Try and take some time while you answer these.
1. If you could live somewhere else where would you choose and why?
-Honestly can't say right now. I've lived in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Minnesota and been to 11? or so U.S. states as well as 6 countries in Europe. Out of the places I've been, I haven't been there long enough to know what it would be like to move there although they all have their certain appeals to me. I've loved each of the places I have lived and wouldn't mind taking up 'permanent' residence in any of those three.
2. What are some of your unrealistic hopes or wishes?
-Oh boy. That everything will fall in place? When in reality it takes a lot of hard work and discipline. I have quite a few wishes, but I treat them just as that, wishes....I'd have to have control over time, space, and the desires/actions of other people but what fun would that be?
3. What people from your past are on your mind the most?
-Most of the people from my past are the people in my present. I've found myself lately thinking of relatives who have passed away, specifically my uncle Phil and Mush (my papa Richie). I'm sure I realized it then but I'm realizing it again how much they were a part of my life when I was younger.
4. What are some songs, foods, images, or smells that you associate with people?
-I'm sure there are a lot of these that I just can't come up with but some are: the smell of (marinara or meat) sauce or garlic powder remind me of my grandmother (paternal) because when she cooks it just takes up the entire house and I love the foods she makes with those. I associate any western with my father -whether or not he's seen it as well as movies like Backdraft, Young Guns, and Gladiator. Also bandannas make me think of him. So many things remind me of my mother- keychains, images of the sun and moon, bowling, crosswords, wheel of fortune, sunflower seeds, making my bed (yes). Cartoons make me think of Mike, hearing anything by Bad Religion, the Stooges, actions he's jokingly poked fun at me about (like my need for real shoes), certain foods we've shared or he's made. I could write a whole note on this question so I'll stop now.
5. Is there anything you wish your family did when you were younger?
-A lot of things that I don't feel like getting into right now. However I do wish my grandparents learned more of my great-grandparents' languages and passed them on to their children, which would pass on to me. I'd at least be trilingual by now (English, Italian, Portuguese) ...then add on my languages I've studied.
6. What nonhuman thing have you felt the most connected to?
-That's an interesting question...and without a doubt my dogs. Every dog I've had has been my shadow and the biggest comfort I had during hard times back home. Buddy (my Nana's dog but I practically lived there and paid the most attention to him out of anyone), Sonny, Odie, and Tessie. First two passed away, Odie is living in a new home, and Tessie is my current canine counterpart. My dogs never put me down for who I was and never said no to a cuddle or a run in the park.
7. How do you feel about your education?
-I'm proud of it, both book smarts and street smarts/common sense. In the direct line of my immediate family I'm the first to attend college in generations and I've worked hard to get here, but I also take my experiences from where I've come from and where I've been with me always. I have many more years to learn.
8. 5 years ago, what did you expect of yourself today?
-Five years ago I was 15 and didn't expect much. I expected to be a student and I can honestly say that's about as far as I thought ahead...a lot of the changes made even within the year of going from 15 to 16 was completely unexpected and each year since hasn't been predictable. 5 years ago I didn't see me moving out of my mother's house, moving to Chelsea, moving to New Hampshire, moving to Minnesota, going to Europe, becoming a mentor, choosing paths in careers and education, losing and gaining certain people in my life...most of it changed quickly...but isn't that life for everyone?
9. What in your life right now do you feel comforted by?
-My family. I'm always comforted by my family. They've done a lot for me even though they're over 1,300 miles away right now...they've always done a lot for me, more than I think they should and I try to give back as much as possible. Even little things like my aunt sending me messages a few days a week to say hey and tell me about work, keeping me connected to back home. I appreciate it and it's comforting knowing someone wants to confide the mundane monotony of everyday work with you. I'm also comforted by the flexibility I have in my life right now to make decisions and a little wiggle room for (some) mistakes in those decisions.
10. What is your relationship with religion?
-We broke up a long time ago. My family is "catholic" and I went to a Catholic school for my entire education previous to college. I say my family is "catholic" because for most of my childhood they did nothing but call themselves catholic. My grandmother and I stopped going to mass when I was 9.
11. How would you describe your childhood?
-Half typical childhood, half memoir-worthy? The amount of fighting, drugs, police, government-assistance (welfare, food stamps, section 8), evil step-parents....I'm sure you've read the story many times. I have wonderful memories of my childhood as well with absolutely amazing family-members I wish you all could meet. Camping trips, theme-park vacations, making pizza, the works. Some times one life outweighed the other.
12. What are some of your outlets/hobbies/interests/things you put yourself into?
-That's a broad question and I have many interests...but if you couldn't tell from this survey, I write. I write constantly and it draws from all of my "outlets/hobbies/interests/things I put myself into". I love photography, drawing, body modifications, old cars, sewing, films (from all genres but I spent most of my high school life knee deep in horror), music (mostly listening, love to sing and want to pick up a few instruments when I get back home- specifically guitar and harmonica)...this is also a note on it's own.
13. Describe in detail one of the scariest moments in your life.
-It wasn't so much a moment but weeks. A few years ago my mother had pneumococcal pneumonia (I memorized the spelling by then). I was still living at home this time and for days she spent most of her time in bed complaining about back and chest pain, shortness of breath and trouble breathing. When it got to the point that she practically had to be carried to the bathroom is finallywhen she decided to go to the hospital. My mother is tiny already and while she was sick she dropped below 100 pounds and her blood pressure dropped substantially. When I would visit her she would stay awake for about 5 minutes at a time and go back to sleep. We were also told at one point her condition was "touch 'n go". It took forever but she came around...and now has COPD and emphysema-like symptoms. I can never shortly describe this....
14. Describe in detail one of the happiest moments in your life.
-After that last question this seems a bit difficult and I would rather list a few than go into great detail like the last one. Happiest moments in my life include: my father stepping off of a bus...and the time he ran back to grandparents store because I was crying over the fact he didn't fay goodbye (I wouldn't see him for weeks at a time at this point)...when I got into college and I ran to the back of the house to tell him and called all my family members who were waiting for me...when I met Mike for the first time after 7 years and I rode the bus home with him with my head on his shoulder...when I came home from my first big trip away from home (Italy) not knowing how I was going to get home and my mother was the only one waiting for me....when my mother stood up for herself and kicked out her boyfriend and called to tell me on new years...when my father told me he was going through treatment and sober and that I was his biggest inspiration and support to change his life around...not very big moments to some but there are MANY happy moments in my life that all I have to do with the people in it.
15. Who has had the biggest influence on who you are today?
If you've read the rest of my note you'll know what kind of impact my family has had on me, but I realize I don't think I spoke so much about my papa, Gerard (my paternal grandfather) and I think that's because it's hard for me to relate to you how special of a person he is to me. He is the person I know will always be there as long as he's alive and I find it to be an extreme compliment whenever anyone compares me to him. If I had a lifetime to tell you about him, it wouldn't be enough and I think tonight, I want to keep our memories for myself. <3
This ended up being much longer than I expected myself to write...
[entry originally posted on napalm kristi's tumblr @ www.napalmkristi.tumblr.com]