The Liebster Award (That I Just Learned Exists)

6 of May

So since I was nominated for some blogosphere award, you, my faithful yet small amount of readers, get to learn a little about me, as part of the rules of the award. Read at your own risk.

“The Liebster Award is awarded to bloggers with under 200 followers to try to promote their blog a little and also bring together a community of bloggers. The rules of the competition are as follows:

The nominated user must provide a link back to the person who nominated them (me). Provide 11 facts about yourself. Answer 11 question set by the person who nominated you. Choose 11 more people and ask them 11 questions!”

My nominees are:

1) http://scissorspaperpen.wordpress.com

2) http://artistsoftheunknown.wordpress.com

3) http://isaiah2groovy.wordpress.com

4) http://surrealcomics.wordpress.com

5) http://writingtipsforteenwriters.wordpress.com

6) http://dramaterialist.wordpress.com

7) http://sydneylancaster.com

8) http://kaleidoscopeculturalartsfestival.wordpress.com

I am obliged to present to you my kind nominator: Benjamin Pastore at http://tripaccomplice.wordpress.com. These are my responses to the required questions:

1) What do you picture yourself doing 5 years from now?

In five years I will be twenty, and hopefully at the culmination of all my efforts to succeed as an artist and writer. However, my favorite aspect of my life is the freedom of it. I am not sure if my family will end up living on a sailboat in the Mediterranean when I turn sixteen, or if we will pack up in five weeks and move to Africa. I like to call myself a directed wanderlust case, as I can see my goals and aspirations so clearly in front of me, but I’m not sure where I will be as a person when they come to their pinnacle, or even in a mere five years. Another part of those goals is the fact that I am accomplishing them as I write this. Currently I am living in a country that is not so foreign anymore, I now speak another language, I am making incredible memories and relationships that I will carry inside me forever, and my art and writing have both been nominated multiple times for awards. This is the path I am on, following my passions in the midst of a loving, supportive family, and I intend to stay on it!

2) Who is the person that has had the greatest influence on your life?

My Mum. We have been close my whole life, probably because I am her mini-me. We look alike, think alike, and to sum it up, are extensions of each other, even though we both retain our own spirits of individuality and strong-willed aversion to anything standardized. She’s influenced almost everything I have done and will do, and I am proud to carry on her spirit within me.

3) If you were given a blank ticket good on any airline, where would you go and why?

I’d find a flight taking off with a male pilot, preferably in a helicopter, and then I’d have him land in Cuba, where I would persuade him to abandon his duties as a pilot and go freelance with me. With the aide of Cuban cigars and lots of tequila, he would consent to my proposition, and from then on I’d have a private pilot to fly me across the globe; two months visiting my friends on the Marshall Islands, a couple months here and there, and lots of adventure.

4) What makes you sadder than anything else?

That Americans are living their lives in a pool of tears, drowned in the oppression of negativity by their culture, unable to find happiness in a place focused on the junk of life that is constantly evolving (fashion trends, media, newest dieting fads), instead of being grounded in love and instilled with values that would change the downward course of their life. Who wants to live, trapped in one place, stuck in one mindset, never changing, never growing?

I am also deeply scarred by the ignorance of this world. Recently I drove over 7,000 kilometers through the winding roads of the highlands of Chiapas, and I find that the more I travel, the more I see and experience, the more I learn how beautiful it is to live simply, focused on the things in life that matters, and how you can share a smile with anyone. All it takes in humility, an open mind, and a good meal. The indigenous Indians living in the mountains were the kind of people who know how to live- so genuine, how easily they laugh. They are the people I wish the Americans could meet, to see what they are missing and to take their example of humble kindness.

5) What was the last kind act you did for someone?

Shouldn’t every act be kind?

6) Do you consider yourself a person open to new ideas?

I consider an open-mind an asset in life, and although I come from a long line of very strong-willed, stubborn people, there is not a place my family will not go, a food we will not try, a person we will not induct into our family. Agreeing with the new ideas (after they are tested out) is a whole different question, considering factors of morality and belief.

7) What was the single coolest experience in your life?

There isn’t one I could choose. So far in my life, I have had so many incredible experiences that I am upset to know so many people of this world will never experience. But to pick the most prominent occurrences of my journey so far, I usually compact it into this list:

1. The adoption of my twin siblings, Kanon and Delilah.

2. The decision to become nomadic and live across the globe, starting in Playa Del Carmen.

3. The day I realized I am an artist.

4. Going organic, plant-based vegan, rejecting modern medicine and turning homeopathic, subconsciously avoiding every stereotype in the book, and bringing back the beautiful dichotomy of a six-kid family.

8) Would you still write if no one else could see what you wrote?

As Bukowski said, “if it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it. If you first have to read it to your wife or your girlfriend or your boyfriend or your parents or to anybody at all, you’re not ready. Unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket, unless being still would drive you to madness or suede or murder, don’t do it. Unless the sun inside you is burning your gut, don’t do it. When it is truly time, and if you have been chosen, it will do it by itself and it will keep on doing it until you die or it dies in you. There is no other way.”

9) To your mind, what would you need to accomplish to consider yourself successful in life?

That’s a tricky question. I believe that success isn’t based on one act or a series of actions, but is determined by ones’ life as a whole. After all, “life” isn’t just one period or time, it is the embodiment of a “life-time”, from birth to death. With this in mind, I only turned fifteen this month, so my perspective is still very young and malleable. However, I know that for myself, I will always strive and persist until I reach my goals, because life is a learning experience, and this is what will satisfy me as an individual. Although the term is corporate, to be truly “successful” in life is to live with the natural wonders of existence: love, family, meaningful relationships, and an open, giving mind, always ready to learn.

10) Who is the best ‘unknown’ author that you’ve read?

Hmmm… I read a lot of books, but everyone knows the Greek philosophers…

I’ve been an avid reader my whole life, and these authors aren’t exactly obsolete, but I am a big fan of Tobias Wolff, Alexandra Fuller, Sylvia Plath, and Edgar Allen Poe.

11) Would you be willing to change your thoughts and behavior if your life were in the balance?

My thoughts and behavior are always changing, no matter what! One thing that became truly apparent to me in the last year was how, no matter what age, we never stop growing as human beings. I watched my Papa’s spirit ascend as he took a step with his business that most professions consider “risky”, and although he may or may not receive the income he was accustomed to, in body and soul he is happier and more stress-free than ever.

On the other hand, although I pride myself on an open mind and love of change, I would not being willing to sacrifice what I hope to stand for as a person in order to save my life. At some point we all die, and when my time comes, whether it be in an hour or eighty years, I will die with dignity. As an physical thing, the body is just a shell that would live on; giving up your beliefs or morals to continue life is death in itself.

Now, for eleven facts that you may not know about me:

1) I am an expert peanut butter & jelly maker.

2) I enjoy eating peanut butter from the jar. And jelly. But they must be separate.

3) Peanut butter costs around 200 pesos in Playa del Carmen, so we have it brought to us from the States

4) I love to workout, and I run a 5k five times a week

5) Once, I tried to teach myself French. FAIL. But at least I speak Spanish. (You’re next French!!)

6) I have gone skinny dipping… a lot.

7) A day does not pass where I don’t listen to music. I have a very eclectic taste, including: Latin jazz, French jazz, French cafe, classic rock, indie, alternative, RnB, 50s through 90s, big band 20s, Spanish rock, bossa nova, rap, some electronica, blah-blah-blah. I’m in love with music!

8) I surf. And I play piano- it was a hobby of mine for many years to mix and write music.

9) I taught myself to sew… but don’t tell anyone because it could ruin my bad a** rep. (Nah, haha.)

10) I’ve tried to write a book about fifty million times, but I never got past the “thinking about it” stage. So I just decided to write poetry instead.

11) Once, while I was snorkeling to a sand bar on a remote Hawaiian island, a seal mistook me for one of its brethren and swam against my body. Maybe it thought I was cute. That makes one of us.

Phew! Now, for the questions I want to ask you, my nominees!

1) What is an action/statement that is guaranteed to put a person your bad side?

2) You are now President. What is your first decree?

3) What is your opinion on Frida Kahlo’s communistic stance in politics?

4) How many selfies have you taken in the last three minutes?

5) Your thoughts on public education?

6) What is the singular most embarrassing moment of your life?

7) Where do you rank yourself on the “coolness” scale when you were in high school?

8) Let’s say you have the power to make anyone fall in love with you. What do you do with this gift? Would you consider it a gift or a curse?

9) If you could bring back to popularity one outdated item (for example, cassette players), which one would it be?

10) Is your blog an important aspect of your daily/weekly/monthly routine? Is it something you would consider for a job?

11) Your opinion on the current conflicts in Syria?

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