CHECKING IN @ 35 (30 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU DIE http://www.nextavenue.org/article/2013-07/30-questions-ask-yourself-you-die )
1. How much have you loved? Count the people. I’m going to assume romantic love here. Four times. Got my heart broken every time, somewhat obviously. One of those is still current. One has turned into an unhealthy hatred and desire for vengeance, and one, well, if she were to turn up in my life I’d have a hard time resisting. See: Alex/Piper on Orange Is The New Black.
2. What do you love doing that you aren’t doing? I’m doing everything that I LOVE doing. I’m just not doing enough of it. I’m reading/writing/taking photos, but I need to do more. Have more commitment.
3. What person or type of person would you choose as a life companion? A witness to your life? Forget the shoulds, the can’ts, the won’ts, the impossibles. Who would you love and who would love you back if you could have a say in it? It is so incredibly hard to answer this without being biased because I’m currently in love with someone I can’t ever have. I’m try to be objective here when I say I want to be with someone who challenges me without pressuring me. Someone who understands, or tries to understand, my physical limitations. Some who needs me as much as I need them. I want to be with someone who views me as vital, important. Not in a codependant way, but I have literally NEVER been as important to the person I was in love with as they were to me. Ever.
4. Where do you want to live? I LOVE Ottawa. Love it. But I could also live in Toronto, or Halifax. Toronto would be nice to be closer to family, but given job restrictions I am so happy with Ottawa.
5. What do you want to accomplish? Honestly? I just want to be happy. With a small group of friends (maybe 4) that I can actually count on who care about me, and to have a partner who loves me. But at 35 I’m losing hope.
6. What do you want to be remembered by? I want to be remembered for my emotional honesty. It’s caused me a whole lot of shit, and a lot of loss, but no one has EVER wondered how I felt about things. Fuck it. I’ll risk losing people for the inner peace of emotional honesty.
7. What kind of life would make you jealous? And why? People with real, true, caring friendships and partnerships. I’m not counting family because I know my family loves me. It’s knowing that I don’t have friends or a girlfriend to rely on that kills me every day. It hurts.
8. What adventures do you want to have? I want to travel more. If we’re truly dreaming I want to sail and hike, I want to give up my job and work to travel. But there are things I cannot do, I need to accept that. There’s not a lot of adventure in store for a 35 year old, single, disabled, non-driver. Sigh.
9. If you had to add something to humanity, what would your contribution be? Words Poetry Love Honesty Rawness Emotion Truth
10. What are your ghosts? Your unspoken demons? The stuff you keep in your closet under a lock? Depression Pain Loneliness
11. What are your favorite memories? Can you picture four or five instances in your childhood you are fond of? Stand By Me with my brother Mud slides with my sister The Attic Dancing in the basement Having friends
12. Who do you love the most? What 10 people would you put on a lifeboat in case of a universal tsunami, asteroid or any other realistic end-of-the-world event? Holy Frak, 10 doesn’t even cover my family!! If it happened tomorrow and I had no choice but to pick it would be: Jocelyn, Matthew, Jared, Jeremy, Mackenzie, Caleb, Itsy, Jasmine, Matt K, Venessa. Because I know my mom & siblings would want me to save the kids. And I need my friends too. Good thing I don’t have 10 kids eh?
13. What worries you the most? That I will never find romantic love. That I will spend my life alone, and die alone and crippled. People always say things like “just give it time, there’s someone for everyone, we’ll look out for you” but there are TONS of people who live/suffer/die alone, why should be different?
14. What type of people inspire you and make you come alive? Poets. People like Shane Koyzcan, Photographers. Writers.
15. What type of people bring you down and make you hate yourself? People who judge me based on very little idea of what it’s like to be me. People who profess to be my friend and never actually ask me to do anything. People who say they want to have more friends and do stuff but ignore every attempt I make to reach out to them. People who defend them. Almost everyone, really. I have no one in my corner (besides family).
16. Who are your mentors? Diane M. Donna K.
17. What is your cosmic elevator pitch? Despite her day job as a bureaucrat, A. Laramey is a writer, dabbles in very amateur photography, spends too much time on the internet, and occasionally gets some exercise. Her favourite colour is green, she wants to work in a bookstore when she grows up, and when she dies she wants her tombstone to read “To Be Continued…”
18. What issues can you help with? I wish I knew. I have no idea. I can educate. I can write. That’s all I know.
19. How can you express yourself creatively? I can write. I can take pictures. I can speak.
20. How do you manage your time? Badly. I’m ALWAYS freaking tired. Always. Plus I’m gaining weight which makes me more tired, and I just want time to read crap on the internet. Ugh. I was a better person before the internet. Really. I have no self-discipline. None.
21. If you were to leave the world today, what is your manifesto? “The most important things are the hardest things to say”. Be emotionally honest. Ask yourself: “Will I care about this on my death bed?” and be honest if the answer is yes and act accordingly.
22. What makes you come alive? Almost nothing these days, which is the problem. Good poetry/spoken word. Music.
23. What are your most painful memories? Childhood memories that made me feel like I had to grow up too fast. Watching people being abused. Forcing my first girlfriend to admit she wanted to break up. Crying on the eve of my 27th birthday. Cutting. Wanting to die. My brother not dancing with me to one of my favourite him & me songs. My sister dying. My mom saying it didn’t count. Knowing my dad is already lost.
24. What ignites your brain? Love. Words. Music. Pictures. Pictures set to music & words.
25. What physical exercise makes you sweat like you mean it and enjoy both the process and the feeling afterward? Weight lifting is the only thing. I’m not strong, but I have kick ass muscle definition. Plus cardio and anything with coordination I suck at. It’s very demoralizing. But I love weight lifting.
26: I have no idea
27. What does your body need in order to function at its best? Besides normal movement, and strength and energy and lack of hatred and resentment?
28. What feeds your spirit? Knowing that I’m right in not knowing. That the bible doesn’t lay down the map of goodness. It’s a rudimentary guide. But god LOVES me. I am not broken. I am whole in his image. I am his perfect child. If Jesus died for my sins as Christianity proclaims than Adam & Eve’s original sin is wiped out. And even if not, my god is a loving god. He is better than me, but he does not expect me to see myself as broken and horrible and awful. He knows I am those things. He does not make me dwell on them and feel broken and used and unholy and the need to be in chains in his presence! God is our father. He loves us. Sometimes he thinks we suck, and need to learn, but he still cuddles us after.
29. What are you proud of so far? Not much. I’m not an infant fighter. I didn’t win a battle. In fact it sucks. It’s hard. It makes me cry. I limp like egore. I am cousin FUCKIN GERI. And it gets harder every day. Even though “Cerebral Palsy” and the original damage is “not progressive”, guess what?? LIFE IS PROGRESSIVE.
30. Fast-forward to your epitaph. What does it say? “TO BE CONTINUED….”