“How are you?”
A few weeks ago I took to Facebook to compose a status.
Vague in nature, the status asked if anyone would be willing to answer one question for me that I would privately message to them if they liked the post. The rules here were simple, there were absolutely none. Answers could be as short or as long as one desired, they could choose to be credited or stay anonymous. I wanted this to be completely directed by every individual, each person taking their question and answering it in a way that was entirely and authentically them.
I wanted to delve deeper. To pose questions that would be uncomfortable to ask people I don’t know all too well in a face to face conversation. I wanted to eliminate small talk and pleasantries. I wanted to get real. The issue with small talk is that what you say is expected to obey certain societal rules. You can be pleasant, but not too enthusiastic. You can be honest, but not so honest that you make people uncomfortable.
“Some weather we’re having, hey?”
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this venture, but the results were beyond incredible. I got to really get to know certain aspects of people, some of whom I’ve known for years, others I’ve barely spoken to.
So without further delay, here are twenty different questions posed to twenty different people.
What is your favourite thing about yourself?
“My favourite thing about myself is my pragmatic disposition. I take pride in my ability to thoughtfully tackle whatever life throws my way, and I am always honoured to help others to navigate their own storms.” @g_unit
What’s your favourite quote? Why is it important to you?
“You can follow any car long enough, eventually you’re going to find a busted tail light. And even if you don’t, you can bust it yourself.” I forget where I heard it. To me it means that no matter what the facts of a situation are, if you want to interpret it in a specific way, you can swing the facts to mean whatever you want them to mean. If you follow an innocent person long enough, eventually they’ll be guilty of something. If you collect any facts to prove a point, you can prove your point with them. Basically, there’s never one way to interpret a situation, even if evidence is provided to prove one interpretation. I find a similar meaning in another good quote “there are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics”
If you could go back in time would you change anything? Why/why not?
“Looking back on life thus far, there are many things I would do differently, however if I went back in time and changed some of the things that I would have liked to do differently I’m not sure that I would be in the same place I am now. Whilst life is full of challenges, the decisions that we have made whilst growing up have shaped our experience and formed the basis of what we are now and where we are now, the friendships we make and those we keep.
So overall if I could go back in time I would but would I change anything, possibly not.
Overall I have found that the greatest satisfaction in life comes from overcoming the hurdles and challenges we face from the goals and dreams that we set for ourselves.”
What outfit do you feel the most confident in?
“What a perfect question to answer at this specific point in my life. I’m stumbling into a new aspect of my identity, and it seems to be completely revolving around comfort. I’m coming from a time where I would buy new clothing frequently, and then the pieces I was so excited about moments/days/weeks ago would sit in the closet eternally because I never had a good enough reason to wear them; not enough exposure, not a cool enough outing, not enough people to share this look with. More recently I’ve realized that its important to do things for yourself, as in not for anyone else’s approval or praise. These days, I feel the most confident throwing on a bomb ass slip with lots of print– not giving a shit if the world can see my ass because I never wear thongs anyways, rocking as bare a face as I feel like, putting my hair up because I too often hide behind my purple strands, and most importantly– rocking sunglasses constantly because I love having the ability to dart my eyes all around the world, looking at everyone and everything in secret. I used to open my phone and type nonsense into my notes just to avoid interaction with the world and now– I feel like an explorer of the world and my clothes seem to reflect that” @asiavettergreen
What is your favourite sound, smell, taste, sight and feeling?
ANON: “Sound: laughter
Taste: good milk chocolate
Smell: a good smelling home: anything with an amber scent.
Sight: looking at something that I wouldn’t be able to see where it ends. Like being at the mountains or in the sea.
Feeling: peaceful. Feeling that everyone around me is either giving off good vibes or getting along peacefully.”
If you could instantly learn a new talent, what would it be?
” I think musical ability .. to be able to sit down at a piano and let magic happen ! I did jazz in high school for years but something about it never clicked in” @peanutbutterjunkiemonkey
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in the last 5 years?
“Biggest thing I’ve learnt in the last 5 years is to be completely true to yourself. Do what you want. Do what you love. Fuck what everyone else says. Be you. Be honest and true to the things you love and hold dear. There’s nothing worse than living a lie, especially if it’s only because you don’t believe in yourself or you’re too worried what others think.” @nodramallama
What is something you were once insecure about but now love?
ANON: “Growing up I thought I was completely normal. Until I think grade 3 or 4 when we had to do swimming classes with my school. In the change rooms I was always very comfortable. As a baby I ran around naked all the time and living on the island there were a lot of clothing optional communities so growing up I embraced nudity as such a normal thing. Changing into my swim suit a girl pointed in between my legs and said “What’s wrong with your vagina?”
I was very confused. Then I looked around and realized it was different than all the other girls. It turns out, I have a very enlarged labia. Growing up I kept it very private but when I started to experiment sexually it was hard to try and hide it so I decided to embrace it. The first time I let a boy “touch me there” he got disgusted and left ,and a week later everyone was calling me “beef curtains”. This was heartbreaking and traumatizing. I was taught to be disgusted by my femininity. I begged and begged my mom for a labiaplasty. I think this is where I started to hate more and more things about myself. My nose, breasts hips, thoughts, toes. I think that if I never thought of that one specific thing so negatively I never would have picked my anatomy apart with flaws. I soon realized that older men didn’t mind it so much, but being so young that got me into a lot of trouble. I eventually was in a relationship when my partner offered to pay for the surgery. Him being unemployed I never got my hopes up. But I was never comfortable with him pushing my decision of changing what the Goddess gave me. Then I met the man of my dreams. Mortified to show him all of me I was already too jaded to really think straight when I let him slip off my underwear. And it didn’t phase him.
“You’re not grossed out?”
Maybe he was just too nice to say anything. But after a year of being together he loves me for everything thing that I am. He thinks my vagina is beautiful. Hearing those words blew away all the negativity I ever felt for myself. I love my vagina. I’m so happy I never changed it because it’s who I am and I want to live and die in my own body. #lovethelabia
What is your favourite song right now? What about it do you love?
“Favourite song would be Lover Please Stay by Nothing But Thieves. This song hit me where I really needed to be struck. When I first heard it, I couldn’t stop. It made me feel like everything was okay. I used to write songs myself but stopped because of depression. And after listening to that song…it made me want to write again. Since first hearing it, I wrote five songs. And for a while I never thought that I would write again. So to that song, I say thank you. Thank you to help me get back on my feet” @lilgaylien
What makes you nostalgic?
ANON: “I have intense nostalgia dreams sometimes, usually set around my old neighborhood. I won’t necessarily be doing anything, just like walking around my old childhood house, the weird thing is if I went to that house today I wouldn’t feel any nostalgia because it’s obviously changed. I dunno, weird music can make me nostalgic but only if in a certain setting. I think place plays a big part in the nostalgic feel.”
If you could tell your past self one thing, what would it be?
“To stop doing things for other people and do things for myself” @kennedyschoof
What does self-love mean to you?
“Self love. The words alone produce an eye-roll, a bristling rancor of sorts from me. I’m not a procrastinator, ever. In fact it’s one of my biggest character flaws–being overly proactive and jumping all over things that I should have just let played out.
But I’ve been sitting on this request for a week because I just can’t seem to come up with anything new or novel, anything other than cliche, to add to the definition. On good days when I think about it, I confuse self-love with self confidence. The knowledge that I am supremely capable of handling whatever comes my way. I am strong and smart and resilient. I love my self. On bad days when I think about it, I confuse self-love with soccer mom platitudes. Take care of YOU. Love YOURSELF first, or how can you love anyone else? Such bullshit. I’ve recently rediscovered the power of fun. It relates to self-love, because to achieve that I need time to relax, play, and recheck my priorities. I know that when I consciously remind myself to breathe and laugh, I am exercising self love. I guess it comes down to a series of choices, small ones, moment by moment decisions rejecting things, thoughts and people that will harm or dampen my oversize spirit, and turning towards those things that will nourish, sustain, delight and uplift me.”
What reminds you of your childhood? “Places. Places that I go to or pass by time and time again. Where memories are made and children used to play. There are a few distinct places that I spent a lot of time at in my childhood, and although it’s different now I always feel like a little kid when I go back
to them. For example my Aunt’s house. I used to go there every summer for 1 weekend. We would time it so that we could see my cousins. We played and went out on the lake and built forts. We almost always did the same things every year. So whenever I went back there, even as a teenager and as an adult I always reminisced my childhood, because I would want to do everything we used to do and then I would journey down memory lane and think about all the things I did as a kid every summer. In this last year, my aunt and uncle decided to get a divorce and both of them would move from the house. I was quite heartbroken, not so much because of them splitting but more so, because that house with so many memories of my childhood, so many good feelings, was just gone. I will always love the places of my childhood and even if I just happen to drive by or see them in a photo. Good or bad memories I always want to be connected to them and feel the same magical feelings I did when I was little.” @abbsrosebud
What does self expression mean to you? What mediums do you use to express yourself?
“Self expression to me means being able to reflect and explore who I am individually while also mimicking parts of others that I wish were mine. Self expression is how I want others to see me, but more importantly its how I want to see myself whether I am that person yet, or not. The mediums I personally use are music, clothing, tattoos on myself, words, and physical stress. I find a certain affirmation and release with each of these mediums that help me feel more complete and whole.”
check out Max’s music: pocket frog
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?
“I believe when I was very young I wanted to be a doctor that worked with kids, I think from a very young age I knew I wanted to help people and that was the only way that I would know how to do that as a child” @klong638
How would you define love?
“Love for me is that settling feeling in the stomach you get with someone you are starting to fall for and you realize that he is starting to become your home. That is love for me!”
What would you want your last meal to be?
“Dimethyltryptamine or psilocybin Mac and Cheese”
Can you describe the place you feel the most at peace?
“That’s a great question. I believe that it all depends on what ones idea of peace is. Someone could possibly find peace among the chaos. For me, I would describe a place such as a garden. Where numerous kinds of trees, plants, and animals thrive as one. A cohesive place where nature is in control, in a controlled space. I find it not only calming, it’s completely blissful to be surrounded by such beauty. The endless rainbow of flowers, the mesmerizing textures and patterns on the leaves, the bittersweet smell in the air.
I could not ask for anything more. @emeraldfoxx
What is your favourite place in the world?
“Wherever I’m with you and Sam cause I love you both to pieces.”
Who/What inspires you? What is your favourite medium to express creativity?
“What isn’t life that inspires me would be trickier question. I’d ask what else is there other than HOW I AM/see(the deep seeing). I see colour I am living, I hear breath I am living, if there is death it is through my own living I expirience it. It is through life I see other life and well up in tears! Which ever kind they are these tears are me living! If life is what inspires me too I’d ask how else could I express it than through living. Malformed, harmful, benificial, these are creative manifestations of my personal expression of have lived/living/living onwards. Cultivating moments of small beauty, inspires a simple(y) beauty that is expressed through each movement, brush strokes or otherwise, and visions I have. Just as supporting my harmful behaviors will manifest little harmful beauties in my thoughts and actions towards my body and my greater body that is the planet. If this question where to have asked what is my preferred mode of living I may answer:
The city’s dust appearing living
A small crack of sunset, animator.
The magic in looking up
after I’ve found myself here
-By finding here.
I am a habit of small miracles
some will see this or not.
It is disastrous to be a disaster,
and not unlikely healing.
Chasing trauma in particulate’s shadow
And all in wonder with it’s burning gold.” @gravegoddess
until next time,