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...