The weird things that make us

I’m going through a really weird and exciting and upsetting and fascinating and confusing and terrifying transition. I don’t know how to explain it other than to wrap those all up and call it an emotional roller coaster, but that just doesn’t seem to do this wild road of emotions I’ve been experiencing justice.

To try and bring a little calm to my storm and to get focus on who I am, what I need to do and how to do it, I sat down and started to write a list. I am a life-long list maker. I find it therapeutic and calming, giving a sense of control over something uncontrollable – life. This particular list started as a pro/con list but the final product ended up more like a very effective pep-talk calming the worries that have boiled to the surface lately.

I ask that you write your own list. Think about your skills, you strengths but not in the normal way. Think about the things that make you you and set you apart from others. Think about the weird things that people like about you, the things that you take for granted about yourself. It’s those qualities, the ones we take for granted in ourselves that truly set us above everyone else.

Here is my “skills” list. It was longer than I expected. I kept stopping, thinking I was done when another popped into my head as a memory or a comment came to mind that someone has said about me.

  1. writes in a personable and open manner
  2. friendly and approachable
  3. high energy and enthusiasm backed by quality work
  4. creative problem solver who is willing to try and fail and get back up
  5. seeks advice when needs guidance
  6. gains support, affection and respect through the simple use of appreciation and gratitude
  7. empathetic and can see issues from various perspectives of those involved
  8. thirst for knowledge and, beyond that, how everything does/can connect
  9. able to tell stories that resonate with people
  10. focuses on bridging the gaps – between agriculture and consumers, between organizations and contributors, between managers and employees
  11. intellectual but bawdy, sophisticated but simple, worldly but innocent

Now here’s the thing about my list…all those things also get me into a whole heck of a lot of trouble. It’s the trouble part that causes me so much angst. When I was younger I tried to change and hide who I was. People made fun of me for being me. Today I find that being me can make some people insecure or uncomfortable – maybe because I embrace who I am. Not a lot of people know how to embrace their soul, their self.

Write your own list. Think about the people in your life and what they appreciate about you. Embrace that vision of yourself, nurture it and build on it.

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