Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Soul Questions

Liberated from Snarky Pants. If you answer as well, let me know. I'd love to check out your responses, too.

1. What is your dream job?

This job is close. I enjoy being a writer and I still get a lot of pleasure out of a job well done. My client is ethical, and not all financial services providers are. I have fantabulous benefits, and after the surgery last year, I appreciate that so much. BUT the politics get me down. If I could work from home two days a week, only showing up at the office three, I think that would be ideal. I'd have less face-to-face with people who get on my last nerve, and I'd have energy to do other things.

2. What fulfills you?

Helping, sharing, affection. Genuine exchanges. Ali Wentworth wrote in Glamour about knowing her husband (George Stephanopolous) was "the one." She said being around him is as comfortable as a quilt, that he "gets" her as though they had always been members of the same tribe, that she can confess the most intimate things to him and still feel safe. Spending time with a friend like that is the most fulfilling thing I can imagine. When I think back on the bestest moments in my life, it's these.

3. What’s your greatest fear?

Being helpless. Dependent. Completely vulnerable. Utterly unacceptable to me!

4. What do you want more of in life?

Resources. Time and money and energy.

5. What is your greatest accomplishment?

I am exceptionally good with animals. Part of it is natural, some of it has been learned over time. One of my greatest feline teachers was Tara. She bore the scars, both physical and emotional, of abuse when I first brought her home. Considering how she'd been treated, the dignity with which she carried herself was enormously touching. Helping her learn to trust humans again, giving her a second chance and a peaceful life through the end of her days, is one of my greatest accomplishments. As are the happy lives I've given every other animal entrusted in my care ever since.

6. What are you ashamed of?

My sloppiness/laziness. I don't just mean the paper that has a tendency to take over my dining room paper. My emotions can overflow sloppily all over the place. And I can be very lazy. I hate that.

7. What makes you sad?

That, while I love my family very much, I don't feel like I'm one of them. Family gatherings can be my loneliest, saddest times.

8. What’s the hardest thing you’ve experienced?

I feel like the woman in this scene. As a child and teen I was beaten by my older sister, once thrown so hard into the stove that the force of my body caused a gas leak. I was sexually molested and taunted by a relative. Then I wasted a decade with a very cruel man.


I used to think it was all my fault, that there was something wrong with me that attracted fists. But I learned that it wasn't my fault. I was just born into a really messed up family and there was no one emotionally available or equipped to protect me when I was young. I was unwittingly being groomed for that abusive "romance." Now that I understand all this, it's my life now. My past is not my destiny. I can make my own happy ending!

9. What’s great about you?

I'm smart. I think on my feet. I'm passionate. I'm loyal. And I can find the humor in just about everything.

10. Who are you?

As Wilbur the Pig eulogized Charlotte, I am a true friend and a good writer.

11. What/Who inspires you?

Strength and discipline. I've told this story before, and I'll tell it again here:

These two photos take turns on my desktop, revolving from one into the other, telling the story of the day in the life of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis that provides just one example why I admire her so.

These photos were taken the same afternoon, moments apart, in autumn, 1971. The photographer who took the first shot and appears in the second shot is Ron Gallela. He hounded Jackie on a daily basis, dressing up as Santa Claus to shoot her while shopping at Christmastime, hiding in coat racks for photos of her dining and sometimes even smoking (gasp!) with friends, chasing her in a speed boat while she water skied, following her into movie theaters, etc. When her children were young they still had Secret Service protection and she would ask the agents to, "Please smash his camera," and usually they would. It got so bad that in 1972, just months after this incident, she actually took him to court and got a restraining order. I often wonder what would have happened if Princess Diana had been as ballsy as JBKO; perhaps she'd still be with us.

Anyway, Jackie was running a quick errand, crossing Fifth Avenue in front of her apartment building, when Galella sidled up near her and called her name. She reflexively turned and smiled. When she saw who it was, and that this time he had an accomplice with a camera, she simply slipped the dark glasses on (thereby making the subsequent photos he shot worth a little less), kept her face impassive and kept going.

She hated Galella. He was a stalker and he frightened and enraged her. Yet look at her control. Sure, she could have lost her temper with him (Marlon Brando literally punched his teeth out), but that would have given Galella a front-page shot he could have retired on. So she just withdrew into herself and kept going.

I wear my heart on my sleeve. I have a difficult time with my temper, which often hurts no one else as much as it does me.

I hope if I gaze at her long enough and remember the story, some of it will rub off on me. "Remember, Gal, just put on your sunglasses and keep going."

And, of course, faith in God. I always have God.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great meme and I swiped it. And your answers are so inspiring.


Sorry about adding Comment Moderation, folks. But look at the bright side, at least I've gotten rid of word verification!