Ayn Rand's "The Virtue of Selfishness" is an extremely centering book, and much of it details how I try to live my life. I have high standards for those whom I bring into my life, friends and otherwise, and I strive to hold myself to those same standards. I have friends who are Christian/atheist, democrats/republicans, yogis/engineers and everything in between, so I'm not saying objectivism is what I look for in a person, but it is what I try to abide by.
So many of our emotions are what set us apart from animals, and I am a proponent of self-awareness, including being able to laugh at one's self, improve one's self and love one's self.
I embrace wit, sarcasm and quirkiness, and I feel I have honed my abilities in these areas. I can sound like a too-proper tight-ass at first, but I really am the Italian kid with tattoos who wears a suit and tie by day and who prefers to kick back in chucks and a hat at the end of the day.
A wise and close friend of mine recently commented that I have little concern for or awareness of normal social boundaries; that is to say, I really am comfortable speaking my mind almost to the point of confrontation. I don't intend that disposition to come across as asshole-ish, but I'm sure it does. In any event, I'm super aware of that now and hopefully can convey the same sentiments more tactfully moving forward. I'm tremendously thankful to the friend for seeing that trait of mine, respecting its importance as part of me and for understanding that it's a type of raw, burning honesty more than anything.
I love being caught off-guard and surprised in a good way. Juxtaposition is sexy as hell.
I swear like a sailor and believe in an extremely small government.
I mean what I say, and I say what I mean. I hold others to the same standard. I have no place in my value system for lying.
I value communication in all sectors of life. It's the foundation and cornerstone of truth and honesty, clarity and learning, teaching and self-awareness.
I have great, open relationships with my nuclear family. My "friends-family" is comprised of fewer people with deeper, more connected relationships than a huge group of 15 or 20 people.
I graduated from a liberal arts college near Orlando, FL, and I loathe humidity and heat like that in Orlando; I'll take the snow and cold winds to that heat any day of the week (and cuddling in temperatures below 60 degrees is amazing).