36 Questions, Set II [Abridged]

I first visited these 36 questions ten months ago. That was the first 12 of 36 questions any two people could, apparently, ask the other to accelerate the process of them falling in love.

That position — being in a position to ask another person 36 terrifyingly large questions — is not one in which I find myself. I do, however, find myself in a similar position of wanting to reach out to people.

In the past month and a couple weeks, I’ve made a point of contacting as many friends as I can, as an introvert, tolerably see before I run down my own need for alone time. And for someone who usually has a structured routine constructing every part of her life, this amount of getting out and seeing people has been the strangest experience. It’s been hectic and crazy, and the best decision I’ve made this semester.

To everyone I’ve seen since this semester began: I’ve learned so much from all of you. You’re all so fantastically unique and weird, and I love you all the more for it. It is, as always, only my hope that you’ll find me half as strangely interesting as I strive to be.

(Disclaimer: I’ve removed one of the more personal questions because really, I’m not sure I’d like to open some of these conversations up to the entire Internet. I’m not Lizzie Bennet.)

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Photo Courtesy of Death to the Stock

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

I’d like to know if I was happy. Both in that moment, and in the far future. It’s easy to get caught up in the petty tasks and the mundane of the everyday, but it’s so much more important to choose the humdrum tasks that still allow you to feel fulfilled.

Last week during a conversation with a new friend, we talked extensively about my final two (two) months of college. I expressed a lot of fear and uncertainty regarding all the forthcoming change, but he was quick to catch me: “But you sound so excited when you talk about all the change that’s coming! It’s a good thing.” He’s right. I am excited, and I am happy about the change to come, and I hope that I’m still this way in the future.

14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

To avoid getting into the laundry list of places I’d like to go when I have the financial means to do so — finishing my Berkeley/Bay Area restaurant bucket list. For the past eight semesters, I’ve always talked myself out of going out more because I felt I didn’t have enough time to do so. I’m realizing now that those thoughts were perhaps at least slightly untrue.

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Photo Courtesy of Death to the Stock

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

Being a couple people’s 2 am-5 am call in their times of need. I’m not happy these friends desperately needed someone to talk to at that hour of the night (morning) on those particular days, but I am glad that I was someone they all felt they could rely on, even when half awake or asleep.

16. What do you value most in a friendship?

Mutual levels of care and communication. We all have friends we text every day, we also have friends we text once a year, and we all know good friends are few and far between. I don’t mind either extreme of communication, but my only wish is that we agree (implicitly or explicitly) to stick with it.

17. What is your most treasured memory?

Frankly, I don’t think I’d be able to choose just one. But the top 10 all definitely involve a good hug. I’m a sucker for a good hug.

18. What is your most terrible memory?

I can think of some that I’d prefer taking to the grave, but delirious hospital days post-surgery are also pretty high up there. Never take your back muscles for granted.

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Photo Courtesy of Death to the Stock

19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

I would stop futzing around on the Internet so much. Given my night owl and early bird tendencies, my days have the potential to be even more productive than they already are, and if I’m going to die in one year — you can bet that I’m going to sleep as little as I possibly can so I can do everything humanly possible before this year is up.

20. What does friendship mean to you?

Friendship means loyalty and love, and growth, and admitting your wrongs, and figuring out things together. Friendship means being honest even when it hurts, and trusting that it will always turn out okay in the end no matter how awful it feels at the time. Friendship means knowing when to back off and to push forward, and knowing that when the feeling is no longer reciprocated, it’s not always personal. Friendship means wanting the best for the other person and learning how to act on those wants — no matter what.

21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?

They are both the bane of my existence, as well as concepts I simply cannot live without. It’s very much a tough love relationship, and it’s probably going to be that way for the foreseeable future.

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Photo Courtesy of Freddie Marriage | Crew

24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

Well, we’re not the Lorelai and Rory Gilmore dream team quite yet, but really — I have nothing but good words on this front.

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