Sunday, January 10, 2010

I May Not be Perfect, But Parts of Me Are Excellent

Well, I admit that this is pure pain. One of the items on my Life List is to write 50 things I love about myself. Right now I'd like to punch the person I got that idea from. So I started the list about six months ago and recently have felt quite pathetic as it's lingered in my draft folder with six items on it. Every time I see it, it's a challenge: Really? I like six things about myself? That's it? I've wondered, how long should I let this task linger on my Life List? I have goals on there that will be significantly difficult to achieve - say, staying at the Ice Hotel in Sweden or earning a Ph.D. Am I honestly going to put off making a simple list until I've surfed in the Canary Islands?

When I decided to really do this, I was going to complete the list and post it on my Life List page and be done with it. Easy. But this blog is my space where I've recorded what's important to me for over five years. That's a long time in the blogosphere. So as I thought about it more, I knew what I had to do. Oh, gawd. I knew I had to post my list of 50 Things I Love About Myself right here for my little community to see. Cuss.

And then there was the task of coming up with 50 things that I really love. Honestly, it was difficult. For every positive thing I wrote down, three negative things instantly came to mind. And I worried that people would think I'm stuck up, or that I can't see the negative things. I actually thought of also making a list of 50 bad things about myself to post afterwards to show that I'm aware of those things, too. (Hello, therapist? Please keep my regular spot open.) (I bet that list wouldn't take six months to write.) Or maybe adding disclaimers. Like: "I like my body. Except for my butt! That's the worst!!" "I'm glad I blog often, even though I'm not very good at it." And then there was the issue of using confident language. I had to go through twenty times and take out the "I think I might . . . "s. While writing this list I've thought of times I've been hurtful to people I love, and felt that I didn't deserve to think of this many good things about myself. This was a tiring process. But I thought it would be an important one - a good teacher - and it has been.

My OCD prevents me from posting more than once a day (the formatting of the date would make the spacing uneven) but believe me that I have a post ready to go for first thing tomorrow to get this list off the top of my blog.
  1. I love my life. I love the life I've created through hard work, infinite luck, and the intense kindness of other people.
  2. I love my body. Mostly. This body has gotten me through 38 and 3/4 years of adventures in every corner of the globe. It's been a faithful travel companion, and I'm grateful that it still works. Mostly.
  3. I have a good, long neck.
  4. I like my feet. I have good feet and lovely toes. Very grippy.
  5. I recognize my ability to overcome difficulty and appreciate that I have the inner strength to do it. And then do it again.
  6. I like that I form my own opinions. I can listen to others forever, but in the end I think what I want to think.
  7. Eyelashes. Flutter, flutter.
  8. I'm a very compassionate person.
  9. I like my fingernails. They're very strong.
  10. I made one of my dreams come true and moved to Japan for almost four years. I still can't believe it!
  11. I love that I'm a reader.
  12. I genuinely value diversity so much. The more different you are from me, the better. Something I've never encountered? Great! Something I don't quite understand? Help me understand. I want to learn from you.
  13. I haven't always, but I do currently know the difference between you're and your. I'm glad.
  14. I have a freckle behind one ear that's pretty cute.
  15. My skin is soft like buttah.
  16. I'm pretty adventurous. Something new? Let's do it!
  17. I'm glad I journal often and have since the first grade.
  18. Just because something is hard doesn't mean I shy away from it. I'm glad.
  19. I love my own company.
  20. Good teeth. No braces.
  21. Lots and lots of silky hair. 100 pounds of it.
  22. I really know how to keep a secret.
  23. I'm new at it, but I think I'm a pretty good Auntie.
  24. I don't mind my ability to come up with just the right swear word for the appropriate situation. And sometimes for an inappropriate situation.
  25. I think I'm generous. When I'm in a position to give, I do and I can't think of much that I enjoy more.
  26. I have smallish wrists. They're nice.
  27. I'm an explorer. I have a desire to discover
  28. It's important for me to improve. I'm pretty familiar with my shortcomings and weaknesses, and I've put a lot of time and money into working on them.
  29. I love that I push myself to grow. Always pushing further.
  30. I'm glad I like to keep things clean and organized.
  31. I am learning to surf. I absolutely love that I'm learning to surf.
  32. I love that I watch my favorite movies 20 times and get just as caught up in the story the 20th time as I did the first.
  33. I'm a pretty great listener.
  34. I'm glad I value my ideas. I don't always go with something I've thought of, but I believe that my thoughts deserve to be heard just as much as anyone else's.
  35. I have really good intuition.
  36. I love my attitude problem.
  37. I know how to travel light. One small pack for two days or three weeks.
  38. I have a very tender heart. I cry a little more than most, and everything - good and bad - goes in quite deeply, which can be hard, but I am glad that in all these years I've never really closed my heart up.
  39. I don't have to win an argument.
  40. I respect people. When I look at a person, I'm focused on them. They matter to me.
  41. I have good legs.
  42. I'm glad I'm liberal.
  43. I do a good job at taking care of my cat. He's the only pet I've ever had, and I think I'm a good kitty mom.
  44. I'm pretty good at having fun. I haven't always been, but I work at getting better. It's important to me.
  45. I'm glad I've become a traveler, and I am proud of myself that I've taken every opportunity to travel the world so that I can learn about people and places that are different from me.
  46. 5 feet, 11 inches of me, every inch better than the last.
  47. I have a good, loud laugh. I used to get made fun of for it and that was a little rough. But if the worst you can say about me is that I'm laughing too much, I'll take it.
  48. I can ask for help, and I do a lot.
  49. I have a good heart. I don't always do or say the right things, but my intentions are almost always good.
  50. I'm a very grateful person and I know that I didn't develop all these awesome qualities without an army of supporters who have taught me important lessons throughout my entire life. I think of them often. They are my kindergarten teacher and other teachers, my Grandpa P and all my immediate and extended family, my friends - loads of them, some employers, volunteer coordinators, authors and artists, animals that have been in my life, and more. My gratitude list goes on forever.
(Title of post taken from a book by Ashleigh Brilliant)


  1. This is probably one of life's most difficult sorts of lists to make. You've done a beautiful job of showing us what an excellent human being you are. I'm glad I know you!

  2. 5' 11"?! Woman, you're an Amazon! Um ... wanna arm wrestle?

    Okay, just kidding. We both know you'd win; but, seriously ... I've made it through your list and would like to express my admiration. Yes, my admiration ... and my concern that what you lack is the ability to absolutely, resolutely refuse to be conned into making up such a litany.

    But then, I'm a self-loather and could never come up with that many things I would like about myself.

  3. You know what? I love all these things about you too!

    You did a great job at this. I know it isn't easy but look at you- YOU DID IT.

  4. I love your laugh and your attitude problem too! (I remember that shirt, anytime I see one like it I think of you!)

    I was always jealous of your eyelashes and your ability to form, and stick to, your own opinion. I find it "easier" to ride the apron strings of others. To be wishy-washy.

    Congrats! Thats no easy feat. Thank goodness you've put all that money into it! :)

  5. I love this and I love that you did such a wonderful job with it even more. I know how hard it would be to create such a list so I can only imagine the work you put into it. Don't post on top of this too fast! :)

  6. are perfect because there isn't another one of you. Yup.

    (and I love this list.)

  7. As with most of your post, this left me grinning and nodding my head. Yup, LSL IS most awesome.

    Once again, you leave me awestuck.

  8. a) i can't post more than once a day for the exact same reason.

    b) stop berating yourself for being a poor blogger. you're an awesome person and an awesome blogger. i love the way you write and how fearless you are about sharing your insecurities.

    c) i've never met you in person, but this list really makes me want to. very badly.

    d) i can't wait to read the 'things you hate about yourself' list.

    keep being awesome.

  9. "I love that I push myself to grow. Always pushing further."

    I love that you feel doubt and do it anyway. You don't let the funk win, and I suspect there are countless women you've never met out there who are inspired by it (psst--I'm one of them).

  10. What a beautiful self-affirming list! I hope you can pull it out in the down moments we all have in life.

    I am so glad to know you!

  11. You know what's great about this list? I recognize a lot of things about myself in there and I think others do too. So now I'm like, hey, I do that too. And it IS a admirable quality. Could it be that I have admirable qualities?

    I think this should be made into a meme, it really helps others feel good about themselves. Start tagging people STAT. ;)

  12. So, it's my first time here, and wow, I love this post. I love the idea of complimenting myself---though, listing 5 things would be tough some days. Great work, and you sound just lovely!

  13. My toes are grippy too. WE ARE SO AWESOME.