Chapter 10: Q&A

Chapter 10…that’s me hitting the two-digit numbers regarding my blogposts. If that does not call for a little celebration than I do not know what is. Hence why I thought you and I could play a little game. Don’t worry, there is no pressure for you to necessarily become an active part in this game; I am more than happy to go ahead while you sit back and join in the game through reading along.

The game is called “36 questions to fall in love”. Yes, you caught me there – it is not actually a game in the traditional sense; I am merely taking the liberty to call it a game. These 36 questions where derived by science, more prescisely, by a group of American researchers around Arthur Aron. The idea behind these questions is to establish intimacy between two conversational partners by means of disclosing personal information, and by personal information I mean as personal as the photo on your passport.

I have played this little Q&A before. From my experience I can say that these questions are rather fun because they do not only allow you to get to know your conversational partner on a very personal level, but also encourage you to get in touch with yourself a little bit better. Each question motivates you to thoroughly contemplate the essence of your own personality and values. Furthermore, these questions offer you an easy opening to a conversation with deeper meaning, challenging your intellect more than a common vanilla chit-chat.

So, here comes the questions, or at least half of them as I do not want to exceed the scope of this chapter too much. Feel free to pause after each question and try answering them for yourself.

  1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

That is a good question to kick the game off with. There are so many different people in the world really, making it hard to chose between your close friends and family, some celebrity, or a person you always wanted to hang out with. I feel as the answer to this question could vary depending on your mood of the day. Right now, I feel thoughtful, yet, content and with cause to celebrate; I would therefore love to have a very close friend over for dinner. A close friend who I have not seen in a very long time and am longing to properly talk to. (I know this answer could have been a little more exciting, but this is my honest reply for you). How about you, who would you like to have over for dinner?

  1. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

Aha, I mean sure? I wish my blog, or my podcast was more famous because it would mean that my messages reached more people. It is a dream of mine to become somebody who can inspire others, supporting them become the best version of themselves. Be that as it may, every single person who is reading my blog, even if it is just a handful of readers in total, makes me indefinitely happy already without having to be famous. On that note, thank you for following me guys!

  1. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

No, I do not. I used to when I was younger and inexperienced with phone calls. I would dread talking to people over the phone, especially setting up appointments. I hence used to get my parents to handle the official phone calls for me. Since I moved out from my parents’ though I had no other choice but to toughen up and handle my own calls. Turns out that phone calls are nothing to be scared of at all, especially because the person at the other end cannot see you, meaning that, even if you happen to screw up the call, the other end will have no face to connect your faux pas with.

  1. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

A perfect day for me is a day spent with close friends, getting lost in a meaningful and inspiring conversation. A perfect day is also marked by a good workout, a hike in the sun, a delicious treat at a restaurant or café, and falling into bed pleasantly tired, followed by a good night’s sleep, or, to make it absolutely perfect, followed by great sex.

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

Since I sing in a choir, I pretty much sing once a week at least. Realistically, I sing every day to myself.

Is it just me, or is this question not that spectacular? I suggest we quickly move on, unless you have a juicy story to tell, for example about how you are performing Gene Kelly’s “I’m singing in the rain” or Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” under your shower.

  1. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

Tricky question. On first impulse, I would say the mind. Yet, I believe that it could actually get rather annoying being stuck with your 30-year-old self’s mind. I would love to see my mind age as I believe it would mature with every single year of life experience. The only fear I would have is the fear of Alzheimer’s. It would be unimaginably terrible if I were to start forgetting everything until I would eventually not even know how to live anymore.

In comparison to the mind, the body is probably degrading faster once you hit the 30’s, with all the bodily defects and pains kicking in. In consideration of the latter, I would choose to retain the body of a 30-year-old, praying that my mental decline would spare me for at least another 30 years.

  1. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

I guess I could see myself dying from burnout. Although thinking about it, I will probably die from a piece of furniture smashing me to death – in case you are wondering, I am basing this hunch on first-hand experience.

When I moved into my new flat I tried dismantling a wardrobe, one that is screwed into the wall for support. Because I was not familiar with this particular design of a wardrobe (I mean, seriously, why do you not just build the wardrobe in a way that it can stand without any further support?), I unscrewed it from the wall. I then sat onto the bed which was standing right in front of the wardrobe to store the screws away. Next thing I knew, my pal saved me from being crushed by a monstrous wardrobe.

How is it looking out for you? Can you beat my way of dying in the amount of stupidity and silliness?

  1. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

Coming from question 7, I guess I am grateful that I am still alive. Seriously though, I am most grateful that I was born into an academic, well-off family. I am considering myself lucky to have been raised in a prosperous country, offering me ample privileges and rights. Not everybody gets to be so lucky in the birth lottery. I cannot appreciate enough how much the place and time I was born in contributed to my safe and sound development. Based on pure luck, I had the chance to attend school and university, I have the opportunity to travel and see the world, and, most importantly, I enjoyed a childhood without hunger or any other hardship. I am most grateful for all of this.

  1. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be? 

Ah, this is a tough question. There are quite a few cool, or useful abilities, such as being able to teleport, being able to time-travel, or being able to turn invisible. Apart from these cool superhero skills, it would be nice enough if I was able to simply understand myself to begin with (I mean who of you has truly and fully figured yourselves out, right?).

Anyhow, my final answer would have to be the ability to healthily function on 2 hours of sleep per night; imagine how much extra time you could win by cutting back on sleep. I am sure if sleep was no essential function to survive, people would stay awake 24/7. In this regard, you might wonder why I picked 2 hours of sleep instead of none at all; the truth is that I like sleep too much to miss out on it completely.

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

I guess we all have some dreams that stay with us no matter how old we get until we finally manage to fulfil them. Some of those dreams may never actually come true, and if we are very honest with ourselves, we know somewhere deep down that some dreams are better off staying our little romantic visions of ourselves as we like to cling onto these visions for the time being.

Something I have dreamed of for a long time is playing film music as part of a big orchestra. The reason why I have not done it yet is because I stopped pursuing my violin career some years back; thus, I am not actively trying to reach a level of violin skills, allowing me to successfully audition for such an orchestra. To be honest with you, I am not majorly fussed about it. Even though I am dreaming of playing in a big, professional orchestra, I do not regard it as an urgency to pursue this dream because it would mean that I had to immediately disregard all of my current work and hobbies for the sake of having time to play violin.

You see, in most cases there is a very good reason why certain dreams have not become true yet. We are aware that there is a right time and place for everything. Once we feel that the right time has come around we will be sure to write our dream on top of our priorities. With this being said, I should mention that I am a firm believer of the philosophy “anyone can achieve anything if only enough effort is dedicated towards it”.

How about you, does this question trigger a gentle blues in you as you are reminded of the dreams that you have yet to make come true?

  1. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

The greatest accomplishment of my life – what a strong question this is. I feel as if there are many accomplishments that I am proud of, making it hard to assign them an order. I could probably say that my greatest accomplishment in life constitutes the version of myself that I am right now. In this way I am including every smaller and bigger achievement of my life, and I am emphasising the process of self-development. In my opinion, the person you have grown into represents something we should all be able to be proud of by the end of the day because if we were not, our life would require a drastic change of course.

  1. What do you value most in a friendship?

Oh, how I hate these questions asking for superlatives. It is quite difficult to rank values needed for a good friendship as it is a combination of values that embody a good friendship. Since I have to chose one, however, I would name genuine care as most important value in a friendship. In a sense, genuine care automatically implies other important values, such as honesty, reliability, and authenticity, since those values serve as prerequisites to genuine care. Would you agree with me?

  1. What is your most treasured memory?

Again, a question forcing me to pick my ultimate winner. For such a huge and manifold component like personal memories it is almost impossible to establish an order of value since there are too many different ranking criteria one could apply. I will need to think about this question for a moment.

Ah, I know! The most treasured memory is the time when I met my best friend Elsa in New Zealand. Even though the moment itself does certainly not represent my most exciting adventure considering that Elsa and I met in a plain café, it is its momentousness that matters. If we both had not met in this café, who knows if we would have met at all. Accordingly, this moment marked the beginning to a deep feeling of connectedness, to the creation of many more treasured memories, and to the blessing of a lifelong friendship.

  1. What is your most terrible memory?

Wow, now this is a prompt change of vibes here. Going from the most treasured memory to the darkest time in your life – phew, that is heavy stuff I am telling you. Feel free to skip this question if you are not feeling in the mood for digging in your collection of bad memories. There is a good reason why we usually keep this unpleasant box of pictures hiddenly stored away.

However, if you want to know what my answer to this question is, then you can go and read Chapter 2 of my blog.

  1. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “

Honestly, I struggle to complete this sentence which is perhaps a good sign. There is nothing of proper substance or matter that I feel I cannot share with either one of my friends or family. Right now, I wish I had someone to share the delight of a big pizza with. Would you be up for sharing a pizza with me by any chance?

  1. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?

The most popular answer to this is presumably expressing some form of affection to somebody. It is the first thing that came to my mind as well. I would want to tell all my friends and family again how much they mean to me, thanking them for everything they have given me. However, I have a minor issue with the phrasing of this question. I would not say that I regret not having told my friends how much I care about them because I have definitely told them before. It would just be nice to tell them again.

Other than that, I honestly cannot think of something that I would truly regret not having said because I feel as if I have always said what was important to me. In any case, this question will probably and hopefully highlight to you that you should always aim to openly communicate what you are feeling and thinking, especially to people that you hold a strong emotional connection with.

  1. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be?

I like how this question is predicting your answer by taking precautions to ensure that the “living entities” are saved, leaving you to think about objects only. Also, I feel as if this question comes in as a super handy preparation for such a disastrous scenario in real life; once you have decided on your answer here, you will know immediately what to grab in the event of a real fire.

Ideally, I would grab a handful of items before running out of the house or throw them out of the window to quickly save them. Having to chose one specific item poses a tough choice (again). I guess I would grab my paintings, or at least one of them, if I cannot take several. Concluding this question, let’s just pray that there will never be a fire inferno obliterating our homes.

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

Finally, we arrived at the last question. Of course, I cannot resist tailoring my answer to the context of this blogpost. In this regard, I would like to know what you think about this post and my blogpost in general. So, please feel free to leave me a comment!

I hope that you enjoyed this little Q&A session as much as I did, and, who knows, perhaps 18 questions sufficed to make you and I fall in love with each other as it was promised by the authors.

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