I came across this list and thought I needed a break from my usual ramblings. The questions are different than the usual, do you like chocolate or vanilla. It actually required you to look into yourself. I was going to just post on Facebook, but thought because of the length it is more apropos to be a blog.
How would you answer these questions?
- What does your ideal day look like?
Entertaining with family or friends, being sure they have great food and drink. If you come to “Lady” Emma’s, you better bring an appetite.
- What did you want to be when you were younger?
My grandfather Croft taught me how to cook and I always envisioned being a chef. I won the Rotarian Awards for Outstanding Food Service in High School. I saw the sad sanitation practices at even five start restaurants and not wanting to be the cause of anyone getting food poisoning, I changed careers.
- Who are you most inspired by? Why?
Not really sure. I find inspiration in many places and people. I can’t really say just one person inspired me.
- Who would you love to meet? What would you ask?
Not really sure on this one. I place no one above me nor below. I suppose the Dalai Lama. I would ask how he can find peace within when there is so much hate and violence around.
- What habit would you most like to break? What habit would you most like to start?
Probably procrastination. I started writing my book a few years ago, but figured who cares? I have been thinking of getting back to it. I think the habit I would like to start is to not go to the dark places every time I encounter adversity. It is almost like I am conditioned to think of the worst outcome.
- Think of a person you truly admire. What qualities do you like about that person?
Oh that would have to be Cindy. Oh she has her quirks, but the one thing she has that I most admire is a capacity for love that goes beyond anything I have known. Her heart is open to all and I am trying to find that path.
- How do you like to relax?
These days it is sitting and relaxing with a nice glass of red. I used to love my walks in the woods, but with the ticks carrying all kinds of new diseases, I have become almost paranoid. Funny, as a kid, I used to be a fish, but now I am afraid of lakes and such.
- When was the last time you did something you were afraid of?
As a transgender person, anything you do incites fear these days. Yet, I have managed to suck it up and face all the adversity. I even managed to get my birth certificate changed over. I went to a plastic surgeon last week to talk about breast augmentation. I have no qualms about telling people I am trans. I have chosen to be public, so I am forced to face that fear every day.
- What are you most proud of?
I have had many accomplishments in my life. I can’t specifically pick out one. I was named Best Actor for Newport County CYO two years in a row, tying in the state both times but losing on a coin toss. I won the Outstanding Food Service Award in High School. I graduated High Honors from Community College, but never got my diploma because the COBOL teacher lost my final and I didn’t have any days off to go back and retake it. I was one of the first to get Red Hat Certified Engineer. Of course, there were a few with Masonry. I guess in the end, the thing that I am most proud of, is that despite all the adversity in my life, I have managed to be a good person who is always trying to reach out and help others.
- What are you most afraid of?
At this point, it would be losing Cindy. She is an amazing woman who has been a great inspiration to me. She helps me to find my way through the adversity that I have faced.
- If life stopped today, what would you regret not doing?
Enjoying it. I have spent most of my life just surviving. I never grasped the concept of living in the moment, though I have had moments. Sometimes when I am out with the alpacas and listening to all the sounds around, I find that moment of peace. Heck, today, I heard a weird noise and the alpacas were alerting. I went out and encountered a young turkey. It must not have sensed danger as it came within five feet of me.
- Who would you like to connect (or reconnect) with? Why?
Probably my son. We used to have such a close relationship, but as he got older and I transitioned, we grew distant. I have not seen him since Ash Wednesday of this year. The only time he contacts me if he has issues with his phone or questions on health insurance.
- What qualities do you admire in others?
I truly admire people with open hearts who are willing to help others.
- What practical skills do you wish you had?
Oh there are so many. While I am good with computers, acting, and cooking, there is so many other things I wish I could do. I would love to be able to pick up just any instrument and make music. I love music. I had even written a few songs in years gone by.
- Imagine you’re in your 90s. What memories would you like to have? What stories do you want to tell?
Funny, I was once told I would die at 93. I don’t think there is any memory I would like to have except maybe being able to be wed in a dress. I was deprived of a whole part of life because of how I was born. I never got to experience the things that most girls do. Stories??? Really, oh I could write a book. Hmm, it is half finished already.
- What is your favorite book/movie/song? Why?
I can’t say I really have a favorite. There are some that stick with me, like Beach Boys Endless Summer that takes me back to Little Rock AFB. Music is a big trigger for me to remember things.
- If you could make one change in the world, what would it be?
That people be more accepting of each other. That people get out of the me, me, me and work to make everyone’s lives better.
- What do you love to do for, or give to others (not an object – something from you personally)?
Most definitely the gift of food. I love to cook for people. I love to introduce new things at my parties. I love to hear people when they taste something new and different.
- What excites you?
These days it is just the ability to be me. Though I suppose it is traveling and meeting new people or catching up with old friend. Seeing new things.
- What do you wish you did more of?
Sleep. It seems with all the stress I have been under, I don’t get enough. I was up at 4a this morning and yet here I am writing this at 10:30p.
- Pretend money is no object. What would you do?
I would get all the surgeries I need to finally feel comfortable in my own skin. I thought I was getting there but my ex filed for alimony and the settlement will deprive me of the funds I need. So rather than fix me for good, I live in constant depressionl
- What area of your life, right now, makes you feel the best? Which area makes you feel the worst? Why?
Finally getting to be me makes me feel great. It is even better with all the acceptance I have this time around. For worse, I have to go back to being denied the funds I need to complete my journey.
- Let’s jump forward a year. What would you like to have achieved in the past year?
I would like to have had at least top surgery. If insurance doesn’t cover, it may not be possible, but that is my goal. I had planned to start I November, working towards bottom surgery, but given that my ex is demanding alimony, that won’t happen.
- What piece of advice would you give to five year old you? Sixteen year old you? Twenty-one year old you? Right now?
Five year old? Hmm, this is who you are, you are not a freak. You just have to hide who you are because of ignorance
Sixteen year old? Suicide is not the answer and besides, you will not succeed no matter how many times you try. You will get through this.
Twenty-one? Stop worrying about not being, and just live life.
Now? Stop dwelling on what is being taken from you or deprived. You have come so far and still have the love and respect of many. Despite all you have gone through, you still have a huge heart and are willing to try to reach out and help others.
- How do you want to be remembered in life?
I want to be remembered for having an open heart, generosity, and one hell of a cook.
So how would you answer these questions?
My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.
“Lady” Emma Croft