Thursday, February 6, 2014

I'm awesome.

"Comparison is the thief of joy."
I've read it, pinned it, repeated it, and pinned it, but somehow it still just doesn't sink in. I can't stop the urge to compare; seeing the lives of others and lamenting how much blank-ier they are than me: Prettier. Craftier. Funnier. Organiz-ier.  (Wordsmithier?!)

It's so so easy to compare. And so so easy to feel like you're coming up short. I'm not against elevating others, or applauding true talent, but how did those ideals transform into a culture where it's not ok to elevate ourselves once in a while? Somewhere along the line it became a crime to show a little pride. (Unless your a Kardashian. Or a rapper. Or a rapper married to a Kardashian.)

Have you tried to brag about yourself recently? It's kind of hard. Even accepting a comment graciously can be tough sometimes. It's difficult to spout your accomplishments without sounding like a self-absorbed jerk. I'm not advocating a life of shameless self-promotion, or oblivious bragging (see: Kardashian) But having a healthy self image, with the guts to say it out loud? I believe that could be a very good thing. 

For me though, it can be a struggle to simply say I'm good at something, without feeling like I have to be the best at it. It's like the minute I claim a talent, imaginary critics are going to crawl out of the woodwork shouting "Imposter! Wanna-be! I've seen better!" That imaginary fear makes me feel like I can't truly be "good" at something without an outside endorsement to prove my worth. And so often for me- that validation is tied to accomplishments, money, or accolades. I don't want to be a money-grubbing, "likes"-counting, social-climbing, striver, but sometimes it's hard to escape the way our society tends to set up rewards and strata. Our value is based on how we stack up against others. Our worth is measured against each other. 

I'm not a real blogger until I get sponsored. 
I might be crafty, but I don't have an etsy shop. 
Sure, I'm good with the computer but I'm no graphic designer. 

And even if we can get past the titles and outside endorsements, it's still so easy to make it a comparison:

Eh, I'm ok at that, but lots of people are better. 
I'm good at that I guess, but it's not really a big deal.

Well I'm sick of that. 

I want to be brave, stand tall, and shout it out loud- or at least type it out loud: I'm good. A something. At somethings. Lots of things. Maybe not the best. Definitely not perfect. But it doesn't matter. I am still talented, interesting, and unique. Not in comparison to someone or something else. Just as a fact. 

So I present, the official, if incomplete, List of Things I'm Super Steller At:
  • Math
  • Snuggling 
  • Brainstorming
  • Singing harmony
  • Storytelling
  • Making babies smile

Do you know how many things I had to run through in my head to get a measly handful of things for my list? So, so many. For each thing I thought of, I automatically came up with a disqualification, or even worse- all I could think of were things I'm bad at! (It's crazy how many things I struggle at, that came to mind. Even when I'm trying to think positive the negative is so easy to see.)  I had no trouble thinking of ideas, but even when I allowed myself to admit I was good at one, when it came time to put it down, I had to suppress the urge to put a qualifier afterwards. It seemed too bold to just write a word, and leave it out there, without a justification, or clause. It takes guts to put it out there- to own an entire category, and say unequivocally- "Yes. I can do that. No if, ands, or butts. No waffling. No watering it down. That thing? I got it. Give it, I got it."

And even harder than that, was resisting the urge to deflect the attention with sarcasm. It's my style to joke, and I'm a master at a self-deprecating quip (can you claim to be a master at saying you're not a master? Is my circular reference tearing a hole in the blog continuum?) but that tends to be the easy way out of the uncomfortable act of tooting your own horn (an already uncomfortable phrase). I wanted to write "Eating the entire box of macaroni and cheese. By myself. Off of the big spoon." just to make sure everyone knew I didn't take myself too seriously. But I resisted that urge (kind of. But lets be real, you already knew I can't resist the blue box.). Sure it makes me relatable to share my faults and follies, but hopefully it's inspiring, not aggravating, to occasionally see me honestly profess my pride.

I'm awesome. But I didn't make this awesome graphic. 
Original image source unknown. Credit the awesome world of Pinterest.

So I have a couple things to hang on my hat on. A few categories that I will unabashedly say, "You need someone for that? I'm your girl!" 
But what about you? 
What's your thing? What awesome stuff is on your list? What makes you puff up your chest and say "Aw, yea-yah, boiiii" (or some equally confident "I'm the man" type saying)?

You may be tempted to ask for help landing on your list. And I'm sure there are no shortage of people who would be happy to spout off your glowing list of successes (after all- You da man!). But I'd encourage you to come up with your own list. Yes, it's lovely to have someone pump you up and take notice of your special qualities. But it's valuable to be able to look inside yourself, identify your skills and be brave enough to tout them on your own. 

So if you're thinking "yeah, but my thing isn't really my thing, and even if it was, everyone can do that, and even if they can't, it's probably because they wouldn't want to anyway....mope, mope, mopey-sauce" I would challenge you. I'd poke you in the chest (really high so it didn't get awkward) and say: 

Nuh-uh. That's a lie. A lie that takes away your sparkle. 

(Bachelor reference; another thing I'm pretty awesome at. Or "another thing at which I'm pretty awesome", if you're a grammar enthusiast). Sure, there are talents that are more common than others, but there is no one thing in the world that everyone is good at, and even if there were, that shouldn't discount the pride you feel if that super common thing happens to be right up your alley. 

So lay it on me. Tell the world. Claim your fame. Share what you're awesome at. Without the caveats, and self deprecating add ons. No disclaimers, or watering it down.

What about you? Scoot over into the comments and boast: 
What's your thing? 
(If commenting isn't your strong suit, find me on your favorite online haunt: instagram | facebook | twitter | pinterest)

P.s.  Here's a note on feeling ordinary, and bit more about who I am....and who I'm not.


  1. Microsoft Excel. I'm good. I'm really, really good.

    1. true story. I'm getting better by association too!

  2. making pancakes, documenting life, glitter glue crafts (recent development), organizing with the cloud and IKEA, accepting husband hugs and giving kiddo cuddles.

    1. Glitter glue crafts- that's awesome. And I love that you put accepting hugs. I don't' always think of that as a skill…but it IS! An important one too!

  3. Giving. I'm really good at giving. And after that sentence the next thing that popped into my mind is that I'm not good at ..... Why do we do that to ourselves?!

    1. Such a good one. It's so hard to be kind to ourselves sometimes!

  4. I'm good at painting walls (without the use of tape) :)

    1. Please feel free to spread that talent all over my house!

  5. Reading books like it's my job, which it's not, but it should be. ;)

    1. Professional reader. Should totally be a thing!

  6. making babies? lol
    I can think of more things to add to your list btw
    I'm really good at drawing straight lines without a ruler. And I can bake pretty well. I'm uber good at procrastinating (wait, that's not a good thing though)

    1. My first quarter of drawing in college was seriously all about drawing straight lines. I have PAGES in my old sketchbooks. :)

  7. What a great post! I'm really good at reading, planning, and listening when others need to vent. Which is probably a good thing, since I'm a social worker :)