Member Questionnaire 1 (Verdigris)What is beauty? What is love?
Beauty is pure interpretation of something or someone's tangible presence and intangible essence. I find beauty everywhere, even in things that are traditionally considered ugly. It is highly subjective in my opinion, and also changeable. I also find it to be somewhat indefinable.What are your most important values?
Love is a mutual feeling of attraction, admiration, respect - but it is also so much more. Again a definition is hard for me because love is something that is felt, not defined. Even with those things I mentioned, there can be a lack of true love if that mystical "spark" is not present.
This would have been so much easier for me to answer a few years ago, because I have been re-evaluating some of them.Do you have any sort of spiritual/religious beliefs, and why do you hold (or don't) those beliefs in the first place?
Here is a list off the top of my head: integrity, honesty, authenticity, individuality, personal responsibility, kindness, basically anything I consider to be "good". My values are not very changeable, but I do recognize times I have been rigid about things in the past and am trying to make room for the caveats of humanity in my overall picture of personal morality.
I believe in God, and the traditional teachings of Christianity minus the dogmatism.Opinion on war and militaries? What is power to you?
I also believe in spirits, ghosts, and any number of supernatural entities. I believe the universe allows for the possibilities of things we do not understand. I also mildly believe in astrology.
Power is evil, and the seeking of power is generally selfish and to further's one's own agenda. Power and money are both things I despise. War is sometimes necessary, but never something that is ideal. Flexing military muscle and posturing is ridiculous in my estimation. Militaries providing aid are alright; but in war time, more often then not they do more harm than good under the commands of a mere man or men. I also dislike the idea of choosing sides or being inherently loyal to any cause without critical evaluation of it first.What have you had long conversations about? What are your interests? Why?
To me, true power is nature - electricity, fire, wind, floods, tornados. This is powerful to me, and more awe-inspiring than political squabbles that are capitalized on and used to further an agenda.
My favorite conversations are usually one on one with someone I trust and usually have a heavy element of fantasy or supernatural bent. I also enjoy discussing spirituality, psychology, literature and art.Interested in health/medicine as a conversation topic? Are you focused on your body?
Not primarily a topic I am interested in, though it comes up occasionally. I am rarely focused on my body except when I have neglected it, and some sort of discomfort causes me to seek a restoration of balance so that I do not have to remain concerned with it. I am not stereotypically healthy person, my diet is horrendous, but I am very physically healthy in spite of that. I do not smoke, drink or do drugs but not based on reasons of health, more a moral objection and/or dislike of those things (I find alcohol to be very nasty tasting for instance, and I am sensitive to smoke.)What do you think of daily chores?
I do struggle with my weight and try to keep it in check, again not necessarily through healthy means though.
Dull but necessary. I hate how redundant they are, but I prefer things to be neat so that I can slack off accordingly without a nagging feeling that I should be doing something more constructive. I inherently like a semblance of order in my house, but more for aesthetic purposes than anything. My husband has had to remind me that our home is not a picture in a magazine but a place we live.Books or films you liked? Recently read/watched or otherwise. Examples welcome.
One of my favorite books is Voices of Chernobyl, it is a collection of personal stories of survivors of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. It puts a human face on that event, and is gut wrenching and moving. After reading it, I came to the conclusion that nuclear energy is unethical in my opinion, because the potential for human tragedy is so great in the event of inevitable human error.What has made you cry? What has made you smile? Why?
Usually though I prefer fantasy and horror novels. I enjoy Dean Koontz and Stephen King. I like the Dexter books. Teen fantasy/romance stuff also appeals to me.
As for films, I like just about anything except excessively long and boring dramas and low-brow comedies. I like dark humor, indie stuff, even blockbusters like the Marvel films. Anything fantastical or imaginative is good, though I also like documentaries as long as they are on topics that I am interested in. I like horror movies, not so much gory ones but ghost stories. One of my favorite films is Girl, Interrupted.
I can cry for absolutely no reason. I cry when I am happy, sad, even angry (which is embarrassing.) But I am pretty subdued when I shed tears and cry silently when I am moved. Very rarely do I have an all out sobfest, which I prefer to do in my own company alone. That usually happens when I have exhausted myself running through the gamut of my feelings in a situation I feel trapped in. Unrestrained crying is a last resort.Where do you feel: at one with the environment/a sense of belonging?
My daughter makes me smile. She says things that just catch me off guard and touch me more deeply than most things are able to. I also smile when I am peaceful, enjoying a beautiful sunset or a violent storm. I smile when I feel most alive.
I feel at one with the environment on a grey and soggy day standing on a wind-whipped beach, or on a humid afternoon broken by a sudden rainstorm. I feel I most belong with my husband and daughter, no matter where that may be.What have people seen as your weaknesses? What do you dislike about yourself?
One of my weaknesses is my tendency to excessively focus on my weaknesses. I am not great at standing up for myself (even though I rant bitterly when alone or with someone I trust.) I tend to downplay my achievements and assume I am not good at anything, even when faced with evidence to the contrary. I do not find myself worth much, nor do I consider myself attractive. And these things keep me from being more at ease in my own skin. Excessive self-doubt.What have people seen as your strengths? What do you like about yourself?
I dislike that I cannot break out of my self-imposed prison of "me." I would give anything to be unabashed about my passions and rich inner life, but I keep myself locked up and therefore seem boring and trite I think.
People have told me I am hard working and conscientious, I always do my best unless I am emotionally incapable of doing so at the time (I do not do well under stress.) I have a strong desire to do what is right. I also have a very "good eye" when it comes to aesthetics.In what areas of your life would you like help?
I like my ability to be resilient even after I fall down a thousand times. I am not often prone to pity parties (though when I do get caught up in one, it is usually a doozy.) I am loyal and loving and would give my all for the people I care most about in my life.
My depression and self-doubt, I would like to get rid of that (not chemically, perhaps therapy.) I would also like to become more confident and authoritative when necessary so that I do not have my boundaries violated so often.Ever feel stuck in a rut? If yes, describe the causes and your reaction to it.
Yes. Life feels like a rut. There are details of my life I am more than happy about. But there is enough I wish I could change but can't that has me feeling trapped at times. One of these things is where we live, I hate it here and wish we could leave. My reaction to the realization I am feeling this way is occasional bouts of hopelessness, but they serve as inspiration to drive me to seek a change and actually give me the momentum I wouldn't otherwise have to do things that I want done.What qualities do you most like and dislike in other people? What types do you get along with?
I like people who are friendly and outgoing. I love people who are confident in themselves, creatively diverse, I always seem to attract those people who stand out (or do in my mind anyways). Basically I am attracted to people who are what I want to be.How do you feel about romance/sex? What qualities do you want in a partner?
I can get along with most anyone as long as they do not try to force their opinions on me, or make me do things that go against what I wish to do or what I disagree with.
My husband is amazing. I will not tell our entire story, but we had a very unlikely meeting that led to a whirlwind romance and the details still blow me away. I had very few relationships before I met my husband (we have been married nearly 10 years), and I am convinced there is no one else better suited for me. Romance should never be cliche, it should be sincere and honest and spontaneous. Sex goes hand in hand with that, and should be reserved for someone that connection is shared with.If you were to raise a child, what would be your main concerns, what measures would you take, and why?
I have a daughter and I am raising her to be independently minded but respectful and kind. I encourage her individuality and passions, and I am sure I always let her know how loved and important she is to me. I balance that with teaching her it is necessary to be selfless at times, that it makes her better to be her best self. I encourage her wonderful hunger for learning, and try to make sure she has many experiences and opportunities to absorb all she can from the world around us.A friend makes a claim that clashes with your current beliefs. What is your inward and outward reaction?
Inwardly, I may become very defiant - picture a little me inside, vigorously shaking her head. Outwardly I may diplomatically disagree unless the other person is being forceful or rude in their opinions, in which case I will either defend my belief more strongly or let it go if it is not worth a conflict (this is most often what happens.)Describe your relationship to society. How do you see people as a whole? What do you consider a prevalent social problem? Name one.
I resent that I am by default considered part of society. I do not and have never really fit in with society. I see myself as separate from it, not necessarily better or worse, but "other." Most commonly held beliefs, trends and fads are not things I agree with. The biggest social problem I currently have an issue with is excessive greed and hedonism. It feels so empty.How do you choose your friends and how do you behave around them?
I do not choose friends, if a friendship happens, then I roll with it. I never force a relationship as I am content without many friends. I am usually reserved around them until I relax and then can become pretty chatty and animated.How do you behave around strangers?
I am polite but straightforward, friendly and do not waste time on small talk.