How is that for a humble way to start my first blog post? I am Awesome.
And not just a little bit awesome. Not the kind of ‘awesome’ that people say when they go to the mailbox and find that they don’t have any bills waiting for them, which is really dang awesome, but the kind of ‘awesome’ that you would say if someone handed you the keys to your dream car and says they will even pay your insurance for a year. Yes, that awesome.
Now that I’ve said the “A” word forty times, let me tell you how, sitting here with crazy hair (because I went to bed with wet hair last night, which is never good for the self esteem) and puffy eyes and a runny nose (my dang allergies are going crazy and my Claritin is not working because it’s two years old, but I’m taking it anyway, just to make me feel pro-active!) I could possibly feel (insert the “A” word here).
I’m doing this thing called Storyline with some friends (I’ll tell you about that in another post) and we were working on naming or creating some roles that we’d like to play in our own lives and sometimes it is dang difficult trying to figure out what you WANT to do, when what you HAVE to do takes up so much time. Sometimes I have no idea what I want to do because I feel like the only thing I am good at is accumulating dirty laundry, dirty dishes and dust, and procrastinating the heck out of going running. So, as an exercise to get us thinking about what we are good at, where our strengths lie, we had an assignment. Text 3-5 people. Tell them you are working on a project and that you trust their opinion so you need their help. Then ask them to tell you 5 strengths that you possess, or things that you are good at. I was a little nervous about this task. I’ll be honest. I am horribly sarcastic, have a low tolerance for lazy people and am not good with the “F” word. No, not that “F” word. I’m pro at that one. It’s the other one, “feelings” that I struggle with. What are people going to say that is positive? Well, fortunately, I have some pretty creative people in my life who are dang good liars. JUST KIDDING! This is why you pick people that you are reasonably sure love you and that you think would be willing to stretch the truth a bit or at least be gentle with the truth. JUST KIDDING (again)! For serious now. I just picked some people that I spend time with. Picked people who have seen me screw up, picked people who have lifted me up after a crisis. Picked people who make me laugh. The results took a few minutes to come in, the first text coming back was from my son:
Of course he put the ‘cooking’ thing in there. He’s 23 and after five years of living on his own and having to cook for himself, he’s still hoping for a free meal… but Organized, caring, communicating and creative were all great, although I was slightly surprised he didn’t use his abundant humor to take it from OCCC to OCD or something like that.
Then my niece said: You are a great problem solver, you’re a hard worker, and you’re a good leader (you’ve got charisma!).” I know that when she says I’m a good leader, what she’s really saying is that I’m great at being bossy, but she’s gotta be nice if she wants a Christmas present, so she put her creative writing skills to use, but I feel good about what she has said. Those are all traits that I have worked years to develop and it was good to see someone recognized them.
My friend of 20-forever years, Shelly, asked me if I was working on my Senior Project. Smart Ass. Of course I told her I was, to which she send me back:
Some things you’re good at: 1. Being a good mom (my kids might object, but they’re locked in the closet with duct tape over their mouths), 2. Organizing 3. Creativity 4. Being stubborn Interesting to see a trend developing, I thought. Hmmm… The stubborn thing some people would be offended by, but actually, I wear that one with pride. Ha!
Then the other stuff started coming in: charismatic speaker, great sense of humor, unselfish, you do what is right and needs to be done, you love unconditionally, organizational wizard (I did NOT embellish that!), live with grace, wonderful mother, great friend, loyalty to kids, smart, and eager to learn, awesome sister, stylish trendsetter, best organizer ever, helper to those in need… and it goes on. Some of them made me laugh, like my friend who gave me a list and then added at the end, “and you still look like you’re 19!” and others made me tear up, like, “You are one of the finest people I have ever met. You are moral, Christian and trustworthy. You can take care take action and take control. You are a friend.”
I am so used to all the voices in my head (that’s normal, right??) that speak doubt and insecurities and criticism to me, that seeing myself for just a moment, from the outside, as my friends and family see me, was like looking at a stranger. Looking at the list of words and phrases that they had used to describe me, I was thinking, ‘I would like to get to know this person!’
I think we get so caught up in listening to our own negative talk that we lose sight of just how RAD we actually are. We just only need to step back from our own selves and see ourselves as others see us to understand that we see our own worst flaws and compare them to everyone else’s best qualities.
I wrote down all of the great things that people said and I’m going to keep it for a day when I feel like I suck. When I’m sure I was a mistake. When I can’t find one thing to love about myself. Yes, I am confessing that I have those days… I’ll save it for those days and use it to remind myself of just how awesome I really am.