Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: 100 Things About Me

100 Things About Me


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100 Things About Leyla 

I saw this elsewhere and stole it. Here are 100 thing about me... in no particular order.


  1. I was born on the 4th of April, in Chicago, in a snow storm - I am an Aries
  2. Leyla is a common Turkish name, and although I was born the same year as the song Layla (by Eric Clapton), I am not named after the song - my father claims it has more to do with Elizabeth Taylor's grand daughter "Leyla Wilding"
  3. If you meet me and you sing the song "Layla" to me, I will roll my eyes at you. However, if you meet me and sing the song "Lola" to me, substituted with the name "Leyla," I may become physically violent
  4. I am the oldest of three children and the only girl (I have two younger brothers)
  5. As a small girl, I wished I was an only child, as an adult, I am grateful for the shared experiences  I had with my siblings
  6. I am Turkish, my parents emigrated to the U.S. four years before my birth
  7. Growing up, my father was an electrical engineer and my mother was a housewife 
  8. I grew up in the north suburbs of Chicago, in Lincolnwood which is west of Evanston
  9. Growing up with foreign parents certainly had challenges, ultimately my strange upbringing built character and contributed to my independent nature
  10. I boarded my first international flight when I was nine months old, many more followed
  11. From infancy, I was an impossibly stubborn child
  12. I was potty trained early, my mother claims, I would wake her up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, one night, very tired, she said, "Just go yourself" and I never woke her up again
  13. I was a nocturnal baby / child, I never slept at night, this caused major issues 
  14. Probably because of my internal clock, I suffered from insomnia for most of my life 
  15. I started taking swimming lessons at the YMCA when I was 5 (or 6), I am a good swimmer
  16. When I was 5 years old, my parents bought me a piano hoping I'd play, I hated the piano 
  17. I took cello and the trumpet lessons, though I love music, I have no musical talent, I'm tone deaf
  18. My first celebrity crush was on Rod Stewart, summer of 1979, "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" was all over the radio
  19. When I was 10, I attempted suicide by drinking the contents of of a tester perfume bottle because I was mad at my mom
  20. Much like Harold (in Harold & Maude), threatening suicide became somewhat of a normal act for me in my pre-teen years, until finally one day my father calmly explained to me, "If you kill yourself, I will be very sad for a very long time, but eventually, one day, I will get over it... but you will always be dead" - hearing this angered me. 
  21. As a teen, I developed various shock tactics - like threatening my parents with lesbianism and extreme devotion to Islam
  22. Even in my late 30s, I have not recovered from trying to shock my parents for attention, they, however, have recovered. I am no longer taken seriously. 
  23. I got my first bike when I was in first grade, I remember coming home from school and it was assembled and waiting for me in my bedroom, when I ran up the stairs and opened my bedroom door, there it stood, beautiful and beaming in the sunlight
  24. I learned how to ride a two-wheel bike when I was 6 (or 7), I still remember the exact moment my dad let go of back of my bike and I was riding all on own for the first time
  25. The first record I purchased was a 7" of The Rolling StonesStart Me Up - I was nine years old
  26. My first concert was Duran Duran when I was 11 - since then I've seen Duran Duran at least 20x
  27. I was not a good student, my grade school report cards often read, "Leyla likes to socialize"
  28. My father showed affection by giving me material items - for example, if I got sick, or if I was sad, my dad bought me a present, as a result, in adulthood I still feel like presents equal love 
  29. I am 5'5" tall 
  30. I was the third tallest girl in my class in grade school - my growth spurt was early, I was 5'5" by the time I was 11 years old and then stopped growing! As a result, I always think I am taller than I really am, I call it a "height deficiency problem".
  31. I stopped saying the Pledge of Allegiance in full when I was in 3rd grade, I omitted the words under god in the line "One Nation Under God".
  32. I never believed in religion, as young as 10, I started to vocalize my anti-religious beliefs
  33. Growing up, we traveled to my grandparents in Adana, Turkey, it was there that I met the terrorist Fehriye Erdal, we were good friends as kids (before her terrorism)
  34. When I was little, my favorite color was purple and my favorite number was 14
  35. Growing up, my first real pet (goldfish don't count) was a cat named Peanuts
  36. Later, we had more cats: Penelope, Banshee and Annika - we joked that Banshee could talk because he was so smart, he died in 2002, I still miss him
  37. After years of suffering through a bad marriage, my mother filed for divorce from my father, I was 14... the divorce was not finalized until I was 21, I rarely talk about this 
  38. I played softball from 1st grade through 8th grade, and played soccer from 5th grade through 8th grade, I ran track and cross country in high school, my fastest two mile "official" race time was 14:28
  39. I didn't know people LIVED on farms until I was 14 - on my 8th grade trip to Washington DC, I met a boy who told me his closest neighbor was "a one mile tractor ride away", I was riveted 
  40. Although I took public transportation downtown from the time I was 13, I never visited a small town until I went away to college in Southern Illinois
  41. I love endurance sports, and like a shark, I have a high threshold for pain
  42. I was class Vice President my freshman and sophomore years
  43. I hate to read and I'm terrible at math
  44. My first boyfriend was in High School, Ryan, we dated for 2.5 years
  45. I did not eat meat from the age of 16 until I was 21 years old
  46. I was an exchange student in France my senior year of high school
  47. My senior year, I worked 30 hours a week at Coconuts Records to pay for my trip to France 
  48. I was nominated "Biggest Party Animal" by my senior class in high school (my two best friends were nominated "Most Talkative" and "Biggest Flirt").  
  49. I went to SIU and paid for college myself with grants, student loans, work-study program, and by cocktail waitressing
  50. As a cocktail waitress, I could make my way through a mosh pit carrying up to 11 bottles of 22 oz Rolling Rock beers on my cocktail tray
  51. I wanted to be a European History teacher until I took my first Education class
  52. My senior year, I declared a second major and ended up double majoring in Speech Communication and European History with a minor in Political Science 
  53. I still enjoy history and tend to plan my travels around areas I find of historical importance
  54. I was the PR Director of the Undergraduate Student Government, I planned and executed a student voter registration drive, I was given a $4000 budget in 1993
  55. I do not like roommates and have not had a roommate since I lived in the college dorms 
  56. When I graduated from college, I fell into a depression and for about a year I felt "hopeless"
  57. After graduation, finding a job was near impossible and I had to live at home, this was a far cry from the hardworking, self-sufficient student who held offices and was given budgets to run major campus programs - graduating from college was the worst "reality check" I've ever experienced, consequently, I will forever sympathize with recent grads 
  58. My first job was working as an assistant for a Chicago restauranteur, it was a crappy job but I was finally able to and save for my backpacking trip to Europe
  59. I backpacked alone through Europe in the fall / winter of 1995 for three months - I visited 13 countries 
  60. Backpacking through Europe, I learned I was in control of my own destiny, this realization helped me shake that post-collegiate depression
  61. The last country I visited was Switzerland where I para-glided off the Swiss Alps  
  62. My first job in Advertising was at DDB Chicago
  63. I won my job at DDB by bidding on it at a charity auction for the Chicago Film Festival
  64. I volunteered for the Chicago Film Festival from '96 until '04, serving on the board from '01 to '04
  65. I attended graduate school from 1997 to 1999 
  66. I received a merit based fellowship for my first year of school, I have a Masters in Arts in Arts Management
  67. I worked two jobs for many years, I bartended part-time between 1996 and 2000 
  68. My second job helped me save an extra 40K in four years and I did not take out any loans for grad school 
  69. Famous people I'd like to meet: Eric Clapton (because my name is Leyla)
  70. I refer to 1999 as "The year I fell off the face of the planet" for reasons I choose not to discuss in detail, but let's just say.... if I wrote a book, you wouldn't believe me 
  71. I've had four major relationships in my life 
  72. I have never lived with a boyfriend and I don't believe in pre-martial cohabitation because I would want something to look forward to after getting married
  73. I have never been married or engaged 
  74. I think long engagements and big weddings are stupid
  75. I ran the Chicago marathon in 2000 in 4:36 
  76. I was a finalist for a prime-time, reality TV show on a major network in 2003
  77. I love shoes, stiletto heels, because they never make me look fat!
  78. I have a weakness for beautiful clothing but I don't consider myself to be overly stylish
  79. I do not look good in trendy clothing, my style is more classic
  80. I do not want my own children but would consider dating someone with children  
  81. My hair is my best "feature", I have long, thick, curly hair that I straighten
  82. I have a long inseam for my height - long legs and an oddly short torso 
  83. I have double jointed elbows and a long tongue like Gene Simmons
  84. Some famous people I've met: Joan Jet, Michael J. Fox, John Taylor, Simon LeBon, Liz Phair, Dennis Rodman, Billy Corgan, Michael Hutchence, Helena Christensen, John Lydon, Johnny Damon, Eddie Vedder, Wesley Snipes, James Caan, Korn (the band), Heath Ledger, Christian Bale, Vince Vaughn, Michael Richards (Kramer from Seinfeld), Bozo the Clown, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama
  85. I am a terrible driver
  86. I once side swiped a parked car while approaching a red light
  87. And, I once hit a car in a parking lot where we were the only two moving cars
  88. I love the movies
  89. Music has always been a big part of my life
  90. I am loud and have a tendency to embarrass others 
  91. I am a great swimmer and I love to swim in large bodies of water
  92. Although I complain a lot, I am most certainly a happy person
  93. I love life
  94. I love my family 
  95. I love my friends and take my friendships VERY seriously 
  96. I was self-employed for over two years 
  97. Ups and downs keep me sane
  98. Travel is a passion, in '03, I spent 7 weeks travelling around the world, I started in London and ended in Hawaii 
  99. Loyalty is both a strength and a weakness of mine
  100. Challenges excite me