When I turned eighteen, my dad wrote me a lovely letter. Among other things, it listed many things about myself that he said he was proud of. I remember him telling me that even as a young child, he found I never disliked anyone unless I could find a genuine reason for it. I remember being pleased he said that, and I hope it's still true.
I also remember him saying that whenever he would tell me things as a little girl, explain things to me, my head would turn and look towards the sky as I listened. It was my way of deeply concentrating, and guiding his words from my ears into the depths of my imagination where they would come alive. When I read that point, it rung true immediately and I had a giggle; I still catch myself doing that: turning and looking towards the sky whenever someone tells me something new or interesting.
You see, I'm a why girl. Are you a why person? I think a why person is someone whose mind hasn't quite graduated from the curiosity of a three-year-old. A why person is a natural snoop and is forever asking but why? When someone tells me something I often have to know more about it and hear myself rattling off twenty questions to the poor innocent soul.
By the way, I don't mean personal things... I'm not a gossip hound, although I'm always happy to help a friend when they need advice. I'm just talking about being naturally inquisitive about any subject at all. For example, a conversation with my boyfriend might go something like this:
B: The dogs were barking again last night.
Me: Oh no! Why?
B: Don't know.
Me: Do you think the neighbours were making noise?
B: Not sure.
Me: Do you think when one dog barks the other one just joins in, even if he doesn't know why he's barking?
B: Don't know. I suppose.
Me: Why does one bark so much louder than the other?
B: Bigger voice box, I guess.
Me: Why can dogs hear so much better than humans?
B: It dates back to their survival traits, I suppose.
Me: Why do you think our neighbours are so noisy?
I think being a why person led me to become a journalist, and now, a writer. I'm like a sniffing dog who always needs to find more. To know more. To get to the bottom of everything and find the story and substance underneath. I need answers. And usually that answer leads to another question. It can be mentally tiring sometimes, and some days I'd give anything to be a surface person and not sink under the weight of my own thinking. But I have heard another term for a why person: a truth seeker, which leads to the path of enlightenment. I'm not quite sure what that has to do with noisy neighbours, but it sounds good, so I'll take it.