The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. From Vanity Fair
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A warm afternoon on the cusp of summer and fall— a cat purring in my lap, the fireplace crackling— talking with my husband, or reading a novel, or writing, or painting, or just allowing myself to enjoy the peace and scent and sights of that moment. No obligations.
2. What is your greatest fear?
I have always feared death, but could never quite determine what about it scared me the most until I heard this quote in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
...It's more that I'm afraid of time. And not having enough of it. Time to figure out who I'm supposed to be... to find my place in the world before I have to leave it. I'm afraid of what I'll miss.
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My perfectionism and fear of failure, which goes hand in hand. It gets in the way of my ability to live life honestly and authentically; I’m always worried about how people perceive me, and sometimes act in ways contrary to who I am in an attempt to control those perceptions. I’m slowly getting better about being unapologetically myself.
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Lack of empathy and subsequent bigotry. As long as what someone does is not harmful to others, we should not restrict their freedom. We should open our hearts to those less fortunate and aid them— not punish them— because we are not all born into the same economic or geographic statuses.
5. Which living person do you most admire?
I think Amanda Palmer is fucking rad. I don’t agree with all of her opinions— we’re all unique, after all— but I believe she is the most authentic and grounded creator that I’ve heard of in my lifetime. While I don’t plan on becoming a mother, it was this open letter and these photos that solidified my admiration for her.
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
Books. It’s gotten worse now that I have an eReader and can search for topics and purchase a book— or several— on a whim. No, I most definitely have not read them all (but I’m sure I will someday), nor do I think there will ever be enough in my collection.
7. What is your current state of mind?
Peaceful and happy, though it feels a lot like the eye of the storm; just need to enjoy the calm and serenity for as long as it’s here.
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
One’s appearance, because it is largely out of our control. I prefer a kind, empathetic person to someone that is physically attractive but cruel, selfish and spiteful. We have some control over our health, and full control over our actions and how we treat other people. I find those virtues to be far more important.
9. On what occasion do you lie?
When the truth would serve no other purpose than to hurt the other person. When social anxiety gets the best of me— particularly if the interaction involves a stranger that I’m unlikely to see again. I’m also a pretty big introvert, so I struggle with turning down social events without inventing an excuse instead of being honest about feeling tapped out on human interaction.
10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I’m unhappy with my weight, particularly with how it shows on my face. I also resent that I still experience breakouts, despite nearing my thirties.