50 questions that will free your mind

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
I would be 22 years old…but I’d want the wisdom and freedom I have right now.

Which is worse, failing or never trying?
Never trying! If you never try, then it’s an automatic failure. Whereas if you try, you may succeed.

If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
We feel like we should do what we’re obligated to do rather than what we long to do. We feel like we should be responsible and please everyone and work hard and reap the rewards of that later, when we feel we’ve “earned” it.

When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
I don’t know. I hope not.

What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
I’d like all people to realize that we’re all part of the same. That no one is better than anyone else and that everything we feel and think and do is universal. If we looked at each other as part of a whole, rather than as separate entities, there would be a lot more compassion.

If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
Writing, acting, being creative and free. Or sleeping.

Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
I’m lucky that right now I can start working toward what I believe in. But I am lazy, and I also get scared, so I tend to get complacent when I am comfortable.

If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
I don’t know if I would live my life differently.

To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
Well, I’ve left some jobs that were making me sick emotionally and physically. BUT I was lucky to be in a position to do that. I’ve walked away from a marriage that wasn’t living in truth. I’ve missed opportunities for certain things and I decided to take them later in life, when I was able to make the choices and had the resources to do so. I hardly ever let anyone dictate to me what I can and cannot do anymore. I just do it.

Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
Equally, I think.

You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do?
I defend her, saying she’s nice and I like her and giving reasons why.

If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Never, never lose your sense of wonder.

Would you break the law to save a loved one?
Yes I would.

Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
I don’t think so.

What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
Hmm. I don’t think I do anything all that differently from anyone else.

How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
Everyone is different. We all have things we like and appreciate. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I think that applies to all things and situations and life.

What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?
I want to act in movies. There are a lot of things holding me back. One is my lack of skill. I need more training before I even think about taking that leap. Two is my fear. I’m scared to audition. Three is the reality of the industry. It’s very competitive and ruthless almost. I don’t know if I have what it takes. Four is that I don’t know if there is room for someone who looks like me in movies. So…I plan to start small. Keep training. And act in small films around Chicago. See what happens from there.

Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
I always am. I have tons of stuff I need to get rid of. Clothing, toiletries. I’m kind of a hoarder. I don’t know why. I have a box of snacks by my bed. I don’t even eat that much, but I have to have it there. It’s not even comforting or anything but it needs to be there. I am not sure what that symbolizes.

If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
I would move somewhere that didn’t get the brutally cold and long winters that Chicago gets. I thrive in the sunshine and the heat. The cold depresses me and makes me feel oppressed. I’d move somewhere near an ocean or a lake and maybe some mountains and lots of trees. And beautiful weather.

Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
No, I push it once.

Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
Oooo, this is a good question. I have no idea. Can I be a joyful genius?

Why are you, you?
I am me because of how I was raised, what was infused in me at birth, my birth sign, my life experiences, my education, what I was exposed to media-wise, the people who were around me, my environment.

Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
Not always. I can get reclusive and grumpy, and I shut people out when I get like that. It’s not very nice of me. But on the other hand, I am very loyal, and if you tell me a secret, I will never share it no matter what happens.

Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
The second one. At least with the first one, you still have contact with the friend.

What are you most grateful for?
My family, my friends, having comforts, being able to learn and pretty much do whatever I want within reason. Traveling. Experience. Health. Memories.

Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
Well….this is a horrible question. I have things that will help remind me of things I’ve experienced in the past–photos, journals, etc. So I’d rather lose the old ones, I think. I don’t know, because I can see myself making a lot of mistakes from the past all over again. So… I don’t know the answer to this question.

Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
I don’t know.

Has your greatest fear ever come true?
Yes. It sucked.

Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?
Let’s see. Five years ago was… 2009? Yes, I remember, and it only matters because it affects choices that I make today… so that I can avoid being in that situation and getting that upset over it again.

What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?
I had a good childhood. I don’t have a happiest memory per se but I have a lot. Easter egg hunt in my yard. Cuddling with my grandmother. My grandmother making me Cream of Wheat. Christmas. My mom always went out of her way to make Christmas awesome for my sister and me. Anything that showed love.

At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
If not now, then when?

When I am writing, when I am on stage, and when I am in the sun, in mild weather, just soaking up nature’s warmth and light. Those things make me feel alive and REAL.

If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
Not a dang thing.

Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
No, I can’t say I’ve done that! Not yet.

Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
Because these same religions stir up so much passion and emotion. People defend these strong feelings and sometimes, it goes too far.

Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
In some instances, absolutely yes. But most instances, no. It’s a scale of grey where things are not as simple as they seem.

If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?

Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
More work that I enjoy doing–as long as it is lucrative! People are designed to work, but most of the “work” we do is draining and mind-numbing. When we’re working on our passions, it doesn’t feel like work.

Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?

When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
A few years ago. Teacher training.

If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
Aidan. He’s number one. Then I’d take him to see my mom.

Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
I don’t think so.

What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Being alive is merely existing. Truly living is enjoying life, or at least experiencing life to the fullest way you can.

When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
When you have support, can take care of yourself, and believe wholeheartedly that it’s the thing to do. Jump, and a net will appear.

If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
Because sometimes mistakes hurt, and we don’t like being hurt.

What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
I’d be more aggressive with my writing and with acting.

When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
I’m guessing the Urban Priestess yoga workshop a few weeks ago. We’re always encouraged to listen and notice our breath in yoga.

What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
I love reading! And yes, I’ve been reading like crazy lately. All the time.

In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?
No, probably not. Those days weren’t very remarkable. Just normal.

Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?
A little bit of both. I live in a world with other people and sometimes the things they do will affect me. It’s just a fact of life. But I can decide how I want to react to those things, how I want to handle them.