2. what's the story behind your username? Belenen means 'Star of the Waters' on Edheledian, a language I created for a fantasy world. Belenen is the main character of a story I was writing set in that world. When my friend Allison read the story (what I had written so far, anyway), she took to calling me Bel, and later lj-friends started calling me that also. I use 'Belenen' for all of my usernames because it's usually available and it has so much meaning to me.
3. age and sign of the zodiac: 24, VERY Aquarius, Gemini rising, Sagittarius moon.
4. location (state or country): Georgia, the beautiful sunny green-hot state that I will always love
5. where have you spent most of your life? on the east coast of the US -- my dad was in the military so we moved a lot, so I've lived in the north and south, but I consider Georgia my home. I love the warmth of the people and land.
6. what was your childhood like? Lonely, driven, self-hating, angry, cynical. My dad was emotionally, spiritually, verbally, and physically abusive and my mom was emotionally dependent on me and not supportive. I 'raised' my siblings for much of my childhood because my parents treated me as a nanny. I was sexually abused by several people but I'm only sure of one perpetrator -- the others are faceless in my memories. My little sister was sexually abused by my little brother when they were both children, my parents found out and KEPT IT FROM ME because they knew I would have done something (and they continuously villainized DFCS to me 'just in case' I found out, I guess). That completely wrecked my relationship with my little sister because they told her I KNEW and not to talk to me about it, so she couldn't trust me from that point on... I found out after I had moved out of the house, at age 21, when my little sister called me, and I forced them to move my brother out (then age 17) and get everyone into counseling. I only wished I had found out sooner... There were positive elements, but overall I didn't have much of a childhood.
7. if you have a partner/significant other, why are you with hir? yes, I'm with him because we share a vision -- helping each other to learn in order to grow, and to grow in order to love - more deeply, more freely, more openly. We inspire and encourage each other. he has an LJ but doesn't really use it: frenetik
8. what are you most passionate about? equal respect for all human beings regardless of age (meaning not only elderly but also CHILDREN who are disrespected, IMO, more than any other group), race, gender, beliefs, history, appearance, economic status, culture, etc. All discrimination is linked and I want it all gone -- and I believe the way to do this is to realize that we are the all the same at core. I believe that we should celebrate our differences, but never use them as dividing lines. (like wise children, before we teach them that boys and girls should be treated differently) I can't STAND exclusionism. And for myself, I am passionate about love, faith, and growth. Love, because it is the point of my life; growth, because it enables me to love more, deeper, purer; and faith (as the opposite of cynicism or fear), because I believe it is necessary for love and growth.
9. what is your primary goal/purpose in life? to learn, in order to grow, and to grow, in order to love - more deeply, more freely, more openly.
10. which of your qualities are you actively working to improve / focused on right now? I want to love more, deeper, purer; I want to become even more transparent; I want to learn more how to see the core of people and encourage them to be their trueselves; I want to express more creatively; I want to be more approachable and accepting; I want to better recognize opportunities to make connections, and have more courage to follow them; I want to create equality and tear down exclusionism; and I want to help spread the message that beauty is individuality, not conformity to some warped ideal.
11. who inspires you? which people have qualities that you especially admire and what are those qualities in each person? Angelina Jolie; because of the passion she had for honesty and openness, her belief that we are all intensely connected, her compassion for those who are hurting, and her complete acceptance of people regardless of their level of maturity. Adam Sandler; because he has an understanding of the world that leads him to make movies about the natural, easy sacrifice of love, or the importance of living life for love instead of material gain, or the importance of learning who you are as separate from what you do -- WHILE also showing immaturity, and apologizing for none of it. My soulfriend and lover Ben; for having a desire to grow and develop for its own sake, and for being willing to help destroy the societal structure which allows him an easier life than the vast majority of the people in our world, and for being willing to question his own mindsets and having the humility to work on them when they're unhealthy. And all of my LJ friends inspire me in one way or another, but if I go on this will never be done. ;-)
12. if you were a charm on a bracelet, what would you be? a silver waterstar (13-pointed star, lore of my fantasy world) within a vivid-violet tinted clear glass droplet. Or a vivid-violet tinted clear glass droplet with swirls of spring green, vibrant scarlet, and glittery silver. ;-)
13. what do you obsess/get-ridiculously-excited over? GLASS! (seriously, I find it incredibly fascinating, I cried when I found out there had been a huge art glass exhibit downtown and I had missed it), meaning in little things, learning, vivid violet, dragonflies, snow leopards, Angelina Jolie, coffee, beading, reading books that deal with cultures other than mine (both fictional and earthly), Torey Hayden, the l word, used books, new-to-me awesome music, and, well, LJ. heh. ;-)
14. what do you collect? or what would you collect if you could? GLASS! tiny glass things of any shape or color, any art glass, tiny glass bottles, My Little Pony Petites (the inch-tall ones), tiny porcelain vases and bells, Fairy Winkles & Wee Winkles (obviously I love tiny things), anything that is close to vivid violet, tiny pewter unicorns & pegusi, anything ancient-Egyptian-themed, and anything with dragonflies.
15. ignoring all difficulty factors and money, what is your dream occupation? A counselor. And I want to do something with kids, changing culture from the source -- maybe a school. And I want to have my voice out there somehow, I want girls to be able to hear about my path and be inspired to find their own, separate from societal expectations. and I want to be able to work with glass as an art form, not to make money by.
16. how do you identify spiritually (do you follow a religion, what do you think about soul/spirit, etc.) and in what ways do you exercise your beliefs? I don't follow a religion. My ideas of soul, spirit, afterlife, beforelife, deity, etc. are complex and don't come from any book, but from within myself. I do believe that the Bible contains a great deal of very important truth (I don't believe it is all eternal truth), but I don't call myself 'Christian' because I believe a lot of things which the church would disagree with based on their doctrines -- though none of them clash with the Bible itself. (for instance, many denominations teach against homosexuality based on a small handful of verses which have been taken out of context, teach against female leadership, teach that 'saving' people is more important than loving them, etc.) Animism, or the belief that everything has a spirit, is one of my beliefs which would not be approved of by many Christian denominations, despite the fact that quite a few verses suggest such a thing (Isaiah 55:12, Luke 19:40, Psalm 96:12 & 98:8, Matthew 21:19). And I do not believe that God is male or female -- since I haven't yet found the right name, I call hir God/dess. (again, would be 'heretical' to many people -- despite the fact that Hebrew is a gendered language, God/dess is described with both 'masculine' and 'feminine' characteristics, and most of all, ze does not need a penis or vulva!) I also find great truth in ancient Egyptian concepts, especially that of Ma'at, and I am very drawn to some of those deities. I want to learn more of them, but for now there are a handful of deities whose presence I have felt -- and I believe they are aspects or facets of one unified deity whose essence is love. "God/dess is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God/dess, and God/dess in hir." 1 John 4:16
I exercise my beliefs by doing my best to live in love and to keep growing and learning. I keep an altar in a curtained area which I call my sanctuary, and I sometimes go there to pray, meditate, sing worship songs, and read the Bible or other spiritual books. I also go to a non-religious spiritual church called Unity which teaches from many spiritual paths -- Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.
17. how do you identify sexually? I'm not attracted based on the physical sex of a person, I'm attracted to the spirit within a person, which I believe to be genderless. I identify as bisexual because 1) I'm attracted to both/all sexes, and 2) I want to help make it more acceptable to like more than one sex. The term pansexual is more accurate for me since I am also attracted to transsexual and intersexed people, but it is less likely to be understood and therefore less confrontational. Bisexuals do not currently have a strong sense of community and I think by identifying as proudly, permanently bisexual I can help to change that. I also want to help eliminate the false belief that bisexuals are fake/confused/temporary.
18. how do you feel about nudity (yourself, others)? THE MORE NAKEDNESS THE BETTER!!! DOWN WITH THE CLOTHING TYRANNY!!! I prefer to be naked all the time unless it is really cold, and I love to be around others who are naked because it breaks down all of these subconscious barriers. I also find it repressive and offensive that I have to wear clothing when I go out: it is my body, I should decide whether I wrap it up or not. I also believe in the purity of nudity: I do not find it arousing of itself, and I think if a person does, that is because they have fetishized nudity, which is in fact our natural state.
19. how do you feel about 'little white lies'? I think 'little white lies' are like 'little white maggots' that infest connectedness and ruin it. Even one 'little white maggot' in a bowl of soup is going to make you not want to eat it -- I feel the same way about lies. If you can't trust me on something small, how can you trust me with your heart? also, little white maggotlies are usually born from insecurity in the relationship, or lack of willingness to work out all issues. 'I don't want to offend her' or 'I don't want conflict.' Conflict is the only source of growth. I say brrrrring it oooooooon.
20. do you like to share yourself (thoughts, feelings) with others? yes. I will share myself with my friends without prompting, and I will share myself with strangers upon them showing the interest to know. I think every time one person shares themselves with another, that creates more of a connection and ripples out to affect the whole world.
21. what sort of creative things do you like to do? write, beadweave, create icons, model, take & edit photos, dance, learn, paint, draw, build websites (though I haven't done that for a whiiiiiile)
22. do you often cuddle with friends (not just lovers)? I LOVE it with all my heart! it is extremely important to me and I get low if I don't get enough loving touch in a period of time. (though I've learned to live through droughts because Ben isn't cuddly and I don't have any cuddle buddies nearby) However, I need to be very sure that the other person is comfortable with it because I have a fear of intruding (I usually have to have a conversation about it first).
23. do you read for fun? if so, what's your favorite author and favorite book? yes, of course! My favorite author is Torey Hayden, and my favorite book is Biting The Sun by Tanith Lee.
24. favorite color (be specific -- not just green, mint or lime or emerald): vivid violet, then spring green and vibrant scarlet.
25. favorite shape or symbol (heart, star, etc.) & favorite number: shape: star, number: 11
26. if your life was a TV show, what would be the theme song? "Stripped" by Shiny Toy Guns ♥
27. favorite musical group(s): haha. noe venable, shiny toy guns, dream art science, the echoing green, mutemath, the cranberries, dolores o'riordan, massive attack, dead can dance, orenda fink, the benjamin gate, massivivid, butterfly boucher, lily allen, p.j. harvey, t.A.T.u., missy higgins, deepika, savage garden, heather nova, coldplay, darren hayes, azure ray, bitter:sweet, 8mm, vixtrola, apoptygma berzerk
28. favorite musical genre: eclectic genre-mixes, trip-hop, acid jazz, electronica, industrial, world (esp. Middle Eastern & Native American)
29. cat person or dog person? CAT yes very definitely. I don't like most dogs, but independent, intelligent, non-slobbery, well-trained ones I like well enough, heh.
30. favorite non-pet animal? snow leopards ♥ and then dragonflies
31. favorite movie(s) / show(s)?
movies: Playing By Heart, Kiss Me Again, Foxfire, the Matrix series, A Lot Like Love, Garden State, Fingersmith
shows: The L Word, Scrubs, Grey's Anatomy, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila (*blushes*), Journeyman, Heroes, Samantha Who, Pushing Daisies (jury's still out on those last two)
32-33. don't apply, heh.
a handful of adjectives that describe you: loving, giggly, creative, intuitive, expressive, open, honest, spiritual, passionate, intense, cuddly, openminded