I have become a Quizzilla!

I must confess that I’ve been hooked into taking any quiz that has been posted by friends on Facebook. Although I tend not to enjoy games of any kind, I enjoy these little quizzes as a means to look more deeply into those qualities that make me the individual that I am. Frequently I’m surprised by the results, and I choose to look deeply within to find any underlying truths. While I’m sure the quiz makers did not design such games with the intention of causing the quiz taker to question her own truths and sense of self, but such a quality is part of “what makes me, me”.

Let me share some of my recent quiz results:

Your celebrity boyfriend is Ryan Gosling.
Ryan Gosling may sometimes come across as a tad brooding, but who could possibly resist that heart-melting gaze of his? We’re certain you’d be more than happy to stay up all night listening to him read you his poems, if for no other reason than you could stay up all night *watching* him read you his poems.

I really know nothing about Ryan Gosling, although I would have guessed Johnny Depp, as his appearance and character choices are more in alignment with my taste.

Best United States city that suits your personality
Honolulu
Out in the middle of the Pacific awaits the lovely city of your dreams. It’s safe, quaint, beautiful, and full of culture.

Best guess for your age is:
21
This is a shock, as 36 suits me, perfectly! I would never wish to be 21 again. I am by far the happiest I’ve ever been in my life right now. I have everything that I need and want, and am in the best physical, mental, and emotional condition that I’ve ever been in!

What color is your aura -Green aura
You are a compassionate person, full of healing and peacekeeping capabilities. Very close to nature, a green aura is a healthy one, full of growth and balance. You have a love for living things and seek to change the world for the better.

Green is my favorite color, too!

Your Beatles Song Is Twist And Shout
Young at heart, you are energetic and you love to dance

I would have expected “Let it Be”

Which Dwarf are you?  You Are Bashful

You tend to be quiet but still waters run deep. You are friend and outgoing once you get to know somebody. You are have a wide variety of talents.

What Country in the World Best Fits Your Personality?  France
You are a romantic who enjoys strolling through cobblestone streets and markets. You are inspired by art and architecture, and thrive being surrounded by other artists and intellectuals. You enjoy the bustle of a city, but also love spending time in the warm countryside, sitting at a café, and having a glass of wine or coffee. Your soul is nourished by being in nature, and by having deep meaningful conversation about love, art, and the meaning of life.

Personality traits
The rebel

You are a wild one! You play by your own rules and there’s no one else quite like you. You do what you want, when you want it, and how you want it, and nobody can tell you otherwise. You learn most things the hard way, but once that lesson is learned, you will never forget it.

Unconditionally Loving

It’s the kind of love that has no limitations. And it asks for nothing in return. You genuinely love people for who they are. For their true and honest selves. Raw and unfiltered, this magical love runs deep through you every waking moment of your life. And the people whom you give it to feel truly lucky to experience your love in their lives!

Enchanting

You have a special aura and a subtle down-to-earth attitude that can captivate the rest of us after we’ve set our eyes on you. Your charm is astoundingly magnetizing. Plus, you have a unique style and a certain air of mystery, but a realistic attitude about the value of living life. And you wonderfully recognize that others matter too. Everyone that knows you is amazed by you!

You’re wickedly smart, but you’re a bit shy and your hobbies tend to be indoor ones. Even though you don’t open up easily, you excel at everything once you do. Your brilliance only increases by the day!

ISFP-personality type
Quiet, friendly, sensitive, and kind. Enjoy the present moment, what’s going on around them. Like to have their own space and to work within their own time frame. Loyal and committed to their values and to people who are important to them. Dislike disagreements and conflicts, do not force their opinions or values on others.

Which musical best describes you- Wicked!
You are fearless and ready to try defying gravity! Nothing is going to stop you from reaching your goals. You never judge people based on their appearances and love helping others. You know that your past does not define you and that you can do anything you set your mind to it!

Which Decade Should You Have Been Born In? 1960s
In a decade full of new discoveries, life changing inventions and a trip to the moon, you fit in perfectly. Whether it’s dealing with nuclear threats or arranging a protest for the hippie movement, you have the proper intelligence and social skills to tackle any problem. By the way, don’t forget to check out Woodstock, we hear it’s smashing!

You are 11% Bitchy, so you are not a bitch.
11% bitchy, so not bitchy at all!

Wow, you’re so nice! You don’t really bitch about anything, do you? I wonder, though, if a good bitch fest might do you a little good from time to time?

Which Bibliical Woman are you?  You Are Abigail!

Little is known about you, but you are a beautiful woman of strength, courage, intelligence, integrity and wisdom. You understand your place, and act with decisiveness. You are the source of wisdom and reason in your household. You Are Abigail!

What Classic Novel Describes Your Life?  Pride and Prejudice
Independent and Brash, Jane Austen’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE could have been written about your life! Your intelligence and stubborn nature has brought you to where you stand today, and to say you surprise others on a daily basis would be an understatement. In your mind, nothing is impossible – And if anyone chooses to stand in your way they simply become another obstacle. You believe you were meant to do great things, regardless of race, sex, or religion – and nothing of the sort will ever stand in your way.

Who should play you in a movie? Halle Berry

I would have said Charlize Theron, not that I’m complaining!

if you could regain, get or have one thing back from your stroke – what would it be?

So many survivors posted things like, “use of my hand and arm”, “my ability to  drive”, “my ability to dress myself”.

Interestingly, my response was “My feeling of invincibility”.  It didn’t even occur to me to put my ability to dance!  Only when I read another survivor’s post that read, “the ability to move effortlessly in a flowing fashion”, did it hit me, oh yeah, I used to do that so well, even balanced on the tiny tip of a pointe shoe!  My most missed ability says,so much about where I am mentally in my recovery!

I feel very proud and whole upon reflection.  I realize that I’ve truly achieved acceptance of what happened to me, and continue to fight for yet more recovery.  I’ve also chosen not to look outside myself for validation!  It seems that not many people, stroke survivor or not can claim to have reached this level of enlightenment. I’m certain that I feel this way in large part because, there is really nothing that I “cannot” do, including actively pushing for 3 hours to deliver my son, Alexei!  I live my life to the fullest and do everything that I choose!  Sometimes the way I do things may look a little different than the manner in which others do, but I get it all done on my own!  This is not to say that my old perfectionist tendencies don’t still float up from time to time.  I find that as I continue to recover, I am yet more demanding of myself.  Because I can walk well, I am now very critical of my form.   I guess you can take the pointe shoes off the girl, but can’t take the perfectionism out of the ballerina!  I must note that I don’t berate myself as I did when I was dancing, but constantly challenge myself to get yet better.  It’s a much healthier form of perfectionism than it used to be, pre-stroke.  I’m much quicker to applaud my achievements and am no longer quiet about my strength.  In fact, I call myself a Steel Magnolia (delicate in appearance and manner, but made of steel in spirit and soul).  My husband Damien, who is a sommelier calls me The Velvet Hammer, which is actually wine-speak, but I love it for me, as a person, who has finesse, but is really quite strong beneath her refined exterior!

Acceptance is not the same as surrender.

“Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart”, Anne Frank

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I had the good fortune of seeing a live production of Cabaret last night, on the 70th anniversary of Anne Frank’s last diary entry. I have always loved Cabaret, but felt very emotionally uncomfortable during last night’s performance. I was not convinced to- ” Leave your troubles outside!
So – life is disappointing? Forget it!
We have no troubles here! Here life is beautiful…”
I instead remained keenly aware of the horrors of the times.  As such, I think today of how quickly and easily beauty and richness of culture  in the world can become twisted into such horrors as World War II,and so many current conflicts in our world, including in Syria (with a half Syrian son, this horrifying conflict is very close to my heart! I struggle today to remember one of the many riches that Anne Frank shares that, “Despite Everything, I believe that people are really good at heart”.
I absolutely adore the poignant and subtle epilogue that Cliff offers in Cabaret.
Cliff’s epilogue: “There was a cabaret, and there was a master of ceremonies, and there was a city called Berlin in a country called Germany. It was the end of the world, and I was dancing with Sally Bowles, and we were both fast asleep.”
How masterfully and artistically expressed is the seeming blindness of so many people to the horrors of those times in Germany. Perhaps it is easier to tightly squeeze one’s eyes closed to terrifying occurrences in life. Maybe I’m naïve to believe, as Anne Frank does, that a little love, empathy, and understanding can bring people together. I can’t help it, as I am the daughter of a Creole Flower Child-a hippie who wears lipstick, remember?  I struggle so much to understand how people who share such similar customs, cuisine, and lifestyle, and physical appearance as Syrians can create such a terrifying life for themselves and each other.  I have posed this question to my wonderful Syrian, Lebanese, Welsh, Christian-raised husband, and he very simplistically answers with, “They choose to fight like that”.  Why would anyone “choose” to create a world in which parents do not send children to school anymore for fear that the child will not survive.  It’s so difficult to watch reports about the conflict in Syria because so many of the young soldiers in any group shot resemble my wonderful brother-in-law,Zach,  seen below, far left!  Here is my Syrian family, l-rtZach, handsome husband, Damien, baby, Alexei, patriarch, Mike Abrusley.  The Louisiana branch of the Abrusleys, who descend from Christian Crusaders from Cyprus and traveled to Syria in 1097.  They emigrated to Louisiana in the 1920s because it had become too difficult.  Louisiana was chosen because of its French schooling system, which felt very comfortable to French speaking Syrian and Lebanese immigrants.  Here I am, a New Orlenian of German, French, English, Italian, Irish , Spanish heritage, or as I say, a “gumbo” of nationalities, with a son who is descended from all of these, plus Syrian, Lebanese, Welsh, Irish