Ask me what I’d like to change about myself and so many things would rush to the foreground of my mind I’d have trouble honing in on what to say first. Ask me what I don’t want to change about myself and I’d blink, blank and speechless as I searched my mind for an answer. This question shouldn’t be so foreign and difficult to answer.
The Social Being 721 recently posted an article titled “Why Everyone Needs a Non-Resolution List in Their Life.” According to them, a non-resolution is something we like and don’t want to change. We have a tendency to focus so much on the negative that we fail to see those things about ourselves we actually like. It’s a cultural norm to bash ourselves and apologize for what we think makes us less than perfect. We tend to find people who praise themselves annoying and conceited. Even if we think someone is beautiful, we’re often relieved to learn they don’t think so. It’s such a terrible shame, which is why I think we should all write down at least ten things we love about ourselves.
Here’s my list:
1. I love my voice.
I have a very soft voice that I never thought really fit me. It is the voice of a child or petite women. I was mimicked and teased for it often as a child. But as I got older, people complimented my voice. Men have fallen in love with it, women have told me I sound like an angel. Not a day goes by that a stranger on the phone or a cashier at a store doesn’t tell me what a beautiful voice I have. A few days ago a cab driver told me he could listen to me talk all day. My voice is unique, it’s pretty, it’s mine… and I love it.
2. I’m a good cook and hostess, and love entertaining.
I feel like this part of me represents the best of my mom and dad. I am grateful to my dad for his love of food and my mom for her love of decorating.
My dad has a passion for food that I have not witnessed in anyone except on television. As a child I watched him pluck oysters out of the salty water and bring them to his lips with an anticipation that made his eyes glisten. He took me to fancy restaurants where he’d order half the menu, dishes spread out before us as if he were King. I grew up loving football, not for the sport, but because football at his house meant course after course of satisfying snacks. Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be more is when he’d order mussels marinara and pizza for dessert. He is a passionate, adventurous and enthusiastic eater and he passed that down to me. I love those things about me and sharing food and exposing people to new dishes and ingredients.
My mom had a knack for decorating that would rival Martha Stewart. Decorations were unpacked and greeted like old friends and meticulously placed in their rightful spot. When my Mom finished decorating the living room each major holiday, I’d run up and down the steps from my bedroom, the equivalent of shutting and opening a door over and over to reveal her latest masterpiece. Lights twinkled, candles flickered, the aroma of seasonal scents flooded my senses. It was heavenly. I greet my collection of treasured items with the same warmth and decorate with the same attention to detail. Just like my mom, I finish by turning on all the twinkling lights, lighting the seasonal candles, and then walking in and out of the room, taking pride and pleasure in my creativity. I love to share this with others and enjoy opening my home.
3. I love that I’m low maintenance.
I don’t dye my hair (yet), hell, I rarely even blow dry it. I don’t get my nails done except for special occasions. I’m not a slob, it’s just not that important to me. I can go from shower to ready to go in under thirty minutes and I love this about me. I believe in maximizing my time doing what’s important to me or what brings me pleasure (and bonus when those things are the same). Spending time preening just doesn’t do it for me and I’m grateful I don’t care too much about these things.
4. I love my passion, enthusiasm and excitability.
I feel emotions intensely — I always have. I used to think this was a curse of some sort, but I have grown to love my passion. It keeps me feeling young and alive to feel so much so intensely. I always feel privileged when I get to witness the contagion of my passion on others. It is a gift I am more than happy to give and then sit back and revel in the excitement of others.
5. I love that I’m optimistic.
I have a generally positive outlook and do not dwell on negativity or the past. I know that I am in control of my life and have the power to be happy and live the life I want as long as I put the work in. I do believe I have the power to make my dreams come true. It certainly makes getting up in the morning easier…
6. I love being independent.
I am so incredibly grateful for my independence. I grew up pretty fast and it made me an independent young woman who grew into an even more independent woman. I had several surrogate moms who instilled the importance of being able to rely on myself and I listened carefully. In fact, I was always listening, curious by nature. I picked up a lot from the people around me, my older brothers, as well as my group of older friends. There were also lengthy periods of time when I was alone… A LOT. If I didn’t do things on my own, I didn’t do things. I recall many courageous moments when I said, “fuck it” and did what I wanted. This increased my courage which increased my independence.
7. I love being a writer.
Writing is my creative outlet. It makes me happy, brings me peace, gives me a sense of purpose, and generally keeps me out of trouble.
8. I am open-minded and eager and willing to learn.
As I mentioned earlier, I am curious by nature. Therefore, I am eager to learn anything and everything. I find most things fascinating and soak up knowledge like a sponge.
9. I’m punctual and dependable.
I pride myself by being on time and doing what I say I will when I say I will. I love that people feel they can depend on me.
10. I’m perseverant.
I don’t quit if I want something badly enough, no matter how long it takes or how many times I fail. I finally graduated with my bachelor’s degree when I was 31. I’m still not 100% smoke-free, but the cigarettes keep getting fewer and farther between. There are other things I work toward nearly every single day and I will not give up… I love having goals to work toward with perseverance.
There you have it. In the time I came up with ten things I like about me I could have come up with thirty I don’t, but that’s why this is such a good exercise. What a nice change for once to focus on those things I like about myself, rather than those I don’t. Maybe I’m not so bad after all…
Now it’s your turn – what are the things you love about yourself? What are the wonderful things that make you YOU? Share them loud, and share them proud!