She's a fascinating person to listen to, and frequently shows wisdom beyond her years. In some ways, she reminds me a little of Kat due to her love of books and knowledge of history, but in most other regards, they are complete opposites (and thank heaven for that).
It's refreshing to meet someone who is not only wickedly smart, but isn't afraid to show it. I'm tired of women who are ashamed of their intelligence and hide their light under a bushel. Mara is a strong, confident woman who speaks her mind without feeling that she has to hurt someone with her sarcasm. She is far more cognizant of current events than I, yet she has said nothing to make me feel inferior. Quite the opposite, her knowledge encourages me to become more well-informed. It's not a competition; I just feel that as much as I get out of our conversations, I could get even more if I put forth a little effort.
At the same time, she displayed a vulnerability which was unexpected. She apparently trusts me to a certain degree to where she revealed certain intimacies. For my part, rather than instinctively wanting to comfort and console her, or worse yet, try to immediately equate her situation with something in my life, I remained mostly silent, let her express herself fully, and didn't try to wrap everything up in a nice neat little package of platitudes. I don't know her well enough to do otherwise, and even if I did, I wouldn't feel right in doing so. Life, especially her life, is too complex to have easy answers at the ready.
I know it's only been a week or two since we first made contact online, but I'm starting to feel some sort of connection beginning to form. I've looked forward to her late-night phone calls as much as I used to look forward to Sandy's chats. I find her to be intelligent, funny, and very captivating. If I had to give her personality a single word, it would be "vivacious."