I'm already failing lists. This shouldn't surprise anyone who is familiar with my noncompliance with daily practices, although so far, six (now 26, failing blogging too, wow) days into the new year, I have managed to participate successfully in the-photo-a-day challenge (until I got the flu two weeks ago, when that fell apart too, SO THINGS ARE GOING WELL), so that's crazy. It's not a list, though, so I have to recommit, or decide that my plan to write a list a day this year was crap.
(Ed. note: It was. 1/26/2013)
I'm going to try the Proust Questionnaire today (many days ago) because as they say in the big city, "We are in the big city."
That is a lie. It's just easy and readily available on the internet, and of course, that is always how I proverbially roll. Here we go.
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness.
Great food with people I like. Rock star parking. Ledos ranch dressing. My family on a holiday evening in front of the television. Atlantic Ocean beaches. Kissing someone I like a lot. On the beach, maybe.
2. What is your greatest fear?
Dying, duh. I thought this was happening to me a few times this year and if I thought I was ever afraid of anything more, I was wrong. Being completely broke. Anything bad happening to anyone in my family or my closest friends.
3. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Not really. Probably Louisa May Alcott, because I like to write, and I am occasionally heard to shriek "MY HAIR IS MY ONE TRUE VANITY" when I'm alone. And although she attributed that line to Jo, you know she was basically Jo, so there it is.
4. Which living person do you most admire?
My mother. Any woman, in particular, who has made a positive difference in the world and kept her sanity while doing it.
5. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Any time I am self-centered to the point of myopia. My chronic disorganization and tendency towards indecision. Occasional paranoia. Seriously, calm the fuck DOWN.
6. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Dishonesty. Arrogance. Condescension. Bigotry. Meanness. Littering.
7. What is your greatest extravagance?
A car I really can't afford, and cable television.
8. On what occasion do you lie?
I am a terrible liar. If I ever try it, it's because I panic and spew nonsense. Also if I really don't want to hurt someone's feelings.
9. What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I do not like my chins in pictures. My face is generally pretty shallow, and there isn't much of anywhere for them to go when I've been eating too much ranch dressing. Besides that, my midsection, I guess. I also hate that my ass is flat, but I come from a long line of awesome people with flat asses, so I guess I should take it as a badge of honor.
10. When and where were you happiest?
It's so hard to answer this. Do you remember these times? We probably should, more. For me it's always in moments where I feel absolutely mutually loved by the person/people I'm with, even if it's just me. Connection with one friend or significant other (conversation/more than conversation/understanding.) Golden hour on the beach. Eating crabs with my family on the Bay. The best part of a really good concert. The perfect song on the highway. Shooting photographs. All the experiences that are fleeting and so awesome are what keep us plodding along all the rest of the time, in the hopes that we may have it again, I think.
11. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
Right now, I would be more grounded and less anxious, so I'd like to be happier in the actual physical space I occupy, and way more caught up financially. I'd be a morning person. I'd be neater. I'd have a stronger in-person community. I'd do more things on a daily basis for the people who have done so much for me, instead of getting caught up in deadlines and moods and crazy.
12. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
I have no idea. Maybe we'd have more consistent traditions? But I don't fault this organism for much, anymore, and I don't want it to change. It and the people within it have given me much more than it's left me wanting in any way. They're my people. I hope I do them a little bit of justice.
13. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Every day, staying in motion. In life, my journalism master's degree. Also any writing award I've ever received, because it's the only skill I have. I am proud of myself, I admit it, when I use it for good instead of screwing around on the internet.
14. If you died and came back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
A glass of wine, or a seagull, or please let it be a well-compensated music promoter. Lord knows I've done enough of it for free.
15. What is your most treasured possession?
My grandmother's ring, my cameras, and my copy of Leaves of Grass that I bought at the Yellow Springs (Ohio) library sale. But I could lose everything else in life except that ring and be okay. She kept all of her jewelry that she never wore in a baby wipes container for years. I still remember the day she randomly decided to dole them out and made me sit on the bed and sift through the rings and tell her if I thought the other granddaughters would like them and what did I want and was this important to do at all? Sometimes I just think we spend the next fifty or however many years processing the first 20. It's possible. Also if I get a next life? I don't want to come back as the oldest kid, in any configuration. I don't think I was equipped for it this time, and I don't want to try it again.
16. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Shame. Betrayal. Grief. Loneliness. Hurtfully lost love. Reality television.
17. Who are your heroes in real life?
My mom. My sister. Hard-working people who struggle through financial and cultural and social hardship to support their families and keep our economic engine running. (I've been thinking a lot about this lately, since I've been back in a restaurant kitchen.)
18. What is it that you most dislike?
Violence. War. Greed. Inequality. Bullshit. Cold coffee. Bad wine. Traffic. Mean people.
19. How would you like to die?
Quietly in my sleep. I am over physical drama of any kind.
20. What is your personal motto?
For many years, it's been "You must do the thing you think you cannot do," and I will rep Eleanor Roosevelt always, but now I think it'll always be "Ramble on. Now's the time, the time is now, to sing my song." Because it is. It's always that, for everyone.