Superficial conversation can be nice but the best conversations are ones where you learn about who a person is and what made them that way. If you don't know someone's soul, do you really know them? Of course, I want to know your favorite color and your zodiac sign, but I also want to know about your reoccurring nightmares and that time when you were eleven when your family started falling apart and you started looking at life a little differently. These are the questions I would ask:
1. Who inspires you to be better?
Inspirational figures in our lives can be a family member, friend, celebrity, or even a character in a show or book. Inspiration can come from anywhere and at any moment. Everyone looks up to someone different. This is the person you turn to when you're feeling down and don't know what to do. You're looking for inspiration to pick yourself up after you fall and for me, that's my mom.
2. If you could attend your own funeral, what would you want it to be like?
Burial or cremation? Open or closed-casket? Funeral, viewing, or memorial service, or a combination? Do you want people to be sad that you're gone or celebrating the life you lived? Thinking about your funeral allows you to reflect on the life you've lived so far and could change your attitude towards life. Who do you think will show up? What will they say? Do you think it'll be the way you want it to be?
3. What keeps you up at night?
The gears in my brain tend to keep turning even after I lay down to go to sleep. The things that keep us up are the things that worry us. It's what we feel we need to fix when we're awake. Is it stress that's keeping you up? Is it pain? Is it something you said to your best friend last week? Is it something that happened when you were ten?
4. When people look at you, what do you think they see/think?
Is your perspective of yourself good or bad? Will your story of yourself match the story I would tell you? Probably not. We tend to be harder on ourselves so even though I might tell you that you're adorable, you might think that you're ugly.
5. What would you do if you knew you were going to die in one hour?
What's most important to you? With an hour left, would you go see your family one last time? Hang out with friends like nothing was happening? Go on one last adventure, somewhere you've been putting off going? I feel like telling people that you only had an hour would really freak them out but I don't know if I could leave without saying one last goodbye.
6. What risks are worth taking?
Fear is in every chapter of life but what matters most is how you deal with it. You can shy away and run or you can stand strong and fight. Would you go on a roller coaster for the girl your dating even though you have a slight fear of heights? Would you stop in the middle of the highway to grab a dog that has wandered into the road? When you risk your fears, you decide what is important.
7. What does your ideal day look like?
Are you at home, cuddled up by a fire? Reading a book in bed surrounded by blankets? Are you out hiking a mountain, enjoying the fresh air? Your ideal day means you get to do your favorite thing and that could even be just sleeping all day.
8. What do you take for granted?
Do you appreciate the events that have transpired throughout your life? Or do you feel like the universe is unfair to you? I think we all take things for granted every once and a while because we feel like we deserve more than what we are given. Sometimes that is true but we should still appreciate the lessons we learn on a daily basis. They're important and they shape us into the people we become.
9. What lie do you tell most often?
Don't lie and tell me that you don't lie because I know that's a damn lie. Is it a big lie or a little one? Big lies usually get you in trouble but little ones just tend to flow off the tongue without a second thought.
10. What do you regret not doing?
Regrets weigh you down so the sooner you acknowledge that you regret something, the sooner you can free yourself of the stress that accompanies it. A regret from not doing something is different than regret from something you did because it's something you could have done but you chose not to do it. Why? If you could go back, would you actually do it this time?
11. What would be your spirit animal?
A simple question but one that can tell you how you look at yourself. Do you identify with a lion? The king of the jungle, the main attraction? Or do you see yourself as a dolphin? Sleek, intelligent and graceful?
12. What's the best and worst thing about getting older?
Do you think it's a curse to age or is it a blessing in disguise? Growing up can be a good thing but it can also suck. The older you get, the more your body hurts, the worse your eyesight gets, and the more people that you're close to are dying. But when you get older, you also meet new people and gain more experience.
13. If you could have the answer to any question, what would that question be?
What is the one thing that you've always wanted to know but could never answer on your own? How does having the answer affect you? We all have questions that we want to be answered but the answers may not satisfy us; they may only make us more confused or angry. We have an idea of what we want the answer to be but that doesn't mean that it will actually be what we want. Choose your question carefully.
14. What do you wish you could tell your 10-year-old self?
Would you tell yourself everything that you've learned since you were ten or just what you found important? Would you warn yourself about the terrors of growing up or do you think that your ten-year-old self should find out on your own? By telling yourself what you did wrong, your life would surely change. Maybe for the better but there's always the possibility that your life would be worse. Would you want to risk that?
15. What are three things on your bucket list?
I love bucket lists! They're full of hopes and dreams to complete in the future but don't put it off forever. If you keep putting it off, you'll never get it done. Is your bucket list full of adventures and travel or simple ideas of fun things to do on your day off?