One of the central truths about myself is that I have a tendency to feel inadequate. This applies in all aspects of both my life and my being… I’m never enough (and you can forget about exceeding expectations.) This is, generally speaking, not a positive state to inhabit day in and day out. The times in my life when I have felt accomplished and pleased with my abilities or efforts are so few as to be counted on a single hand.
That’s not good.
Today, I’m writing a list of five things about me which are positive and true.
I know a ridiculous amount about literature, stories, storytelling and TV.
Seriously, I spent a weekend with some beautiful old friends this month and we talked about a lot of things. One of them told me before leaving that he now had a big list of things to read and watch and experience that he wouldn’t have known about otherwise, and he really looked forward to seeing me again (probably in another 6 months or so) when we’d be able to talk about the things he’d gone away to find.
This might not seem like much of a super power, but in its own way it is. I’m quite good at talking to someone for a while and directing them to stories which will resonate with them. I do it for my Mother In Law on an almost weekly basis… she loves all things psychological. If it revolves around the way people think and react and interact, she’s going to like it largely irrespective of the genre. It’s perfectly reasonable for me to be just a little bit proud of my ability to see into people, to know the stories that’ll touch them, and to be able to direct them there. That’s pretty cool.
I can smell off food.
I don’t mean in the way everyone can smell that pile of rotting matter in the crisper, everyone can do that. I mean things that are about to turn, but haven’t yet. Things that seem just fine but will curdle in your tummy and thus leave a nasty smell in the carpet when they come back later. My husband routinely walks up to me with containers of stuff and says “Smell this.”
In this area in our house, my word is law. If I say it’s bad, it goes in the bin or in the compost – no one argues with me anymore. A half dozen ‘but it smells alright to me’ at the beginning of the relationship which led to gastrointestinal distress, and now, no one argues.
This would probably have been a much more valuable talent before refrigeration and used by dates, but it is a talent non-the-less, and I do get to use it pretty regularly.
I’m moderately linguistically gifted.
Reading came pretty naturally to me very early. My father insists I was reading on my own by the time I was three, and tackled Lord of the Rings for the first time when I was 7. Because my favorite movie as a child was a BBC production of twelth night, Shakespearean and Chaucerian English comes very easily to me. From there, middle English wasn’t a big leap. I can translate Beowulf reasonably well, and muddle my way through most romance languages (written far better than verbal.)
This isn’t particularly useful, except on board game night with family friends where the winning team for word based games is invariably the team that has me on it. It balances out though, because anything more complicated than simple addition and subtraction and steam starts coming out of my ears and a recording plays demanding someone reboot the system because I’ve overheated.
Often it doesn’t go anywhere, because I’m also Queen of the procrastinators (bow before me!) but I’m a very creative person. I love to write (which I’m moderately good at) and draw (not so good at that one) and take photographs (that one’s hit and miss.) I love to sing, which draws mixed reviews, but it makes me feel good and my youngest daughter doesn’t mind so we sing together a lot.
I wish I had more energy and confidence with this in particular.
I love. A lot.
To the casual observer it might seen that I’m a bit withdrawn and distant. I don’t go out much, and I don’t meet a lot of new people, people freak me out a little. The casual observer would be wrong though… I don’t really have any ‘friends’ as such. My world is divided into two groups, acquaintances and family. I fold brothers and sisters (and a couple of non-binary individuals too) into my family like I’m trying to shuffle in a second deck. Maybe it’s because I grew up an only child? Maybe some part of me has always been aware of my elder sibling (who never arrived) and I’ve been trying to fill their place? I don’t know, but that position in your life where you like each other and it’s cool to hang out and what-not, doesn’t really exist for me. It’s all or nothing.
I suppose this might not be a purely positive thing. It makes my circle relatively small. At the same time, I find generally speaking that the love I give out comes back to me just as powerfully from those who hang around. My ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ are always there if I’m in need, and it’s OK for me to ask for help, even if it’s a pest, because we’re family. And it’s perfectly normal for me to find myself on last minute flights to other states after midnight phone calls. I’m extremely lucky to have a beautiful and understanding husband, a wonderful father, and beautiful hippy Mother in law, all of whom understand that I physically can’t not be there if I’m needed. They help out with the kids, they roster things around, and hold down the fort while I’m gone… they’re really f*&(ing amazing actually.
So there we go. Five positive things about me which are true. I’d love for you to take some time and come up with five positive and true things about yourself that you can be proud of! You could post them here in the comments, or maybe link to them in your own blog.