I have a list of goals… things Iwant to do or tasks I want to complete. Some of them are dated and some are just things I’d like to get to someday… go check out dayzeroproject.com… it’s pretty neat… and they have lots of great ideas… Anyway, one of the things on my list is to answer the 50 questions that will free your mind… I don’t know that my mind has been freed by answering these questions but I sure had to think about things. I discovered that I know myself pretty well…. Sorry for the length. Just skip over it if it’s too much….
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
If I didn’t know how old I was, I would guess early 50’s. My body feels like what I imagine 70 feels like.
Which is worse, failing or never trying?
Never trying… definitely… wanting to do something, or try something and never acting on it is shameful! If I don’t try new things how will I ever find out what I truly enjoy, want, or need? Or what I’m good at?
If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
We get caught up in the process of surviving instead of the living part. We are wrapped up in making money, exceling in our work, education, or other endeavors. We forget to live. We forget to create the life we want because we are so busy living the life we have.
When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
I hope not. I believe that there is much noise in the world. Many of us talk without saying anything at all. Actions, on the other hand, speak volumes…
What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
Ignorance. If there were no ignorance, people would be more tolerant. There would be more compassion for others and more kindness all around. Ignorance breeds hate and judgment.
If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
Drawing, writing, taking pictures… I am so happy doing these things… I never thought I’d have the time to really explore creative things – and now I do. And I’m learning so much about myself.
Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
For years, I was settling. More on target is that was doing what I HAS to do. I was working to take care of my family. Then things changed. It was hard and it was devastating. But that change led me down a path of doing what I believe in. All the jobs, all the experiences led me to doing what I believe in… thankfully.
If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
I don’t know that I would’ve lived it any differently. We still have only this life to make what we can out of. It does not matter how much time there is, if we all lived the life we believe in, the life we choose, well then who cares about how many years we have…
To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
Controlling my life…. we were given free will so on the surface I would say I have controlled my own life to a very large degree. But that’s just on the surface. When I really stop & consider my life, I think I’ve ended up right where I was meant to be. No matter what my choices were, all roads led to this place. Maybe had I made different choices I would’ve gotten to this place a bit sooner, or a bit later – either way I believe I would’ve ended up here.
Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
Worry is a bit harsh. I think. I ponder. I wonder. For me, doing the right things is most important. Of course, I want to do things the right way but who defines what the right way is? In some arenas, there are hard & fast rules (such as math or science) but for the most part, it’s the end result that counts. Right? Doing the right thing, in the right way, in the right time, for the right reasons – that’s what it’s all about.
You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do?
I share my opinion of the person. I do my best not to participate in saying negative things. We all have our quirks, faults… We all have things that other people would judge us on. But who are we to judge? It seems to me that most judgment comes from a lack of knowledge. It’s easy to be critical of someone when you haven’t walked their path.
If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be true, honest, and live clean.
Would you break the law to save a loved one?
Most likely. Of course, it depends on the circumstances but I like to think I would do whatever I had to do in order to protect those I love… and even those I don’t love. It’s within my nature to look out for others, to nurture and help when I can.
Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
Yes! I’ve known these sorts of people and hold them in a very high regard. Sometimes what we call insanity is not really that. Sometimes, people are so creative, so smart, and so different in ways that most of us can’t relate to… so they carry the label of insanity. For me, in many instances, insanity equals genius.
What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
I don’t know the answer to this one. I’ll have to come back to it. I might have to get some input from others. In my mind, I am not any different than anyone else. I’ve been called many things in my life – weird, unique, freakish…. I’m just me & I don’t see that I’m any different than anyone else. Coach would probably tell you otherwise though.
How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
We all have our own desires, wants, needs. Mine are different than yours. Of course, we may have some things in common but even then I might find happiness in a different way. I believe that all people, ALL people, do things in search of that happy feeling. No matter what they have done or are trying to do, good or bad, pure or evil… all actions, thoughts, words, deeds… it’s all in pursuit of that which we think will make us happy.
What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?
Travel. I want to travel to other counties. Money has held me back. I want to revisit Jamaica. I want to see Tibet, India, China, England, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia… just to name a few.
Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
Yes. Aren’t we all? My luggage has dwindled over the years so I’m not carrying around as much shit as I used to but there are still things I need to let go of. Maybe I don’t out of fear… fear of losing who I am. Some things are ingrained in us and form our thoughts… guide our actions, our desires. If we let go of all things wouldn’t our journey be different? However, just because I’m holding on to some things, this doesn’t mean I dwell on them. Sometimes I do though. I’m human.
If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
I’ve actually thought a lot about this one lately. The political climate has made me ponder what it would be like to live in another country. I don’t know where that would be. All countries have their ups & downs. I love Jamaica. That’s the only other country (besides Mexico) that I’ve been to. Based on the beauty of pictures, I like the looks of Australia, Ireland, parts of Europe….
Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
Nope. I don’t do this one. I laugh when I see others do it. Not out loud though. That would be rude.
Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
Both of these choices have their positive sides. That being said, I would rather be a worried genius. I love the quirky ways of the genius mind. I love the options & opportunities out there for the genius.
Why are you, you?
I am me for all the same reasons you are you. We all have our unique experiences and perceptions of those experiences that help shape who we are, what we believe in, and what we want our lives to be like. We all have desires, dreams, goals… these are the things that drive us… and that drive is influenced by the people we know, the things we see, and the faith of those with the most influence in our lives.
I was once broken minded. That time in my life is very valuable to me. Weird I know. But that time of broken-mindedness helped me discover what’s important to me. I learned what impact I have on the universe and where I fit in (mostly). It was a time of shifting priorities, spirituality, faith, and love. The journey of healing really created me as I am today. And I sort of like me now.
Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
I like to think I have. I don’t have many friends, never have. I’m a loner. Hermit. Recluse. While I find it very easy to socialize & get to know others, I really need to have time for me. I lost faith in people, trust in people years ago. I don’t think I’ve really ever gotten that back. I keep my world close & tight… I’m very selective about who I let in. I don’t like this about myself but it’s the way I am.
Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
Losing tough with a good friend who lives near me is far worse… In this era, it doesn’t matter where we live. Through technology, travel, etc. it is easy to stay in touch with those who are important to us no matter the distance between.
What are you most grateful for?
I am most grateful for the people in my life. The love. The peace. Love is the most important thing. Everything is else is just whip cream on top.
Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
This one is hard. My old memories are things that have made me who I am today. I can’t imagine losing those. But I also can’t imagine not having the presence of mind to create new memories. These days, with my memory being sort of compromised, I am heavily impacted by the loss of memory. It’s frustrating. It’s sad.
Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
This depends on my definition of “challenging it”. For me there are many absolute truths in this world. For instance, as I sit here typing this out, I am looking at my favorite blue coffee mug. It is absolute truth that it’s sitting on the table in front of me… I can reach out and touch it, pick it up, drink from it…. but doing those things become challenging the truth, right? Just because I SEE it sitting there, does that make it truth? No… remember that old saying…. you can’t always believe what you see. My mind might see something but that doesn’t mean its truth. Then there are other truths that are not tangible. Those truths fall into the category of faith for me. I have challenged faith on more than one occasion. And I am sure I will continue to do so. Once again, I’m human.
Has your greatest fear ever come true?
Yes it has. My greatest fear is being alone. Funny that is my biggest fear when I’m a loner. But it’s the way it is. And I spent many years alone. When I say alone, I am referring to that kind of alone in which I could die on my living room floor and no one would know until I didn’t show up for work or something. It’s that kind of alone that is so vacant and hollow that there is no world outside of my own head. It’s a scary place to be. I think we all need a witness… a witness to our lives. Someone who can say they know us.
Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?
I can remember a time very clearly. And no, it doesn’t matter now. That is one of life’s lessons to me. I try to remind myself when things get tough – in the grand scheme of things, does this REALLY matter? Usually, the answer is a big fat no.
What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?
Oh man. This is gonna sound weird. My happiest childhood memory… my closet on Corona Ave. This is the first house I remember as a child. In my bedroom there were two closets… they were both walk-ins. I was little… I think we moved into that house when I was 2 or 3? We lived there until I was 12. Anyway… the closet. One closet held my clothes & shoes. The second closet was my playroom. It was also storage for some things. But mostly, I played in there. I had this giant stuffed bear that my uncle had given me…. life-size bear. He lived in that closet. My coloring books, colors, paper, and other things lived in that closet.
I had a similar set up in most places we lived. In our first apartment, I shared a room with my brother. We had captain’s beds which had a huge open area beneath & behind them. This space became my “closet”. In another house, I had a studio bedroom set. Do you remember those? Large square corner table… two beds that dressed out to look like sofas… one bed would push up under the table making an L shaped sitting area? Under my table I had my stereo speakers …. Those solid wood Kenwood speakers…. turntable was on top of the table… I could play my music and lie under the table between the speakers & have the most incredibly rich sounding music. I also had posters, books, magazines under there.
At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
The past 4 years… all of it. From the first time Coach came into my life in a romantic way. I had known him for many years before, we became good friends, but I knew he was the one. I waited. I lived my life but I knew Coach was THE ONE. Eventually, thankfully, the stars & planets lined up. I’m a happy girl.
If not now, then when?
This is one of those sayings that I don’t like. My answer is usually “When I get to it”. Sometimes there are just things we can’t do right now. We may never be in a position to do them.
If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
Nothing. What do we really have to lose ever? I’m not talking about love or relationships. Aside from those things, what do we really have to lose? Not a ding-dang thing. Things are just things. Plain & simple. Things are not important. Sure, things make life more fun, easier, more convenient. But are things really what it’s all about? Nope.
Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
Definitely. That monk that saved me. On more than one occasion I felt like I’d had the best conversation ever. There’s too much heavy stuff to put it here. I don’t know that much of it I could even put into words without drowning. And it really probably isn’t something you’d like to read. My best conversation ever might be boring or dull for others.
Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
The human mind has to be right. We all have to be right. Ego. I don’t believe that religion itself causes war… it’s the Ego. My religion is better than yours. Your religion is better than mine. My God is almighty and yours is false. Your God is almighty and mine is false.
In all honesty, I think religion is used as an excuse for evil. If someone is killed in the name of God, does that make it less evil?
Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
Yes I think so. That which causes harm to another is evil. Simple.
If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
What job? Ha! Seriously, this is something I’ve thought about. I would buy a lotto ticket and fantasize about what I would do if I won. Like that was really going to happen. I would quit my job. I would invest the money, live off the dividends, and do things that I really want to do in my life.
Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
More work I actually enjoy. A philosophy that I believe is that we work to live, we don’t live to work. But since we have to work, it is so much more pleasant to be doing what we enjoy.
Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?
Nope. Each day has its own unique quality. At least one thing in a day will be different than all the others before it, and all those that will come after it. At least one thing, be it emotion, tone, experience… at least one thing will be different.
When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
I’m doing that right now. Not working, diving into the creative side of my mangled brain.
If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
What a dreadful thought! I don’t know what I would do! I would want all those I love to be in the same place with me. I can’t pick… my mother, my father, my daughter, my grandkids, my husband… how does one choose? Impossible. The only solution would be for all of us to be in one room together.
Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
Nope. While it is a nice thought to be slender and beautiful, I value my life as a whole more than just how I look. As for being famous? I think we all want recognition… actually, not recognition but VALIDATION. I don’t think I would enjoy being famous. Doesn’t really jibe with my hermit personality.
What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Living in the moment. Experiencing all that a moment has to offer… the sights, smells, sounds, feeling the air… moving through the moment while being fully aware of it… this is truly living.
When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
Calculating risks & rewards? What’s that? Something I’ve never done… I’ve always tried to what I know is right (as an adult)…. selfless living has nothing to do with risks & rewards… in fact it’s the complete opposite.
If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
There’s the Ego again.
Somewhere along the line we were taught that making a mistake makes us a fool. Mistakes are bad. Mistakes are not tolerated. Pft.
What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
Nothing. I’ve never worried about being judged. Honestly. I never have. I just do what I do. Naturally, I listen to the opinions & advice of those important to me, but I still do what I do. Ask my dad, he’ll tell you. I’m going to do what I think is in my best interest, or what I want to do for whatever reason regardless of what others think about it. I might be wrong & make mistakes, but I can tell you, I’ve learned some hefty lessons that I might otherwise have not learned.
When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
Always. I meditate daily and part of that meditation is being aware of my own breathing. I think the only time I’m not is when I’m asleep. Coach says I snore. I say bullshit. Of course, I’m sleeping so I suppose I have to take his word for it… or not ha!
What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
I love Coach. I love taking pictures. I love drawing. I love music. And every day of my life these days is spent doing things in each of these areas.
In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?
Good Lord, NO! I can’t remember what I had for breakfast. Wait, did I have breakfast? My memory is awful and this is why I journal, blog, document. I have lists, calendars, this blog, journals, notes… all these things help me remember.
Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?
A little of both…. being in a relationship means that some decisions are made for me… it’s just how things work. I like to think that I make most decisions for myself… but, moving here. That was a decision made by Coach. He wanted this job which meant we would be moving. I’m okay with it, just making the point. And I’m sure in some other city, some other place someone out there is making a decision for me that I’m unaware of. We all do it. Big decisions, little ones… human relationships….