In the late nineteenth century, lists of questions were a popular diversion designed to discover new things about old friends. In that way, they’re similar to the blogging “awards” that continuously circle the blogosphere. Apparently, when Marcel Proust was fourteen years old, his friend Antoinette asked him this list of questions.
Here is Proust’s Questionnaire and my answers. Feel free to add yours below:
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Having all the people (currently spread across the world) I love and respect in the same city so I can spend time with them whenever I want. A blanket, a book, a beach, and a slowly setting sun are a close second though.
What is your greatest fear?
Accepting complacency and no longer choosing adventure over comfort
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My overthinking. I dwell on things, people, and problems even if I can’t solve them.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Vapidness. Narrowmindedness. Incorrigibility.
Which living person do you most admire?
Other than my parents, Jon Stewart
What is your greatest extravagance?
I spend my time writing, telling myself that it matters somehow. That my voice needs to be heard. What could be more extravagant than the belief you matter in this vast world? Oh and watches.
What is your current state of mind?
Acceptance of the present and excitement for the uncertainty that comes with confidence in the future
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Of the 13, Moderation.
On what occasion do you lie?
Rarely. But when telling the truth would do more harm than good.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I have too many freckles.
Which living person do you most despise?
No one. I won’t give someone that power over me.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Depth and a beautiful smile.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Since moving to Australia… “Cheers”
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Traveling. Human connectivity. Words and their power to shape the world.
When and where were you happiest?
My sister’s wedding surrounded by friends and family and an open bar.
Which talent would you most like to have?
To pick languages up easily. To be a good writer.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d ask for and accept help from others when I need it instead of trying to everything on my own.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Graduating college with honors and traveling the world.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Where would you most like to live?
In a cozy house with a balcony overlooking the ocean and a big fire place.
What is your most treasured possession?
My memories and good health.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Feeling completely and utterly alone. Needing other people’s validation to feel valued.
What is your favorite occupation?
Exploration of the world and my own soul.
What is your most marked characteristic?
What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty and silliness
Who are your favorite writers?
Vonnegut, Coelho, Rowling, Green, Steinbeck
Who is your hero of fiction?
Atticus Finch. Richard Cypher. Sherlock Holmes.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Who are your heroes in real life?
Those who mold the world to their dreams.
What are your favorite names?
Girls: Emma, Isabelle, Kaelyn, Ella, Boys: Richard, Arthur, Aiden, Vincent
What is it that you most dislike?
Reality TV. Narrowmindedness. Cold weather.
What is your greatest regret?
The times I have chosen cleverness over kindness. Not appreciating the simple moments bringing joy as they happened.
How would you like to die?
With as few regrets as possible.
What is your motto?
“Whatever you are be a good one.”