How I came to find this link up is a bit of a round about story. I started at Grace's blog which led me to All Things E, which led me to Avoiding Atrophy, which led me to this post that you are reading right now.
I think we can all agree that liking ourselves can be a very, very tough thing to do. Right now as I am writing this, I have no idea if I'll be able to come up with ten things because I can barely think of just two. And yet being able to like ourselves is so incredibly important. We can't count on our family and friends to always be there to give us a boost with their kind words and encouragement. We need to have the ability to look at ourselves and the mirror and say, "You know what? I'm pretty awesome." And when friends and family do give us compliments and positive feedback, it's good to have the confidence to be able to respond with a "Thank you. You are right!"
I've had my share of struggles with self esteem. I'm too quiet. I'm boring. I'm not that attractive. The people I really want to be friends with never notice me and become friends with someone else. I'm not talented at anything. I can't sing like that person over there can.
My personal struggle has never been one with pride as we normally think of the term, but with false humility. It has taken a lot of work over the years for me to be able to gradually look at myself and the things I do and admit to myself that yes, I am good at that. It has taken even more work to be able to admit that to others when they compliment me on things.
In recent years, both my Knight and a friend a I made while away at college have done wonders to help me appreciate myself more, though neither of them probably know it. My Knight does tend to get a little frustrated with me when he tells me I'm pretty or talented and I don't agree with him, so I've been trying hard to honestly agree and not disagree. While I was away at college, I met and became friends with a pretty awesome girl who wasn't afraid to say when she thought she rocked. It wasn't long before I started falling into the habit of agreeing and responding with how awesome I was when I was around her. I always feel so good about myself after we hang out, and having the freedom of being comfortable enough around her to say "You know what, I'm pretty awesome" is fantastic.
So without further ado - 10 things that I like about myself.
1. I am a darn good listener. I may not talk a lot most of the time and I may not have profound words of advice to offer, but when someone is talking to me I listen to them. I focus on them, and I make sure to make eye contact to let them know that I am paying attention. In fact I think I make a little too much eye contact sometimes and make the person talking a wee bit uncomfortable. I really do care about what people have to say, and if they trust me enough to talk to me about something, then I honor that trust and listen with the attention it deserves.
2. I can remember names really well. After the first time I meet you, I will remember your name. I may second guess myself occasionally, and since most people have a hard time with names, I pretend like I do too so that they don't feel bad when they don't remember my name. But 9 times out of 10 I will remember your name, even if it's been a good couple of months since we've last met.
3. It frustrates the heck out of me somedays, but I have awesome hair. Back in the day it used to be pretty thick - like, "HOLY COW you have thick hair thick." It's thinned out a bit since then, but I still have pretty good volume to it. It holds a curl really nicely, and apparently looks great when I blow dry and/or straighten it because that's when I get the most compliments on it. Also, I think I look great as a redhead. I like my natural color and all, but I have always loved red hair, and I am so happy that it looks good on me.
4. I am a good writer. I have a knack for writing poetry, despite my utter disregard for all those pentameters and the number of stressed and unstressed syllables and all that whatever. I am a good essay writer, and I think I may be fairly decent at fictional writing as well. I had a friend once say that my style reminded her of Tolkien in The Hobbit, which just about made my day ^_^ Of course, even I don't think that I am anywhere near Tolkien... but the fact that I got that comparison was awesome. I can communicate very well and clearly through writing, hence the reason writing is my preferred method of talking to people. (I do tend to hide behind that though and not develop my verbal communication skills as much as perhaps I should.)
5. I'm not super talented at anything, but I am moderately talented at quite a few things. I don't think I'll ever win The Voice, but I've grown to like mine. I'll never be Tolkien or J.K. Rowling, but I can write out a good story. I can't look at random objects and see some new crafty, artsy idea, but if you give me an idea I can make it my own and have it turn out pretty cute at that. I'm no Jon Schmidt and playing in front of people makes me as nervous as heck, but I can play the piano well enough to entertain myself and my family. I can't dance, but I do have very good timing with music and even if I don't know the steps I can visualize a dance well enough in my head to choreograph it for someone else. Some people would call being only sort of good at a lot of things mediocre, I prefer to think of it as being versatile.
6. I can cook. My mom got me started with making dinner when I was... in my early teens? I've gotten to know my way pretty well around the kitchen, and lately I've been venturing cautiously into the world of experimenting with spices and such. I'm also good at baking, and am the go to person for pie crusts in my family. It amazes me how many people out there don't know how to cook, so yeah. I am pretty proud of that skill set I have.
7. I can make people laugh. Sometimes it's intentional (love coming up with witty/snarky comments and jokes to slip into a conversation) and sometimes it's not (like when I forget people who aren't my family are in the house and let a yawn turn into a vocalization. Yeah, that happened. It was awkward.) Regardless, I seem to have the ability to make people laugh.
8. I am smart. Now I know this one sounds like prideful bragging, but it really isn't. I know very well that I am not the smartest person out there, and most days I certainly don't feel smart. But I got the highest ACT score out of anyone in my family (extended included), I received the Presidential Scholarship (highest one) at my first school, was in the Honor's Society and made the Dean's List all four terms that I was there, never got a final grade lower than an A-, and darn it, I really like that about myself.
9. I am a lot like my father. I'm not sure if this would get onto the list of my mom's favorite things about me (haha, right Mother?)... apparently since I look so much like her it took her until I went away to college and didn't call home every day to figure out that I take after my dad in my personality, and not her. We are both fairly reserved, we both have a 'superior wit', we are both introverts, I'm not as intimidating as him but that's probably because I'm not 6'4" or a physical trainer. We think in very similar ways and have similar reactions.
10. I can be a leader just as easily as a supporting role. I'm primarily of a phlegmatic temperament, so given the choice I prefer to play a supporting role in a group situation. I'm the one who would run for vice president over president. However, if I don't feel like there is a strong enough leadership taking place or no one else is volunteering am I able to jump in and take control of the situation and get it organized and productive. Nothing irks me more than when I'm in a group and no one wants to voice an opinion or make the first move. I think being the eldest of seven children has given me good training for getting people to do what needs to be done.
And wow! I actually made it to 10 things. It took me a while (I started this blog post last night, and I started thinking of things to put on the list well before then), but there you have it. 10 things that I like about myself. I hope you have found this to be a source of inspiration for you to consider just what you like about you, as well as a way to get to know me a little better.
To read more bloggers sharing what they like about themselves, or if you want to link up yourself (open for 4 more days!) go on over and visit the lovely Christy at Avoiding Atrophy.