Bibi

 

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

Never. If you would hear me sing, you would understand why. So no, I don’t sing. 

 

What is your favorite journey?

My favorite trip was actually this May, going through Utah national parks. We started from Phoenix, Arizona, went all the way up through close to 10 parks, national and state parks, and ended up in Vegas, and then back to Phoenix. We had a party going on out in Phoenix, so we just made a vacation out of it and added a whole week to it. 

 

What characteristics do you value most in your friends?

Honesty. I can’t stand a liar. If you lie to me, you’re done. 

 

What’s the biggest problem in your life?

I don’t have any problems. [laughs] See, you put me on the spot. I feel like I’m being interviewed for a job. I’m horrible at this. Do I have problems? Not winning the lottery. 

 

What is the secret to lasting relationships?

Honesty. 

 

When and where are / were you happiest?

When I’m right next to that man right there. It’s not necessarily riding, but next to my husband. It doesn’t necessarily have to be on the Harley. Anywhere, as long as I’m with him.

 

What do you fear most?

Him dying. 

 

Would your childhood self be proud of you now?

Yes. Because this is what I envisioned for my life when I was growing up, the biker lifestyle. I kind of grew up with it with my friends and relatives in Germany. I got away from it when I first got here, and then I ended right back up to it. 

 

What’s the key to life?

Oh my God. Honesty. [laughs] No, I really don’t know. I’m a bad interviewer. I’m telling you, you picked the wrong person. 

 

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

Retiring from my customer service position. That would be fantastic. 

 

How do you protect the ones you love?

I don’t know. Whatever it takes. Whatever it takes — it depends on what the threat is. 

 

What should I ask the next person?

What is your happy place?


Derrin

 

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

Yesterday. It was “Thinking Out Loud” [by Ed Sheeran]. It was in the house on TV.

 

What is your favorite journey?

Probably my journey as a musician. It started when I was 13, and it’s still going on. Piano. 

 

What characteristics do you value most in your friends?

Respect. Honesty. Trusthworthy. Reliability. Those are the ones that really let you know who your true friends are, who you can count on in times of trouble. 

 

What’s the biggest problem in your life?

Self-doubt. Fearful of not being successful. 

 

What is the secret to lasting relationships?

Communication. 

 

When and where are / were you happiest?

I’m most happy when I do music. Performing live. Writing. In the studio. Even at rehearsals. I mostly like to do jazz, smooth jazz, but I pretty much have focused on every genre just about. 

 

What do you fear most?

Failure. Just failure as a person, in life. Just failure. I’m trying to think the best way I can put it. Hm. Not being able to provide.

 

Would your childhood self be proud of you now?

50 / 50. My childhood self had goals that were set for the age I am now that haven’t been met, and then on the other hand, there were goals that I didn’t even think to dream of that I am doing now. 

 

What’s the key to life?

The key to life is having patience and having wisdom. 

 

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

Graduating school and getting married, more than likely. 

 

What is your happy place?

[laughs] Music. Literally. My place is music.

 

What should I ask the next person?

What is your most heartfelt desire in life?


Shirley

 

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

You know you have to think for a second. It was this morning. I sing a lot. What was I singing? I sing all the time. It was — my husband said something, and I started singing a song that had those lines in it. It was “That’s Life.” It was a Paul Thorn song, so I started singing it out loud. I don’t know if I was singing it to him or to me. I guess to both of us. 

 

What is your favorite journey?

The journey I’m on right now. I was married the first time for 35, 36 years. It wasn’t a real happy time. And I started dating the man I’m married to. The first trip we went on, my now-mother-in-law gave me this bracelet. It had a note in it that said, “For the journey.” And I have worn it every day since because I feel like I’m on a journey right now that I absolutely love. So I guess it’s the journey of my life right now. 

 

What characteristics do you value most in your friends?

I don’t like people who are superficial, so they have to just be themselves. Gosh, I don’t know how to answer that. People that enjoy living, that enjoy every day, count their blessings, and are just who they are, and they don’t have to apologize for who they are.

 

What’s the biggest problem in your life?

I don’t have problems. [laughs]. The biggest problem — it’s not a problem. I don’t like this aging thing, but that’s not a problem. I worry a little bit. And I try not to worry. I worry a little bit about my daughter because she’s at the stage in her life where she’s got so much on her plate, and I worry about that. It’s not a problem though. I don’t have problems. I don’t think you have problems unless you want them. So I don’t have problems. 

 

What is the secret to lasting relationships?

Being honest. Being truthful. And being yourself. Spending time together.

 

When and where are / were you happiest?

When I’m going up the driveway to go home every day after work. I just get very happy. We have a long gravel driveway that goes up a hill. And I love going up that driveway on my way home. It’s just a good feeling. But I tend to be happy. 

 

What do you fear most?

Hm. That I’m going to mess up something at the library. [laughs] I have a lot of financial reports. I’m not good at financial kind of stuff. I don’t think I have fears. Is it bad that you can’t think of something you’re afraid of? OK. The thing I probably fear the most — my mother died with dementia. I just — the fear of getting dementia. I told my kids, if I get like that, just put me somewhere, and you don’t have to worry about me or come see me. And my son, who you remind me of, said, “May I have that in writing?” [laughs] But probably dementia is the only thing I’d say I fear.

 

Would your childhood self be proud of you now?

Yes. Because I feel like I’ve accomplished lots of good things, and I’m happy. So yes. 

 

What’s the key to life?

Being happy with yourself. Not being critical of others. Accepting others as they are. Learning to be happy. Learning to just accept yourself. 

 

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

Oh. I’ll probably still be working. I’m going to retire someday, but I’ll probably keep working. To develop some really good memories with my grandchildren. And keep the library running like it is. 

 

What is your most heartfelt desire in life?

To be remembered as a person that cared for others and that was not self-centered. Self-centeredness is not a good thing. So just to be remembered as trying to always help other people. That would be it. To be remembered as a caring, giving person. 

 

What should I ask the next person?

I know what I want to ask, but I’ve got to think about it. Is your spirituality reflected in your daily life, and is that important?


Maha

 

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

Probably in my car. No, wait. Actually no, not in my car. It was probably at this booth. I was singing James Bay, “Let It Go,” just randomly because it was in my head a couple hours ago.

 

What is your favorite journey?

That’s kind of a deep question. Probably my favorite journey was senior year of high school. I think I changed a lot, and I kind of like put my guard down more. It was kind of just nice to have that journey of growing up and becoming more willing to share my opinions. 

 

What characteristics do you value most in your friends?

Sympathy. Understanding. Someone to laugh with over stupid stuff. Just laugh. Nice people. I guess everyone wants that, but just someone nice and understanding. I don’t do well with a lot of criticism, so I kind of want more affirmation I’m doing the right thing. So I’m not questioning everything. And so when you kind of have that group of friends that are understanding and nice, they push you in a good way and not like beating you down. 

 

What’s the biggest problem in your life?

School. [laughs] The stress of school. Like I have to get certain grades to maintain to get the certain GPA. And teachers always clump tests around the same time. They don’t know it, it just, I have to go through it. It’s just like figuring out time to space out everything. I’m going to study for this, and do this, instead of just letting it all accumulate at the end and be completely stressed out. 

 

What is the secret to lasting relationships?

I feel like compassion and understanding, and knowing that you don’t always have to be right, you just need to know where the other person’s coming from. Instead of, “I need to win this argument,” just be like, “I understand your point. I have this point, but I know where you’re coming from.”

 

When and where are / were you happiest?

I’m probably the happiest when I’m alone reading a good book or listening to songs where I think about whatever’s happened and be to myself. This is kind of weird, but I’ll push my bed to the corner of my room, and then I’ll move the pillows to the corner so I’m sitting against it, and pull my blanket up and listen or read. 

 

What do you fear most?

Disappointing people and their expectations of me, and just like failing in general. The idea that I didn’t live up to my potential, and someone’s disappointed in me because I didn’t live it up, so I’m kind of always like, “I need to strive to do better just so I’m not disappointing people.” 

 

Would your childhood self be proud of you now?

That’s a good question. I think so. I hope so. At the same time, I feel like my childhood self would be like, “Calm down and take a break more,” instead of getting caught up in the little things. But I feel like for the most part my childhood self would be proud of me for what I’ve accomplished so far.

 

What’s the key to life?

[laughs] Such deep questions. Finding what makes you happy is the key to life, and once you find it, no matter what, you can always just go back to that thing that makes you happy. 

 

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

Hopefully graduating. I hope moving out and on my own and being able to say that I’m independent, and the only person I’m leaning on is myself, so self-sufficient. Hopefully I would be that in the next five years. 

 

Is your spirituality reflected in your daily life, and is that important?

These are all so deep questions. I have to think about them. I think so. I think my spirituality affects how I think about things and my viewpoint on the world. So I hope it reflects on my daily interactions. So I think so, yeah. I feel like I’m very mindful, and I try to reflect what I believe in my daily actions, so I’m not kind of — not living a lie, but I’m holding true to the values that I hold. So I feel like I have to act them out. 

 

What should I ask the next person?

If you could do anything in the world and not have to think about repercussions, what would you do?


Sandeep

 

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

Hindi songs. In the car last night. It’s so many songs in my phone. I just played the playlist. 

 

What is your favorite journey?

Coming to the United States. I arrived here in 2009 to pursue my master’s. Since then, I’ve been staying here. I came from India. 

 

What characteristics do you value most in your friends?

Very difficult question. Maybe faith. Trust. And of course, they should be funny enough to be a friend, otherwise it would be really boring if you hang out with a friend who are very serious and no fun. But yeah, trust and faith is of course the first characteristics for any relationship. 

 

What’s the biggest problem in your life?

A job. I have job, but I don’t like it. So I’m looking for a new job, but so many problems because of the visa issues. I’m not a citizen here, so not every company is willing to sponsor the visa. That is the biggest, biggest problem. 

 

What is the secret to lasting relationships?

I’m exploring it. It has been only two years since we married. I’m exploring it. Not sure as of now what is the main factor. 

 

When and where are / were you happiest?

In July, when I went to India to visit my family, that is the time I’m most happiest. Every year I wait for that moment to go to India and see them. 

 

What do you fear most?

Snakes. Yeah. Because I don’t know which one is poisonous, which one is not. I’m scared to the death. 

 

Would your childhood self be proud of you now?

Um. Yes. I accomplished what I wanted to become. Getting a good education, a good master’s degree, and I wanted to always pursue my MBA. That is why I came here. Since childhood, I dreamt of doing MBA from USA because it’s considered as best in the world, the management education here. 

 

What’s the key to life?

You know, 99 percent of your hard work. One percent is luck. For anything. And that one percent, although it’s one percent, it’s more than 100 percent. If you do hard work, and do everything, but that one percent luck is not with you, you’re not going to succeed. Luck is very, very important. Even your hard work doesn’t pay if you don’t have that one percent. I have seen it in my experiences. 

 

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

Actually I have been pursuing a chartered financial analyst program. It’s pretty rigorous. It has three levels. So I already passed one. I already failed once in level two. So I’m taking it again in June. If I get that CFA, that is the dream of my life now. Jobs in investment banking, any kind of investment professional. And of course I’m doing that for my own knowledge. Of course I want to get a better job, but that is more toward knowledge enhancement for my own.  

 

If you could do anything in the world and not have to think about repercussions, what would you do?

I want to do the skydiving. I have kind of phobia whenever I’m at the heights. But I want to do that no matter what happens. 

 

What should I ask the next person?

What is more important in your life: money, family, or your job?