A poet of all poets, Theodor Seuss Geisel once said, “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one on Earth that is you-er than you.” Like snowflakes, there are no two people in this world that are completely alike. Individuals follow their own path & although gravity center us during the journey, the destination and simultaneously the arrival for each snowflake varies.
I’ve lately been self reflecting & trying to identify what some of these qualities are that ground me. When I think about myself and what words describe me best, the top 5 would be head-strong, intelligent, compassionate, adamant, and sensitive.
Over time, these are qualities that have been defined by both circumstances involving adversity and by important people in my life. I believe the choices and actions in response to these events are what will ultimately have shaped the person I have become.
The people in my life that have communicated some of these ideas of who I am are my parents, brother Samuel, my peers, and clientele at the restaurant I used to work.
The direct definitions that are most often assigned to me, would be “the one that lights up the room”, the social butterfly, busy bee, the chatty Kathy, and the”dumb blonde.”
I have happily accepted the more positive direct definitions but am still learning to accept that the latter definitions of “nosy” and “blonde.”
About being chatty, I have always found interest in other people’s lives but recently I am trying to be more observant of people’s boundaries and privacy.
As for being blonde, I can’t help what color my hair naturally is. The dumb blonde stereotype is something I’ve learned a lot from. I have accepted that I can’t control the hasty judgments of others, but I can control how conscious I am of the world around me.
Although I have oblivious moments like anyone does, I try to make the honest effort to see the bigger picture. This stereotype has eventually has become a joke to me.
When I was younger, my parents had a great influence on my conduct and still do. Certain behaviors were unacceptable in their household. Growing up in a big family, I fall second and for whatever reason, I have often been favored by my father, while my mother focused on my other siblings.
Unacceptable behavior to my father was disrespecting his orders and talking back to him. I was always an outspoken and headstrong child. This often got me in trouble with my parents because I would argue with them. My father was not incessantly strict but he was sure to discipline me for stepping out of line. He would also play the mediator between my mother and I.
He tried to understand my logic or reasons while my mother ruled out any justification for ill-mannered behavior. Ill-mannered behavior to my mother included not following her set of rules, or using the wrong tone.
Discouraged behavior from both parents included having poor sportsmanship and poor integrity.
More specifically my mother discouraged me from talking too much with my classmates because I was notorious for over-sharing information.On the other hand, encouraged behavior was singing, dancing, playing with my siblings, and competing in athletics. At home, besides the headstrong daughter, I was the family psyche. My brother Samuel would often come to me for advice. He found that I was a compassionate sister, always protecting and thinking of my siblings before I thought of myself.
My peers in school considered me to be very adamant. In both primary and secondary school, I was heavily involved in student council, having won class vice president, president, and school president throughout the years.
There were somewhat mixed evaluations based on involvement. While some saw me as hard-working, others were bothered by my determination.
I have never considered myself intimidating but my classmates might have because I was always very social, talking to adults at an early age. As I got older, I became more perceptive of others during these social situations. When I was in high school, I decided to focus on athletics and working at the family restaurant. In cross country and track, my teammates would often comment on what a great energy I was to be around. The team flow was not the same when I wasn’t at practice. They would enjoy our runs together because we could laugh and smile a lot. Some closest friends describe my energy like sunshine on a cloudy day. They say I have a big heart that’s always willing to give and share with others.
At the restaurant, I enjoy serving my customers with this same warm and welcoming attitude and have often been told that I have a positive contagious aurora. They also find that I am very sensitive. Although it is true I am affected by negative vibes and am rather sensitive in this way, specific customers appreciate that I am sensitive to their specifics needs including a family that has a son with several disabilities.
Besides my parents and peers, the media and a generalized other has influenced my identity and my concept of female culture. I appreciate features of women in a multitude of lights. Although people conceive the media as one homogeneous thing, the media is full of different entities that have affected my gender identity.
When it comes to women I see that they are portrayed in so many different ways but majority of media display secular women of a certain shape, size, and complexion.
From this influence, I have often desired to create an independence and equality across these mediums.
The way I view money and happiness have been shaped by this gender-neutral perspective in the sense that both men and women are equally capable of being successful., I believe, for this reason, my standards for beauty are more than just the physical appearance.
In regards to a self-fulfilling prophecy, I have internalized a few of the direct definitions that others have made for me. The one about being “blonde” is not about the actual color but the associations that others’ have made about me being less likely to understand things. Although these perceptions are false, I have the tendency to act more carefree or friendly around those that have these presumptions. Sometimes I feel guilty about feeding into the behaviors others expect because I don’t like the idea of contributing to the stereotype of blondes being more attractive/desirable but less intelligent.
A more positive direct definition I have convinced myself to be true has to do with lighting up the room. Since others have shared that I have such a positive nature, even on a bad day, I will bring my best self and mood. Over the years, I have come to realize that if I internalize the direct definitions too much, there is a tremendous amount of pressure.
For that reason, my view on myself has changed over the years because I am happier knowing that I do things myself rather try to fill someone else’s shoes.
If I continue to practice this conscious behavior towards pleasing myself before I please other and keep a keen awareness of my :nosiness”, I believe I will become a more self-actualized individual.
Written in 2015 for an Interpersonal Communication Class