Way back in the beginning of my blogging career I shared an article by Tina Su that guided me - and continues to guide me - to a place of deeper self awareness, a place where I can explore and discover overarching dreams, hopes, and life goals.
After nearly four years, I feel it is time to revisit this short questionnaire and reflect on what has shifted and what has remained the same. Will you join me? You're welcome to share some or all of your answers in the comments or leave a link back to your answers on your blog.
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1. What makes you smile?
The ocean. Laughing children. Traveling. People watching. Secret messages of love. Inspiring others. Animals and nature. Feeling truly beautiful. Silliness. Freedom. Thunderstorms, lightning, and wind. Humanity. Connection.
2. What were your favorite things to do in the past? What about now?
Art journaling. Writing poetry. Reading. Games full of imagination. Drawing.
Decorating and designing. Traveling. Making others smile. Spreading messages of love. Dreaming of a someday home. Connecting with strangers. Random acts of kindness.
3. What activities make you lose track of time?
Dreaming of the future. Design. Losing myself in nature.
4. What makes you feel great about yourself?
Twirly skirts and looking my best. Exercising. Giving hope. Independence. Singing. Early mornings. Creating something I am proud of. Time to myself. Singing.
5. Who inspires you most? Which qualities in each person inspire you?
Sir Ken Robinson, pioneer of education, creativity, and the potential of each child. This is a topic I need to spend more time thinking about!
6. What are you naturally good at?
Painting and drawing. Writing. Design.
7. In what subjects do people typically ask you for help?
Writing. Advice. Design and creative endeavors.
8. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?
I would teach kindness, love, and that every individual is whole, beautiful, and deserving.
I would also be interested in being a teacher in the early grades.
9. What would you regret not fully doing, being, or having in your life?
Being independent, financially and otherwise. Having a child. Traveling at every opportunity. Having a home of my own. Being content, sure and secure, and happy. Making a difference. Being true to myself, always, above all else.
10. You are now 90 years old, sitting on a rocking chair outside your porch. You can feel the spring breeze gently brushing against your face. You are blissful and happy and are pleased with the wonderful life you've been blessed with. Looking back on all that you've achieved and acquired and all the relationships you've developed, what matters to you most?
My family. The stories and experiences I've collected while traveling. Practicing and teaching love and kindness. Standing beside those who struggle and giving them a voice.
11. What are your deepest values?
Love, love, love. Compassion for others, for nature, for animals. Kindness.
12. What were some challenges, difficulties, and hardships you've overcome or are in the process of overcoming? How did you manage to rise above them?
Depression, anxiety, and self hatred. I took one day at a time, journaled, learned to be gentle with and love myself, practiced noticing the positives in my life, and finally reached out for help. Sharing my story publicly did more for me than I ever could have imagined.
13. What causes do you strongly believe in and connect with?
The beauty and worth of every individual, the battle against depression/suicide, civil rights, the reduction of inequality. Self love. Education that inspires, connects, teaches, grows. Love and gentleness in childhood. Compassion for all. Respect, kindness, love, imagination, and creativity.
14. If you could get a message across to a large group of people, who would those people be? What would your message be?
The world: you are loved. You are whole. You matter.
15. Considering your talents, passions, and values, how could you use these resources to serve, help, or contribute?
My passion for children and education is valuable in working to reform the education system and promote all children's ability to fulfill their innate potential. My knowledge of suffering and depression offers wisdom with which to help others in the same position. My ability to write enables me to reach out with the messages I have to share. My compassion for others is essential in fighting for those who do not believe they are worth fighting for and in standing up for those who are wronged.