Here we go! 101 in 1001, are you ready for this? My #6 is to answer fifty questions and this is just the start. They are heavy questions, so I’ve broken them down into five parts. Ready for the first part?
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
Honestly? I’d probably be the same age. I’m a “twenty-something”. I’m twenty-one. Part of me feels like I’ve done and been through a lot of things that people “my age” haven’t experienced (yet). The other part of me feels like I have a whole lot of growing up to do before I can call myself a “real adult”. I don’t know about you, but nothing kicks you in the pants like moving to a city where you know next to no one. I have learned a lot about myself (and the city) this year.
Which is worse, failing or never trying?
Never trying. Without a doubt. You never know if you’re great (or awful) at something until you’ve had a solid crack at it. Sometimes that means trying (and failing) more than once. How does that Japanese proverb go? Fall seven times and stand up eight. Right? It might be cliché, but I don’t believe in something being a ‘failure’ in the traditional sense. Everything in life is one big lesson. Everything we do is teaching us to be more resilient, to try harder, to work smarter, to enjoy life, and to chase the very thing that sets our soul on fire. A friend of mine has a tattoo on his foot and it says: ‘never try, never know’. I have a tattoo on my shoulder saying: ‘carpe diem’. Small (but permanent) reminders to just try.
If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
Beats me. Some people just go through the motions to get to where they want to be in life, which is a place where they can enjoy all the things they like so much. Some people are just too scared to admit that they like something, so they avoid it altogether. That’s okay, too. Some of us don’t have a choice and that’s the hand of cards that we’ve been dealt. So much of life is wrapped up in circumstance, and sometimes that is a hard thing to change. I know that if I had my way, I would never do something that I disliked ever again.
When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
Hunting. I don’t know what you expected me to say, but hunting is something that really bothers me. I’m not talking about walking through a forest and cutting down Bambi. I’m talking about hunting down elephants and giraffes. The big animals. The ones that are already protected because they’re endangered. I read that a man got crushed by a baby elephant, which is an absolute tragedy that could have been easily avoided if he decided to leave wildlife alone. There was a huge uproar about a female hunter who posed next to a dead giraffe. I feel the same way about shark finning and people setting out with the intent to kill sharks. What did they do to you? You’re in their home. Give them the respect that they deserve. I watched a documentary on sharks a couple of days ago and, man oh man, it made my blood boil. I was so angry at the world and the way that some people treat living things.
If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
Writing. Anything to do with writing and communication. I’ve gone through many phases of wanting to be a journalist, a travel writer, a ‘legit’ writer through to wanting to work in a publishing house and be part of an in-house public relations team or a multinational public relations firm. The complete flip-side of that is work in criminology. I’ve been interested in it for forever, but I’ve never really pursued it. Goodness knows why.
Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
Right now? I’d say a good 75% of me is settling. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I’m still in college. I just want to be out there and doing what I love, instead of learning the theory. Do I like what I’m studying? Yes. Am I thrilled about it taking another two years? Not so much.
If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
Well, I’d be halfway through my life right now. That’s a little morbid to think about. I would still get a degree, but I would travel every second that I could. I would be hopping on a plane every month if I could. I would be travelling and writing and seeing the world. I would be gathering experiences. I would be saying yes to every single opportunity that was put before me.
To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
Like I said, I believe that there are certain circumstances that are hard to shake, but I also believe that all of us are in control of our lives. No one can make us do something that we don’t want to do. I chose to start college in Hamilton and I chose to transfer to a college in Auckland. I chose where I live and how I live. Yes, there are limitations, but I would like to think that I have some degree of control over my own life.
Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
Well, I can outright say that I have done a lot of “wrong” (read: nontraditional) things in the eyes of society. I’m not bothered by doing “the right thing”. I want to do the right thing for me, not necessarily what society says the right thing is. So, by that taken, I would like to think that I’m more concerned with doing things right (in my eyes) more than the right thing.