I’m down for this. Great piece, Anna!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Removing things in my life that make me unhappy. Not living my life by the standard of others.

What is your greatest fear?

Dying young like my mother did. I work every day to reverse genetics.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Joan of Arc. She burnt at the stake in order to protect her king. I could only hope to be as honorable as she was. I believe I’m honorable.

Which living person do you most admire?

My daughter. As much as she struggles she continues to push through recovery from drug addiction with all her might.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Eating my feelings.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Judgement, cruelty, hate and violence.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Books. Definitely books. Way too many books.

What is your favorite journey?

Life itself. We turn the page to the next chapter.

On what occasion do you lie?

When I say I’m okay and I don’t feel okay.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Non profit organizations (not all) that claim to do good for the community when they only enable the community.

What is your greatest regret?

Not marrying my husband sooner.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?

When people stare at me in public because my hair is in disarray and my clothes don’t match.

Which living person do you most despise?

I’d say my father if I knew whether or not he’s still alive but since I’m not sure I’ll go with the runner up- our current president.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Creativity.

When and where were you happiest?

When I was old enough to move away from my parent’s house.

Which talent would you most like to have?

The ability to pick up any instrument and play it. My children can do that and I admire it deeply. (side note- their trumpet phase was unbearable)

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I’d like to say my children, PhD, any of the obvious things and they are astounding achievements but I’d have to say on my darkest days when I experience suicidal ideation I always reach out for help.

What is your current state of mind?

Content.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

The irrational amount of pressure I put on myself.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

I would hope a politician because the ones we have now have the power to create positive change and well, they just don’t.

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?

Someone who doesn’t experience Bipolar Disorder. Although I’m grateful for my experiences and they’ve made me who I am I’d like to make up for the days that I was too depressed to get up and go.

What is your most treasured possession?

The Lady Liberty coin my squad leader gave me. It’s been hanging around my next for almost a decade.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Suicidal ideation

Where would you like to live?

Where I live now in Iowa. I’ve always lived in the city and have fallen in love with small town life.

What is your favorite occupation?

Writing for my readers.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My ability to control my reaction and compartmentalize.

What do you most value in your friends?

Learning from one another.

Who are your favorite writers?

Martha Gellhorn, Nicolas Kristoff, John Fante and Anton Chekhov.

Who are your heroes in life?

Those who came before me and those who will come after, ARMY strong.

What is it that you most dislike?

Terrorism in any form. Terrorist organizations, domestic terrorism, emotional terrorism and so on.

How would you like to die?

Of old age while transitioning high on morphine and surrounded by my loved ones.

What is your motto?

Lead by example.

Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

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