Wednesday, January 29, 2014

21 Things I Like About Myself

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a professional singer/actress. That is, until I went to college, and learned a whole bunch about myself, including how terrible I am at/how much I HATE marketing myself.  I can’t *stand* all the hand-shaking and mingling and schmultzing it takes to make it in the business, and I have NEVER been good at walking up to someone important or even sending out an email alerting people to my cool-ness, or as Napoleon Dynamite would say “skills."

I’ve also never been great at receiving compliments.  And recently I’ve noticed how bad I am (and I mean BAD) at accepting other people’s praise.  Maybe because I think if I actually accept a compliment, it will go something like this:

So when I came across this blog post from one of my favorite blogs of all time (Avoiding Atrophy is where it’s AT) my heart just went “Eureka!! I’ve been feeling like this for YEARS!!” and I got really excited that I wasn’t the only one.

But then I got mad. Mad because this is actually a real problem in our culture today – especially among us women.  And we don’t really talk about it.  We think that accepting compliments is vain, or even rude.  We assume that if a woman is proud of her achievements and strengths, she is stuck up.

And that’s what Christy O’Shoney explains so well in the post that sparked this one.  Side note: I seriously love her and her blog.  So much so that I’m attempting to write this blog in true Avoiding
Atrophy style – complete with sparkling wit and gifs… and cats.

Ever since I stumbled upon her wedding do-over post and then found her adorable post about her having a super fun time with her super cute hubby I felt like if I knew her in real life we would be really good friends.  Maybe if I ever move to New York… But seriously – go follow her.
But I think the best part about her post was that she really hit the real heart of the problem – it’s not even so much that we’re afraid what other people think.  It’s what we think about OURSELVES.
So Christy set out to make a list of the things she likes about herself, and encouraged others to do the same.
And I thought – that's a great idea!

Recently my awesome friend Sarah challenged me to write a body love letter. She even sent me hers to encourage me.
But the truth is… I didn’t end up writing one – I have a tendency to avoid thinking about my body. But the idea has been on my mind ever since, and reading “10 Things I Like About Myself” really clinched it for me.

So this isn’t exactly a body love letter, but it’s similar.  And while Christy kept herself to 10 things (she could have done more – she really is that cool) I decided to just start a list and see how many I could come up with.  So here goes:

21 Things I Really Like About Me:

1. I have great hair. People tell me often. Especially my friend Elisa. It makes me happy.
2. I’m funny. I love making people laugh and have gotten pretty good at it in recent years. Especially when it's my friend Ana and I'm doing my Miranda Sings impression.

3. I love teaching.
4. I bake really great cookies. Chocolate chip is my specialty.
5. I’m a really good speller.
6. I have pretty feet. They’re small and dainty, and cute. And I like them.
7. I’m good at singing.
8. I memorize music quickly.
9. I can imitate just about anyone.  I’ve always been quite the mockingbird, and it has served me really well in my singing/theatre experiences.
10. I’m not-so-secretly great at dancing. Especially at weddings. Recently at a wedding reception the mother-of-the-bride said to me, “I love the way you move! You’ve really got it.” MADE. MY. DAY.

11. I’m good at including people.
12. I can laugh at myself.
13. I have pretty eyes. Big, brown, Disney Princess ones. Though not quite as big as hers:

14. I have good taste in television, movies, and music.

(Best. BMW episode. EVER.)
15. I’m good at helping people out of their comfort zones.  My silliness often encourages others to let go and let loose a bit.

16. I care about my family and friends deeply and do my best to love them fiercely.  When one of them gets hurt or goes through a hard time – I hurt with them.
17. I’m honest.  I’ve always been good at sharing my feelings with just about anyone - often times it’s necessary to me actually functioning as a human being (it’s an extrovert thing) - but recently I’ve felt the pull to be *really* honest.  Lose the mask.  Feel all the feelings – Even if it’s not “pretty.”

18. I’m good at striking up random conversations with random strangers in random places.  I made a woman I’ve never met before laugh in the cookware section of Kohl’s the other day.  I’m all about being silly to make a person’s day.

19. I laugh freely, and loudly. No shame.
20. I have a kick-butt Pinterest.  It’s pretty darn fabulous. Check it out.
21. I take a mean selfie.


Ha --- Just kidding. ;)

So… what about you?  Are you gonna make a list? :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014


I take a deep breath.

The air around me is cold, and I'm wishing for my gloves.  I think I left them in my car.

The pathway is lined with snow, the brick under my feet speckled white.  My steps are steady and sure in my pink flowered rain boots as I make my way across campus, back towards my car.  My iPod in hand, I search for a song.  What used to be an easy choice is now an extremely hard one.  My usual go-tos are no longer an option. They take me to a place I'm trying so hard to forget - make me a girl I'm trying so desperately not to be anymore.  I can't be her.  She hurts too much.

I settle on something and keep walking. I take another deep breath and take in a feeling I'm not familiar with. It feels... new? Stark? Empty? Independent? Strong? Weak? I can't tell - but I know this feeling is struggling to feel welcome in the heart it's invaded.  Let me in, it whispers, as I turn a corner and see my car several feet ahead.

This.  This feeling.  I can't shake it, and it's starting to... define me.

Everyday I wake up to it.  Every night I try to push it out of my head as I fall asleep. This - this is what I was afraid of a long time ago, and what I hoped would never be.  Now, it is me.

It will go away, I tell myself as I drive to work, choreograph dances in my kitchen, or bring a load of laundry down to the basement.  It has to.  This can't be my life forever.  It can't.

Hold on darling.  This too shall pass.  This, too, shall pass.


Well it knocked me down, it dragged me out, it left me there for dead.
It took all the freedom I wanted and gave me something else instead.
It blew my mind, it bled me dry, it hit me like a long goodbye,
And nobody here knows better than I that it's a good thing.
Love is a good thing.

It'll fall like rain on your parade,
And laugh at the plans that you tried to make.
Wear you down until your heart just breaks
And it's a good thing.
Love is a good thing.

It'll wake you up in the middle of the night, it'll take just a little too much.
Burn you like a cinder till you're tender to the touch.
It'll chase you down, and swallow you whole, it'll make your blood run hot and cold.
Like a thief in the night it'll steal your soul, and that's a good thing.
Love is a good thing.

It'll follow you down to the ruin of your great divide,
Open the wounds that you tried to hide.
And there in the rubble of the heart that died
You'll find a good thing.
Cause love is a good thing.
Oh love is a good thing.

Ooo, take cover,
Ooo, the end is near.
Ooo, take cover,
But do not fear,
Do not fear.

Cause it'll break your will, it'll change your mind,
Loose all the chains of the ties that bind.
And if you're lucky, you'll never make it out alive, and that's a good thing.
Love is a good thing.

It can hurt like a blast from a hand grenade
When all that used to matter is blown away.
There in the middle of the mess it made you'll find a good thing.
Yes, it's worth every penny of the price you pay - it's a good thing.

Love is a good thing --(Ooo, take cover,)
Love is a good thing --(Ooo, the end is near,)
Oh love is a good thing --(Ooo, take cover.)
Do not fear.

~ Andrew Peterson, Love is a Good Thing


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