I want to share with you someone who is very insightful, has a wide array of knowledge and intelligence, likes Star Trek (big plus), and has her very own website which she uses to share her knowledge and insights with the world. It is my pleasure to share with you my interview with Valerie Mondesir.
1. What are a few interesting things about yourself?
- I played piano for four years. I played a piece from “Swan Lake” at my only rehearsal. My favorite song to play is “The Entertainer” by Scot Joplin.
- I can be a really clumsy person and I’ve had a bunch of accidents. That includes nearly falling out of a car driving at high speeds on a highway, getting caught on an undertow when I was 8 in Miami Beach, and unknowingly stepping on a live wire with my bare foot.
- I used to want to be an architect and I have a large collection of housing floor plans that I’ve drawn over the years. Now I’m just content with creating my own dream home. Sometimes I’ll still go to open houses (I know sellers and realtors hate people like me) and take floor plans from wherever I find them for inspiration.
2. Who are some people you look up to in the world today and why?
I look up to my parents for sticking to whatever goals they have and doing whatever is necessary to achieve them. They instilled a lot of sense and self-respect into my sister and I, even though at the time I thought they were too strict. To this day, they are still happily married and get along great, so they’ve set an example to me that functional and loving relationships can and do work if both parties are willing to invest in it.
Other people I admire are Michelle Obama because she’s achieved a lot for herself, in her own right, and still remains classy and dedicated her cause. I admire people like Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr for how they tried to find a common ground and bring people together peacefully. I admire Hellen Keller for all her accomplishments despite of the challenges she faced. And I admire Mark Twain for his works and his witty insight into life.
3. What was the moment(s) in life that shifted you to becoming who you are today?
Out of everything in my life, my hearing loss drastically changed who I am. Before I was diagnosed I used to be a bit of a trouble maker. I disrupted class a few times and got into detention. After a few bullying incidents, I shut down for a long time. That was my incubator period. Since I was on my own a lot, I started reading tons of books, drawing, painting, questioning religion and the meaning of life, observing people and their behavior… basically getting very inquisitive and curious.
I always had my nose in history and philosophy books and I was writing poems and essays in my old blogs. It wasn’t until the past few years I started to get interested in being social and that’s another experience in itself. I’m definitely changing again because of it.
4. How do you get yourself motivated and excited each day?
One of the things I do every morning is have some quiet time to meditate and basically try to clear my mind. When my mind is not cluttered with chatter and worry, I find it easier to focus and imagine myself succeeding. Another very important component of getting myself motivated and excited everyday is having energy. That comes from taking care of myself — eating well, getting enough rest, and, most importantly, getting exercise. The last part never clicked for me until recently. Now that I exercise almost daily, I find it 10x easier to get up and get moving.
5. If a genie appeared to you and granted you three wishes, what would they be?
Tough question, but I’ll give it a shot… I’m assuming I’m getting a pass to be unabashedly selfish! First, I’d ask for a pilot’s license and a personal jet so I could fly all over the place, whenever I want. Second, I’d ask for a cozy, quirky house with a meditation garden and an art room in the mountains somewhere — I can fill it up with family and friends and get away from the worldly chaos during my downtime. Finally, I’d ask for the opportunity to meet all of my favorite actors from Star Trek. Not all at once though, that might be too much for me to handle! Haha, I kid.
6. What advice would you give to those struggling in their life to find excitement or inspiration?
Excitement and inspiration rarely fall on your lap. So you have to kind of go out and patiently look for it: it helps immensely to try everything at least once. If you don’t try it, really try it, you don’t know if you’ll like it and you lose an opportunity to tap into your creative side. I think being open minded and being in touch with your creative side are the keys to being excited and inspired. The daily grind of work/school/family life/etc can eat into that, so you need to guard them by periodically pushing yourself to break the mold.
7. What are a few of the biggest challenges you face when making changes/shifts for the better?
I have a lot of drive but I sometimes have problem with focus. I have a trillion interests and I’ll jump from one thing to another on a whim. To give you an example, I have about four different books that I’m in the middle of and five more waiting to be read. I’m slowly learning that, while it’s okay to have a lot of interests, it won’t get you very far if you don’t learn to sit down and work on them. It’s not enough to want something — if you don’t have enough focus, it results in a lot of wasted energy and you’ll stay on square one.
8. When you first meet a guy, what are the first things you notice?
Besides the initial physical stuff (eyes and arms), I definitely love when a guy has quiet confidence! ;-) I notice humor, how he carries himself, what he does vs what he says, does he seem like a go-getter and does he know where he’s going? After a few conversations and interactions, I can get a stronger idea.
9. What is your favorite thing about having your own website?
Having my own website is like a leveling ground for me. In person, I tend to be the quiet observer. My website is where all the things going on in my head comes out. Because of that it’s also a great way to find people from all walks of life.
10. What do you hope to get out of life when it is all said and done?
I love the saying “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” I know this gets thrown around a lot and people use it as an excuse for why they allow others to abuse them. There’s an element of self-respect involved, but at the end of the day I believe it’s all about people, the relationships you build with them, and what you can bring into their lives. That isn’t possible without learning to love people as they are.
I definitely have my own walls and insecurities up that prevent me from giving myself as much as I’d like to and I’m gradually trying to bring them down. In a nutshell that’s what I want out of my experience out of this world: to be able to open up and share myself — to experience people, really.
I hope you found this woman to be as interesting and awesome as I have. Please, take a moment and look at her website, Insightfull Blog where she shares her views on introspective personal growth with a dash of (sometimes) nerdy humor. Love that tag line. Now go check her out, seriously!
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Welcome, Friend!I'm Jeremy Noel Johnson, husband, father, and recently promoted manager at work. Yikes, it's scary, but such a good and important challenge! You want to be a leader or influence people for good. That takes time and the right life philosophy. Let me share what I've learned with you. Let's connect. G
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