I am a teacher who teaches, a translator who translates, a would-be blogger, a workaholic, a perfectionist, a sarcast, a skeptic, a realist with dreams, an art lover, a travel freak, a tennis fan, a coffee junkie, a carnivore, an environmentalist, a political being, a good person, a bitch, a neurotic, a soul searcher, a careful daughter, a caring daughter, a missing sister, a part-time wife, a part-time friend, and a full-time mom. I am a citizen of the world (who happens to be the citizen of Serbia), once a permanent resident of Canada, now a German temporary residence permit holder, a legal alien in all three.

Who am I? One in a million, one and only or one and lonely?!

Let’s find out. Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, believed that, in answering these insightful questions, we reveal our true nature. Here’s a part of Proust Questionnaire:

__1.__If you could be someone else, who would you like to be? – An eccentric artist, opening my eyes wide to the usual incredible sunset.
__2.__What is your idea of perfect happiness? – A happy family and a peaceful frame of mind.
__3.__What is your greatest fear? – The death of loved ones.
__4.__When and where were you the happiest? – When my son puts his arms around me, every time, any place.
__5.__What is your favorite word? – Freedom and culture, absolutely priceless.
__6.__Which talent would you most like to have? – A talent for singing.
__7.__Who are your heroes in real life? – My son and my husband.
__8.__What do you consider the most overrated virtue? – Modesty.
__9.__On what occasion do you lie? – To protect others, to protect myself and prevent disasters.
__10.__What do you most dislike about your appearance? – I used to really hate my nose and breasts when I was younger. Luckily, I’ve grown up.
__11.__If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? – I’d like to be more patient and less pig-headed.
__12.__Which words or phrases do you most overuse? – I mean.
__13.__What do you consider your greatest achievement? – Remaining relatively sane and stabile against all odds.
__14.__If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? – A male, to hear their side of the story.
__15.__What is your most treasured possession? – I don’t think I have one. I’m not good at possessing things.
__16.__Who is your favorite fictional character? – Goofy, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, Tintin.
__17.__How would you like to die? – Healthy and old, in the kingdom by the sea.
__18.__What is your current state of mind? – Somewhere in between.

Ok Marcel, you’ve stripped me naked. Psychoanalyze me.

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WHO AM I AND WHAT I AM DOING HERE…in this world (too metaphysical for the wee hours), this very city in this very country (are there coincidences or things happen for a reason – too deterministic), this big bed for that matter (gee, too particular)?

Honestly, what am I doing here, suddenly being flooded with dozens of thoughts, a rush of emotions and an unstoppable urge to get out of bed, take an empty notebook and write? What about? Don’t know yet. Where am I going with this? No idea, but I’ll share it with you when I get there.

Now, after experiencing this light bulb moment and grabbing a blank notebook, I’m back in bed. No, I don’t sleep with a laptop (only a tablet) and it’s only later that I’ll transfer this to the white paper on my computer thus taking the first step toward joining the community of bloggers on the web. So, before opening a small book with ruled pages, I turn it around and upside down, inspecting it thoroughly and touching its covers. Then, I put it under my nose and smell it. It has that irresistible new book smell.  Something just stuck me, something I’ve read on the Internet. There’s a perfume called Paper Passion which makes you smell like a freshly printed book. A fragrance specially designed for serious bookworms. Cool, isn’t it?

Can we judge a book by its odor?