There are a lot of things about myself I want to change, but I thought it would be healthy to think about the things I’m content with for once. It took a long time to think of ten things, but I did it!
1. My handwriting.
It is small, but it is clean and legible and my f’s are unique.
2. My eyes.
There are a lot of physical features I want to change, but my eyes I like. They are dark and expressive and give my otherwise average appearance a boost. When I was little my sister’s used to call me Alf because I had small beady eyes that were almost all black. Alf isn’t really a look that most people would strive for, but hey, at least it stands out.
3. My voice.
I used to cringe whenever I heard my voice on a recording. I have a very soft voice that I felt made me seem weak and childish, and then I realized my demeanor usually sends out a very cold message (intentional or not), but my voice makes me approachable. I won’t intimidate anyone with my voice and that’s, for the most part, a good thing.
4. My love for animals.
I melt when I see an animal. It doesn’t matter how “ugly” others might consider it, they are all precious in their own way. Seeing an animal is such an easy way to get a shot of happy in my day. Going to the dog park, seeing a squirrel, watching a video of baby sloths–instant joy! On top of that, it makes me more conscious of the world around me. It’s easier to care about the environment when you care about everything that lives and depends on it.
5. My heritage.
When I was little I used to long to have lighter skin, blond hair, and blues eyes. That, to me, was the epitome of beauty. Speaking English was soooo much cooler than Spanish. And then I moved to the states and my fascination for the “All-American” started to fade. I had loved the look because it was so rare in Honduras, but we are all the same in the end: mundane in one crowd, exotic in another. Every ethnicity has its beauty and I’ve grown to appreciate mine a whole lot more. I love my skin color, brown hair, and accent. It doesn’t make me more beautiful or unique than anybody else, but it hints to where I came from. And I love where I came from. People can look at me and know I speak Spanish. They know I’m latin and I love that. No matter how far away I go, I’ll always be Honduran and it shows.
6. My family values.
I’m not the type of person who calls and keeps in touch with everybody. If it weren’t for Facebook I’d be pretty lost to the world of most of my loved ones, but I don’t need to keep in touch to know we are family. If to me you are family, blood or otherwise, I will stand by you no matter what. I can fight with you and call you out on your crap, but if you need my support I’ll be there. I’m kind of like the mafia when you think about it (except for all the illegal stuff).
7. My fears.
There are two things I’m terrified of: cockroaches and social situations.
I’m a very disorganized person. My home, my workspace, my car–everything is a mess. The only thing that keeps me from living like one of those hoarders on tv is my fear of roaches. It’s what motivates me to wash the dishes and pick up all the random stuff off the floor every now and then. Rewards systems just don’t have the same kick as fear does.
My second fear is a bit more serious. I’ve self-diagnosed myself with social anxiety. Every time I will meet someone new or go to a party with a large group of people (or small for that matter) my chest gets really heavy and my stomach turns. I used to throw up before every first day of school(pre-k through college). It didn’t occur to me until recently that maybe not everyone does that. It makes life hard and friendships even harder. I’m not scared of strangers; I’m scared of potential friends: people I will work with, study with, anyone I’ll see again someday.
Why do I not want to change that? Because it makes me challenge myself everyday. It gives me something to overcome on a regular basis. It’s strange, but that feeling I get after a party or a meeting with a “potential” is the very same feeling I got after trekking through the forest in Thailand. I feel relieved and in desperate need for a shower, but I also feel proud and hopeful. I feel like I can do anything (until there’s another party at least).
8. My need for harmony.
I can’t live in conflict. Fights take too much energy out of me. This normally results in me avoiding people and situations or just being a downright push over, but now that I’ve matured a little bit I know there are other ways to maintain or find peace that don’t include cowardice or submission. You can have a discussion about politics or any other conflict without fighting or caving in. It’s all about staying firm and flexible…sounds easy no? Well, it’s not. It’s very hard. It’s a delicate balance, but there’s a quote I love that has really helped me lately:
Listen as if you are wrong.
I wish I remembered where I read it and give credit where credit is due. In any case, you have to believe in what you’re saying, but know that other people do too.
I pity people who live in constant conflict, specially those that seem to enjoy it. I like living a life where peace and harmony are a priority (not order though–see above).
9. Being an introvert.
I can spend a lot of time sitting by myself thinking. I feel energized by it. Too much time alone isn’t good, but I value being able to sit by myself without feeling desperate for company. It took me a long time to reach that point and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still struggle sometimes, but the moments when I can reach that calm are invaluable.
10. My need for change.
I am lazy and disorganized and socially inept, which are all a huge disadvantage to living a quality life. The one thing that saves me is my cravings for novelty and excitement. I need to make time to have fun. If I feel like I’m falling into a routine I will get crabby at best, and depressed at worse. I start getting restless and the only thing that can save me is bungee jumping. I always have a huge list of things I need to learn and do by next week, which I keep procrastinating, but just writing it down and dreaming gets me moving eventually. Without my thirst for change and adventure, I don’t know where I’d be.
What about you? What parts of you are you happy to stick with?