Wednesday, May 25

50 questions

this is taken from a great blog/online magazine i recently stumbled upon, the violet. the maiden issue rocked my socks, with little articles on everything from self-help to fashion to food to staying sane in a crazy world. one of the older posts featured this list of 50 questions which are intended to help you know and understand yourself. this was truly a fascinating exercise. i challenge you to go through this list. it takes a half hour or so, especially if you don't write the answers down. but i would recommend writing the list down and returning to it in the future. answer the questions honestly and without overly thinking them through. you are not tied to your answers and you could change tomorrow. the point is how you feel today. enjoy.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

Which is worse, failing or never trying?

if i'm truly being honest, failing is worse. and that's definitely something i know i'd like to change about myself, the way i view the world, and the manner in which i attempt to conquer it. 
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 do things we don't like out of a feeling of necessity or obligation -- i have to pay these bills, i have to make my family proud, i have to impress my my boss... we like the things we don't do because of a sense of fantastical excitement -- we have an idealistic dream in mind that perhaps might not be so romantic in reality, but so long as it stays in our head/heart, we can keep it as whimsical as we want. 

When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
i have actually accomplished many things that i have dreamed i would do. there are still many life goals that i would like to achieve, but overall, i'm quite content with my life experience. 
What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
i would like to re-imprint on the heart of humanity the radical truth of God's love for all.

If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
without a doubt, singing, playing the piano, performing for others and bringing them joy. 
Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
i am blessed and fortunate to have the best career in the world - i do what i love for the One i love. 
If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
i would love more, travel more, eat more, write more, sing more, perform more, experience more. 
To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
again, if i'm being honest, to some extent my life's course and choices have been determined by the supposed expectations of others of me. i feel as though this certain action or decision is expected of me, and whether or not that is true, i change my life because of it. this has affected me both in positive and negative ways. 

Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? 
a little of both; i'm shamefaced to admit perhaps a teensy bit more the former than the latter. ah, harsh self-reflection is key to self-improvement. 
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 would tactfully challenge their criticism, bringing up contrary evidences of my friend's character and contradicting facts i know to be untrue. 

If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? 
take responsibility for your life -- discover what you love and who you want to be, and then do the things you must in order to achieve your dreams. be not afraid to live life to the fullest, and don't let anyone tell you that you cannot. 

Would you break the law to save a loved one? 
without question. 
Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity? 
modern art. 
What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
 i often put others before myself to my own detriment. 
How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
because we are all unique human beings, with our own interests and desires. but i earnestly believe that at the core of all beauty, all joy, all delight is a tugging towards God, who calls us all to himself as the true source of happiness.
What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What’s holding you back?
skydiving. i simply haven't gone yet. and get a tattoo. because i feel i'll be judged.
Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
without a doubt; hundreds of things, most assuredly. 
If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
state: north carolina, because i adore the four seasons, the purple mountain ranges, the quality of life, and the crisp mountain air. 
country: italy; because my heart feels at home there. 

Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
no, but i hope that it makes the doors close faster, so that no one else will get on, so i can avoid that awkward sharing of space that is the elevator ride, and also then i won't make additional stops so ultimately, yes it does make the ride faster in fact... 

Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton? 
a worried genius, because i could grow in becoming more at peace, and at least i would hopefully leave the world a better place than when i found it.
Why are you, you?
because the world is in need of me, because i am beautiful and bring beauty to those around me, because i have a heart full of love ready to flow over to those in my life.

Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?

Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
when a good friend moves away -- you always have the ability to reconnect no matter where a friend is, but it is infinitely more difficult once they live elsewhere and meet new people.

What are you most grateful for? 

my faith, the fact that i know i am loved and worthwhile, my husband and son, my family, my musical ability, the fact that i was born a free american with the world before me.  

Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
at this point in my life, i'd rather lose all my old memories and be able to more forward with my loved ones and create new and exciting memories, so long as i remembered who the people are in my life. 

Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
yes, but refinement and understanding come through challenge. 

Has your greatest fear ever come true?

no -- i have never felt utterly alone and unwanted. 

Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now?
that was actually a crucial point in my relationship with my now-husband. it was wretched to endure at the time, but it made us a stronger, more open and honest, and more real couple. 

 What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special?
 i was blessed to have a childhood that was mostly happy and special. but the one that comes to mind is eating a banana split for the first time with my father while at an out-of-town swim meet, just the two of us. i knew he loved me so much and always stood by me. i'm so grateful. 

 At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
during a recent singing performance. i relished being on stage in front of 600 people, connecting with them via song and touching them on a deep spiritual level.

If not now, then when?
when i am more brave. 

If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
my pride. 

Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?

 yes, my husband. 
Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?

 because when you believe something passionately and would do anything to spread that faith to others, sometimes you have to fight for what you know to be true and good and right. 

Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil? 

yes, if you are a person of faith, morality, and good conscience. 

If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job? 

not necessarily -- i would expand it and change it. 

Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing? 

more work i enjoy doing, like recording, writing music, performing. 

Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before? 

oh my goodness, yes. such is life with a small child in tow. 

When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?

 a year ago, when i decided to compose a full mass setting without any idea how to begin or what to do with it or whether it would be well-received or utilized. 

If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?

 my family.

Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?

What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
when you know in your gut that it's true and good. you may still be nervous and afraid, but your heart knows what to do and will guide you. 

If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
we fear judgment, condemnation, and ridicule.

What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
ask all the questions i think to myself. and sing more loudly and frequently.

When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
this morning while out on my morning jog, in between songs. 

What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
music -- my entire life expresses that love. 

In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that?
i will remember doing my best to make my home a happy place for my son and husband. i will remember exerting myself to ensure that people's funerals and weddings are memorable and beautiful. i will remember taking pregnancy tests and feeling hopeful.
Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?
i am learning slowly to make them for myself without fear of judgment or making mistakes or letting people down. i am learning who i am and how to be me more fully and perfectly, please God. 

photo credits:
1) justCRONO via flikr Creative Commons


  1. Gabs, This is awesome, and I am excited to do this exercise. Perhaps some of it will be food for a future post of my own...but that'll take some time, which has been tough to make these past few days...

    but thanks for giving me a starting point! (and encouragement for brevity with the answers--days could be spent writing and reflecting on so many of them!)

  2. For sure, Col! I can't wait to see what these questions inspire for you. For me, I determined to do them quickly (took me 30 minutes or so) and answer honestly from my first inclination. I look forward to coming back in a few months/years and seeing what has changed. You have to start somewhere.

    Love ya,

  3. Haha, I like your modern art question! ;) That made me laugh.


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