I built my career around asking questions. That was my job. To be curious. To dig deeper. The more confident I got in myself, the more I thought about the kind of questions I wanted to ask the guests on my shows. I was never interested in invasive, tabloid information. I was, and still am, genuinely curious about someone's thought process, the reasons behind their life choices, and the stepping stones they hopped on, or fell off, along the way. What often resulted through those questions were wonderfully interesting conversations. They felt like a dance that the two of us were engaged in, feeling our rhythm, and enjoying the flow. My goal has always been to ask interesting questions and go only where my interviewee wanted to take me. More often than not, where we went was full of insight, perspective, and colour.
Sometimes through the simplest of questions we learn about the complexities within. That's why I find those pages in magazines and newspapers that ask a famous person a list of questions really fascinating. In Vanity Fair it's the Vanities page, in The Guardian it's the simply titled "The Q&A". So I decided to give it go. When reading The Q&A last weekend I asked my husband those questions and the answers were interesting because it forced him to be both introspective and spontaneous at the same time. Then it was my turn. And I thought I would share the answers with you.
What is your greatest fear?
When I was a little girl, I used to lie awake at night petrified at the thought of anything happening to my parents, my family. My mother often had panic attacks, heart palpitations, and to me that made me so scared about how vulnerable I felt. My father often joked about death (I know, not funny at all to a young child). Today, as a mother myself, my greatest fear is anything happening to my son.
What is your earliest memory?
Hearing the twinkling sound of my mother's bangles. She always wore bangles and she still does. The sound is such a great comfort. Maybe that's why I wear bangles too. Because of the sound they make.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
There are two that have equal billing: impatience and constant self-judgement.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Ignorance. It's not bliss.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
Every time I hit 'publish'.
What is your most treasured possession?
I am very sentimental much to my husband's exasperation. I still have tops that my mother bought me years ago. I have a mug my aunt gave me. She recently passed away so it means a lot to me. I have those bangles I talked about from my mother. But I have to say it's my engagement ring. My husband designed it himself and every time I look at it I marvel at just how much he knows me. Every time I look at it, it reminds me I deserve to be happy.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I'm learning to not dislike anything. Not easy.
What was the best kiss of your life?
When I first kissed the man who would become my husband. It was outside the tube station near where I lived after a wonderful day-date pottering around my neighbourhood one Sunday. I remember being in a pub and thinking how lovely he was, how funny he was, how easy it felt, how happy I was just hanging out with him. So when it was time to say goodbye, we walked to the tube station, and I kissed him. Thankfully, he didn't run away. :)
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I love reading about skincare. It can be like going down a rabbit hole. I am always determined to find the best that is also affordable. Oh, and soap operas.
Which book changed your life?
A Return to Love: Reflections on The Principles of A Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson. Because it helped me find a sense of meaning for all that was happening at that time in my life.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Free. Free to be. Free to choose. Free to explore. Free to be curious. Free to make mistakes. Free to find who I was meant to be.
What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
Any criticism on how I mother.
To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
To anyone I had hurt before I knew the reasons for my own actions. Before I got to know myself and why I did the things I did.
What has been your closest brush with the law?
Being stopped for speeding while driving from Queenstown to Christchurch in New Zealand.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
In addition to my inner circle of friends (you know who you are), my brother and his wife, my parents, Oprah, Michael McIntyre, Dave Grohl, Barack and Michelle Obama, Ryan Reynolds....The list will grow as I think of more....
What has been your biggest disappointment?
Not having more children. It was a conscious decision but it doesn't mean I don't feel sad about it.
If you could edit your past, what would you change?
Have the confidence to believe in myself. And walk away when needed.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My marriage and our son.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
Toss up between In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel and Time after Time, the Cassandra Wilson version.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Gratitude is the gateway to finding everything I need; from purpose, meaning, happiness, and love.