I wish I could say that this list came easy for me, but alas it did not. I love this idea though! I got it from Gallantly Gal. You must do it, too. Then post it for the world to see! And no, you may not “balance” it out with a follow up post called “10 things I hate about myself”!
/1/ I like to make people laugh.
In college, I remember our professor getting upset and the class got awkward. We simply did not understand what he was trying to explain. This was medical anthropology class, and he was a young professor and getting frustrated. He turned his back towards us to face the chalkboard, like that’s how distressed he was got.
And I said, “Dr. Kozak,” in a little girl voice, “are you mad at us?”
Everyone laughed and so did he. We watched his shoulders drop, and he turned around, “No…” and then we started over again.
But this does backfire, you realize this. At a teachers’ meeting many years ago, on Whidbey Island, Washington, I was a teacher-in-training visiting the school. And I thought it would be funny to introduce myself as, “Hi, I’m Lani, and I’m an alcoholic.” You know, like they do in Alcoholics Anonymous! NOBODY laughed, even though I’ve gotten laughs with this before.
So, I bombed. Cringe worthy, breaking out in a sweat, let me crawl under something, bombed. I am an ee-dee-iot.
/2/ I’m a risk-taker (see above).
I discovered this when folks freaked out upon hearing that I went to a college in a different state without ever seeing it first. Then I did it again when I moved to Eugene, Oregon, and later, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Although, I think high school theatre helped me to be more fearless. You fail a lot on stage, and criticism can be flinching. But I don’t know, you fall and you get up, and you realize that’s part of life.
And yes, I’ve almost always asked the guy out first. (And no, they most certainly did not always say yes.)
/3/ I’m curious, creative, and open-minded.
I’m definitely NOT one of those people who only reads from a particular genre. I love discovering the interconnections between seemingly different disciplines. I like learning.
And whenever I meet someone new, I love to ask questions. If I’m in the mood, I can really get to know a taxi or Grab driver.
Of course, that one time I was in Las Vegas and we found out that the taxi driver was high on coke, that was a little scary, because I didn’t want to die that night.
/4/ I’m fairly observant.
This is great for complimenting others. 98% of the time, I know when my students or colleagues got a haircut. And I can’t help but compliment strangers on their shoes or dress or whatever.
But this is something that I discovered about myself when I would point out something to my BF, and he wouldn’t have seen it! I’m like, “How did you not see the pink poodle in the basket?”
I also enjoy studying people which my drama teachers recommended in high school and college. It’s a lot of fun.
Oh, but you know what? We were also told this when I was in Waldorf teacher training. So I’ve been told this often, and now I like to think I’m really good at it. But it is part of my job, after all, it’s good to see when one of your students is sick or down and out. Now, I consider being observant and paying attention as one of my superpowers.
/5/ I’m an independent thinker.
In the sixth grade, we had to take these tests for the State of Hawaii, and one of them was a writing assessment. I remember my feedback because I was so proud of it. The printout gave me an above average score overall, and stated that I had strong opinions, as well. In fact, I loved that assessment so much that I kept it, which is rare for me because I don’t normally keep these kinds of things.
Of course, if you go against the crowd, prepare to be misunderstood!
/6/ I can listen or talk. I can be a leader or a follower.
As a result, people don’t know where to put me. Hello, INFJ. I like that I can do both. Sometimes I surprise people, and I find that empowering.
/7/ I like to read and write.
This sounds lame, and maybe to someone else it is, but I can’t imagine not doing these things. They feel like lifelines to sanity, happiness, and other stuff you do out of necessity. I remember talking to a colleague who said he’d rather watch the movie than read the book. Whaaaat?
/8/ I’m all about growing old gracefully.
I’m not sure why this is. I think it has to do with meeting some really fabulous older ladies through my expat journey. Two of my friends are in their “golden years” and have found wonderful partners in the last few years. It stomps on the stereotype of once you reach a certain age that you can’t or won’t find love.
My closest friends in Cambodia and Ecuador were of retirement age. In the all-women’s writers group I helped form in Chiang Mai, I was the youngest person, and it was an honor to hear their stories. It’s just worked out this way. I don’t look for the oldest person in the room and make a beeline for them.
/9/ I like being me.
No, I did not exit the womb and go, “Ta-da!” Accepting myself took a looong while, but I’m glad I did because it freed up all this energy and space that I now use towards other more productive things.
I wish I could give my younger self advice, or even other younger women, but I feel like “figuring yourself out” and accepting yourself is a solo journey. And I’m not fooling myself into thinking there aren’t going to be other mountains to climb in the future.
/10/ I’m a work in progress – and I recognize and embrace this.
I’m not sure where I heard this, but I love the idea that “your story isn’t finished”. Not only is it true, it allows for breathing room, hope, and compassion.
If I’m honest, coming back to Thailand has been challenging in many ways. You don’t realize how much you’ve changed when you leave someplace familiar and return to it. And so you have to reconcile these two different sides of yourself, if that makes sense. I didn’t know that. I was just angry and full of regret at how things turned out.
But I got off that train track. I started to listen to positive videos, audiobooks, and read good things for the soul. I counted my blessings. I got back to meditating. In other words, I stopped fighting my surroundings and accepted them. Now, this isn’t to say that everything’s perfect, it’s not. I still want more, but I’ve come to realize that first I have to stop squirming like a fish out of water – and breathe.
Now it’s your turn. What are 10 things you love about yourself?