This is a positivity blog, so not any old five things, but five things I like/love about myself. Because a friend asked me that the other day, and I had a hard time answering.
I’ve been brave many times in my life, thinking on it. A high school girl, shaking so bad I would’ve spilled water all down my front, on stage auditioning for a play. Moving to Japan, twice, alone. Many smaller instances, like standing up for myself at work when I was being treated unfairly. I’m not always successful, but I can count on fear not stopping me from trying.
Being there for my friends is important to me, and I like that I can be there for them at least some of the time. I don’t always have the right things to say, or a good enough wit to make them laugh, but it’s not always about doing the right thing. It’s about being willing to ignore how tired I am to pick someone up from the train station in the middle of the night. It’s about not simply saying “let me know if you need something” but making an effort to think about what they might need and providing it in case they didn’t want to ask. Or simply being present. All your other choices can be wrong sometimes, but if you’re present, it’s enough.
This one is easy to forget these days because I’ve so successfully made a wonderful group of brilliant friends, but I’m smart, y’all. These days, being reminded by my tea ceremony teacher–who is not quick with praise–that I pick up her criticisms within one or two times of being told, or she’s impressed that I improved something from watching her correct another student, helps me remember this fact about myself. It’s easy to lose sight of, and why it’s important to try your best not to compare yourself to others, when surrounded by people equally or more smart on a regular basis. Feeling dumb and being dumb are vastly different.
This one may make some of my friends laugh who have seen how well (or not, more to the point) I keep house, but it’s actually true. When working on professional things or together with a group, I’m impeccably organized. The files I kept on my schools in Japan, all my extra materials for classes, my lesson plans, all of it was organized such that I never walked into a class not knowing what I was doing that day. (I may have had too much or too little to do, but I always knew what I was doing.) I only rarely had problems with my materials being wrong or missing. I love that when it counts–to me, that means when other people rely on it–I’m organized. At home, which is personal, is a totally different story.
This one also might sound counter-intuitive, but for a wider audience. “Sensitive” is generally thought to be kind of an insult. But as I’ve written on this blog before (get a link for this later), I’m quite proud of my emotional sensitivity. I love how easily I laugh, even though it’s a bit detrimental to my performances. I love how easily I cry, even when I wish I wasn’t. I love how deeply I feel, because as bad as the lows are, the highs are exhilirating. Most importantly, I don’t end up numbing myself off from these things. I don’t learn emotional lessons very quickly. I don’t close myself off from something after having a bad experience with it from someone else. It’s not terribly smart, and has led to wounds, but I’d rather leave myself open to the good than close myself off in fear of the bad.
What are five things you love about yourself? You don’t have to be as detailed, or you can go even more in depth. You might have to dig deep. This post was not easy for me to write. I had to think harder than I’m happy to admit. And if you need to revert to small things, go ahead. Large or small, deep or shallow, five things you love about yourself. Go.