1. What is beauty? What is love?
I've never been in love, but my experience with infatuation is similar to my experience with being overwhelmed by beauty. As much as one can say what their "type" is, or what sorts of things/people they usually find beautiful, the fact of the matter is that love and the experience of beauty are both irrational and chemical. You can't truly know when or how they'll strike you, or where they'll lead you. Putting a formula to it will probably fail, and that's besides the point anyway.
2. What are your most important values?
My "code" can probably be narrowed down to this: Honor and respect. Exuded, pointed inward, given to others, focused on the humanity and complexity of every person.
3. Do you have any sort of spiritual/religious beliefs, and why do you hold (or don't) those beliefs in the first place?
Religious: I consider myself an Episcopalian, culturally, and I try to attend church as often as I can. The values more common in the liberal/social-justice-focused segment of the church are values that resonate with me. Though I have found many of those same values in many other denominations.
Spiritual: Not sure. I believe in beauty. I believe something greater created us, and everything. I believe there's a reason that we are self-aware beings. I am not sure that I believe that "God is love" -- which is supposedly one of the great tenets of Christianity. It shocks me that some of my other spiritual Christian friends are so certain that God is love. When asked to define God in one word or phrase -- when the majority of my Episcopal group said "love" -- I said "perfection". I relate to the Platonic idea that perfection is always there, hanging over us, but I also believe that we don't have a very good grasp of what that perfection is, let alone how to get to it, or if we can get to it. Perfection could be the opposite of love. Perfection could be the Nietzschian ideal of human nature, for all we know. But if there's one thing we can be certain of, if there is a moral God, it is that God represents everything that is true and perfect and just in the universe. Whatever truth and perfection and justice may be.
4. Opinion on war and militaries? What is power to you?
It's necessary, for the security of any societal unit, for there to be an armed force with absolute loyalty to society's ruling forces. Power is the ability to control, directly or indirectly, the thoughts and/or actions of those around you.
5. What have you had long conversations about? What are your interests? Why?
Deeper topics -- otherwise I'd get bored quickly. Usually those deeper topics are either philosophical, psychological, deeply personal, or all of the above.
I'm interested in the arts, music, politics, and a million other things. Anything of practical intellectual interest to me, anything I'm good at that I find useful and/or fun, and anything that the people in my life are doing that I find interesting or necessary to react to.
6. Interested in health/medicine as a conversation topic? Are you focused on your body?
Maybe if the other person is in some kind of crisis about it, or if they've taken on some sort of project -- e.g. eating healthier. Otherwise, nope. Boring as fuck. And I have zero interest in talking about my own health either (unless, similarly, it's a project I'm doing).
7. What do you think of daily chores?
Can be a pain in the ass, or can be calming and zen. Depends on the chore. I've always loved doing laundry, especially folding laundry, but I have the deepest loathing for doing the dishes.
8. Books or films you liked? Recently read/watched or otherwise. Examples welcome.
Too many to list.
My favorite movies are usually cleverly referential (Tarantino, Scott Pilgrim), exciting and well-executed (Bourne trilogy, Matrix, other good action movies), or moving/heartwarming in an idealistic way (Dave, Frank Capra movies, Good Will Hunting, various sports movies). But plenty of my favorite movies don't fit those categories.
My favorite books -- I dunno. I don't read as much as I should. I like page-turners that are smart and clever, for the most part. Genres vary widely.
9. What has made you cry? What has made you smile? Why?
It takes very little to make me smile. For that matter, it takes very little to make me laugh uproariously. I don't cry very often, though -- maybe once every three months or so. I cry once out of every six or seven times that I want to cry. I usually want to cry when I'm overwhelmed and/or something has gone very wrong. When I do cry, I never cry for longer than a minute or two.
10. Where do you feel: at one with the environment/a sense of belonging?
When I feel one with the environment, it's not a social thing. It's personal and it's physical -- some kind of exercise or maybe an experience of external beauty (see previous answers). Whereas I feel a sense of belonging when I'm a part of a community and we're doing things together that emphasize our common interests.
Evaluation & Behaviour
11. What have people seen as your weaknesses? What do you dislike about yourself?
Some of my perceived weaknesses are things that I'm mostly fine with, because I see them as a necessary counterbalance to my positive traits. For example, being seen as "meddlesome" or "bossy" is going to come naturally when one is assertive with others and a natural leader. On the other hand, I dislike the things about myself that others see as weaknesses, and that aren't counterbalances to any positive traits. I am too cautious and too deferential to authority. I have a difficult time planning my actions in the long term, and don't listen when people warn me in advance. I am too sensitive to criticism and sometimes I take things too personally. I have a hard time making decisions when I don't have any precedent to go on. All of these things make me feel weak and I've tried to get rid of most of them, with little success.
12. What have people seen as your strengths? What do you like about yourself?
I'm reasonable, sensible, and intelligent. I exude expertise and know-how. I lead by example. I've been told I "demand respect" and that even in casual situations, I have a cool-older-sister kind of energy. I am very good at mentoring others.
13. In what areas of your life would you like help?
I need to figure out how to use my friends and family as a support system. I've been trying to figure this out for a long time. I'm better at it but still find myself either a) closing myself off to all outside contact without realizing it, or 2) wishing I could open up to others but not knowing how to do it. The first of these, I'll probably never be able to fix.
14. Ever feel stuck in a rut? If yes, describe the causes and your reaction to it.
It's almost always when I know what I need to do to move forward, but am avoiding it. My reaction is either to keep avoiding it, or stop spinning my wheels and finally take care of the problem.
People & Interactions
15. What qualities do you most like and dislike in other people? What types do you get along with?
I like people whose values mesh with mine. I like people whose senses of humor, interests, conversational styles, and lifestyles mesh with mine. There's usually a "click".
16. How do you feel about romance/sex? What qualities do you want in a partner?
I'm not in an awesome place right now re: my attitude towards romance. My experience with it was that I completely lost my self-control and good sense, and don't feel like it was worth it in retrospect. There were alarm bells going off 24/7 that I should have listened to. I don't think I can trust myself anymore in romantic situations, so I'm staying away from dating for now.
I guess that when I do start dating again, I'd want someone who meshed well with me in terms of values and lifestyle. I'd want someone who held me in high regard and was really attracted to me -- and I'd want to feel the same way about them.
17. If you were to raise a child, what would be your main concerns, what measures would you take, and why?
Giving them the benefits that my parents gave me, but without the same issues and neuroses. I'd be careful and I'd rely to an extent on help from my spouse -- what with them being an objective outsider, relatively speaking.
18. A friend makes a claim that clashes with your current beliefs. What is your inward and outward reaction?
Inwardly I'd feel immediate wariness, anger, and discomfort. Depending on the claim and the beliefs, I'd either ask them questions, call them on it, or ignore them and move on.
19. Describe your relationship to society. How do you see people as a whole? What do you consider a prevalent social problem? Name one.
Society is an unfair game played in a systematic but amoral (or often immoral) fashion. I try to play the game as well as I can without sacrificing my moral code. One prevalent social problem is the degree to which we subjugate certain classes and genders of people while claiming that we are doing no such thing -- gaslighting them into thinking that they deserve to be subjugated.
20. How do you choose your friends and how do you behave around them?
If there's a "click", I try them out. If they mesh with my values, I keep them around. I'm a bit less self conscious around them, less wary of potentially offending them. Otherwise it depends on the level of friendship.
21. How do you behave around strangers?
I'm always civil, but I'll either put on my charming face or I'll ignore them, depending on the situation. If a stranger is being rude to me, I will be extremely direct and formal.
(The other day I was waiting for a delayed, empty train, in a huge crowd of people. When the train finally got there, and people started pouring on, a woman behind me started pushing me forward and telling me to "keep going, we're almost there, just go" -- stressed and dictatorial and did I mention she was pushing me? I looked back and said "Calm down. The train is empty." and turned away. Sure enough, there was enough room for everyone on the train...)