A few posts ago I wrote about a new series I wanted to start, where I'd throw out a bunch of hard (and soft) hitting questions to all sorts of people then post their raw responses on this here blog. I wanted to ask questions that I knew people secretly rehearsed responses to in their daydreams or never really thought about. I wanted to offer questions that threw them off their usual train of thought and forced them into self-reflection of their past, present and future selves.
The whole point behind this series started off as me just wanting to ask friends fun questions so we could all have a laugh but FOR SOME REASON it turned into something a little deeper. I realized that questions have this unbelievable ability to grab a chunk of a person's heart or mind and lay it out for others to see. So I thought, maybe I should make these questions worthwhile, make them count for something, make them result in chunks that people will be inspired by. And timing couldn't be more perfect for my first victim...I MEAN...participant. Fehi Ditoka. She's just wrapped up a whirlwind preparation and candidacy as Ms. SUPERDRUG at one of Fiji's most famous events of the year, the Ms. Hibiscus Pageant. She won the hearts of so many with her beautiful voice, gentle spirit and wide-eyed gorgeous smile. And hopefully with her responses you'll take away a few chunks here and there about the person she really is and even about the person you really are.
What is the perfect day for you?
Those days when you're so so busy with whatever you have to do during the day. You're so busy and then you make your way home. You're at the door and you hear the familiar sound of FAMILY! Laughter ringing through the corridors and sometimes angry shouts flying from one room to another. THAT is the perfect day for me. Sometimes I get home super late though and everyone's already dozed off. I honestly hate those.
What cartoon character could you see yourself having an actual deep conversation with?
Does Pocahontas count? Because I could see us chatting for days. We're similar in a lot of ways. We belong to tribes, we cherish our land and our people, we're also such heroes. Haha! Joking, joking. Really though.
What are some misconceptions about you?
Misconceptions…maybe that I'm scary? And that I'm this serious, uptight individual. I am probably one of the most laid back people on this planet. I also mind my own business despite the many social network accounts I have. I think there's also a misconception that I've got everything sorted and I'm the perfect daughter/sister but I have so many personal - character, attitude, mindset - problems that I'm working on.
If there was a moment in your past you could go back to and sit down and talk to your past self to warn them what would it be, what would you say?
As a young girl, I was molested. I've thought countless times about whether I'd alter my past if I had a chance. I wouldn't change anything about what's happened because there are so many young girls AND BOYS who struggle with the same problem. I wouldn't KNOW exactly what they're thinking or feeling if I hadn't gone through it myself. Don't get me wrong, I would have loved a normal childhood. I've questioned God over and over and over again like, "God, why would You let something like this happen to me?" It became extremely personal for me in the sense that I began to think that God had targeted me. I also started to get really big-headed because I thought, "Yes, God does give His toughest battles to His strongest soldiers." So I became proud and arrogant. Now, I am so humbled because I actually discovered that sooo many of my own girlfriends had gone through the same ordeal. They had been molested, abused, BETRAYED by the men in their own families and I can help because I KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE and I KNOW THAT GOD DOESN'T LET THESE THINGS GO UNNOTICED. HE DOESN'T LOVE ME LESS BECAUSE THESE THINGS HAPPENED TO ME. HE ALSO DIDN'T LET IT HAPPEN BECAUSE HE DOESN'T LOVE ME. Unfortunately, I had to struggle and cry myself to sleep so many nights because of the same exact lies. So, If I could go back and sit down and talk to my past self, I would say, "SOMETHING HORRIBLE IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN. WHAT YOU'RE ABOUT TO GO THROUGH IS NOT GOD'S HEART AND MIND FOR YOU. THE DEVIL IS GOING TO LIE TO YOU AND SAY THAT YOU ARE FILTHY AND HE'S GOING TO TRY TO MAKE YOU FEEL UNLOVED. BUT REMEMBER WHAT GOD SAYS: 'I WILL NOT GIVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN BEAR. I WILL TEST YOU BUT I WILL ALSO PROVIDE A WAY OUT'. NOW YOU HOLD ON AND USE IT FOR GOD'S GLORY!!!"
PS: He really can turn your mourning into dancing!
What genuinely scares you? And I’m not talking about spiders, snakes or the boogeyman.
I am so afraid of living life in vain. The thought that I'd die without fulfilling my purpose and never reach the climax of knowing God terrifies me. I want to know God as if He were my own soul and that's usually my waking thought, my dream, daydream even - that point of intimacy where two become one!
I also have this crazy fear of my sisters being kidnapped, abused, raped, trafficked. I wouldn't know how to live with myself if anything like that ever happened to them. So I'm all eyes and ears when I'm out with my sisters. Oh and I fear P.S. I Love You happening to me. Saddest.
What emotion do you wish you could you live without?
Stubbornness? I think that qualifies. Naturally, I can be a very stubborn person. Sometimes I wake up and just not feel like talking to anyone or acknowledging anyone. I wake up so grumpy. I have the funniest and most extreme mood swings. I can be happy, chatting here and there and that can suddenly DROP! I don't like that about myself and I'm working on it.
What has been a BIG life changing spiritual lesson for you since becoming a Christian?
I was raised in a Christian home. I grew up with Bible stories of Abraham and Moses and David and all these Conquerors of the Impossible. It was a good thing but it was also not so good in that it became a religion for me. I stuck religiously to the..."If you do this, you're a sinner and God don't like sinners." So, I simultaneously developed a fear for this God AND a love for religion. I think that, consequently, the hardest thing for me since becoming a Christian was trusting and REMEMBERING that God has forgiven me. Even after being born again and being convicted of such crazy wondrous love, I always felt like I wasn't good enough and that I had to DO something in my own power to measure up. What I'd do then is I'd clean my iTunes of any kind of song that doesn't have the name of Jesus in it, I'd talk about Jesus all day and smile from ear to ear with the name of JE-ZUZZZ on my lips and in my mind and…all to make me feel good and accepted again. It's taking my whole being…literally ALL OF ME…to REMEMBER, REMEMBER, REMEMBER and TRUST, TRUST, TRUST that God loves me and He's done all that needed to be and could be done for my acceptance, my redemption. The funny thing is that it's sooo simple and sooo much easier just to say, "God, I thank You for Your forgiveness and I live by it every day of my life" than to PERFORM to measure up. Yet, it's probably the hardest lesson I've had to learn over the years. And I'm still learning.
I feel like people talk a lot about their weaknesses in the spirit, tell me what you think your strengths are?
I like to look at my ability to be easily broken as a strength. God could break me without even uttering a word. I could just SIT in His presence and break. I always have to keep that in check though because it could just be my emotions playing up. I love heart break sessions though. Especially when it's God doing the breaking.
Were you one of those people that knew what they wanted to do since they were kids?
Yes and No. I remember wanting to be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, a psychologist…the career path kept changing like the seasons. However, in the back of my mind, I've always held to what one of my aunties prayerfully prophesied over my life. In a vision, she saw me SINGING for God and I have my will bent on that.
Do you have a friend(s) that would gladly lay their life down for you? Would you do the same?
You would, wouldn't you?! Hahaha! Yes, I do have friends that would gladly lay their lives down for me. THAT! IS TRUE LOVE! Would I do the same? YES!
What is your favourite family memory?
An uncle of mine passed away about…7,8 years ago? Before he died, our family was always having tea at each other's houses. And we'd crash wherever we were for the whole weekend. Our main bases were at home (Namadi), at Nei Pou's (Kinoya), at Ta Suli's (Waila) and sometimes at Ta Joeli's (He's the one who passed away; Samabula). Oh my gosh, those days were the best! Ta Joeli was the eldest of my dad's siblings. "Gentle Giant" was the name that we remembered him by because he's this tall human being who had the most caring, generous heart. Oh man, those really were the days!
If your life was made into a movie, give me a title and who would play you and would it have a happy or sad ending?
Oh dear! OK. Title would be (All I see is a black backdrop). I'd want Cate Blanchett to play me. She has this regal thing about her. I like regal. Lol. It would have a happy/sad ending. I'd die (sad) but dying is not the end for me (happy).
What does emotional purity mean to you in a relationship?
Personally, it's the saving of my emotions and feelings for my husband. I was in a relationship last year but I'm so glad that I didn't spend sooooo much of my emotions on him. I mean, I was in it but I think I had been educated on emotional purity so I went in with my head NOT in the clouds. Like, I told myself, "I may not marry this guy and unless that happens, I'm not going to break loose with all deeezzze." I'm so glad I had my sanity in tact. It didn't take much to find the pieces of me that did get lost in the relationship.
If you have had a first love or even just a first relationship what have you learnt from it?
I've learnt that there's a long way to go before you settle down. It's natural to be attracted to the boys and to crave attention too but it's also so much better to just wait. See the world before you even consider settling down. Nowadays when I see 15-, 16-, 17-year-olds either raving or complaining about their love lives, I think "Face-palm. How can some girls be this lame?!" LOL!
You recently took part in one of Fiji’s most biggest and prestigious events, Ms. Hibiscus. Were you in it to win it or were you there just for the experience and why?
I prayed long and hard about Hibiscus before I decided to do it. I actually pressed in hard and hassled God. "God, I don't want to do this unless You do it with me. Please, please, please." And it was amazing! He just made everything WORK! (Rom 8:28) I wanted a particular designer, He set up the time and place for us to meet. We had no means of communication and had never made contact. But one Sunday morning, my mum was like, "Get up, we're going to see Hoerder today." Sure enough, we got to church and there he was. Any other Sunday and we wouldn't have crossed paths because the other Sundays he was and would be away. God provided, provided, provided. It was amazing.
My mum cried her heart out to God after Hibiscus finished. She was like, "God, You made everything work for our good. We were so sure Fehi was going to win because everything just fell into place. WHAT HAPPENED?! Why do that?" And God's like, "I gave her what she wanted - experience and exposure." My mum had nothing more to say.
When she told me about that, my mind took me back to the very beginning of my journey - my prayer. I DID PRAY FOR EXPERIENCE AND EXPOSURE. I DIDN'T PRAY FOR THE CROWN. I VIVIDLY REMEMBER TELLING GOD THAT I WAS GOING FOR THE EXPERIENCE AND EXPOSURE. I DIDN'T TELL ANYONE ELSE ABOUT THAT BUT THEN HEARING IT FROM MY MUM WAS LIKE WHAT THE HECK?!?! THAT WAS BETWEEN ME AND GOD!!! And I actually forgot about that after I didn't even make top 5. I was like, God, I could've won and I could've used that platform. Man, but God is serious when He says Ask and it shall be given. Hahaha! I have no regrets and I'm so happy I did Hibiscus 2013. I know so much more, I've seen so much more…expanded my horizons and they can never be resized to small again.
FIRST WORD THAT COMES TO YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU SEE…….
· Cat - Garfield
· Burger - FAT
· Treadmill - Run
· Ugg boots - Britney
· Chuck Norris - Sunglasses
· Skinny Jeans - Tight
· Hitler - Depression
· Goliath - POTE