Time to finish the last half of the questions I set out to answer. I fell asleep at 12:30 am and woke up at 2:30 pm and could barely walk. Pain issues brought on by the stress of taking on other peoples issues. Don’t do this. Nip that shit right in the bud. Because stress creates pain which creates more stress which creates more pain ad infinitum.
16. How shall I live, knowing I will die?
Realizing that in the end, ultimately, you will die is very freeing. The sooner you embrace that fact the happier your life becomes. The sooner you stop concerning yourself with the circumstances surrounding your death (how, when, what will happen) the more you are able to live as I think you’re meant to. I have an aunt, Vegetarian, eats only the finest organic hormone free, pesticide free foods, does not smoke, drinks moderately-heavily but only the finest wines. She holds in her heart a tremendous amount of hate and contempt for those who don’t make the choices she makes. When her only son chose to marry a half Japanese girl she mourned at the lack of “white grandchildren” she was going to get (although her daughter Ali, has popped out 6 kids, all white, but only kept one). So Auntie Perfect Habits, well she got breast cancer, and got treatment. And then it came BACK. AND SHE IS PISSED. She has now refused further treatment, started eating whatever the hell she wants, reverted her stance on the gays, other races, and is just fucking living her life. I’m certain she has tremendous remorse for not just doing this to begin with. At 42 I try and follow the rule of nearly everything in moderation, I fail but I’m trying. I don’t fail on the side of excess but on the side of not pushing myself to do things that are great for me like yoga, or maintaining a clutter free environment.
17. What do I need to change about myself?
I could make this a ridiculous laundry list of things I’d like to be different, but truthfully- I like myself, and that took some doing. Because I didn’t even love myself for a very long time. Things I’m consciously working on are:
Not interrupting people when they’re talking
Listening more and talking AT people less
Realizing that my words and actions have an affect on everyone around me
Realizing that though something may be true and valid it doesn’t need to be said out loud
Putting myself first more and taking care of myself better, because in the past I’d much rather try to solve your problems than focus on my own (Boundaries issues- right here!)
18. Is it more important to love or be loved?
Both. I love and am beloved. By how many I don’t know. There are lives I’ve touched that I’ll never know about. What I do know is that if can’t love yourself even just a little- you can’t properly love anyone else. As of today and for the rest of my life I’ll never know the love that comes from giving birth to my own child. The universe decided that for me. But there are a lot of experiences I’ll never know. I’m OK with that.
19. How many of my friends would I trust with my life?
There are a handful of people who I KNOW absolutely would stand in front of a moving train if it meant I were not harmed. Conversely I have a friend who I would give a kidney to if need be but want nothing to do with personally until he gets his shit together. Tonight I learned, in a random way, that people are listening to me, and talking about what I say, and crafting up funny plans to annoy me. Which I think is great! I don’t usually feel like I put my life in the hands of others but others put theirs in mine often.
20. Who has had the greatest impact on my life?
Everyone who set a good example for me to be able to follow. I most admire people with grace, humility, passion, and diplomacy who don’t need to bring attention to how amazing they are (probably because they don’t even think about it).
If you’re TELLING me how fantastic you are? You’re really not.
My personal heroes are Bill and Melinda Gates, Russel Simmons, Elon Musk, and anyone who looks around and says, “Hey, that’s not OK, I’m gonna figure out how to change that” and makes steps towards doing so.
The people I despise are Larry Ellison, and his ilk. Asshats. Conspicuous consumers. People who never ask “How can I help?”.
21. Would I break the law to save a loved one?
What law do I have to break? To save anyone I love? I don’t even understand this question. Would I sell crack if it meant my mother wouldn’t get murdered? That’s a ridiculous scenario. I’m not even sure I love anyone who would need saving by my doing something against the law. I think a more interesting question is would I break the law to save myself? Yeah, I would, I have.
22. Would I steal to feed a starving child?
Really? I’m not Jean ValJean. My life is not revolutionary France set to music. I would give up my food to feed the child in front of me. My life is not about acquiring and collecting stuff. It’s about making things better. For everyone.
23. What do I want most in life?
Peace of mind, that my choices were right. That I helped and didn’t harm. I am adopted. Every person I know who is adopted has the same underlying sense of purpose. That we had better get it together and do SOMETHING because we could have just been medical waste. That we were “saved” for something.It’s a constant overwhelming need to repay a debt of gratitude. And a constant feeling of being alone too. No one looks like you in your family, you don’t know if you’re a genetic ticking time bomb because you have no family history, and because I cannot bear my own children my story and my gene pool ends with me. It’s not something I think about often but I have always tried to figure out what makes me so compelled to make the world different. This is all I’ve come up with so far. (For anyone reading wanting to ask- yes I’ve tried, had no luck, I only have my name at birth and a few tidbits of other info, the Ministry of Children’s Welfare in Ottawa, ON are not helpful when you were born in 1973 and your birth mother either cannot be found or does not want to be found, Before I was Erin Adrienne- I was Angela Marie MacDonald. Nothing is known of my birth father but because of my blood type I can safely assume he was also of northern European descent. My birth mother’s family were seafarers from Landsdowne, ON, my biological uncle was a math professor at the University of Ottawa, my birth mother was the youngest of 4 and the only girl, my grandfather was a captain of a ship, a “great laker” that sailed the St. Lawrence and my maternal grandmother was a nurse. My mother herself would have been born in 1955 or 1956, making her about 60 now)
24. What is life calling of me?
My mom (what I call my adoptive mother, don’t get confused, she IS MY MOM) once told me- “We’re not born with toe tags telling us what we’re here for! Give it a rest!”. The answer is I don’t know. I think it’s calling me towards nursing. But not here in the US.
25. Which is worse: failing or never trying?
Failing is important. If you don’t fail you rarely learn. Not trying is just the easy way out. I’m not one to ever take the easy way.
26. If I try to fail, and succeed, which have I done?
Learned something. I used to have this very philosophical thing I’d wrestle with in my mind. If you could “perfectly” raise a child to be a saint, could you also do the opposite? Could you deliberately raise a serial killer? The answer is a resounding no. People like Zak Ebrahim are an example of this
27. What’s the one thing I’d like others to remember about me at the end of my life?
That I loved them in the only way I knew how, at whatever moment I knew them.
28. Does it really matter what others think about me?
I gave up trying to control other people’s perceptions of me when I finally figured out that you can’t. People are going to think what they think. And sometimes it will be true and other times it won’t. I strive for 100% authenticity and transparency. I’d like the same from others. Sometimes I get it, sometimes not. The important thing is that it doesn’t affect my own ability to carry on and keep living, and it really doesn’t.
29. To what degree have I actually controlled the course my life has taken?
I have no clue. I take responsibility for my part (and other people’s parts sometimes!) and I certainly don’t think there’s a giant man in the sky controlling me like a marionette, but I have no clue if there’s a butterfly effect or not. I do know I’ve done a lot of shit by sheer brute force. Because I wanted to. But my life flows better if I don’t resist or push back on paths put in front of me. I’ve watched someone do everything “correctly” and still get nowhere. It’s heartbreaking but in the end it comes down to choices made and the prices paid.
30. When it’s all said and done, will I have said more than I’ve done?
Fuck NO. I never write a check with my mouth my ass cannot cash! I am not a bundle of idle chatter, I do stuff. I facilitate other people’s doing stuff. THAT’S what I’d like people to remember about me. She fucking DID stuff.