Hard to believe that the last days of September are trickling to an end - literally and figuratively as I sit here on a rainy day that despite temps in the 60’s, the lovely humidity that causes my smoke detectors to go off forces my ac on and my windows closed. But rainy days are good, cleans everything up nice and shiny outside and forcing me to avoid weeding my garden (yay!) and tackle some indoor projects - like catch up on all my DVR’d programs. #winning
As I was watching aimlessly some Real Housewife of perfect hair and make-up, I was also cleaning up my text messages. And I came across a conversation with a friend. And in said conversation I told her - hey, I’m not always happy. Sometimes I have doubt, feel petty, etc. And she was shocked by that, telling me I have a good poker face. And it got me thinking about how we see ourselves and how others see us. And lightbulb - time for a little social experiment!
Social Experiment: Talk the Talk
Wouldn’t it be interesting, maybe a little frightening, a little humbling and eye-opening to see if we walk the walk and talk the talk? If what we perceive we are putting out there is actually the way in which we are being perceived by others? I’m all about truth (unless it’s the scale and then lie to me) so this is what I’m going to do:
I’m going to give five words that I would use to describe myself. Attributes or qualities that I hope that I exemplify. I’ll add in some why’s and what-not’s but regardless, five words that I feel I am living. And then I’m going to give you five words that I would aspire to be, want to be better at or have others see in me. I’ll follow that up with five less than flattering qualities or words that I wouldn’t want to be used when people were describing me to someone else.
Here’s the kicker. I’m going to reach out to a random group. I’ll hope for 15-20. Ask them for one word to describe me. Just one. And I am not going to do it until after I’ve written the above as in no way do I want to be remotely influenced by what they write. Some family, some friends, some people that I know will no holds barred tell me exactly what they think. Here’s hoping a few of them match up.
Who am I?
Little look in the mirror at what I would consider are attributes that I routinely live.
I am compassionate.
I can honestly say that it is not an act. I do love people and I love to love. I have genuine care and compassion for others and for their journeys and being there for other people is important to me.
I am determined.
I have a very determined mindset. I am task oriented and if I put my mind to something, nine times out of ten I accomplish it. I may not go about it in the easiest way and I may not get the EXACT outcome that I hope for but I am not one to throw in the towel and give up.
I am emotional.
Lord, I cry all the time. Legit. I’ve been that way my whole life. Commercials, songs, gestures, the dentist. I wish at times I had better control over my emotions but the bottom line is I am an emotional being and I don’t always have an off switch for the emotions.
I am silly.
I don’t have an issue poking fun at myself, being silly, a little off the charts. Life can be so serious in my opinion and sometimes a little bit of silly is necessary. Suffice to say I’m not afraid of NOT acting my age.
I am protective.
I have no problem protecting and guarding what is mine at whatever cost. Not in a scary way, mind you…well, except for that one time where my head shrunk and I looked like Harry the Hunter from Beetlejuice but otherwise in a slightly higher than normal capacity, I am Mama Bear at her finest.
Whom do I want to be?
I’m a work in progress, kids, and am always looking to improve on whom I am. So here’s a few descriptives of what I want to be.
I want to be strong.
Not just physically strong although I do think strong is the new skinny. I want to be emotionally and mentally strong too. I’m not sure exactly how to get there, maybe by taking a more logical approach to life at times and keeping my emotions a little more in check. And by picking things up and putting them down. Heavy things.
I want to be kind.
Kindness is so important and where I think I come from a place of being kind, sometimes my delivery is not always on point, maybe I’m having a bad day and am looking to be a little petty or gossipy. But I think when you strive to always come from a place of kindness you inspire others to want to do the same and sometimes we have to squash that little demonic voice in our head whispering not nice things.
I want to be joyful.
There is nothing like seeing someone that is so full of joy all the time that it picks up your own spirits. You’re drawn to them like peanut butter is to jelly and when you walk away, your light shines a little brighter. Me - I wanna be that girl!
I want to be smart.
Now I’m not Forrest Gump-ing myself so just hear me out. We had a conversation not long ago where one of my little cherubs informed me that I really wasn’t that smart - that Pops had all the brains in the family. I rue the day - I ever let them start watching Jeopardy with me. Yes, my husband is very smart and polished and knows a lot about a lot of things. And the comment wasn’t made with the intent to hurt because I understood where the little brat was coming from and it’s become a running family joke. But I wouldn’t mind being though of as smart.
I want to be inspiring.
If I could have anything in the world, encompass any attribute - inspiring would be it. What greater gift can you give of yourself, to another human being that to inspire them? Inspire them to take that next step? Inspire them to think why not me? Inspire them to want to be more? Give more? Yeah, that would be awesome for sure!
Whom don’t I want to be?
Listen, we all have not so nice parts to our personality. It’s a fact of life. No person is on all the time. A blip on the radar screen? Fine. A quality that people think defines you? Not so much.
I don’t want to be petty.
I would hope no one ever sees one of my defining qualities as someone that is petty, someone that is so caught up in the small trivial details that they miss out on the bigger picture. Petty doesn’t look good on anyone.
I don’t want to be selfish.
I believe in living a life of service, in that the best way to be the best version of ourselves is when we give of ourselves to other. Being considered a selfish person would be my own version of the Scarlett Letter. Pass on that.
I don’t want to be reserved.
I think life is meant to live out loud. Loudly. In your face, front and center, asking life to ‘pick me’! Not that I want to be obnoxious but I would also hope that if I’m living my life as ME, being true to ME, than the word reserved would never even enter the picture.
I don’t want to be negative.
Ugh. Yuck. There is nothing worse than that negative person that sucks the life right out of you. The glass is always half empty and in fact is probably full of dirty water. I may not always be the happiest person in the room but I never want to be described as negative.
I don’t want to be fearful.
Life is full of obstacles, challenges, things that are scary. I don’t ever want to be seen as someone that is fearful of life, unwilling to tackle what’s in front of them. That’s not to say that I won’t have moments of being afraid - that’s human nature. But I would hope I choose to be fearless with my life despite being afraid of the situation, the outcome, the journey at times.
Walking the Walk
Well, here goes. Now mind you - I swear that all of the above was written before I reached out to anyone. I asked close friends, some family, males, females, tried to be fair and get a good variety. What I wrote to those that I asked was this:
“Favor - social experiment for a blog post. If you could describe me in one word, what would it be? Don’t deliberate - first word that comes to mind.”
And this - well, this is what they said…
A LOT (thanks, Mom)
What I learned
Wow…that was humbling. Loyal and passionate were repeated several times over and that makes me happy. It shows me that my intent, my personal mantra about living my life - I am on the right path and headed in the right direction. And that there are areas of my life where I need to probably clean up, get a dumpster and get rid of some of the garbage weighing me down. Things that are holding me back from embodying the other qualities that are important to me.
Who are you?
Let me ask you this - who are YOU? What qualities are you putting out there? What attributes are important to you? Are you not just talking the talk but also walking the walk? Are you living your journey the way you want?
We can’t do the work for you but we can give you some great visual reminders of whom you are and whom you are striving to become. Beautiful jewelry, made right here in our home state of Montana, pendants that you can touch and see with words that mean something to you.
Your words. Our jewelry. Messages in Metal.