I’ve been trying to write this for days. It’s so hard for me, for so many reasons. There are days when I really don’t like myself so much, but even then I do know I have strengths. More importantly, I was taught (and not just by my parents, really, but by the world) to always be humble and demure and sweet and selfless. So to brag on myself? Unthinkable.
There’s more to it though. What if I woman up and write the list, and I’m WRONG? What if people read it and say, “uh, if you say so”? What if I make a total fool of myself because people don’t see me the way I see me?
Or what if they read it and don’t like me?
But I promised I’d do it, and here we are down to the wire, so here goes. I really had to resist deflecting each of these with a self deprecating joke.
I am kind. I try to treat all people with gentleness and respect.
I am compassionate. I genuinely care about the problems of others and do the best that I can to help them.
I am smart. I make jokes about being a nerd all the time, but I find it very hard to genuinely own and be proud of my own intelligence. I was a National Merit Scholar. I had a 3.9 GPA in college. I can solve puzzles, pick out themes in movies, do math in my head. I am smart and a woman. I am a smart woman. (This one was awfully hard for me to say, folks.)
I am not fussy about the way that I look. Truth? I don't care about things like clothes, makeup, and hair AT ALL. Sometimes I think that I should, that I need to be more of a girl, but really I'm glad that I don't.
I love. I love like it’s nobody’s business. Not just my husband and daughter (although I love them like Whoa), but so many people who have come into my life: family, friends, former students, random strangers..wait, what?
I am a good teacher. It seems strange to say because I’m not teaching now, but I know I still am a teacher in my heart. I can explain (almost) anything to anyone, but more importantly, I can really hear students and know what they need.
I can write. This is probably the hardest one of all of them for me. I don’t want to say it out loud, but I know that I’m a good writer. This is so much a part of my identity, and has helped me so much in my life. And now I’m even prouder of my writing because it sometimes has meaning for other people and so can help them too.
And truthfully? As much as I really do want to be liked, as much as I want people to approve of me and tell me I'm doing okay, right now I know, without anyone else telling me, that I can sit down and do something like this. And maybe that's Enough.
I also make a mean macaroni and cheese and some darn good pancakes, if you're asking.