Member Questionnaire 1 (lungs)
What is beauty? What is love?
beauty is when the notes outside of you and the notes inside of you strike a chord together. love is... i feel like i'm constantly assessing and reevaluating what i think love is. the only verbalizable certain conclusion i've come to is that its something that originates within yourself and that you can share with other people. which i think is an important and powerful thing to understand. you're not a slave to it. it doesn't depend on what other people do or feel.
What are your most important values?
i keep trying to answer this. fuck. i can give broad and idealistic words like honesty, self-awareness, kindness. but when i try to further define them so that they accurately capture my idiosyncratic views, it comes out all wrong.
Do you have any sort of spiritual/religious beliefs, and why do you hold (or don't) those beliefs in the first place?
i don't. i've had a couple experiences i would call spiritual and i sometimes have a sense of knowing that the universe is more than just the physical and scientific. in a vague, pantheistic (sometimes fatalistic) kind of way. but those aren't really "beliefs" so much as feelings. from my mind's vantage i think we're monkeys, basically.
Opinion on war and militaries? What is power to you?
war happens. it always has and it's not going to stop anytime soon. my opinion? its obviously not a positive thing. it should be avoided when possible. but pacifism and sticking your head in the sand is unrealistic. power is something in the minds of other people that gives you leverage - love, respect, fear, whatever makes them feel compelled in your favor.
What have you had long conversations about? What are your interests? Why?
a lot of my long conversations have been about the typical big issues i guess? politics, religion. i spend a lot of time talking with people about our relationships and other people. which could be considered gossipy i guess, but it doesn't feel malicious. my interests are people (why they are the way they are - i was going to say psychology but that's not quite right because its kind of boring in an academic sense) and art/music/film (i don't know if i'm any more interested in this than most people but i'm struggling to come up with something). i'm drawn to anything that's kind of "weird," not in the sense of being oh-so-subversive or anything, but i feel like there's so much underneath the surface of the masks and the bullshit of every day life and so many secrets and i feel sort of a compulsion to dig around and see. i wish i was more well-versed in more interests because i don't have much to contribute to conversations as much as i'd like.
Interested in health/medicine as a conversation topic? Are you focused on your body?
i read about it a lot. i collect and make healthy recipes but i also eat a lot of crap. i pile my desk at work with fruits and veggies and then at lunch decide i'd rather have chinese. i usually find it depressing as a conversation topic because i should be following through better. but then i'm kind of obnoxious when i get on a kick and i'm sort of all-or-nothing about it. i'd like to find a balance where i'm healthy without stressing about every calorie. i'm in my body all the time. i wouldn't really say i'm focused on it, but its not like i can avoid it.
What do you think of daily chores?
sunday is my cleaning day and stuff sort of piles up in between. during the week i just do the stuff that has to be done, like cleaning the litter box or doing the dishes if they're piled up. i don't like the everyday grind of staying on top of everything, but its satisfying when its all taken care of in one long swoop and then i can stand back and look at the difference. it can be really enjoyable and zen to clean but i often find myself thinking about things i could be doing that would be more fun. its kind of like meditation. i like it when i can turn my brain off and lose myself in it.
Books or films you liked? Recently read/watched or otherwise. Examples welcome.
books - the grapes of wrath, the prophet, the talisman, giovannis room, jodi picoult, the giver, siddhartha, the dangerous lives of altar boys, the velveteen rabbit
movies - the usual suspects, kill bill, the neverending story, the secret garden, black swan, pan's labrynth, training day, silence of the lambs, tommy boy
What has made you cry? What has made you smile? Why?
usually when i cry its because i'm frustrated. so the emotion overflows. the last few times i remember crying have been during arguments with people. i tend to cry more about trivial things and not so much about the bigger things. i have a smile on my face a lot of the time even though i wouldn't describe myself as especially joyful, lol. (well i guess more like a smirk.) smiling could convey a lot of things with me. could be happy, wry, teasing, empathy, etc. i think i overuse facial expressions in lieu of words when i don't know what to say.
Where do you feel: at one with the environment/a sense of belonging?
at home. in the woods surrounded by green and brown. in the middle of the crowd at a show when my brain turns off and i lose myself.
What have people seen as your weaknesses? What do you dislike about yourself?
i've been criticized for my temper, being stubborn, being self-absorbed and selfish and not paying attention or showing enough affection. for being clingy and showing too much affection. self-absorbed and stubborn are the biggest ones. i wish i was less self-absorbed. i get so sucked into my thoughts and my stupid little habits that i end up inadvertantly ignoring people or not getting shit done. i don't mind being stubborn because i'm only stubborn when i'm right anyway. haha. i also wish i could better strike a balance between having people in my life and structuring my life and my whole being around them. emotional connection vs. autonomy has been something i've been struggling internally to work out lately.
What have people seen as your strengths? What do you like about yourself?
i've been praised for my intelligence, for being a good listener, my sense of humor. i get a lot of praise from my family for having my shit together (in terms of being responsible etc) but i think that's just because the rest of my family generally... doesn't. i like that i'm pretty emotionally honest and curious. and that i strive to and appreciate when things are kept real, lol.
In what areas of your life would you like help?
i wish things made more sense and had more meaning. and i like people who make me feel like they do. but that also seems wrong because meaning is something you should create for yourself. otherwise you're too dependent on somebody else's worldview. i sort of want help to be more social and active, but i also sort of don't. leave me alone.
Ever feel stuck in a rut? If yes, describe the causes and your reaction to it.
story of my life. i had my son when i was seventeen, and entered into a relationship when i was eighteen that lasted for nine years that i stayed in for the last six or so out of a sense of obligation and not wanting to rock the boat. and now here i am with my computer and my cat and not knowing what to do with myself, and just coming home to my computer and my cat. i know i want my life to be more interesting, but i don't know what or how. everybody keeps telling me i should date but i don't want to end up like i was before. i'm very lonely but people take too much work and i'm selfish. connection vs. autonomy etc.
What qualities do you most like and dislike in other people? What types do you get along with?
-How do you feel about romance/sex? What qualities do you want in a partner?
-If you were to raise a child, what would be your main concerns, what measures would you take, and why?
-A friend makes a claim that clashes with your current beliefs. What is your inward and outward reaction?
-Describe your relationship to society. How do you see people as a whole? What do you consider a prevalent social problem? Name one.
-How do you choose your friends and how do you behave around them?
-How do you behave around strangers?