A few days ago Melissa “Melicious” Joulwan linked to a post about making five short positive lists about yourself. Basically, they are:
Five things you love about yourself.
Five things your body can do.
Five things you’re grateful for.
Five things that make you happy you’re alive.
Five people (or pets) who you love.
After reading Melissa’s first list I thought “That’s cool, she’s got some great insight into herself.” Then I thought about what my five things I love about myself would be. I couldn’t even come up with one.
Seriously. How sad and messed up is that?
I wouldn’t say that I’m a depressive, I am a pretty positive person and I tend to see the bright side of things most of the time. But starting at about fourth grade I really started to dislike myself. I really don’t know where that comes from. I was terribly shy as a kid and I didn’t start to come out of my shell until about my junior year of college. I was the person that tried fervently to blend into the background and not be noticed.
Four years ago when I tested for my black belt in the mixed martial art of Kyuki-Do, one of the requirements was to make a black belt book. It was supposed to be a visual record of all my achievements (certificates, tournament participation, etc.) But it was also supposed to be about my life. I worked on it for a long time and was pretty proud of it. My instructor took me aside and said, “It’s nice. But you didn’t put anything in about yourself.” I was stunned. I thought the whole thing was about me. He was right, however. I had stuff about my family, my fellow martial artists, the ranch where my family lived, but nothing really about me.
It was at that instant that I realized I didn’t like myself. I had to bite my tongue (literally) to keep from telling my instructor that. That was not a conversation I wanted to get into at the time.
So after I read Melissa’s post I started thinking about things I should like about myself. Here’s what I came up with:
1. I have a pretty good sense of humor. I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh. I was way too shy to be the class clown, but I enjoyed the positive reactions people would give me when I said something funny so I cultivated that. I tend to subconsciously find the funny story in whatever happens to me, even if it’s something as small as doing the dishes. That’s why one of my favorite authors is Mary Roach. Mary Roach can find a funny story in anything, including but not limited to decomposing bodies and Chinese crematoriums.
2. I’m the master of the 420 character story on Facebook. Seriously, combine that with #1 above and I’ve had people tell me that they look forward to my facebook posts because they brighten their days. Friend me, you won’t be disappointed.
3. I’m really good at working with cows. Most people dream about having a horse. Not me, I don’t particularly like them. I’d rather have a cow (not as in “dude, don’t have a cow!” but as in a real cow.) I just have a feel for working with them and I love to do it. If I’ve done nothing else in my life at least I’ve been kind to an awful lot of cows. I guess that makes up for all the ones I’ve eaten.
4. I’m really good at baling hay. I make good bales. They are straight, even and tight. If you don’t think that’s a useful skill then just try stacking a pile of sloppy bales. You’re welcome.
5. I can build stuff out of junk. Need a hands free cell phone holder for a conference call? No problem, just give me a large pair of pliers, a rubber band and a candle. Need squat rack? Find me a couple of 4×4’s, some lag screws, some 2×4’s and a drill bit and we’re all set. I love the challenge of making something out of nothing. It fills my soul with happiness.
Not a bad start, huh?