Unofficial Discover Me Challenge: 20 Questions

This post was prompted by this article.

20 QUESTIONS TO ASK SOMEONE THAT WILL REVEAL THEIR TRUE SELF


20-questions-logo1. 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.”

namasteI 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.

missmydadThe 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?

writingMy 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 definesusmanaged 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?

everybodyshumanI’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.

infp16. 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;)

DMC 4- Words to Live By

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Let’s see. The prompt was this:

Speaking of sayings and the sort – this DMC is all about words. Of course, we aren’t looking for just any words, rather we want to know what words do you live by? What is your code, your mantra, your living quote, the words that are strung together so perfectly that they drive you through life?

Some of us may have a couple of these fantastic phrases or may have just one that is the pure definition of life. Whatever it may be, what are those words and why do they speak to you? Who said them first? When did they become so important?


Let me start by saying that I love quotes. I mean, I lllloooooovvvveeee quotes. I think it comes from my passion for words. Nothing makes me smile much more than when I am able to string a bunch of words together to create something, whether it be profound, silly, witty, sarcastic, or outright mundane! I’m not completely sure when it was that I first became aware that I had this ability…maybe it’s just that in recent years, a lot of words I see are – how to put this nicely – JUST. PLAIN. STUPID. In an age when “wut r u doin?” passes for adult communication, I almost shudder to think what (wut?) the state of our written language will be in a few more decades. Therefore, it’s up to those of us who can throw a dozen words together and produce a comprehensive sentence to make a stand and keep eloquence alive!

tentaclechair
© Abigail Larson

Sorry, I sort of went off on a bit of a rant, didn’t I? Where was I…? Oh yeah! I LOVE quotes!

I collect quotes the way some people collect coins or stamps. Most are other people’s words, some are thoughts that pop into my head that I jot down as possible story ideas – or just plain weird-ass thoughts, haha!

Here’s an example of a weird-ass one (by me, muahaha, so if I ever get famous, be sure to put a © on this bitch if you post it somewhere!):

You know you have stayed too long when the
chair in which you usually sit embraces you.

There are so many different ways that sentence can be perceived – creepy, weird, profound? It could alternately conjures up an image of one of those asinine people who comes to visit you that you wish would just leave already – or slimy tentacles emerging from the back of the chair to wrap around you and keep you from ever leaving again (MUAHAHAHAHA!).


So quotes can be a powerful thing! Here are a few of my favorites and my thoughts on them.

be-yourself-everyone-else-is-taken-oscar-wilde-rd-5272409Ohhhh, Oscar Wilde! This is my favorite of his quotes, and it’s the one I most often use on my social media profiles because it’s short, it’s simple, and it’s concise.

It took me a lot of years to accept myself for the quirky geeky weirdo that I am and to embrace my strangeness, even longer for me to be comfortable enough allowing my weirdness to be experienced by other people. I make no apologies for it anymore (I used to!), and who better to take a lesson from than the very epitome of individuality and oddness that was Oscar Wilde!

Wilde gave us The Picture of Dorian Gray (doesn’t get much weirder than that!) and publicly defended his beliefs regarding the depiction of morality in creative works as well as the morality of his own personal life in an age when it was downright dangerous to do so. It doesn’t get much more real than that! It’s just too bad that the things he was fighting for back then are still so controversial today. The more things change, the more they stay the same, right? <–another great quote LOL! (Told you I lervvvvveeeee quotes!)


be-the-change

This one has long been attributed to Mahatma Gandhi…but it’s never actually been proven to have been said by him. It doesn’t really matter who said it, and truthfully, I don’t mind its being misattributed to him. It’s a quote that could change the world, and he was a great philosopher. I don’t want to see it go away simply because nobody knows who said it…so I’ll keep attributing it to him:)

You want people to be kind? Be kinder to people. Don’t have something nice to say to someone or want to say something nasty? Shut your mouth, turn the other cheek, walk away, and find someone else among the 7 billion human beings on this planet, someone to whom you DO have something nice to say. We are all living on the same rock. We all have the same color blood in our veins. You want to see the world change? Then change it, starting with how you treat others.


human-beings

There’s a Sanskrit greeting–Namaste. I’ve seen it interpreted a few different ways, all with pretty much the same meaning. Basically, it means the divine spirit in me honors the divine spirit in you. I’ve always found this to be a very cool thought.

This quote sort of follows along nicely with Namaste. I think sometimes that people get so caught up in determining which “Divine Spirit” they should be following, worshiping, listening to, ignoring, hating, loving, believing, disbelieving, etc., that they lose sight of the fact that the journey we’re on – our life here on this planet – the very point of that journey is the journey. The destination – whether it be Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, Hades, Valhalla, the Summerland, Ahura Mazda, Nirvana, nothingness, reincarnation – doesn’t really matter. For us, right now, right here, this is what matters, this human experience we’re having because in the end, it is only temporary so we should make the most of it while we’re having it. Then it’s on to the next great adventure…or not.


Oh, so yeah, I guess I felt like waxing philosophical in this post…I’m in writer mode these days, so the words just sort of have a mind of their own, and my only job is to stick them together in the correct order;)

Until my next post…

namaste-bitches

Discover Me Challenge: Words to Live By

dmc4edit

This Discover Me Challenge prompt (see the original post on JustSomeJane here)

I know, I know… DMC prompts are supposed to be posted on Thursdays, not late in the day on a Friday. I am a day behind on pretty much everything right now!! You know, this reminds me of a famous saying… How does it go? A day late and a dollar short? What can I say? Life happens.

Speaking of sayings and the sort – this DMC is all about words. Of course, we aren’t looking for just any words, rather we want to know what words do you live by? What is your code, your mantra, your living quote, the words that are strung together so perfectly that they drive you through life?

Some of us may have a couple of these fantastic phrases or may have just one that is the pure definition of life. Whatever it may be, what are those words and why do they speak to you? Who said them first? When did they become so important?

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Join the fun and discover more about yourself!! Be sure to add your links in the comments section so we can read your awesome responses, too!

Discover Me Challenge 3 – If I Could Travel Through Time…

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Imagine, if you will, that you have a time machine. This time machine can take you to any period in time – past or future. You can only use your time machine once, to get to your destination and to return (if you so choose to return!).

What period in time would you visit? What would you do there? Why does this period in time call to you?

Would you return?

“Shh! Listen! Someone’s coming! I think — I think it might be us!” ~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

next prompt will be posted Oct. 13th on JustSomeJane.com.

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To participate, just write a post on your personal blog/site and enter your link into the linkup at the bottom of this post on JSJ!!

DMC 2 – When I Grow Up

 

quotes-about-being-yourself“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I will not grow up. I won’t. Never. Ever. When you grow up, you lose the dreamlike wonder that’s inherent in children; you lose the innocence of seeing the world without any inhibitions or expectations. In a perfect world, we would never have to grow up.

When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a dog. Seriously. Or maybe a cat. I thought how awesome it would be to be covered in fur, to be petted and loved and be able to run really really fast. As I got older, I realized that, alas, I could never be a cat or a dog.

Once I realized that being an animal was out of the question, I wanted to be a jockey. I was one of those little girls who loved horses, and the only thing I thought you had to do to be a jockey was sit on a horse and let him run really fast. That dream was fleeting too…because you also have to be really really short to be a jockey, and while I might not be very tall, by 11 I was already too tall to be a jockey.

In my high school yearbook, I said I wanted to be a writer and a horse trainer. The horse trainer thing will never come to pass. The writer, on the other hand; well, I’m already one of those. The only thing you have to do to be a writer is write, and I do that all the time. Words are my favorite way to express myself.

be-true-be-unique-be-yourself-different-favim-com-1212276What I want to be when I grow up is a work in progress and probably always will be. I have strange interests and quirky humor, nerdy style and really odd ways of seeing the world. I spent a lot of years wondering why I couldn’t just be “normal” or be just like everyone else, why the things that interested me were so different from what interested most of the people around me.

I used to spend so much time trying to “fit in” and to “make” myself do or like things that the people around me did or liked, and you know what I learned? It made me uncomfortable, it made me feel out of place and awkward; and the older I got, the less I wanted to feel that way.

I’ll tell you a secret.

Lean in.

You know what I really want to be when I grow up?

Me.

 

Discover Me Challenge #2 – When I Grow Up

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Remember how your younger self had big dreams? You knew in your heart of hearts that you would be an astronaut or famous writer or detective or you would stop crime, wearing your favorite blanket cape… Your younger self was free to dream big, without any limitations. Rules didn’t apply to our dreams back then.

For this challenge, let’s go back to those days when we weren’t afraid to dream big, without the limitations. Anything is possible. There are no rules.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

next prompt will be posted Sept. 29th

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I welcome anyone who would like to join in on the fun. If you do decide to participate, grab a button (if you like) or just linkup below!

Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and
paste it inside your blog post as HTML



DMC 1 – Teachers Who Inspire

The original challenge appears here.


futureThe challenge was to write about a teacher who inspired me. To be honest, I almost didn’t participate in this one because there hasn’t really been a teacher who has inspired me. Most of my school years are years I’d sooner forget about than have to revisit. I spent most of my school years being bullied – by the kids, by the teachers, by my mother – so the lessons I learned about people were not really good ones.

But then I started thinking about the things I’ve learned through the years – and how I’ve come to learn them – and realized that the most inspiring teacher I’ve had was Life itself.

Life taught me at a young age that not everyone is a good person, that not everyone will like you, that sometimes the people to whom you are supposed to look up the most can be the ones who end up letting you down the most. At the same time, it’s impossible life2to learn those things without learning their counterparts – that not everyone is a bad person, that not everyone will dislike you, and that sometimes the people you barely notice can be the ones who lift you up the most.

Life taught me that we are all combinations of all of the things we’ve learned throughout our lives, that all of these little Life Lessons contribute to who we are. There are so many things that happened to me when I was younger that could have made me grow up to be an angry, mean-spirited person – and in some ways, those things have shaped me into someone who doesn’t always know how to respond to conflict, who doesn’t trust easily, who isn’t always comfortable in social situations, and who usually says, “I hate people” – but in the end, I treat people the way I’d like to be treated, I try to be a good person, I try (sometimes when it’s not warranted) to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. If someone treats me badly, that is a reflection of them, not me.

life13Life has taught me that our time here is too short to spend it always worrying about what others think of us, that we have to just be ourselves and hope that it’s enough. While the lessons Life teaches us are often the toughest lessons of all, they are very often inspiring as well.

I know this wasn’t really the point of this challenge, but it was the best I could come up with. Haha, I’m sure I’ll do better on the next one;)

Discover Me Challenge

discovermechallenge
I am cross-posting this from my friend Nichole’s blog (JustSomeJane.com) so that people will know what the Discover Me Challenges are about.

Once upon a time, not too long ago, my bestie (Skaty) and I used to have writing challenges that truly honed in on our deeper selves. They made us think, reflect, and share. We called these challenges “Discover Me Challenges”. I loved these challenges because not only did I have to dig deep and learn more about myself but I learned so much about my bff.
As if you didn’t already know where this is going… I am happy to say that we are going to resurrect the DMCs (Discover Me Challenges). YAY! I’ve been wanting to do this for so long!!
Every two weeks, starting this Thursday (Sept. 8, 2016), I will be posting a prompt/topic for the challenge. In the past, these topics ranged from: Childhood Memories, Letters to Your 13 Year Old Self, Charitable Organizations / Causes You Believe In, etc. There are no hard rules – just to write your post before the next prompt is up. Easy enough!
I welcome anyone who would like to join in on the fun!! Linkup and discover more about yourself!!

Please feel free to join us!!