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 –Whitney Garland

Whitney does Marketing and Sales  for Moore Haus Coffee, and spends her days making as many people smile as possible (and she does it very well). Meet her, and before you know it you will be smiling. She always seems to me as though she could break out and dance at any moment. Talk to her about helping dogs and the Vermilion area Animal Aid and she gets even more passionate. You will like this woman, everyone does.

What was your first job?
Being Cute. My mom paid me in great meals, big hugs, and lots of love. I never paid taxes. Best. Job. Ever.
First job I got paid for, babysitting. Come to think of it. I never paid taxes on that either. I always wonder how babysitting isn’t tax evasion. Crap, I may have the IRS after me now.

What advice would you give the younger you?
Stop. Really, just stop. Stop caring what people think. Stop drinking coke. Stop tanning. Stop running from emotions/problems/discomfort. Stop yelling at your brother. You have to start taking responsibility for yourself.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?
Making a huge paper rainbow with my mom. I would love to tell the story, but it would take this whole column up.  Point is, my mom taught me that night that no matter what others are doing around me, I am the only one who can control what I do.

What values do you live by?
LOVE. Give it. Receive it. Give it again.

What do you most appreciate?
A hug. I appreciate a good hug 100% of the time.

Where is your favorite place to be alone?
Outside at night staring at the stars. It is very Fievel-esque, but I think part of me thinks that when I stare up at the stars, my dad is staring down and my mom is staring at the same set. In that sense, we are all together again.

What living figure most inspires you?
My Mom. Seriously, if I am a quarter of the woman she is, I will do just fine.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
One of my architecture professors at LaTech told me, “Follow Your Bliss!” (Fun trivia: Anderson Cooper’s mom gave him the same advice)

What book would you tell everyone to read?
Off Magazine Street or The Cheese Monkeys

What is the best thing about where you live?
That it is home. For anyone that knows me, I have spent the better part of my adult life looking for home. Who knew my car breaking down on the Basin Bridge and losing a job would be so rewarding?!

How do you “let the good times roll” ?
Today is a very different answer than 5 years ago. “Family Dinners.” Shark Tank watching with the best. British accents with all.

What did u want to be when you grew up?
Am I grown up? As a kid, a vet. As a teenager, a physical therapist. As a 20 something, a college design professor. At 30…the world is my schmorgesborg.

What is your motto?
Positivity breeds Positivity.

How would you like to be remembered?
As me. Remember me however you would like to, you must have a reason.

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?
You are not as innocent as you would like to think, now go out there and own it.

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?
1. Awesome Dance Moves. 2. Dumb Luck. 3. Grace that can only be achieved by falling on your face.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
The word, “Like.” Or “the end.” Or my mom would say that I number things, “1. It is only to organize thoughts. 2. I don’t like to use conversational breadcrumbs to get back. 3. I like numbers, as long as I don’t have to add, subtract, multiply, or divide them.”

What is your favorite word?
You would think “like.” But the correct answer is: schmorgesborg.

What do you collect?
Smiles. Scraps of paper. Song melodies. Wisdom from Jay-Z, even with 99 problems, things are going to be okay.

What food could you live on for a month?
Crawfish Pies.

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?
Lawson Pines from the movie “A Love Song for Bobby Long”

Describe yourself in five words.
I need breadcrumbs for this.

What is your idea of happiness?
The moment when you step out of a really hot shower, run through the cold house, and curl up in bed.

What music defines who you are?
The idealistic part of myself would say Henry Mancini’s “Moon River” but really I think I am like jazz…a lot of random sounds that somehow just fit together.

What do you most regret?
You know people say that you should not regret anything, but the truth is, I regret many things, but most importantly, I regret ending friendships for someone else.

What question do you wish I’d asked?
Can you teach me how to dougie?

What would the answer be?
No. No, I can’t. But I know someone who could.