Today’s Prompt: Play that horn. Want to hear a secret? You’re awesome. (It’s actually not even really a secret.) This is going to be hard for you, O Modest One, but you gotta give yourself props today. Write three things you love about yourself – things you’re great at – or just want to share. Don’t you dare signpost or undercut those self-compliments!
Actually, between November's prompts and last April's prompts, I'm growing weary of describing my awesomeness. I have a healthy enough self-esteem without all of this back-patting and high-fiving. But since I'm also committed to completing this challenge...
1. I can communicate.
I'm articulate, expressive, and a tad verbose. Tome is a word used more than once to describe my emails to colleagues. I prefer thorough.
I'm awkwardly capable of understanding/speaking/reading in multiple languages without really being able to say I'm fluent in any of them but English. It makes for cute and clumsy dialogue between me and the international party. Like the poor employee in the produce section to whom it was imperative on Sunday that I explain that the parsley had been marked as cilantro. (I learned I don't know the word for parsley in any other language and that I couldn't remember the word for 'to taste' in Spanish - which totally ruined the flow of the story I was trying to tell him about tasting what I thought was cilantro and discovering it was parsley before not deciding not to add it to my soup.)
2. I am funny.
See above story about making small talk with the produce employee.
Or yesterday's blog post.
Also, meet my daughter. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
I often think of myself as possibly too selfish. I worry, after a conversation - did I refer to myself or my own experience too much? Did I make the other person feel heard? Valued?
But the fact that I worry so much, I think, indicates that I really care about that person. As a teenager, I hated when adults would make me feel like they thought my problems were petty or mundane. I hated feeling dismissed. As a high school music teacher for the last decade, I've tried to offer kids both the perspective I feel those adults meant to give me AND the feeling like their experience or their perspective is valid. Yes, it's true that, ten years from now, they probably won't remember the spat they had with their substitute teacher or the thing that guy said in the hallway that made them cry...but what matters is that it weighs heavily on their minds today. They need someone to listen, evaluate, offer advice, make them laugh about it. And the advice should never be that none of it matters.
With my health community - online and off - I want people to know that I am involved because I care. I want to see that guy less stressed. I want that girl to have a healthy pregnancy. I want that mom to find a solution for her son. I want everyone to sleep more peacefully, get along with their health care practitioners better, and feel more empowered about their own health.
And that's a large part of why this monthly challenge brought me back to the keyboard day after day, night after night. I feel for you. I know what it feels like to deal with the kinds of issues you deal with. And I want to share my thoughts with you. Maybe none of it matters once you've finally started that insulin pump or birthed that baby or gotten that clean bill of health about your vision...but you'll remember that I talked to you, that I made you laugh, that I cared enough to offer my experience and perspective.
And if that made something weigh less heavily on your mind today, then I know I did my job.
This post was written as part of NHBPM - 30 health posts in 30 days: http://bit.ly/vU0g9J.