If you had lived in one place while growing up (all the years from birth to legal adulthood), how do you think you would be different now?
Hmmm. I think that I would probably be less concerned about permanency, about making ties and losing them. After the second or third move, I started becoming very wary of becoming attached to things and people and places, because they were always going to be taken from me the next time I moved. I think that I would also probably be a lot less tolerant of the different things you find in the world, and also a lot less curious about the world in general. I've seen just enough of the world to convince me that I want to see a lot more of it, and I think that's a good thing.
If you had a choice about where you lived in #1, where would it be and why?
Assuming that I have to choose from places that I have actually lived... let's see.
Tachikawa, Japan: I have no recollection of this place, but suspect that it wouldn't make the cut, regardless.
Minot, North Dakota: Me? In North Dakota? You've got to be kidding. :)
Denver, Colorado: I seem to recall liking Denver, but left when I was 4, so I don't know that my memories aren't skewed by stories and pictures. I don't see myself living there agin, but I haven't been back, either.
Clearwater, Kansas: You know, when we left Kansas, I was crushed. I had no desire to leave. It was home. I had friends, kind of. I lived on a great farm. I had a wonderful active imagination that let me live in relative isolation with the cows and my dogs and my cat and be happy. But... now, I can't imagine ever moving back. It is too small, too rural, too... Kansas.
Jabriyah, Kuwait: Nope. Not moving back. It was a fascinating experience, and I wish that I had been older when I lived there so I could appreciate more of it, but I don't think there's any chance that I'd want to live my entire developmental years there.
Iwakuni, Japan: Hmmm. This is actually a possibility. Near lots of water, 45 minute train ride to Hiroshima, beautiful scenery, busy cityish life without being a city itself, used to having Americans around. But, again, I think my memories are colored by what I choose to reflect upon, and I'm not sure I can see myself living there for 18 years and being happy.
(Various places), Hawaii: Big surprise, this is probably my choice. Hawaii is such an incredible place, before you take into account the scenery. So many different ethnic groups living together, such a relaxed attitude, and what I felt was a very tolerant society. Able to live near a city (though, granted, not a large city), and still have country-ish areas a reasonable drive away. And, of course, the location. The Pacific, the flowers and trees, the sun and rain, the mountains. I think some part of me will always consider Hawaii home, no matter how long I'm away. Of course, if I'd spent my entire formative years there, I would have turned out very different, I think. Hawaii is very isolated, 6 hours on a plane to even start going anywhere. It would have been a very different life.
And that concludes the list of places I lived during my formative years. Looks like Hawaii wins.
Do you have any unusual comfort foods? What are they? (Look at this from your own point of view and from what passes as an average American's point of view. Given your own background, are there any that you think are unusual? Given an average American, are there any that are unusual?)
Hmmm. Let's see. First, list the comfort foods, then figure out which might be unusual. Mashed potatoes, turkey, grilled cheese sandwiches, miso soup, pos pas, tofu with bonito and shoyu, ramen, breakfast foods, mochi, mangoes.
I don't think that any of the "American" foods on my list would be really considered odd comfort foods for your average American, and that most of the Japanese things would be. Of course, on the flip side, I don't think that my Japanese choices would be considered weird to Japanese people, but would be by Americans. (Pos Pas is a Phillipino dish, so might be considered weird by everyone. I don't know. :) )
If you could change any one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?
Insecurity and fear. I am scared of everything, and am constantly second- and third- (and fourth- and fifth- and...)-guessing myself in every situation. I will always assume I've done wrong, will always assume that people don't like me, and are simply tolerating me. Even with people I can intellectually acknowledge care about me and love me, I can't bring myself to ask for help, or even their time to talk. I know this is the root of most of the problems that I've had in life for, oh, the last 20 years or so, and I can't seem to find my way out of it. I'd really like to learn to live life without the fear.
How can you avoid answering this question smart-assedly?