Interview with CR Mandler MAT

All the people who I allow to love me and all the people that allow me to love them back set my soul on fire.

Gurpreet Dhariwal
Sep 16 · 6 min read
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Photograph by CR Mandler MAT

CR Mandler MAT is an amazing writer and a woman. I read her article on illumination and became her fan. You all can check it too at this link: https://medium.com/illumination/i-learned-to-hate-you-so-i-could-let-you-go-1349fca2f5ac

After reading this article, I felt as if I have known her for ages. I started reading more of her work and I came across my vulnerable side in her words. I find her authentic, inspiring, powerful, and poignant. There is no dearth of talent in her as she always writes on topics that are not only motivating but makes you think too.

Yesterday, I asked her if I could interview her and she sent me the answers on such short notice that I will never forget her for her honesty and sincerity. I would want you to read her answers and know more about her as a person. I hope you get inspired too like the way I have found my inspiration in her.

1. Where do you belong to? Is there anything you would like to change about the place you belong to?

Belong. I feel exceptionally comfortable in any situation. I guess I feel I belong everywhere.

To whom I belong is entirely another question. I am absolutely dedicated to my interpersonal circle of friends. Even though I have moved numerous times in the past 10 years, through regimented effort, I continue to belong in these relationships while truly enjoying these sacred connections.

Side note: I do not belong to people that I find uncompassionate. Compassion and empathy are prerequisites of being a part of where I belong.

Side Note Note: Mostly, my soul belongs to the ocean.

2. What sets your soul on fire?

a. Sunrise. I love to be up before the sunrise and watch the night turn to day. I feel euphoric and energized.

The passing moments between darkness and light congregate into my heart, permitting me to thoroughly enjoy my time alone, writing, watching recordings of the Real Housewives, petting my cats, sipping on my extremely weak but vanilla flavored coffee, with icy cold water on the side.

b. The existence of the word “Perhaps,” burn rhapsodies into my soul. It is my favorite word because it is not absolute. “Perhaps” keep doorways open that would otherwise close due to impulsivity. At my best, I am lingering in the Great Perhaps.

c. Two hours after my housekeeper leaves. Everything is clean. I sit in my chair, in the middle of the day with a chemise on, enjoying whatever I choose for that time. Glass of ice water next to me. All three cats hanging out. It is like a party without the loud music. My soul is on high alert.

d. Travel. I am a traveling fool. I would always choose to travel than to buy things. When I was a little girl, I vowed to visit every continent twice. That was my little girl's version of a bucket list. I made it to Africa, South America, Europe, and of course all over North America thus far.

e. All the people who I allow to love me and all the people that allow me to love them back set my soul on fire.

3. Which one is your favorite family memory, and why?

Childhood memory: My dad, brother, and I walked in from different directions in our house. As we intersected at the bottom of the stairs, “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” by Stevie Wonder played on the radio. In unison, my family sang the song together. To this day that song stops me in my tracks and reminds me of the happiness I felt when I lived with them.

It is important because my brother, dad, and I lived as strangers for the eight years that my dad raised us as a single parent. The feelings that accompany this memory are complex. I just know when I hear the song I feel joy.

Adulthood Family: Currently, I pay attention to nonverbal and verbal cues that I recognize as significant. Like I am aware when I take my loved ones’ hands that they are warm. And it is important for me to enjoy their warm hands as tomorrow is never promised.

4. Is there anyone in your life you could give your life for? If yes, why?

I am positive that no one knows what they are willing to do or won’t do until they are placed in the coinciding predicament. That is why it is wise to take a mental note about your own behavior and then get out of your own way.

But the answer is Yes. I would die for someone else if their safety is limited.

5. Do you pour love into self from time to time?

More so lately, and it teaches me grace.

6. How often you observe the people near you?

Depends. I spent many years observing people. Currently, I rotate from person to person throughout the day and absorb their energy. A person’s energy is quite different than their ego.

Soaking in someone else’s energy teaches me about the universe.

7. Why do you hope for? Does it change something within you or around you?

It seems as if human beings are the only animals that hope. I tend to align with the flow of nature. If nature does it, then I can, too. This means I rarely engage in hoping.

There is no judgment in nature. But I do hope that there is hope in nature.

8. How does it feel like being a woman to you?

I quite like being a woman. My experience is unique because I am as tall as most men and that seems to change the power differential in my favor.

But I am more of a lover of humans. I do not think in terms of gender but I do respect those that do.

9. What you would like us to remember you for?

Paying it Forward every chance I get.

10. How you would describe your life?

I feel incredibly blessed.

11. What keeps you on your toes, and how do you like to spend your time?

My eleven-year-old son keeps me on my toes.

I am privy to some information that may seem simple but is not widely known. How we spend our time is the first clue about what is important to us. I pay bills, write, read, clean, work, edit, shop, swim, dye my hair pink, take care of my husband and my son.

I sometimes like spending my time doing all of the above as long as it is accompanied by ice water.

12. When life gives you a lemon, what do you make out of it?

I deal with it. Whatever it is, I deal with it, straight-on and move forward.

13. What mystery of life you would like to have an answer for?

Does God exist?

14. How were you different five years ago from what you are today?

Five years ago, I had one of the last of my ten surgeries. So I was beginning to recover from all of the attacks on my body over a decade. I was in a continual state of disassociation only to find out that I had lost contact with reality when I began to write again. Writing is living for me.

Also, we were planning on moving to Germany through the Department of Defense. But at the 6-year mark, tragedy struck, the DOD eliminated the position, leaving us stateside, without our clothes and our belongings, homeless, jobless, down a car with no idea where we would go.

We were struggling as a family to survive. But at that moment a glimpse of light exposed a powerful insight about the future. It was like someone whispered in my ear, “You are improving and learning to value life. You will be wildly successful if you keep at it.”

Five years later, I work as a freelance writer, an editor for three publications, a Writing Specialist for secondary education and I own a business called CM Writing Consultant LLC. I have lost weight, I regained a sense of discipline and I am not afraid to fail.

15. What would you like to leave as your legacy? Is there any message you would like to communicate to us?

Legacy: When people say they do not care to a question they lose their power. Everyone is playing a game where they say they do not care when they do. Our society directs us to be apathetic. But do you know what happens when you say you do not care? The answer is chosen for you.

Choose carefully or someone else will.

CR Mandler MAT is everyday mortal, person, human, eccentric, unconventional, and educated.

*If you would want to be interviewed too, please message me and I will get back to you.

ILLUMINATION

We curate outstanding articles from diverse domains and…

Gurpreet Dhariwal

Written by

Author of “My Soul Rants: Poems of a Born Spectator”. Domestic Violence Survivor, Sketcher, Dog Lover, Poet. https://www.instagram.com/authorgurpreetdhariwal

ILLUMINATION

We curate and disseminate outstanding articles from diverse domains and disciplines to create fusion and synergy.

Gurpreet Dhariwal

Written by

Author of “My Soul Rants: Poems of a Born Spectator”. Domestic Violence Survivor, Sketcher, Dog Lover, Poet. https://www.instagram.com/authorgurpreetdhariwal

ILLUMINATION

We curate and disseminate outstanding articles from diverse domains and disciplines to create fusion and synergy.

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