A FEW THOUGHTS FROM A GIRL THAT MIGHT JUST CHANGE THE WORLD


Someone recently asked me in an interview "What do you love about yourself?", and I was stumped. I tried to wrap my words around some thoughts but they all felt superficial and insufficient.  But today... it came to me. What do I love about me? I love that I am the change I want to see in the world.

Realizing this has become one of the most unplanned and liberating moments in my life. I have somehow become a living, breathing, imperfect, resilient, and hopelessly determined picture of what I want to see more of in our world today. Its a feeling that is so big, it may not fit inside of my body. And I love that it isn't an "ending achievement", but rather it is the birth of what my life is meant to be, and thus a beginning. I finally have clarity about what my life is to become... and also absolutely no idea what it actually will.

I know that humility is a characteristic that keeps us grounded. I also know that we should be encouraged more often to talk about reasons why we are amazing. This skill is difficult for most, and should be practiced regularly. Let me say that again. This skill is difficult for most, and should be practiced regularly, y'all. Did you hear it that time? So start thinking about why you're amazing right now because I'm gonna wanna hear all about it after this post. I was a little taken aback by the question in the interview, not only because it was difficult to answer but also because it seemed unorthodox. It's not often we are asked to list our good qualities. That being said, in real life I have been making a mental list for myself after starting to observe the staggering depth and breadth of influence I'm having on those around me. I am starting to see just how much I am capable of for the first time in my life, and I know that I have what it takes to make a significant change in the world. SO! I'm going to practice what I preach by making a list of my qualities with a focus on those that will help me shift the state of the world we all live in. Ready?


I am not afraid. It's interesting to watch how each person deals with confrontation in life. Some (like my Him) are wonderful at personal confrontation. The idea of a disagreeable situation with someone else he knows face to face doesn't scare him in the slightest. He knows what is and isn't ethical and his self confidence reigns supreme. Others (like me) are wonderful with professional confrontation. I feel no fear in challenging anything that is larger than me, whether it be a business, law, government agency, political group, officer or healthcare system. I have a clear understanding what is and isn't ethical and I am not afraid to advocate for myself or on someone else's behalf. It serves me well in creating change on a large level, and for this I feel fortunate. I work daily on healthy personal confrontation; it's difficult but I am improving.

I participate in each day with intention. Being mindful, emotionally available, and introspective creates days with more meaning, production, interaction, and happiness. It really does.

I don't know everything. This thought has overtaken my entire life with a calm and peaceful feeling just knowing that I know nothing at all. And perhaps there isn't as much to know as I originally thought. I am so content with the idea of. Just. Existing. This allows me to  be able to spend all of my energy in the here and now with a nod to the past and a wink towards the future. I  am here today to help the people of today... today.

I care and I'm doing something about it. So much. About so many things. About the teenage girls that need to know they are okay just the way they are (I'm going to write a book). About those who feel like nothing more than a mental patient, who need to know that they are wonderful too (I'm going to educate and support while working in a Clubhouse Model). About those who hate their body, who need to know that perfection is a myth (I'm going to photograph, write about and bring awareness). About people suffering from homelessness, who need to know that it isn't their fault and there are solutions (I'm volunteering time and support). About any minority who is shamed, ignored, forgotten, hated, reviled, discriminated against, or hurt; who need to know that there are people who care. I'm going to advocate. Forever.

I don't believe that everyone is honorable. I am confident that everyone has the potential to be an achieving, contributing, positive member of society no matter their, past, choices, and makeup. The possibility of recovery is 100%, in other words. I am no fool, though. I also subscribe to the belief that a person who hurts another person is always. Wrong. Read: assholes are just that. Assholes. I have no tolerance for them, and when they are ready to help and not hinder we can talk. I forgive those that "trespass me" because I don't want to hold on to toxic anger, not because they deserve compassion. Controversial stance, but I find it more than logical.

I am visually and literately articulate. As some of the sweet readers of xoJane pointed out, I'm no English major. I write in a free form fashion and often make up words and grammar rules. I'm okay with that. I know that my writing is personalized, fluid, and easy to read; this is all I need from my compositions. The same goes my photography. It feels wonderful to know that I am capable of imagining a concept and having it come to life in perfect detail through worlds or art. It feels like an accomplishment each and every time, and it is a communication skill that has gotten me far. I will be using my written and visual skills to transmit my concepts and ideas for the rest of my life.

I believe that I am okay. And some days, that I am awesome. This radical concept that "I am okay just the way I am" has revolutionized my life. I've pretended for years, not knowing that it could become a (sometimes semi) permanent and central aspect of my existence. More than anything, I want to help others find the same through their own journey. We all deserve this at the very least. Oh, and now I'm brave enough to wear a skin tight gold foil skirt while giving no fucks. Self love revolution!!!

I am one of those "born leaders".  I always have been. Leo. First born. Yellow. Bossy. Class President. Head Youth Camp Leader. Debate Team Captain. College Representative. Group Facilitator. My whole life.

I happily acknowledge that I am a flawed human being. Largely so, and I find this wonderful. The knowledge that we fuck up, don't know, could have not, and next time wont propels us forward through the unknown. Flaws are miracle grow for new experiences. Flaws keep us living, breathing, and surviving. "Practice makes progress, no one is perfect". And no one will ever become perfect so lets stop painting perfection as the bar of success. I am happy to live in a world of productive imperfections and I allow myself and others the permission to be flawed.

I have clarity. The absolute certainty of who I am and also of the fact that it will change. The absolute certainty of what my life is to be and also of the fact that it will change. Our purpose is to maintain a good and positive lifestyle and to advocate and promote the same for others. That's it. It's that simple.

Fucking Positivity! I have it in spades. And when I run out, it charges right back up while I sleep giving me day after day of amped up hope. It seriously works like this. Weirds me out sometimes.

I aim to misbehave. I just watched Hysteria (which I would HIGHLY recommend) where Maggie Gyllenhaal's character is a Feminist/Egalitarian in the 1900's and is constantly chastised for misbehaving. I just LOVE this concept. Not of being a "bad person", or a "menace" per say,  but of being a lady that throws "socially acceptable" to the wind while watching the horror on prim and proper faces. I have created my own code of ethics for my life (yes, kinda like Dexter. Only not really...). The bar is set high, but the requests are reasonable. And I will subscribe to THOSE rules of living thank you very much. Behave, my ass.


And most of all, I know that I cannot save the world on my own. It takes effort from a million and one people who care to continue change and progress in our world. When others talk about "world change" and "advocacy" a lot of people liken it to Miss America talking about world peace and then tune the fuck out. But world change isn't a gimmick. To work towards it, it requires a constant and persistent belief in a better existence. For both you, and others. It's kind of like pressing for world happiness or something. That said, I doubt in our human condition that I will ever see a planet purely fueled on positive interactions, but I'm going to try to work towards it every goddamn day I can. Now don't get me wrong; this is not some admirable form of selflessness... its a commitment to care. And if you care, you do. So care with me, and do something about something mmmmkay? I need your help already, jesus.

There you have it. A not so concise, disjointed, frustrating list of reasons why I am fucking awesome. Why I am thankful for what I have. Why I sleep well at night. Why I wake up. Why I talk a million miles an hour. Why I don't just sit home. Why I get excited. Why I don't give up. Why the world is a better place because I'm alive (which is why I don't give up). Why I'm amazing. I feel strange publishing a self applauding post like this, for fear of how it will come off to others... but that only reinstates why we all need to write a few more lists like this about ourselves. To appreciate our talents is to validate them. To validate them is to realize them. And to realize them is to be able to share them with others more freely. Which then just snowballs into awesomeness.

SO NO SILENT READING THIS TIME, BLOG FOLLOWERS.

I want you to leave me three reasons why you are amazing. They don't have to be large or about changing the world unless you'd like. If you feel uncomfortable attaching your name, leave them anonymously. And if you can only come up with one... post one. It's a start. And after you post your comment, go back and look at it. Read the lasting proof that will forever be on the internet that says exactly why this world is lucky to have you. Did I mention, you're not allowed to silently lurk my blog this time?

I can't wait to hear what you think about yourself...

67 comments

  1. Fantastic post! Thanks for sharing. The question is a tough one. I really, really, really had to think about it. I'd say (in no particular order):

    * I love how I am never bored. Boredom isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I personally never feel bored. There is just so much to think about, read, see, and do. I constantly feel full of inspiration, thoughts, and desires. The possibilities are endless.

    * I love that I have reached the point where I truly accept (and treasure) many things about myself. It has been quite the journey but I now see the things that mark me as "different" as positive things that make me unique. The biggest one that stands out would be my deafness, it has gotten to the point where it's no longer a medical condition but a cultural identity for me and it's amazing.

    * I love how extremely playful I am. This is actually a huge aspect of my relationship with my partner. A huge chunk of our time is spent playing, being silly, teasing each other, making faces. It's how I connect with a lot of people.

    Thanks for this, it really helped to slow down and really think about this.

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    1. Zoee, I'm so glad YOU shared!

      It's fascinating how many of us feel like our differences isolate us and then learn later on that there is a whole community out there just like us!

      I would imagine the deaf culture is a large and an ideal example:)

      xoxo

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  2. Jes! Once again, your post is amazing! Thank you for sharing your courage, your heart, and yourself with us.

    1. I have reached a point where I truly believe that I am beautiful and worthy of love and affection.
    2. I own my mental illness, and rock out to it as best I can.
    3. I have found my passion in baking. And I can't wait to spend my life discovering more about it.

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    1. 1.) YES!
      2.) YES!
      3.) YESSSSSSSSSSSS!

      You and I are soul sisters <3

      Delete
    2. I think you might be right :) PS if you're ever short on Baker Babes... Let me know :)

      Delete
  3. Busted! I've been a silent reader for about a month now. Can't remember how I found your blog but I love it now!
    1. I love that I try things I'm drawn to even though they terrify me (moving across the country, becoming a yoga teacher, self-producing a short film I wrote...)
    2. I love that I know how to be alone, and in fact really enjoy it.
    3. Even though I find it hard to believe, I love that I am inspiring to some people.

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    1. self producing... moving... loving alone... all inspiring to me. All.

      Delete
  4. I've had a recent epiphany that even though I can't change the world on my own, what I am doing is enough. And slowly but surely, I know I am making an impact. You've inspired me to write my own post like this, but until
    It gets written here are three things
    1. I volunteer my time. I have learned the most valuable lessons in my life through volunteering- through teaching little girls that they are awesome and shouldn't let anyone tell them otherwise. Through doing research for an entire part of a community that I previously knew nothing about. Through realizing that with a team f dedicated people you can move 200lb boulders and build an entirely new section of trail from scratch.
    2. I am constantly educating myself. My dad once told me that it isn't important to get good grades in school, but to make sure that you LEARN something. I have made a decision to educate myself for the rest of my life, regardless of whether or not I am in school. I NEED to be more educated so I can pass it on to those around me and be more competent in serious discussions.
    3. Sometimes I don't believe in myself... But then I just fucking do it. I get anxiety doing simple things (like shopping for clothes) by myself, so I am always incredibly proud when I accomplish what I believed I couldn't do. I just ran for two hours straight yesterday, and even though my body feels like complete shit, I'm on top of the world for sticking to a goal and completing it with pride.
    Thanks for being inspiring Jes ('inspring' should also be on your list :))

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    1. My favorite part of Hook: "I just had an apostrophe!" "I think you mean an epiphany..." <3

      Its interesting to me that people all find meaning in life similarly. As in, we like to think we're unique (and to an extent we are) but a meaningful existence looks the same for EVERYONE. Helping others, participating in a community, and expressing ourselves.

      Sometimes I just fucking do it, too. It's the only way shit will get done;)

      You're amazing.

      Delete
  5. Awesome! I'm almost embarrassed at how quickly I was ready to respond, but I won't be.

    1. I am funny.
    2. I am a talented knitter and I want to learn more.
    3. I am myself. Sometimes I have to work hard to assert myself, but being truthful to myself is important enough for me to push back if need be.
    4. I am smart. I am using my skills and knowledge for important work.
    5. I am good mom because I try to patient and treat my daughter like a real person who deserves my time and respect.
    6. After reading this, I think I like my confidence! So thanks!

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    1. Your daughter is SO lucky to have you. What a blessing to her, you are.

      xoxoxox

      Delete
  6. It's great to hear you've realized the impact you have on people - I for one have a definite change in perspective since I've started reading your blog. But like, actually, all flattery aside, it's definitely got me thinking about, well, EVERYTHING! And I was already a huge thinker so - there ya go! So this is definitely a tough list to try and make but I'll do my best:

    1. I am one of the hardest workers I know: but my priorities may be different than those who work hard solely in school and work. I work hard to maintain a social life. I work hard to keep myself and those around me happy, I work hard to develop my hobbies and live life the way I want to! AND I work hard at school and with work too. Hehe.

    2. I am positive : as often as I can be, anyway, and I've come to realize very recently that CHOOSING to be happy and letting go and doing whatever you want (but, in a nice way where no one gets hurt) is the best way to live. Yes, maybe Rihanna's lyric in Diamonds 'Find light in the beautiful sea, I choose to be happy." contributed and no I am not ashamed. "Pocketful of Sunshine" is my mantra and the inspiration behind my tattoo, it's all about positivity and I strive to focus on it. Not based on boys, friends, or anything, except life.

    3. I am kind: sometimes I hate this about myself, because I get super worried about whether or not I've hurt someone's feelings, often unnecessarily. But all in all I wouldn't have it any other way.


    Ouuf. Well I tried!
    xo
    http://kittysnooks.blogspot.ca/

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    1. What a good list! You did well ;)

      I love that you work hard to maintain a healthy happy balanced life for yourself... I think its fundamental for then being able to invest in things like work and school! But, what do I know;)

      xoxoxxoxox, you're wonderful. Thanks for writing.

      Delete
  7. Great Post. This is a really great exercise, I am glad you are making me do this. 

    1. I love my sense of humor. I may not be able to tell a joke but I sure as hell know what is funny and what isn’t and I am able to laugh at myself. No one should take life seriously, really its only a temporary situation.
    2. I am always learning. I love to soak it all in. When I get in a rut I push myself to try new things. You can't learn anything about yourself if you don’t get out of your box. It scares me all the time but I make myself do it. Grow.
    3. I love myself. I think I am a pretty awesome person. I do my best to not judge others, I am always open to listen to other's opinions, we can disagree, and I will help you out when I can. Others might not think I am so awesome but that’s ok. I am confident enough to be ok with that.
    Wow, I feel better already.

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    1. "I think I am a pretty awesome person."

      YES! YOU GO MARY!

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  8. I love you.

    1. I'm not a doormat. I know what I'm worth & I do my best to not let anyone walk all over me.
    2. I'm passionately curious. I'm the girl that never grew out of the "...but why?" phase of childhood. I know it drives some folks batty, but Im always striving to understand the world around me.
    3. I'm an animal lover. I'm known for feeding all the strays, cleaning their ears, making them little homes in my yard... it's not in me to just wave them off expecting them to survive on their own.

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    1. Your list made me "awwwww" three times.

      I love you too:)

      Delete
  9. Way to call out us lurkers ;) I loved this post, a lot. This is going to be more difficult for me right now than it normally would be, it's been a bad couple of days, but:

    1. I am adventurous. I dive in head first to challenges and opportunities, even if I know there's a chance I might think better of having done it later. Life is for living.
    2. If I want to be able to do something, I figure out a way to learn it. Self-taught crocheter, baker, cooker, sewer.
    3. I always pick myself back up. I'm not immune to depression or sadness or guilt, but I always find a way to buck up and move forward. I communicate.

    Thank you :)

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    1. You have the secrets of life all figured out!!!

      And teaching yourself something (and MULTIPLE things at that!) can be so validating and empowering!

      <3

      Delete
  10. Awesome! I love this concept so much!

    1. I am a kick-ass teacher! I have so much passion and enthusiasm for my career and I care for every single child I teach as though they were my own family.

    2. I am hella determined. My dad told me I would never go to university. Not only did I GO to university, but I graduated with a first class honours degree. Telling me I can't do something will only spur me on further.

    3. I'm super duper intelligent and I have an insane ability to write descriptive and formal writing.

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    1. K, how about this: YOU CANT COME TO TUCSON AND VISIT ME.

      Eh? Eh?

      (The world needs more teachers like you... really.)

      Delete
  11. This is a great post! I Loved it!

    1. I don't really care what anybody else thinks about me. Throughout school, I didn't really have a lot of friends, and it took me years to realise that it was them that had the problem, not me. So I never stopped being who I am, and now because of it, I have amazing friends and an amazing partner, all who love me because I'm me.

    2. I am not ashamed of the way I look. Even my knees, and we've had a turbulent history. I've just started wearing hemlines above the knee, and it's liberating. I used to hate my body, and now I love it.

    3. I'm a super positive person. I rarely have a down day, and when I do, I know what to do to combat that.

    4. I'm a kickass baker

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    1. 1.) This is so admirable. I'm still struggling with this.

      2.) Liberation never felt so good!!!

      3.) It really gets you through tough shit:)

      4.) Marry me.

      Delete
  12. Hello gorgeous!
    Thank you for your voice and your strength.

    1. I am resilient. I run into walls, I am disappointed, I lose the people I love, but I always recover, learn, and keep going.

    2. I am capable of love and compassion. Until recently I never saw this as a strength. It is something inextricably laced into who I am and I had trouble seeing it.

    3. I am no longer waiting for others to catch on that I am fucking amazing. I have the power to tell myself I am and know it to be true.

    Now to work on being brave :)

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    1. I love it when people utilize the word resiliency. Its just... the most amazing thing ever:)

      <3

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  13. Hi Jess,
    Thank you so much for this incredible post, it HAS moved me to tears actually ... (taking a deep breath ...) okeydokey, here we go:

    1. I am SO creative that I almost do not know how to handle it. I am a writer, a baker who makes up her own recipes, a knitter who makes up her own designs ... I always have a few projects on the go.

    2. I am independent. [So much, that I am always working on my self-sufficiency skills e.g.: making my own wool, making my own clothes, knowing about eatable mushrooms and plants, now I really want to make my own cheese!] I do no longer care that people often judge this and similar interests as purely self-centered. To be self-centered is something positive for me. It helps me to survive as a queer, very tall, large-footed woman in this society.

    3. I am passionate and quite versatile when it comes to finding objects for those passions. I can become very involved in certain ideas, art or friendships. But also in food, a new craft that I am teaching myself or just a TV series. And I try to include other people in this.

    4. I want to love and to be loved. But I can do without. I do not need to make any compromises.

    LOTS of love from Qaroline
    http://qarolinesqonundrums.blogspot.de/

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    1. Qaroline,

      Thank you so much for writing me:) Really.

      Your creativity is inspiring.

      Delete
  14. Hi, Jess.

    As a longtime lurker, being called out inspires me to comment. :)

    Self-praise, as you have written, is extremely difficult, but here goes:

    1. I am sometimes able to share personal details of my life--very difficult for me as I'd rather listen than share--in order that my experiences may reach someone else. Case in point, this essay: http://pastelsjournal.org/third-volume/bespectacled-strange-and-beautiful-one-womans-way-of-knowing/.

    2. I love that I was able to break away from growing up in the Midwest as a meat-eater to choose living a life that works for me. I have been a vegetarian now for 9 years, and several of those years I have had an entirely animal-free diet. I love living as free of cruelty as I can.

    3. I love that my questioning of everything (along with my sassiness) has been passed down organically to my daughter. From discussing gender-based advertising as a toddler in the Toys R Us ads to seeing her make her own decisions as a tween not based on gender is amazing.

    Thank you, Jess, for inspiring me with every post.

    xo,

    Janneal

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    1. Thanks Janneal for responding to my unabashed call out... your essay is beautiful. Beautiful.

      Delete
  15. I love this post! Self-praise is tough, and I definitely had trouble coming up with three things. However...

    1. I love my sense of humor. Even when I do that dumb thing of laughing too hard at my own jokes. :)
    2. I love that I can be alone. I've always been really independent, and I'm not afraid of spending time by myself.
    3. I'm a good friend--and always trying to be better.

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  16. You are awesome, not on some days but a lot of days ;D And you changed my world, so heck, you at least have 1 out of 7 billion people down, haha.

    Okay, here goes.
    1) I love that I'm crazy. Could be good, could be bad, could be that I'm just bouncing off the walls with excitement, but it's one of my identifiers and I love it.
    2) ...now this is hard... I love that I have way too many emotions. You know, being a Cancer and all. Now I've learned to not bottle it all up and drive myself mad!
    3) Getting a third thing is hard. Hot dang! I love... that I will help Earthlings without a voice in human society. Yup.

    Kay, so harder than I thought, but it's a good exercise =D Thanks for the uplift!

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    1. You are such a positive thing in my life too Cassie. Really, you are:) xoxoxo

      P.S. Emotions for the win!

      Delete
  17. Wow, this is amazing. I find it so difficult to talk about the things I like about me, which when you think about it is so fucked up. Why is it so socially acceptable to hate yourself but not to like yourself? And don't even get me started on this whole resurgence (or maybe it was always there) of these boy band pop songs all about how cute you are when you're insecure. Fuck that one direction. Anyways, here it is.

    1. I am creative. I knit, crochet, cook, & craft, but I also feel like I look at the world through the eyes of a creator. I'm never happier than when I'm making something.
    2. I am self-aware.
    3. Huge nerd. This is one of my favorite quotes: “…because nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.” ― John Green. This is something that I was ashamed of for so long, but has come to be a hugely important part of my life.

    Thanks for this, I think it's so important to think about these things. Our world makes it too easy to hate yourself, and it's important to remember what you bring to the table.

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  18. 1. Because I want to help people, even if I don't know how I'm going to do that yet. I'm happy you wrote this so I could read it. Sometimes I lose sight of what is really important to me, and I get caught up in negativity and other supremely uncool things. But I know, I KNOW I am going to do something good before I die a natural death in my sleep when I'm 83.

    2. I change the way other people view the world. My cousin visited for the holidays and I sent her a postcard thanking her for being an awesome guest. In return, she sent me an email thanking me for our long late-night chats and how my truthiness (this is a word) helped her understand the world from a different angle. She said I helped her become a little less stubborn about it. :)

    3. I'm super super weird.

    and you know what? I'm going to steal from Pocket Moss.

    4. I love that I'm never bored! I love that I'm curious/interested in everything and that even in my downtime I can entertain myself with thought. It's wonderful to have NO issues standing in line or waiting for the doctor!

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  19. I have been a lurker here for some time now, and I have to say it makes me happy to hear about your moment. I know it sounds really stupid to say that, and maybe a litte patronizing, but it is meant in the best possible way.

    I am in a bit of a liminal stage of my life right now and shoud really be sleeping - It's almost 4 am here. My mind is wandering and your post just hit me. All the projects you are in, doing stuff you really care about, feeling good about it. Nothing beats spontaneous *holyshit-i-really-am-awesome-and-what-i-am-doing-is-fucking-great-and-rewarding-moments*

    Enough rambling:
    1) I do what I want/I do what feels right at the moment/I do what I think I have to do.
    Not because I want to be like some other person and definitely NOT because I want to be different from others. Just because it is who I am. I am weird and strange but just if I want to. And I can be dozens of things at once.

    2) I am a caring person. I love to make people smile and show others that I care.

    3) I am thinking fast, talking fast, bouncing around and I am full of enthusiasm and Ideas. I am creative. Sometimes I'm none of those things though, and that is great too.


    Thank you so much for sharing …

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    1. "Sometimes I'm none of those things though, and that is great too."

      Yes. Just, yes.

      Delete
  20. My god you're awesome...I'm currently compiling a list/blog post of my favourite bloggers and you bet your ass that you're on it! You WILL change the world, I'm convinced of it and I feel like a better, more positive person just from reading your blog...please never stop writing, and I'll be the first in line to buy the book that you will write one day.

    Now...why I'm awesome?
    I have always had a good head on my shoulders and a strong sense of what I want (even when I don't have a fucking clue) I'm determined & hard working & I pride myself on this everyday. I do what needs to be done to live the life that I want, and me (and only me) makes that happen every single day.

    I have come to the realization that I am the only one who decides how my day, how my week, how my year, how my LIFE is going to be and that I have the power to make myself happy. I always thought happiness was something that you had to find, or that would find you in the way of something big (getting a boyfriend, buying a house, getting married, having kids, etc) these things don't make you happy automatically, you need to find happiness on a daily basis and not count on others to make that for you, and I feel as though I've finally found that (or am working hard at it anyways)

    I am caring & thoughtful and I love being this way. I love sending friends a text message or letter or cute package telling & showing them that I love them. I take TIME...something that people don't do enough these days. I take time to make my friends and family feel special. I like doing things for other people.

    There are other reasons why I'm awesome, but you asked for three so maybe I'll just have to write up my own blog post ;) You are so inspiring miss, you have no idea.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow, you're ind of fantastic. I've been reading The Nearsighted Owl for a while and just happened to find your blog, and let me tell you, women like you are the reason I'm a happy person today. I just kind of "feel into" the fat acceptance movement last year and it has changed my life. I finally feel that it's ok to be me! And my God, that's liberating! So thank you, for "being the change". It truly makes a difference. I hope that by the time I have a daughter that thanks to women like you, she will be safe to be herself, no matter what that looks like. - Kim W.

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  22. Whew. You are a whirlwind of positivity that gives me something to strive for again. I think I was like you, to an extent, before I was assaulted. I went from a confidant woman to a lurker. A timid woman that forgot she had something to contribute.

    So now I give it a shot again...

    I am amazing in that I survive. I keep getting up when I am knocked down, so to speak. I fight to keep going, and that feels good.

    I am amazing in that I have the ability and desire to make a situation, a person. Or a hard time... Better. I don't walk away when it gets hard, for others. I stay, when it gets messy.

    I am amazing in that I take risks. Like I am now. I am shaking and tears fill my eyes a bit, but I am still writing because I know this is important. To me, and to whomever else I will come into contact with from now on, remembering these things about myself. It will change me.

    So thank you for jump starting the change.

    -sharon
    Lifeisnottidy.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm probably late getting to this, but I only just discovered you and wanted to know if it was considered okay for me to post even though I'm a skinny petite woman who weighs 100 lbs? I find you inspiring.

    Okay, three things I like about myself.

    I know how to admit when I'm wrong. Most people really don't know how to do this, I think largely because everyone gives you such a hard time about it when you do. I refuse to let the fear of being given shit about being wrong stop me from realizing I was wrong and changing my opinion or whatever so that now I'm more right and less wrong. I believe this is a constant development process with no real end in sight because there is no perfect me, only a best me, and every time I change for the better, I am the new Best Me.

    I am eloquent and articulate. As a high-functioning autistic who focuses on verbal cues more than anything else, I end up talking. A lot. And the best thing I've gotten out of this is that I'm boss at expressing myself. I can explain with denotations and connotations and vernacular and vocabulary what I'm trying to express because of how much goddamn talking I do and can even help others find the words they're grasping for because of this. I think that's pretty cool.

    I keep taking my negatives and weaknesses and making them my positives and strengths. I was alone as a child (besides my family). So what did I do? I became empathetic/developed my empathy and began to understand other people. I was diagnosed with Asperger's autism in 4th grade. What did I do? I decided to work hard and become more high-functioning so I could make friends and have less difficulty in life. Those hyper-focus problems I have? They make me a boss video editor. That need for repetition that made things difficult? I'm using it now to make myself properly organized. My inclination to talk too much? I'm now known as the person to have conversations with because I always have something interesting to talk about. Then I realized in my first semester of college that, yes, I did in fact have to deal with my mom's alcoholism and my parent's up-and-coming separation. I'm using that now to make myself a calmer, more reasonable person who doesn't try to control others. I make my weaknesses my strengths; I fight every day to make myself better so that I can enjoy my life more.

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  24. Brandy Spencer Mount Sterling, KYMay 2, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    I'm loving. Not the always physically needing someone kind of loving but the gentle honest really caring kind of loving. I need to love people because I'm so messed up inside. I'm bruised and beaten but I can love anyone with everything that's left of my bruised and broken body. It makes me feel good to show others that they don't have to go through what I went through that someone will always be there to have your back and to offer a hand to pull you back up.

    I believe in giving 100% 100% of the time. Although I do believe in this some days it's just to hard to deal with everything and I will give myself 100% over to the moppy sad days. But I will always give everything in me to succeed and to help others succeed. See number one.

    I'm a fighter. NO matter how bad my days get, no matter how awful some people talk, no matter how much it hurts to go forward with life. I fight on. Because eventually it has to get better. People can't be mean and negative forever. I hope. I want to see the best in humanity and I want to see people love and respect and laugh and play and enjoy their lives instead of being mean and spiteful and vindictive. I fight so that in the furture hopefully we won't have to deal with all of this shit.

    ReplyDelete
  25. SO already, I've written a really great comment on this but it didn't take. Normally, I'd give up and call it a day and a failed attempt at embarrassing myself, but I feel like your blog is worth the effort of reinventing my "wheel" of a comment. Let's get two things out of the way up front. One, I'm not fat (barely a size 4 on a fat day). Two, I AM a rule breaker. We're talking 3 ex husbands, main bread winner, tattoos before they were accepted, opting not to have kids, take my chihuahua into grocery stores-kind of rule breaker. So when I found your blog, I was thrilled. You're innovative, outspoke, swear like I think and truthful. It's about damn time. I'm tired of listening to all of these gleeful, near perfect women who blog about the perfect workouts, motherhood and how to keep their sinks shiny. This is the shit I live for.

    First a few thoughts (like I haven't said enough already). I don't think it's a woman's size, age, or level of conventional beauty that hinders her from pulling off edgy, sexy or unique looks. Over the years, I've definitely learned the ration of fashion risk to self-confidence. You can raise each in equal parts. Without the self confidence, people's eyes are drawn to you, all of the attention makes you insecure and they see through the act.

    How do you know you have the ratio just right? It's simple. People drop their filters and start volunteering their unsolicited opinions about your hair, clothes, tattoos, make up or shoes...even bags. When you hear the first person say "yeah, I'd never wear that" or "I don't know if I like it" and you didn't ask..you got it right. No one spouts that kind of shit without knowing the girl is covered in thick skin. The envy it. They crave it. They want to break it...so they say...just...what...you...want...to...hear: "You're not like me." Thank you world. Finally, we stand out. :D

    ReplyDelete
  26. Three reasons why I'm amazing?

    1. I'm in incredible photographer.

    2. I'm never afraid to be alone.

    3. I'm beautiful.

    You're amazing for making us say these things in our heads and writing them somewhere. Once it's on the internet...it's a fact, right?

    ReplyDelete
  27. 1. I'm charming, funny and in spite of being almost 40, I feel like eternal 19 (what means I'm pretty immature ;-))
    2. I quit quitting. Why force myself? I'm OK with myself, I can change some things, but if I really really don't want to, then why? I accepted that I am who I am.
    3. I'm talented. Yes. I. Am.
    and thanks to you I just know so much more about how amazing I am! Thank you!!
    (your boots made me cry of deep and dark desire, Jes! :-D)

    ReplyDelete
  28. I have felt useless, worthless and empty for so long and finding your blog has inspired me to surround myself with people with the same values as me. I know I can't keep on the path I have been on for too much longer and I need people who inspire me and who are inspired to change the world. Thank you for taking an empty girl and making her feel useful and whole again. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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  29. I follow up my previous comment with:

    1. I am empathetic and would give anyone the shirt off my back without hesitation.
    2. I am still alive and despite society's best efforts to break me past the point of functioning, I am still here to fight and love another day.
    3. I am a wonderful makeup artist, an excellent brewer and an even better friend.

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  30. Hi! I've been reading your website for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic job!

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    ReplyDelete
  31. Three Reasons Why I'm Amazing :)

    1. My favorite part of my body is my spine, because it supports all my curves and then some
    2. I feel like I was a born leader (also a leo) and am currently attending OSU to learn how to organize for social change in Public Health; Health Promotion and Human Behavior. (Currently I am assisting in planning and implementing a Body Image Revolution on my Campus and have been inspired by your courage and strength.
    {{{Any chance I could quote your blog?}}}}
    3. I want to use the privilege that I was blessed with to improve the quality of life for people who were not given the same opportunities and teach them to be confident in who they are and what they want to do with their life.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am awesome because I'm always the first to volunteer when someone needs a great big ol' hug or a place to stay or some time with someone who listens, whenever they're feeling down. I am awesome because I'm smart as a whip and can find the pattern & figure out the solution to a problem before other people have even figured out what the problem is. I am awesome because I know that I make really damned good cakes, even if my brother-in-law's baby momma would rather order some nasty chemical-laden artificial cardboard-tasting thing from the grocery store; HER bad taste is no reflection on my baking (I'm really struggling with this last one).

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  33. According to my friend, Muriel, I'm a saint. LOL!

    If some looks nice, I tell them so. Life is to short to spend it being envious and you might just make a total stranger's day by telling them they look great in that dress or their hair is beautiful.

    I try to be kind. I was raised by the kindest people on this earth. I try to be like them.

    I love the people I love like there is no tomorrow because there might not be. If I love you, you know it too. I tell my husband, my family and my friends almost everytime I talk to them before we part that I love them. Again, life is short!

    I'm a very good cook.

    I am a very good friend. I make no conditions on friendship and I don't keep track of the nice things I've done for you but I do keep track and thank you for all the nice things you've done for me.

    I'm not perfect and I'm okay with that but I do continue to try and improve. I'm no saint and probably never will be.

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  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  35. I am fucking phenomenal because

    1. I am hilarious, intelligent, and fucking gorgeous.

    2. I am becoming more and more open-minded everyday and I fell in love with the day that I told judgement and ignorance "Fuck you." I have never felt more liberated or more confident.

    3. I am me.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hello.

    First of all, thank you so much for this blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am a new reader, but it has already helped me feel comfortable in my body. Correction: not comfortable. Beautiful. I'm in my early teens and I used to feel uncomfortably skinny (to the point where random people, or at least one [very rude] random person, have been known to walk up to me on the street and ask me if I'm anorexic. I'm not. I'm just skinny. I'm not unhealthy!), but now I'm comfortable with that, with the help of your blog and a book that you might like, called North of Beautiful. I think no matter what a person's body type is, they will automatically hate it when comparing themselves to the media or to their friends, all who have either better hair or better legs or better arms or a better nose or better breasts or better eyes or a better butt or better feet or better elbows. The key is to stop comparing myself. My body is perfect just the way it is, even if I as a person can always improve.

    I am awesome because I compliment and comfort and laugh with and love and help and thank my friends.

    I am awesome because I am talented and artistic. I am the youngest player in my youth symphony and I am a first violin (better then a second violin, for any non-musicians reading this) and I can play pretty much anything I want to, and put some me in the piece.

    I am awesome because I try to make everyone I know (or don't know) smile, by telling bad jokes or grinning and saying hello as I walk past them on the street or comforting them when they cry or telling them how great they look today or how much I love and appreciate them. (That last one is only for friends--it would be a little creepy if I told a total stranger how much I loved and appreciated them.)

    I am awesome because I am the future of the world, and goddamn it, I will be the best future I can be. I will change the world for the better in some way. Heck, I already have.

    I am awesome because I am beautiful and amazing just the way I am, and anyone who doesn't realize that doesn't deserve me.

    I am awesome because I am intelligent and can use this both to succeed and help other people to succeed.

    I am awesome because I am sensitive. People can hurt me if they want to (although I'm working on not giving a shit what they think), but I can also tune in to others's feelings. Sometimes.

    I am awesome because I am not perfect and I never will be, but I can continue improving and in the meantime I can love myself.

    That sounded pretty cheesy, didn't it? :)

    Awesome used to mean awe-inspiring. Not just "cool." Just getting that out there.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Well, I just found this blog today and I am in lerv.. and apparently I am not allowed to read this without commenting so!

    I am amazing because... I am generous and hospitable, though perhaps not in a "classic hostess" style. That is to say, mi casa su casa, but mi casa might need some cleaning. Make sense? I will gladly share my food, home, cash, whatever I have if you have a need.

    I also have boundless positivity and TRULY believe that dreams can be achieved (not without some hard work, mind you, but nevertheless.)

    I am also awesome bc I truly believe that Love conquers all even after my own trials, abuse, and various difficulties. Love that God gives us, love given to us by our families/friends, love we share with those we love and those around us, LOVE love-ity love-love. :)

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  38. Since I think we can never hear this too much, you are wonderful and have helped me so much...and I've only been reading you for a week or so. You make me think(but in different ways than I usually do), which is what I need most right now.

    I am awesome because:

    I am a phenomenal cook. I pour my love for my family and friends into everything that I make. Not to say that I make fancy smancy dishes, but I make the best mac and cheese ever :)

    I am extremely empathetic. I was raised to always put yourself in another's shoes and look for the best in people. This doesn't stop me from being hurt, but it does allow me to love people. I was also raised to find a positive thing about everything...even the worst tragedies can have a positive effect. Lessons are powerful things.(I'm still struggling to see the best in myself, it's harder than you might think.)

    I have fantastic sexy legs and arms, and sometimes hair. I'm still working on accepting my torso. I have broad shoulders and narrow hips, small boobs and a biggish belly. That makes it harder to find cute clothes, and I'm still trying to get over the comments that compare me to football players.

    I'm really freaking smart. I love learning, about everything. I taught my hubby algebra. I call myself a word nerd, I love words, reading them, learning their history, hearing them spoken, comparing idioms from around the world.WORDS!

    I am lucky to have found a wonderful man who thinks that I am a goddess and reminds me often. He has helped me come to terms with a lot of my self loathing. It's still a long road ahead of me to get to self love.

    The best mirror that I have to see myself in is his eyes. I can see my beauty, brilliance, love and caring in that mirror.

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  39. Why I'm awesome? It would be difficult to put most of them into words, because I just know I am. Sort of.

    1. I am a strong believer of equivalent exchange. This means I will not give too much nor too little. People have to earn everything I give them.

    2. I am creative. While my chronic hand injuries have forced me to slow down (a lot!) on the creative front, I will NOT let it stop me. I will continue to create.

    3. I am intelligent. Sometimes sassy. Often cynical. I stand my ground and I stick to my principles. I won't let anyone bring me down.

    Jes, I feel it's necessary for me to tell you that you are my hero. I have the biggest girl crush on you now. Do take that as a compliment. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Why I'm awesome? It would be difficult to put most of them into words, because I just know I am. Sort of.

    1. I am a strong believer of equivalent exchange. This means I will not give too much nor too little. People have to earn everything I give them.

    2. I am creative. While my chronic hand injuries have forced me to slow down (a lot!) on the creative front, I will NOT let it stop me. I will continue to create.

    3. I am intelligent. Sometimes sassy. Often cynical. I stand my ground and I stick to my principles. I won't let anyone bring me down.

    Jes, I feel it's necessary for me to tell you that you are my hero. I have the biggest girl crush on you now. Do take that as a compliment. ;)

    ReplyDelete
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  42. 1) I'm not afraid of anything. (except spiders)
    2) I'm fiercely independent.
    3) while the cupcakes I bake are often uneven,spill over and tend to be lopsided, I can make them look kickass anyway and everyone always tells me how good they are. so I guess they're a reflection on me.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about
    this, such as you wrote the e book in it or
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  44. 1. I have an amazing mind. I made it through four years at the best university in the country, I speak five languages and read three or four others, and now I develop software at a wonderful company that's already brought better healthcare to half the country.

    2. I'm great at teaching others. There's very little I enjoy more than sharing all the neat little details in our world with others so they can marvel at them too.

    3. I wrote this post. I'm terribly shy, apologize for nearly everything I do or say, have a terrible body image, and don't dare speak up about or for myself. And now I'm committing myself to change that.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I am a thoughtful and intelligent person who questions and considers.

    I am loyal and caring and genuinely want to enrich and empower my loved ones.

    I am creative and have a unique perspective to bring to the world.

    ReplyDelete

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