My Proust questionnaire (at 22):
(1) What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Reading a good book in a cafe on a workless Friday afternoon.
(2) What is your greatest fear?
Lying on my deathbed when I’m old and realizing that I have wasted my life away, or dying early and missing out on my chances.
(3) What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Caring too much about what other people think of me, being befuddled by this anxiety and ending up being clueless as to what I really want.
(4) What is the trait you most deplore in others?
(5) Which living person do you most admire?
(6) What is your greatest extravagance?
(7) What is your current state of mind?
I am distracted. I am trying to answer this while my aunt is loudly speaking to someone on the phone and Trump’s inauguration is happening on CNN. Though I’d also love to read Swann’s Way right now but I’m also kinda sleepy.
(8) What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Humility because I think people often mistake it with thinking less of yourself and that sucks.
(9) On what occasion do you lie?
When it’s no big deal, like when I simply don’t want to meet with people so I lie that I’m meeting my ex-college roommate at this cafe and so I could go and skip dinner and read my book in peace without also seeming rude. I can’t lie to save my sorry ass.
(10) What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My tired-looking eyes.
(11) Which living person do you most despise?
(12) What is the quality you most like in a man?
Listens well. (This applies to my ideal partner and to men in general—to listen to what women say and not simply stick to their own, automatic, hard-wired thinking that it is a man’s world, that they could still dictate what and how women should be because it’s how things have always been and look it has kept the world standing and it’s been great–forgetting that indeed it has been great only to them, of course, because they are MEN–and basically upholding all that archaic bullshit.)
(13) What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Not taking any shit.
(14) Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
(15) What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Reading/books/David Foster Wallace or Marcel Proust or Albert Camus. (I’m not gonna choose you can’t make me choose.)
(16) When and where were you happiest?
When I am reading my book in some quiet place.
(17) Which talent would you most like to have?
I wanna be good at understanding people and being able to translate that well into words so that when other people read what I’ve written they’d feel less alone.
(18) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
(19) What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My parents remaining happy for me as I’ve stayed true to myself these past few years.
(20) If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I’d want to be a NatGeo photographer.
(21) Where would you most like to live?
Somewhere with good lighting.
(22) What is your most treasured possession?
(23) What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
(24) What is your favorite occupation?
Taking photos/Reviewing books. (I like both equally. I’m a girl who can’t decide on just one thing.)
(25) What is your most marked characteristic?
I look tired/sleepy most of the time, I guess.
(26) What do you most value in your friends?
(27) Who are your favorite writers?
David Foster Wallace, Marcel Proust, Albert Camus
(28) Who is your hero of fiction?
(29) Which historical figure do you most identify with?
(30) Who are your heroes in real life?
(Ateneo) Philosophy professors
(31) What are your favorite names?
Hal, Katarzyna, Charlie, Indira, Dellasandra, Alex, Jackie, Elizabeth
(32) What is it that you most dislike?
Hmm a lot of things but most of the time misoginy.
(33) What is your greatest regret?
Not trying harder in college.
(34) How would you like to die?
On a peaceful afternoon, on my bed with clean sheets, at maybe 90 or 100, and I am happy and content and I simply close my eyes, feeling like all my life has been spent on this last, quiet moment alone as I lay dying, not regretting every single moment of it, being reconciled with death’s finality at last. No pains, just a swift, peaceful goodbye, and the world goes on.
(35) What is your motto?
“To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”