Katia Raina

The Magic Mirror

Living A Versatile Life: 5+ Random Tidbits

I think being a versatile blogger can spring from living a “versatile” life — one full of change and adventure. I also think most people lead versatile lives — we can’t help it: growing up is change, life itself has so many facets.

Here are 5 random tidbits from mine:

1. Before I turned four years old and my parents divorced, I remember spending a lot of time in the backstage of a theater in Siberia where both my parents worked. I remember painted faces of actors and the glitter on their costumes. I remember the tobacco smoke so thick it hung over their dressing rooms like a curtain. I watched the same performances over and over, and like reading a good book, took pleasure in them every single time. I also loved being the actors’ adored little baby doll and as a teenager dreamed of becoming an actress myself.

2. At age fourteen, I sang and played on the piano an interpretation of Gershwin’s “Summertime” on Russian television.

3. Graduating from a New Jersey high school, my good grades were marred by one “C:” in creative writing! (The teacher couldn’t stand me. To be fair, I was probably quite a pain the butt.)

4. I married my husband at the age of 18 (almost 19) and had my first child at the age of 21. Many people made snide remarks, thought we got married because of a baby, told me point-blank they were sure it wouldn’t last. One woman confessed to me she was surprised to see me take such a great care of my baby son — it wasn’t what she expected. My husband and I have been married for almost 15 years now.

5. When my husband first took me to France as a young wife to meet his family, I was frustrated with having to sit at a dinner table with my new relatives, often not understanding a single word. When I returned home, I enrolled in French classes in college. When we came back to France a year later, I surprised everyone by speaking French!

These were more like memories than tidbits — sorry about their length! If you were looking for truly random, bite-sized stuff, here are a few more: I am afraid of moths, I still dream of flying many nights the way kids often do, I wake up every morning at 5:30 a.m., except on Saturdays to work on my writing, I love forces of nature, such as the mountains and the sea, I sometimes forget words in Russian — or I might remember individual words, but not how to string them together gracefully, but that’s okay, because English is my true language love.

Okay, that was way more than 5 tidbits. I hope that’s okay!

Next week comes the best part: presenting the versatile blogger award to others. Get ready to discover some awesome new blogs!


February 3, 2012 - Posted by | Personal Mirror | , , ,


  1. Good morning Katia!

    I love living a diverse life too. And I think being a writer is best for that because it takes you so many different places (I wrote about this in an earlier blog entry).

    What a great read and while I can relate to some of the tidbits, I find the others equally as fascinating.

    I totally relate to being in an exciting work place with adults.As a child, I’d go to the tavern where my grandmother worked as a short order cook. Like you, I was the kid all the adults fawned all over. On the weekends they had a music act called Donna Lori and the Music Box. The lead singer once let me sing on stage with her. And like you wanting to be an actress, I wanted to be a singer at that point. (Never happened, but I did write a children’s Christmas song that was put on a compilation CD and played at Montclair State University — I had another girl sing it though!)

    That’s interesting that you got a “C” in creative writing, because that’s the only topic I got As in (and Cs in everything else, including grammar!)

    Shame to hear about the snide remarks concerning your early marriage, but people always say mean things when they are jealous. We know that, right?! Perhaps they wanted to find someone too, at such a young age, and it’s truly a blessing to know what you want early on — you go girl!

    So cool that you sang on Russian television and learned French so fast! You never cease to amaze me. Keep living those memories. You are always so determined and inspirational!

    Comment by seakist | February 3, 2012 | Reply

    • Mary Anne, your life is very diverse, that’s for sure. As for the snide remarks, I think it was more than jealousy, even though that did play a part. I think it’s because I was going against expectations. People sometimes feel like they know all the answers. Sometimes, they turn out to be wrong, which was a lucky thing for me. 🙂 Thanks for reading.

      Comment by Katia Raina | February 3, 2012 | Reply

  2. These sound like fantastic memories/tidbits. I always like reading more about you. You have an interesting life and much to write about.

    I would love to become fluent (or close to it) in a language in a year. All the French I studied left me.

    I’m glad the naysayers were wrong in regards to your marriage and writing. That’ll show them. 😉

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Comment by Medeia Sharif | February 3, 2012 | Reply

  3. So much good book material in your life! I really loved learning more about you today.

    Comment by joycemoyerhostetter | February 4, 2012 | Reply

  4. Thanks, Medeia and Joyce. I am glad I am not boring you with all that personal stuff 😉 And yeah, just sharing it with you makes me realize, I’ll probably never run out of autobiographical material to mine for future stories!

    Comment by Katia Raina | February 4, 2012 | Reply

  5. Absolutely loved this post–you go beyond versatile, dahlink! Was also married young–but have yet to go to France with DH… will have to make due with DD, which is quite nice! xxxNat

    Comment by Natalie Davidson Zaman | February 9, 2012 | Reply

    • Thanks sooo much, Nat!! So you’re another one of those romantic younger-married souls — there aren’t many of us, are there? Your reading my blog and even better, liking it, means so much. Thank you.

      Comment by Katia Raina | February 9, 2012 | Reply

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