This post was prompted by this article.
20 QUESTIONS TO ASK SOMEONE THAT WILL REVEAL THEIR TRUE SELF
1. What’s your life motto, or philosophy you live by?
If you don’t have something nice to say to the person you’re talking to, then find someone else among the other 7 billion people on the planet to whom you DO have something nice to say.
Life’s too short to be an asshole, and the world needs fewer assholes. If we all just surrounded ourselves with people we actually like, turn the other cheek to those we don’t like (or who don’t like us) and let people just be themselves, the world would be a much lovelier place.
2. What’s your favorite thing about yourself?
There isn’t really just one thing, but these things all sort of go together: My creativity, my imagination, my mind, my insatiable curiosity. I love that I have managed to maintain some of the wonder I had as a child and still remain curious about life, the universe, and everything.
3. Do you follow a religion or spiritual practice?
I say I’m an atheist, sometimes an agnostic, but I don’t really think the answer is that black and white. The closest I’ve been able to find to what I think about the world around me is the Hindu term “namaste,” which roughly means “the spirit in me recognizes the spirit in you.”
I think there is a “divine spark” in all of us, though I don’t know if that’s even what it is. I think we are all connected on some deeper level than just being members of the same species. I believe there’s something much deeper…our soul?…that connects us all to each other. Most belief systems have something in their teachings about the connectedness of all things. Even Christianity was based on the gnosis, which was the belief that we can all become “one with God.”
I don’t think we’re only connected to each other, I think we’re connected to everything–the animals, the plants, the Earth–I think we’re connected on a level even more infinitesimal than the atomic level.
4. What was the best time of your life?
The best time of my life is probably right now…because it’s only in the last several years that I’ve finally been able to throw away some of the inhibitions of my youth and accept myself for the weird, strange, eccentric, wonderful being that I am.
5. What was the worst thing that ever happened to you?
Losing my father when I was 24 years old and he was 47. It was hard for a number of reasons, not least of all being that my brother was only 14, so I did a lot of mourning for him before I ever really mourned for my own loss.
The loss of my dad was a catalyst for the way my views would change for the rest of my life. It’s almost as if that one event, that one moment in time, changed everything–from the way I viewed religion to the way I interacted with people to the way I lived my life from that point on.
When I returned to work the week after my dad died, suddenly the petty squabbles between my coworkers seemed just that–petty. I found myself thinking instead of reacting; rather than taking offense at a comment, I’d think on it, then tell the person why their comment was offensive. I lost a few “friends” in the few years after my dad’s death, mostly because they didn’t like me calling them out on their bigotry or offensiveness. Tough shit.
That day shaped my life in ways I probably still haven’t even realized. It opened my eyes to the sheer brevity of life–we are all in the same world and none of us is getting out alive; it’s therefore a waste of precious time to spend so much of our energy on hate and bigotry. There is plenty of room in the world for all of us. Live and let live.
6. What’s your biggest dream?
My biggest dream. I think my biggest personal dream would be to finally be able to finish a book; to be able to really consider myself a writer. I know that the only thing required to be a writer is to write, but I’d be kidding myself if I said we write only for ourselves. Yes, the stories I write are stories I write because I want to read them–but I also want to share them. I guess too…I want to be able to leave something of myself behind. Body and mind fade away; but the things we create with our imagination and our creativity–those things are eternal.
7. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a writer and an artist. To me, they’re both the same thing. Painting with words is no less a form of art to me than running a brush across a canvas or sculpting clay into something tangible. Words, music, paint, clay, fabric, etc.–these are the tools we use to create things we want to share with the world, to let little pieces of our soul out into the world for others to enjoy.
8. What was/is your biggest accomplishment?
Seriously? Probably myself. Maybe that’s egotistical or conceited; I don’t think it is, though. My childhood could have sent me on a few different trajectories, not all of them very good–and I’m proud of the fact that I managed to choose a decent one. My only regret is that it took me so long to realize it and to gain the self-confidence and self-esteem necessary to finally say “Fuck it, I am who I am, and I am fucking AWESOME!”
9. Why do you think we’re all here?
I’ll put one of my favorite quotes here: We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
That’s what I think. I think we’re here to learn something, and one of the things so many people miss is that the destination is not what it’s about. It doesn’t matter where we go after this life (Heaven, Hell, Nirvana, Summerland, etc.). The journey itself is the reason we are here. The journey is the destination.
10. What was your best relationship?
My best relationship was the one I had with my brother, especially when he was young. Having endured my mother for as long as I had and seeing her beginning to treat my brother the same way she had treated me, my goal in life at a very young age (he is 11 years younger than I) became to keep him safe and help form him into a kind, loving, intelligent human being. Mission: fucking accomplished!
11. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
I’d want everyone to be able to look at everyone else as a wondrous and amazing creature of individuality and beauty; to see beyond what their eyes see–beyond skin color, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender identity, class, religion, faith, etc.–and just see the soul of people.
12. Do you like your job? If not, what would you like to do instead?
Honestly, no. I wish I’d gone to school to be a teacher or a writer; working as a secretary is not for me. It pays the bills:(
13. What are you favorite hobbies?
Writing, reading, image editing, photography, fangirling.
14. If money was no object, what would you do in life?
First? I’d pay off all my loved ones’ bills. Then I would be a full-time writer and I’d travel all over the world.
15. Have you ever broken someone’s heart?
I think so, but I’m not sure. I had a boyfriend who dumped me on my 21st birthday and went back to his former girlfriend. A year or so later, I got a letter from him saying that breaking up with me had been the biggest mistake of his life and asking if I’d give him a second chance. I replied back that I don’t give second chances and that I deserved better. Did I break his heart? Who knows. But that’s about the closest I think I’ve come.
16. What are you thankful for?
I’m thankful for my family and friends; my mind and my creativity.
17. What do you wish people understood more about you?
That I am not shy, I’m introverted; that I need time alone to recharge sometimes; that I feel deeply.
18. If you could turn back time and do anything differently, would you?
Absolutely. I’d probably stand up for myself–to the bullies and to my mother.
19. What’s the craziest, or most exciting thing you’ve ever done?
Craziest…I once “stalked” a cute guy I “met” at a local carnival (yes, he was a carny) from Massachusetts to upstate New York and drove there to see him for a weekend (my sister went with me; I’m not that stupid). Very non-introvert thing for me to do, but it was probably the very beginning of my gaining of self-esteem and assertiveness. Not my proudest moment, but it could have turned out a whole lot worse (lucky for us, those carnys weren’t bad people:)
20. What do you think about most often?
E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. For real. My brain is constantly churning, I think about everything all the time.
I’m gonna tag my bestie JustSomeJane here and demand that she do this too;)