This morning, I was searching around through various blogs and came upon Frida's site. She encourages everyone to answer 35 questions that were originally published in Vanity Fair.
I am always reluctant to answer these kinds of questions. It seems as though they presuppose certain answers. Those answers are not typically my answers. I'm always concerned that my answers will accentuate my eccentricity which is difficult for some people to deal with. They want and expect me to be more mainstream, more predictable, more "normal".
Lately, I've been coming to understand that I will never be a "normal" person. I will always be offbeat and unpredictable. The things I value and love are different than what most people who surround me value and love.
And that's okay.
I'd encourage everyone to answer these questions, too, and peel back a layer. Answer as though you are not afraid of what others will think.
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being surrounded by geographic beauty. Being surrounded by people who know how to love. Peace. A world without competition, power-brokering and self-centeredness. I look forward to a world one day where differences will be embraced and celebrated.
2. What is your greatest fear?
Being abandoned and completely alone. I remember too vividly what that was like and it is the stuff of nightmares.
3. Which living person do you most admire?
Thich Nhat Hahn. The reason for that is that he is able to present universal truths that transcend religious views and cultural semantics. Everyone can relate to his message.
4. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
5. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
6. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
"Hard working". Hitler was hard-working. It says nothing about integrity or kindness. "Cheerfulness" for the same reason.
7. On what occasion do you lie?
When the truth would be cruel or demeaning to another.
8. What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I'm too heavy. It's not that I care what anyone else thinks about my weight but I am not happy with it. (Working on it. :)
9. What is your greatest regret?
I don't think regret is useful. It's a mental trick we play on ourselves but it is truly useless.
10. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
I don't think I have found that yet. Additionally, I have such a hard time weighing and measuring these things. At the moment I am loving someone or something, it is intense and complete.
11. Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to write a book ~ a good book.
12. What is your current state of mind?
Currently, I am being plagued by a low-level dysthymia.
13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would be a more joyful person.
14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Surviving and coming out the other side of a very difficult and vacant past without turning to bitterness or meanness as a means of coping. Sobriety. It would have been so easy to stay drunk.
15. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
I believe I would come back as a monk. Seriously. I really am a rather monastic person now by nature. Most of the things "of the world" are not of much interest to me.
16. What is your most treasured possession?
The journals of a very wise former friend who is now on the Other Side.
17. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
No longer recognizing the inherent good in other people or myself.
18. Where would you like to live?
19. What is your most marked characteristic?
Stubbornness, eccentricity, persistence, a willingness to stand up for the things I believe most strongly. Compassion and empathy drive those qualities. I truly care about other human beings and animals. On the negative side, I can be very single-minded and rather judgemental.
20. Who are your favorite writers?
There are simply too many to narrow it down to a few.
21. Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Anne of Green Gables. She was so wonderfully good-natured and resilient. She was joyful.
22. Who are your heroes in real life?
Of course, my first would be Ajahn S who was able to dig through all the crap in my life and point me in the right direction. I am alive today because of him. He has truly been my "angel". The remainder of my heroes include all of those who are overcomers.
23. What is it that you most dislike?
Meanness, self-centeredness, pettiness, competitiveness
24. What is your motto?
“Be the change you want to see in the world”
25. Favorite Journey?
Walking along a certain path in Khon Kaen with Ajahn S.
26. What do you value most in your friends?
Kindness, commitment, passion, reliability
27. Which words or phrases do you must overuse?
I can't think of any offhand.
28. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Joan of Arc. Okay. Go ahead and laugh. :)
29. What is your greatest extravagance?
30. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
That they would learn some of life's more critical lessons and choose to be more loving people.
31. What is your favorite occupation?
32. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
33. What is the quality you most like in a man?
34. How would you like to die?
In my sleep.. in Thailand
35. If you could chose what to come back as, what would it be?
A person. I would like to come back as a person who can offer more to the world than I can in this incarnation.
Please let me know if you decide to answer these questions. I'd love to read your answers.
Others who have answered the questions:
Home in Kabul
Guilty With An Explanation
Living Next Door To Alice
Madness, Madness I Say