Stranger 032



What’s your full name? 

Currently, it is Megan Thompson Jalufka. It used to be Megan Irene Thompson

Were you named after anyone?

My middle name, Irene is from my great grandmother Irena.

Do you feel any connection to your name? 

I have mixed feelings about my name. I have grown to really like my first name. I always hated my middle name. I just don’t like the way it sounds. The last name is more complicated. I took my husband’s name when we were married but kept Thompson for business relationships since my dad and I were working together and later became partners. It’s caused a few issues and sometimes my husband is called Mr. Thompson when we are at certain venues. It’s not something I think about that often, but my name has certainly been an issue at different points in time.

How far away do you live from where you were born?

About 30 miles.

What do you consider to be your “home”?

Northern California.

Is that distance something you think about? Do you have any connection to your place of birth?

I drive and work there every day of the week.

Are you in touch with anyone from your youth? 

Yes. I still keep in touch with several high school friends

Would you change anything about your upbringing, those years from birth through high school? Are they mostly fond or bad memories? 

I would say mostly fond memories. You couldn’t pay me enough to go through high school again, but I was mostly happy.

Is there anything you need with you throughout the day to feel complete?

Cellphone is the obvious answer. I recently deleted Facebook off my phone because I noticed that it was only making me less happy when I looked at it. I don’t even miss it and when I check it on the computer, I find that I haven’t missed much.

When you look in the mirror, what do you notice first about your appearance?

Frankly, I’m not very observant. I’m lucky if I remember to check my teeth in the mirror before I leave a bathroom.

If you could change something about your appearance, what would it be?

I’d love to be the picture of female empowerment and say I love my body just the way it is but that’s patently untrue. I guess if I could only pick one thing it would be my tummy. Having kids is a bitch.

What do you first notice in strangers?

I think I first notice their demeanor. I want to see how they respond to the conversation. If they are more negative than positive that is a big turnoff for me. I try really hard to look at the bright side of most situations and when someone is there being all Eeyore they can really mess up your day. I try to avoid those people as much as possible.

What do think those that know you say about you?

I don’t really think about what other people say about me. I can’t do anything to really change it and I would hope that people would tell me if I had some huge personality flaw. It can get exhausting worrying about what other people think all the time, so I just try not to do it.

What would you hope they would say?

I would hope that they say I’m funny, outgoing and a good friend. That’s one thing that I really have to work at. I suppose we all work at being not selfish and self-centered but I’m notoriously bad at checking in with people. If you need someone and you call me, I will be there in a second, but I am not great and intuiting others’ needs.

What do you think strangers notice first about you?

I’m not sure. I guess it depends on who the stranger is.

What is your proudest moment? Biggest victory?

I don’t really have a “proudest” moment. I like to take all of the little wins. I don’t have lofty goals really; I just want to be the best I can be at what I do.

What is your biggest regret? Biggest failure? 

It sounds stupid to say but I don’t really have one. I’m not really one to dwell on things I did wrong. Everything is a teaching moment, even the embarrassing stuff.

If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

I’d like to be more sensitive to other people and how they are feeling. I have friends who have gone through rough times or struggle with anxiety and I find that I have trouble being empathetic. I work at it, but it does not come naturally to me.

Are you making plans for the future, or are you more spontaneous?

Haha! I’m not spontaneous at all. I like to have everything planned out to the last detail. I’m pretty good at going with the flow if things change but at least we started with a plan.

When was the last time you cried? 

A few weeks ago. I was having a bad day. Sometimes it feels like I’m spinning plates to keep all of my commitments and obligations and still be there for my family. Everything just felt like too much and I lost it a bit. I don’t cry very often. Although I did tear up when the lost kid in Toy Story 4 found her mom. That’s one weird thing about becoming a mom. Scenes like that that did not affect me before really get to me now. It’s weird but I’m trying to embrace the new more emotional me.

When was the last time you ever made someone else cry?

It was probably my daughter or son because I didn’t let them have/do something they wanted. Kids cry really easily.

If you could know exactly when and how you would die, would you want to know?  

Hell no. Why would you want that ticking clock hovering over you?

What do you do to relieve stress? 

I watch TV. It’s the only thing that really turns my brain off. I’ve tried spa days or yoga or whatever, but I can’t be alone with my thoughts that much. I also like to go out and do things with others or just hang out at our house. Any kind of party is a real stress reliever for me (which I know sounds super weird to all my introvert friends and husband)

Do you make friends easily? 

Yes and no. I have a lot of people I would consider friends but only a few close friends. I am good at being an acquaintance that you hang out with a lot. Sometimes this develops into a deeper friendship, sometimes it doesn’t.

Have you had mentors in your life? 

Yes, my dad is probably my biggest mentor. He taught me the business and helped me develop. My mom is also a big influence. She almost acts as my therapist in a way (although sometimes she ramps me up instead of calming me down).

What is the one rule you try to live by? Do you feel successful at following it? 

Don’t burn your bridges. I have had many times in my life where I could have totally ruined a relationship and instead decided to take a step back and wait and it was almost always a good decision. I think karma exists but not in the cosmic woo-woo sense. More in that if you are nice to people, even if they are not nice to you, you will win in the end. This only works sometimes. Sometimes you just have to cut toxic people out of your life, but I don’t think this is a decision that should be taken lightly. I also don’t hold grudges. It’s boring and exhausting. I heard someone say, holding grudges is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. I think this is pretty spot on.



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