Every week I write a column called BE YOU for one of the local papers (The Times of Acadiana) – Each week someone different answers the questionnaire – the paper often has to edit them,  so here are all the answers, unedited (the whole truth.) This week – Dionne Grayson

Dionne is a traveling Graphic Designer and all around badass (aka ‘Tiger Lady’.) Yes, she’s pretty cool. As you can tell by her answers she doesn’t waste words but she does laugh easily and often (and it’s one of my favorite laughs ever). Dionne is one of those people worth getting to know, say hi if you see her around and ask her what she’s working on – the answer will always be interesting.

What was your first job?
I was a clerk and an Emergency Cashier at Super One Foods on Ambassador when it first opened.

Describe a typical day in your life.
Go to sleep sometime in the a.m. Wake up sometime in the a.m. Coffee. Emails. Draw. Coffee (…maybe I’ll eat). Illustrate. Code. Coffee. Drive. Eat. Drink. Laugh. (Repeat).

What advice would you give the younger you?
Lock n’ Load.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?
Being shot in Baton Rouge in 2006.

What values do you live by?
Trust, Respect & Communication -The tripod underpinning any relationship.

What do you most appreciate?
Random acts of kindness

What is your favorite journey?
“Don’t Stop Believing.”

Where is your favorite place to be alone?
Walking along Decatur Street in New Orleans, on New Years Eve, just watching people and being part of the moment.

What living figure most inspires you?
Neil deGrasse Tyson (the head of the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History in New York.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
“Don’t ever lose the sparkle in your eyes.”

What book would you tell everyone to read?
“The Bear” by William Faulkner.

What is the best thing about where you live?
Southern hospitality & the AMAZING FOOD!

How do you “let the good times roll”?
Good food, good conversation and good company.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A Toys’R’Us Kid! – and an astronaut.

What is your motto?
Que Sera, Sera. Whatever will be, will be.

How would you like to be remembered?
In a heartfelt, albeit quiet manner.

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?
Just Do It & Never Say Never (It’s always better to do something than regret not trying.)

What three things are vital to Being YOU?
Intelligence, quirkiness & a daring sense of adventure.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
According to my father, “Like” and “You know.”

What is your favorite word?
Loquacious or Lustrous.

What do you collect?
Books on design

What food could you live on for a month?
It’d have to be sashimi.

What would you change about yourself?
My initial shyness when meeting new people.

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?
Hobbes, from Calvin and Hobbes.

Describe yourself in five words.
Thoughtful, keen, understanding, passionate and honest.

What is your idea of happiness?
A feeling of contentment, even when the world around you is going awry.

What is your favorite movie?
I have to pick one? Princess Bride, Elf, Roman Holiday or Amélie… or any one of Wes Anderson’s of Hayao Miyazaki’s films.

What music defines who you are?
A mixture of classical, classic vinyl, Beatles, Billy Joel, or anything piano related, like jazz, pop, electro / trance… or anything that has deep, fitting lyrics with double meanings.

What do you most regret?
Being shot in Baton Rouge in 2006.

What question do you wish I’d asked?
What are you passionate about?

What would the answer be?
Having adventures and creating experiences with every possible opportunity.