shouldn’t. But I’m a strong believer that we need more strong, female voices out there. Let me correct that: more utterly normal female voices. I want to write about what life is like when you’re trying to kick ass at work and still be a good, happy human. Not because I’m better at it than anyone else, but because I think there’s something innately wonderful–and important–about connecting over shared experiences. I want to write about what I want to read: not some picture-perfect image of homemade chocolate-salted-caramel-cupcakes, effortlessly whipped up while crafting a one-of-the-kind Moroccan wedding rug, sipping on a strawberry-basil margarita, and Tweeting half a dozen of my closest gal-pals. Let me be clear: there’s nothing wrong with blogs like that. In fact, I read them all the time (perhaps too much). But….but….
I believe that as women, we (myself included) set so many expectations for ourselves, today more than ever. Then we slam ourselves when we inevitably fail to achieve these standards, which are largely a figment of social media, movies, and our imagination. So I’d like to try something different. I’d like to write about about trying–and failing. About tripping a lot, eating too much, getting sunburnt, and going to bed without washing my face. And that it’s possible to do all these things and still find joy–not only in the mundane details of my not-so-spectacular life– but in myself, too.
Whew! I guess there was a soapbox hiding in there all along. Regardless, I view this as sort of a personal-slash-social experiment in loosening up. In taking our work seriously, but ourselves, not too much. In tearing down walls and being real for a hot second. But perhaps I’m all wrong. I’d love to hear your take. Ladies (and gents), speak up!
Who’s this so-called “Birdbrain”?
Birdbrain is my fee-yon-say, so named because of his love of birds. Yup, he’s an ornithologist. I know, right? The world of bird nerds was completely unknown to me until I met this handsome, charming, upstate New Yorker who loves nothing more than to rise before dawn and head out into the forest to track down these delicate, colorful creatures. Well, colorful to him, anyway. To me, they still mostly look brown…maybe buffy or beige, if I’m trying to really focus. But mostly brown.
We like to joke that we’re going to be SO well prepared retirement: him with his binoculars, bird feeders, and cross-word puzzles, and me with my nerd-glasses, armful of books, and lapful of cats.
What’s a Wild-Eyed Vireo, anyway?
A Wild-Eyed Vireo is a fictional creation dreamed up during a bout of insomnia–it’s a play on the white-eyed vireo: “a small and secretive bird of shrubby areas of the eastern and southern United States, more noticeable for its explosive song than its looks.” I’m neither particularly small nor secretive, but the last part is definitely true. (Although, maybe it’s just me, but the word “explosive” instantly conjures up images of very unpleasant bathroom scenes. Yikes.)
So, that’s me! Thanks for reading. Feel free to contact me on Twitter @wildeyedvireo or email at veerysings [at] gmail [dot] com.