Thanks in advance to anyone who reads all the way through this!
What is beauty? What is love?
I'm sure this joke has been made before but: "What is love? Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more..."What are your most important values?
Okay. But really. Beauty is that which, when experienced, makes us feel elevated because we perceive that an object's elements are in perfect harmony with each other. Love is the sensation you get when you feel, even if only temporarily, like you and another person are phenomenologically linked and are actually experiencing the same thing at the same time, as opposed to just being alone in your head. The more frequently this happens with one person, the more we tend to love that person. Romantic love is this plus the component of physical desire.
Kindness and sincerity. Being principled and consistent in your adherence to those principles. Then commitment to learning and self-improvement. A willingness to allow room for uncertainty in one's beliefs. Do you have any sort of spiritual/religious beliefs, and why do you hold (or don't) those beliefs in the first place?
I was raised Catholic, but gradually realized my beliefs didn't align with those of the church. Currently, I hope more than believe that there's some power that knows what the hell is going on and that all will be explained someday. I do experience moments of spiritual elevation, usually when I'm seeing something beautiful in nature, or experiencing a moment of (sexual or non-sexual) intimacy with another person.Opinion on war and militaries? What is power to you?
I don't know if war can be eradicated entirely, but surely we can learn to live more peacefully than we do now. For me, personally, power means freedom and independence: the ability to live my life the way I want to as long as I'm not infringing on anyone else's rights. But I suppose most people think it means the ability to force other people to conform to your way of life.What have you had long conversations about? What are your interests? Why?
I love talking about people, why they are how they are, how we get to be the way we are, psychology, etc. I read A LOT. Reading is, IMO, the best way to make yourself vulnerable to ideas that are not your own, and we need to be vulnerable to ideas in order to properly evaluate them, even if we eventually reject them. I love hiking. I am a hobbyist musician. I dabble in interior design. I love food. I enjoy clothes shopping.Interested in health/medicine as a conversation topic? Are you focused on your body?
Heh. No and no. Somewhat to my detriment.What do you think of daily chores?
It's important to me that my living space be neat and clean, or else I get distracted and depressed. I don't do chores daily, but I do tend to cycle through them quite regularly, so that nothing ever gets too messy. Maybe once a month I do a deep clean.Books or films you liked? Recently read/watched or otherwise. Examples welcome.
My favorite contemporary authors are Sarah Waters and Marilynne Robinson. I've also enjoyed some works of Julian Barnes. I'm currently reading Max Weber's Protestant Ethic and finding it interesting. For movies, I love the Coen brothers. I enjoy David Fincher's films. I love classic movies. I love 80s movies. I'm selective about, but actively seek out, good horror and thriller films, always trying to screen out pain/torture porn or sexual violence.What has made you cry? What has made you smile? Why?
The news makes me cry. I have to just not read the paper sometimes. My mother makes me cry every once in a while-- we don't get along so well and even as an independent adult, I find it difficult to deal with her. Silly-ass shit makes me smile. I am as susceptible to internet cat videos as anyone. My husband makes me smile every day just for being who he is.Where do you feel: at one with the environment/a sense of belonging?
When I'm hiking with my husband, or at home with or without him. Bookstores and libraries. What have people seen as your weaknesses? What do you dislike about yourself?
My friends would say I lack confidence in my abilities and need to be a bit more self-promoting. I wish I had more direction in life. I have lots of interests, but not many long-term goals. I complain about people behind their backs, but honestly I don't see myself changing this as I find it too satisfying. I lack physical discipline. I can be self-centered (not to be confused with selfish). I have a tendency to get angry with the world for not being fair.What have people seen as your strengths? What do you like about yourself?
I articulate thoughts and feelings well. I can listen to someone talk about her problems and then tell them EXACTLY how they're feeling and why. I can look at one situation and re-contextualize it several different ways until I find the most productive viewpoint. I love the "good things" in life when they come my way, but am not materialistic or money-driven. If someone asks me for help and I can provide it, I generally do. I have almost never said or done something in anger that I regretted later. I love my own company and can be alone for a long time without being bored or lonely.In what areas of your life would you like help?
I wish I had more direction in life. The job I have is a good one, but it's not challenging and there's little opportunity for advancement. People are often confused by seeing someone of my intelligence and education level in the job. But I really don't know what else to do. Not being close to my parents often makes me wish I had an older adult for a mentor. There aren't many people I can go to for guidance in my life.Ever feel stuck in a rut? If yes, describe the causes and your reaction to it.
Yeah, in my job, for the reasons described above. What qualities do you most like and dislike in other people? What types do you get along with?
I am really turned off by: attention-seeking behavior, inconsistency of either personality or positive regard (either like me or don't, but don't be an on-and-off friend). People who lack moral integrity (whatever your values are, either stick to them or re-evaluate). People who are more concerned with being "right" than with learning, and in general, people who have little interest in learning. Unkindness and rudeness. I love people who have many interests, even if they don't overlap with mine. People who love to talk and analyze. People who sincerely apologize and make amends when they fuck up. People who respect boundaries and don't demand instant closeness, and who don't take it personally when I want to be alone.How do you feel about romance/sex? What qualities do you want in a partner?
I probably have the best marriage of anyone I know, and I think it's at least in part because I would have been perfectly happy being alone if I hadn't met my husband-- a relationship was never a goal in itself for me. My spouse is a great partner to me because he has all of the positive qualities I listed in the question above, and he is also just incredibly intelligent and competent. He is very physically affectionate and enjoys just being in the same room with me. We have so much fun together. We make each other feel sane and valued.If you were to raise a child, what would be your main concerns, what measures would you take, and why?
I would want him to be a good person who could put himself in others' shoes. I would also want him to be interested and engaged in the world, and to pursue his interests. I would try to model volunteering and helping others, as well as lifelong learning and self-improvement.A friend makes a claim that clashes with your current beliefs. What is your inward and outward reaction?
Inwardly, I become extremely uncomfortable, because I'd know I'd have to say something and I hate conflict. So I'd start by making sure I correctly understood and would ask questions. Then I might get more Socratic in my questioning and lead the friend to question her own beliefs. Finally, if I had to, I'd present my views and tell them why I disagreed. Describe your relationship to society. How do you see people as a whole? What do you consider a prevalent social problem? Name one.
I feel this weird combination of being in-between certain societal groups, and it's often reflected in people telling me I'm "mysterious". It's really that they think I'm one thing and then they find out I'm not, so they don't know how to peg me. So I feel slightly outside of society, but also compelled to find a way to help in some way, on a large scale. I think (and I'm as guilty of this as anyone), people get too caught up in their own lives and don't make enough of an effort to look around and see how they can help others.How do you choose your friends and how do you behave around them?
I circle potential friends slowly, because I've had trouble in the past with people using me as their shrink. Once you're actually my friend, I will be there for you 100% through whatever ups and downs, but I'm not interested in taking on charity cases. I am very forthcoming with personal information, but not so much with intimacy (meaning time, energy, help), so sometimes people think we're closer than we are, and I'm like... No. Not many people perceive how introverted I am, because I'm chatty and not shy. I'm often embarrassed to let people know how much I really like them when I do like them.How do you behave around strangers?
Depends on the situation and how many people are around. I have the classic introvert quality of being great one on one, but not so great in large groups. I'm friendly and polite, but not... inviting? I have the kind of face that makes people ask me for directions, and it can be at odds with my desire to be left alone sometimes.