*Are you happy at the moment?
I am learning to embrace contentment. For me, happiness is a journey; I am buckled up and ready for the ride!
*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year- old self now – what would it be?
Oh my! Oh my! What I would say to the 16 year-old self, I would say you are stronger than you currently believe, foster the courage to be yourself, because you alone are enough, just the way you are. Finally, I would tell myself, get ready, the road is going to be hard, but the best is yet to come!
*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
I have learned that the answers to today’s problems are often rooted in yesterday’s events. Meaning, challenges with our current relationships can often be linked to relationships (often with parents) from the past. The lesson for me: want a breakthrough in the present? Get complete with the past.
*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
My goal in the next 12 months is to take all the lessons I have learned about love, from writing my book, to continue to master those in practice, and in current and future relationships.
*What’s your secret to happiness?
To unapologetically live in my truth.
*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
I meditate every morning…it’s my opportunity to raise the volume of my own inner voice.
*What’s your biggest regret?
Not coming out as Gay sooner than I did.
*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
I don’t have kids, but I have a niece and two nephews. What I want them to know is that life can be challenging, but you will get through it, have faith in that fact, and yourself, and you will be just fine.
*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
Sometimes I can be long winded with an answer. I share stories often, I am a storyteller at heart. I blame it on being from the south where many are storytellers.
*Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
Completing my PhD, it was like birthing something, what I birthed, I am still figuring out.
*When were you happiest?
As a child visiting my grandparents on the weekends.
*What ten words best describe you?
Dynamic, innovative, sensitive, substantive, gregarious, complex, determined, professional, analytical, and honest
Darren Pierre, Ph.D., serves as the Assistant Director of Student Involvement at the University of Chicago, and a part-time faculty member at Loyola University Chicago. Darren recently published a book entitled The Invitation to Love: Recognizing the Gift Despite Pain, Fear and Resistance. The book chronicles one man’s spiritual journey in practicing forgiveness and recognizing love despite various barriers. Darren’s research largely centers on understanding the transformative power that derives from people having the courage to live out their truth. He has spoken across the United States on the ideals of integrity, authenticity, and living a life of purpose. You can follow Darren on Facebook and Twitter too.