It is SO HARD to take a compliment and even harder to compliment myself. I had made a note in my drafts folder for this blog YEARS ago of a challenge that was popular at the time to name 5 things you like about yourself, something that was a challenge because it seemed extra hard or uncomfortable for women especially. Well, after almost this exact same prompt coming up in a recent MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) meeting, I’ve finally dusted off this old post idea… and upgraded it from like to love. I challenge you to share with me some things YOU really love about yourself too…
Oh, and I’ve actually added a bonus thing so I could evenly split between three physical things I love about me (something I think is EXTRA hard to talk about sometimes) and three non-physical things
3 physical things:
1. My Eyes: My eyes are, sometimes to my detriment, deeply expressive. They are also a mix of colors with brown closest to the pupils spreading out to a greenish blue on the outside. I love them. And I love the things I’ve seen through them.
2. My Lower Legs: My legs have somehow become runners legs after all those miles I’ve put on them. I have muscle there I never expected to see and I’ve worked hard to give them the power they now have, and I love them. I know they won’t be like this forever, but I sure am enjoying them now. And even when they aren’t as strong or shapely as their current iteration, I will be thankful for the miles they’ve carried me, the pacing they have done nights when my babies were fussy, the hilarious character choices they have allowed me to make in various productions, and I will also be thankful for however long they can keep carrying me.
3. My hands: I was once in a play where I was cast as a character that had no hands (Anne Dexter in the Queens, but we lovingly referred to her as “Annnie Annie No Hands”) and ever since that production I have been in love with my hands and everything they do for me. I love how they hold and comfort my babies, how they knead bread and cut out cookies and decorate cards and TYPE so I can continue to say way more than I probably need to on any given topic. My hands aren’t fancy- they don’t have a manicure and if they have any polish at all on the nails it is usually chipped, they have calluses from lifting weights and attempting handstands, and I love all those imperfection s that reflect the way I live. My hands help to create so much and I absolutely love them.
3 non-physical things:
1. My love of learning: aka one of my super powers. I love my voracious appetite for knowledge. I love learning new things or learning to improve on old things. I can spend hours in books both fiction and nonfiction. I love that I have never had any qualms about this or felt embarrassed by my brain the way so many girls are taught to. I just LOVE my love of learning.
2. My desire to encourage others: I really love how much I love cheering people on. I get SO excited when I see someone working hard and making positive changes or learning to love themselves or others better. I love noticing some of the big and little steps people make and I love when friends trust me enough to open up in the hard times so I can encourage them through to the other side. I know not everyone feels naturally drawn to this type of behavior but I genuinely can’t help it and I’m thankful that something that brings me joy can be helpful to others as well.
3. My laughter: When I was little I used to dream of being on Inside the Actor’s Studio and being asked the Bernard Pivot Questionnaire. (Here’s a great, though not family friendly, clip of Robin Williams answering all the questions) Without a doubt the answer to the question about a favorite sound would be me laughing with other people I love. I love to laugh. My laugh is not subtle and I went through a brief time of being a little self conscious about that, but that didn’t last long. I’ve had directors use it to help a struggling comedy cast find pacing before they had a full audience, I’ve had directors caution their casts not to pay attention to what I laugh at because, “Amanda would laugh if you stood on stage with a kind face and just said doorknob” (to be fair, doorknob is a pretty funny word!) I’ve had performers make fun of it, and I’ve had performers crave it. (In fact, one theatre teacher in college said of me at the banquet the night before commencement, “This was the student who, when she wasn’t on stage, was the best audience member you could hope for. Heck, her laugh could make Medea seem like a sitcom”) My laughter has been a coping mechanism to help me through hard times and it has been an expression of pure unbridled joy in the good times and I. LOVE. IT.
What about you?! Even if you don’t feel comfortable sharing what things you love about yourself, I hope you’ll take some time today to think about them and maybe jot them down. If you do feel comfortable sharing, I’d really love to hear what you pick!