Who Do You Want to Be?

April 9, 2016

The nice part about this question is that the large part of who we are is ever-changing. I see self-improvement somewhat as being the meaning of life. But what constants or mostly-constants do I need to see in myself in order to feel secure and how do I bring them about? Can this angry grackle become a swan?

I have recently started calling to question my own character. I haven't experienced insecurity to this level since I was 12 and determined all of life's problems are brought about by the Michaels and Jessicas who say shitty things about your personality when you're not around. I have since found that to only be as true as I allow it to be, but you see where I'm at. Someone in middle school pointed and laughed at how the way I shook my chocolate milk looked like a jack-off gesture, and now I need to remind myself that I like me best.

So, WHO do I want to be? Do I have those qualities? How can I reenforce them?
  • Kind

    First and foremost, I'm not going to interrupt what you're saying to inform you that I would rather get in Captain Hook's boo box than hear you finish your sentence. I will make you feel goddamn proud of yourself by pointing out what wonderful qualities you have and, by golly, I will humanely distract from the boring/irrelevant point you may have been trying to make. OK? Good. (Grade: I have this on lock. A+)

  • Adventurous

    Routine is the big basket of french fries I perform a disappearing act on after a crappy afternoon and almost always follow up with a sizable bucket of shameful regret. I aspire to be open to new things, go new places, and say yes when it matters. My first night in the Costa Rican rainforest, we arrived after dark, didn't know what was around us, and the cabin had holes in the screens. It was hot, sticky, creepy, and I honestly just wanted an AC hotel room at the beach to watch Titanic in. After that first night, though, I adjusted and had a spectacular time. I shall not indulge every craving for comfort. I shall travel the world and love it for its separateness from my zone. (Grade: I give myself a B- here)

  • Smart

    When I park and the space in front of the one I pulled into is empty, I pull forward, guys. It's the SMART thing to do. But I also once tried to check my tire pressure with what turned out to be a strange-looking meat thermometer. I am not the most handy person, but the numbers on the gauge should have meant something to me. All to say, there's always greater smartness to be sought and I intend to seek it. Read, admire smart people like Peter Diamandis, invest in Tesla, don't deny climate change or the supreme effectiveness of birth control, marvel at the vastness of our universe and all our mighty ignorance in regards to what it all really is, and I am on the right track to appreciating the joy of learning. (Grade: For this, I think I deserve a C for "ceep trying")

  • Creative

    I used to have a band and my creative itch was scratched into vocal nodules. It's cool. I write now. But before I started writing? Ugh. Misery. MISERY. I need creative outlets in my life. I hope to sing at the Elephant Room some day. I want to be a singer again. Nothing is as much of a stress reliever for me as 3 takes of 'Black Coffee' over a ten minute shower. In the meantime, this whole writing thing is the best therapy I ever done got. (Grade: Solid A-)

  • Playful

    I got tipsy in Costa Rica and made sloppy Spanish conversation with the bartender who then liked us so much for being nice that he took us on a tour of the suite Kennedy had stayed in and then on to the roof for ghost stories! Life surprises you when you goof off. I may not have as strong of a vocabulary as some of the smarter people in my life, but I can throw a really great Halloween party in a class, non-college-or-bridezilla kind of way. I am constantly reminded not to take myself too seriously, which I know I am successful at when my boob pops out m'bathing suit and I don't give a twinklin' toot 'bout it. You think Disney is lame? That's fine, just keep that wet blanket off my monorail seat, pls. Thx. (Grade: at LEAST a B+)

  • Conscientious

    Living in the United States leads to an easy sense of entitlement, thinking we need and deserve huge properties, cars, luxurious things that were made cheap overseas, and even air conditioning. We are ruining the environment, but think we have a right to because it's how we've always been comfortable. I have worked up my heat tolerance to where I use my AC very little through the year and I think twice before buying that frivolous throw rug that is affordable only because a sooty child in China was forced to finish 15 of them before he gets all of one moment to refuel with nutritiously-dense rice rations. I don't eat meat because I visualize what the animals go through. The idea that these things make me a yuppy to the aggressive commenters of news articles really makes me sad because they can do nothing but good. People feel defensive. My point is this: I don't even want to have kids, but if I did I would want to leave them a world that was well-cared for and lasting. Why NOT care about these things? (Grade: A. Hmph!)

  • Calm

    When Mr. Megatruck Gun-slinger cuts me off on the freeway, leaving me in his smoke-trail with the bumper stickered image of the confederate flag burned into my mind for a moment, I aspire to accept his existence in ignorance and realize that his thoughts will not necessarily affect my life, but are born out of an existence spent completely immersed in wood-paneled rooms with evangelists whose garages are all masterfully converted for NASCAR worship and hobbies that teach a man to supress his tears and turn them, instead, to fuel for a greater goatee. He might vote for something that could be enacted in policy meant to strip women of their rights down the line, but goodness gracious I will not think of that, turn up some Mariah Carey, and sing through the rage into the calming pinnacle of 'Butterfly'. No sense in adding to what I hold such disdain for. Just breathe and continue on to enjoy another day on this beautiful planet that gave rise to our vocal overlord MC. (Grade: C+)

  • Self-Accepting

    So, all those grades I gave myself? They should probably go away, but I have no idea how to notice areas for improvement without kicking myself in the balls a few times. It's a struggle. I am making a concerted effort, however, not to speak negative things about myself out loud. It's not going so well lately, but it will. After all, no one needs to hear about just how clammy I get when I feel nervously unqualified. And no one cares. I shan't grade this section (butifIdidIwouldgetaD!!!)

And there it is. My ideal me. The goal of this exercise is so that I may look at someone like Victoria Beckham, evaluate her level of seriousness and commitment to not smiling to avoid facial lines as a quality I do not possess, and know instantly that it is OK. I am better off being me and I have a whole list of proof. I really like me.


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