Deonte

 

When did you last sing to yourself or to someone else and what song?

I have no idea what song it was, but it was probably in the car yesterday.

 

What is your favorite journey?

I went to Nevada before. I had a great time there. That was probably five years ago. I went for my aunt’s wedding. It was right in Lake Tahoe, so we were up in a hotel by a casino. We were over the lake and everything.

 

What characteristics do you value most in your friends?

A good personality. They need to be nice and friendly and not mean to anybody. Then you can make more friends and be open with everybody. You don’t have a closed circle. You can have a bunch of people as your friends.

 

What’s the biggest problem in your life?

Paying for college. I’m doing an internship. That’s an unpaid internship. In the summers and stuff, I work. 

 

What is the secret to lasting relationships?

Be honest and open and truthful. 

 

When and where are / were you happiest?

I like being in my hometown with family and friends. I get back every other weekend or so.

 

What do you fear most?

Heights. 

 

Would your childhood self be proud of you now?

Yeah, definitely. I went to college. I’ve done good in high school. I haven’t made any bad decisions so far. That’s kind of what I’d always thought of when I was growing up, that that’s how it should be. 

 

What’s the key to life?

Being happy with who you are and making friends with everybody. 

 

What’s going to be your greatest accomplishment in the next five years?

Graduating college with my master’s and hopefully getting a good job, some kind of marketing.

 

Have you ever had an experience walking in nature where you came across an animal in a very mysterious way and it taught you something or it had some meaning for you?

I was walking and saw a moose once, just in my backyard. It was just kind of strange. It was out of nowhere. I’ve never seen moose or anything. It kind of just stopped and looked at me. I looked at it. It was like a connection kind of thing, but it’s a moose, so I guess I don’t know if there was a connection or not. [laughs] I was just hanging out out back there, and I was looking over, and I thought it was horse at first. Then it ended up being a moose, and I was like, “Oh wow.”

 

What should I ask the next person?

Where’s the place you find most peaceful in life?


Bill

 

When did you last sing to yourself or to someone else and what song?

Oh God, I don’t remember the song, but I sing all the time. This morning. Whatever comes into my head. There’s a lot of them up there.

 

What is your favorite journey?

My journey is the journey through life, I guess. I can’t afford anything else. [laughs] Spiritual journey — they come kind of combined. One applies to the other.

 

What characteristics do you value most in your friends?

Honesty. Truthfulness. That kind of stuff. It means a lot to me to know that the people I’m doing with, I can place some kind of trust in them.

 

What’s the biggest problem in your life?

[groans] Trying to deal with growing old. [laughs] Outside of that, like I say, trying to keep on the journey. Concentrate more on the journey and not on the things you run into — whether they’re material or whatever they are.

 

What is the secret to lasting relationships?

Well the idea that you are a team and not a pair. That means both people working for the same reason, heading in the same direction. That kind of stuff. A pair is just a pair. Being a team, to me, is what makes a relationship. Working together for the common good. 

 

When and where are / were you happiest?

Inside. If I’m inside, it doesn’t make any difference where I’m at. The happiness comes from in, doesn’t come from without. I may enjoy things a little differently, but there’s really no special place. You always have that feeling inside, so you can enjoy anything anywhere.

 

What do you fear most?

I don’t have fear. There’s nothing to fear. I had a lot of fear, but I don’t have fear anymore. Money fears. Job fears. Death fears. Life fears. Everything was a constant struggle. So fear was a constant thing, in varying degrees. I got into the spiritual journey. In the realm of the spirit, fear doesn’t exist. If you live in the realm of the spirit and apply it to the material, there’s nothing to fear. That’s the way it’s been up to now. I’m not saying fear isn’t possible, but I’ll wait ’til it happens ’til I have fear. 

 

Would your childhood self be proud of you now?

I don’t know. It’s like we’re two different people. He exists, but he doesn’t exist. What he thinks of me, I really don’t care. I don’t live in the past. I live in the present. Right now, this is all the present I got. 

 

What’s the key to life?

The key to life is to living it. That simple. Knowing how to live it is the problem. [laughs] That’s why the spiritual life becomes important. That is a reality as I see it and live it. And I know it to be true.

 

What’s going to be your greatest accomplishment in the next five years?

If I live that long. [laughs] Living the next five years will be the greatest accomplishment. I’ll be 92. 

 

Where’s the place you find most peaceful in life?

Feel like I’ve already answered that question. Within. And if you’re peaceful within, you can be peaceful anywhere. I have found that to be true. One time, I would’ve thought that was an idiot’s answer.

 

What should I ask the next person?

All the 10 questions you asked me — these are the questions I would ask them. What do you think of those 10 questions, or do you think of them at all? I think one of the problems today is people don’t think enough of the things that are important.


Maureen

 

When did you last sing to yourself or to someone else and what song?

This morning. What was it now? I heard it yesterday, and I’ve been singing since. “Holy, Holy, Holy.” I’d been to a wedding, and that song was in the wedding. It’s been on my mind.

 

What is your favorite journey?

Oh, Ireland, four years ago. My daughter studied there, so we went to visit her. We have relatives too. Saw the relatives. We toured the country. History, roots that are important to all of us. It was my third trip; my family’s first. We had a ball.  

 

What characteristics do you value most in your friends?

Honesty. If you can’t trust anybody, you might just as well not have them as a friend. 

 

What’s the biggest problem in your life?

Having my husband get a job. He worked in nonprofits. He’s having an awful hard time. Why? I don’t know. It’s his age. 

 

What is the secret to lasting relationships?

Trust and a sense of humor. Again, you have to be honest with one another — if you can’t trust anybody, to me, that’s it. Just happens once, and that would be it. And then you’ve gotta be lighthearted, and you have to just have fun. That’s the second. 

 

When and where are / were you happiest?

I’m happiest when I’m with my family. When I’m with my family at the beach, it’s even better. They visit here. We’re here at the beach, and they visit as often as they can, especially in the summer. We don’t visit there, they come here. [smiles]

 

What do you fear most?

I fear my children being in a car accident. Five kids. That’s it. They could be going from here around the world, and when they get in that car, that’s what hits me the most. It just has always been. You worry when they’re babies, you worry when they ride their bikes, but the car is the most. I think when you know somebody who has been injured or harmed in an accident it kind of hits home, but even before that, it’s just been my thing. That’s just been it since they got their license. 

 

Would your childhood self be proud of you now?

Absolutely. I’m fun. [laughs] At least that’s what my daughters tell me. I just kind of don’t take things too seriously.

 

What’s the key to life?

You get what you give. My husband’s been looking for a job. We’ve always given to our children. We’ve sacrificed for them. Now that we’re kind of in a little bit of a bind, they have given and then some. It works, and it’s worked for us. 

 

What’s going to be your greatest accomplishment in the next five years?

Let me see. Well I can say my children are happy. I’m happy. My husband’s happy with me. I think to retire and not have to worry about — and I don’t worry about money, I really don’t — but it would be nice if you really didn’t have to worry about it. Just to kind of sit back by the beach in my beach chair and watch the world go by.

 

What do you think of those 10 questions, or do you think of them at all? 

I think about it often. Oh absolutely. The only one I haven’t thought about is my song that I sing. I kind of just sing to myself, and I don’t even really know what I sing. Oh yeah, you think of it. There’s lots of those questions that go through my mind every day. Just being happy, that’s all that it is. You don’t need a lot. I think the less you have, the happier you are. That’s what I find.

 

What should I ask the next person?

Are you happy with material things, or are you happier when you’ve got just enough?


Jennifer

 

When did you last sing to yourself or to someone else and what song?

Yesterday, it was “Breakaway,” by Avril Lavigne. I was at home.

 

What is your favorite journey?

For me a journey was going on a road trip to New Jersey. That was like, I guess, two weeks ago. September. We go to the Day Farm, and all the family came together. It’s a big family. [laughs] We’re Latin. 

 

What characteristics do you value most in your friends?

The characteristics I like about them is when they try their best. I actually give up mostly every time, and for them, they tell me, “Oh no, you have to do this, you have to do that.” They start talking deep and stuff like that, and they encourage me.

 

What’s the biggest problem in your life?

We might move out, out of my house. The manager is trying to take us out because he wants to renovate everything, instead of Latin people. That’s why, when we go out in the neighborhood, it’s more white people now than Latin. 

 

What is the secret to lasting relationships?

To have fun together, not try to make it so serious. You get to spend time together and make yourselves memories.

 

When and where are / were you happiest?

I’m happiest when I’m somewhere in the park. Any park. Basically every day. I get to see wildlife. I get to spend time alone. Kind of off electronics. Well, I still use my electronics, but still. I like to see the outside world. The chipmunks, the trees, the birds.

 

What do you fear most?

My biggest fear is heights. When I was little, me and my family, we had a weird childhood with other kids I used to hang out with. We always look down. Some people would stand up on the edge of the bridge. My friends tried to actually push me once. I got scared. I had a panic attack when I was around the airplane. 

 

Would your childhood self be proud of you now?

I guess so. I’m actually not that much of a studier, but I’ve improved much in my grades. I don’t do drugs. I don’t drink.

 

What’s the key to life?

The key to life is basically not to only think about yourself. Think about others and try to make the world a better place. 

 

What’s going to be your greatest accomplishment in the next five years?

To move my family to a better place so we can all live together, not where we live right now, like in a basement. 

 

Are you happy with material things, or are you happier when you’ve got just enough? 

I’m happy with just enough to be content. I’m good where I am now. 

 

What should I ask the next person?

What do they think about the mystery of why we live?


Bill

 

When did you last sing to yourself or to someone else and what song?

I sang a lullaby to my grandson last night. “On The Treetops.” I don’t know if that’s the right name, but that’s what I sang.

 

What is your favorite journey?

My favorite journeys are hanging out with my kids. Both my kids live out of state. Those are my favorite journeys, visiting my children in New York City and Indianapolis, Indiana.

 

What characteristics do you value most in your friends?

Loyalty and happiness and cheer. It seems to me, if you have loyal friends, people you can count on and they can count on you, it makes life’s journey a little easier.

 

What’s the biggest problem in your life?

Getting old. [laughs] The aging process, I guess you could call it.

 

What is the secret to lasting relationships?

Give and take. Understanding. I’ve been married for 42 years, so there’s been a lot of give and take. And it works. 

 

When and where are / were you happiest?

I’m a homebody. I’m always happy at home. I’m a home guy. I like home. 

 

What do you fear most?

Wow. Man. I fear for the country right now. Right now, it’s my biggest fear. I fear the direction we’re heading. I think about it a lot. It bothers me a lot. I think we as a country need to do some things to turn things around. 

 

Would your childhood self be proud of you now?

Yeah, I think so. I’m pretty comfortable with myself. You know, as a kid, you had a lot more dreams. Some of them you make, and some of them you didn’t. Yeah, I think the kid Bill would be happy with the old man Bill.

 

What’s the key to life?

Standard answer: happiness. Pursuing happiness. Making people around you happy. Making yourself happy. I think if you have a positive outlook on life, you’ll be a happy guy.

 

What’s going to be your greatest accomplishment in the next five years?

Personally, success in my real estate business and happiness for my family. The joy to see my family be successful and happy in what they’re doing.  

 

What do you think about the mystery of why we live?

I believe in God. And I believe in the mystery of your faith. The reason we live is for that reason. I believe in eternity at some point. 

 

What should I ask the next person?

How important is money in your life?