Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Few of My Favorite Things (about myself)

What would you say are your best qualities? This is the question posed by the 52 Lists Project this week.

Luckily, I've had nearly 20 years of therapy and introspection to figure this out. So here goes my list of the Top Ten Things I <3 about="" i="" me="">:

1. My honesty and "transparency"
What you see (and hear) with this girl is what you get. For better or worse, if there is something you want to know about me, I'll typically tell you. On the flip side, I don't always have patience for people who obviously lack self-awareness or who deny parts of themselves.

2. My intelligence
Is this a quality, or just luck of the draw? I think the latter. Regardless, I appreciate how smart I am, even if I occasionally temper myself in the interest of not wanting to be perceived as a smarty-pants.

3. My love for my family
This is particularly true for my nuclear family and my siblings' families. I feel lucky that, having grown up with only each other, we still (mostly) want to spend time together. 

4. My deep empathy
Particularly for those who I perceive or who I know have been oppressed for reasons beyond their control (e.g., gender, sex, nation of origin, skin color, sexual orientation).

5. My dislike for overt brand devotion
I grew up poor, which meant brand names were largely out of reach for me. And I experienced them as impregnable walls between me and the "rich kids." As a result, I eschew overt brand devotion as crass braggadocio.

6. My spirit of adventure
My brother-in-law asked me on Friday night if I was truly adventurous, or if I liked the idea of calling myself adventurous. Maybe a little of both, in that I'm selectively adventurous. I won't typically try something I believe will cause harm to me or others, and I'm not always adventurous (sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name). But, I'm typically willing to push my boundaries in the interest of having a good story or discovering something new about myself.

7. My quirks
I am grateful the many ways in which my personality and my style falls outside of the lines of my particular station in life. My love for gnomes,my lack of disgust for nose-picking (everyone does it), my constant willingness to brake for squirrels, my enthusiastic style of dance not unlike that of Elaine Bennes, my nearly daily hula hooping - I could seriously go on. I embrace these things because they make me unlike anyone else I know.

8. My laugh
I don't laugh a lot, but when I do, it is loud and unabashed.

9. Parts of my physical self
I have long struggled with loving my body. Those 20 years of therapy, yeah, they were A LOT about that. But, I'm happy to say there are some physical qualities I have that I like: my breasts, my hourglass shape, my smiley eyes, my skin tone.

10. My generosity
I give 5% of my pre-tax income away to charity, and I give with intention. I love to bake, and I tend to give (nearly) all of it away to my neighbors (see #9 above), I am often willing to compromise my own needs in the interest of helping someone in crisis. BMG sees my generosity as a flaw, as an unfettered doorway to misery and exploitation. But I don't. I am glad to bring a little peace, joy and/or justice into the lives of others, and value this quality in others.

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