Today, we are asked to think back through our past, to positive moments, positive thoughts of ourselves. Rosie asks us to answer what do we appreciate about ourselves, what are we most confident about? And what was our earliest positive memory of ourselves, did anyone witness it and what was their reaction if they did?
Ok. So I'm going to start with now, what am I most confident about, what do I most appreciate about myself.
I am confident about being a good, solid graphic designer. I mean, part of being a graphic designer is self doubt, so don't get me wrong, I'm constantly doubting my ability and thinking I'll never get the client I really want, and that all those super cool hipster big swinging dick designers with their twilight hair and skinny jeans are of course better than me and get better clients, blah, blah, blah. BUT! I KNOW I'm a good designer, better than most of those boys. I have clients that have been with me for 12 years, once I get a client, they stay, because I'm good.
I am very confident about my voice. I know I have a good voice. I can sing opera, jazz, folk, pretty much most things. I have a good range and am good at improvising and when i am most relaxed and really unselfconscious I am at my best. I feel very confident about my voice most of the time.
I have quite possibly the best hair in the world! No, I am not exaggerating. I have inherited my Mother's hair. I have perfect soft ringlets of thick curls that just happen without any product. Or, if I decide to go straight, I have hair that behaves perfectly, with just the right amount of wave in the right spots. I get compliments about my hair all the time. I always say 'thank you, but it's all just good genes'. I am very grateful for my hair and don't for a moment take it for granted.
This may not be seen as a positive by those who love me, but I have a good analytical mind, and love a good argument. I was raised in an environment where a good argument was something to be relished and enjoyed, not something bad. I was raised to analyse and be able to verbalise those thoughts. I know that pisses off some of my nearest and dearest (especially when they are trying to get me to do things) and sometimes people think I'm mad when I'm just enjoying a good discussion. But, I know that my brain works pretty well in an argument or stressful situation. The worst that can happen is I may get loud, but I still love you in the end! This quality can be a bit much for some people. I hate small talk and I'm sure I can come across as a little intense at times. But it's who I am and I value it in other people. My ability to analyse also helps me with myself. I live to figure myself out, try and nut out why I do things one way or the other. It also allows me to see through bullshit pretty quick and that's very useful as a girl, when we get a LOT of bullshit thrown at us.
I think I am a good mother, but that is fraught with guilt and other issues. My kids are happy, confident, well behaved kids who eat well and don't watch too much tv. I strive to do the right things with them, I read about parenting a lot, I never thought I knew it all. But you know what? My kids aren't raised in a vacuum with just me. Their Dad is a huge influence on me and them, he is a wonderful, kind, gentle man with boundless patience and love. They go to a good school with a healthy mix of kids I rather they didn't play with and lovely kids, like life. They have a big community of people that they love and that love them, not just me. They are magnificent beings because they are who they are! They are completely different from each other. So, I think I'm a good enough Mum to get out of their way, and not mess them up too much.
My earliest memory of feeling positive about myself? I would say either riding my bike all day and feeling free as a bird. Or painting and drawing at at classes. Seeing the other kids be furious at not being able to get the drawing to come out right, and me sitting quietly watching and just doing my own thing. I loved doing three or four paintings when everyone else did one. I loved everyone raving about how good they were. I loved the feeling of a blank page being transformed into something, whatever_I_wanted. I loved the smell of water colour paint (still do). I love the sense of the whole world disappearing while I work, still do. It really did form a major part of my identity from an early age. My Father was an amazing water colour painter, he just hardly ever did it. But it's a very vidid memory, he and I painting together. I hardly ever draw or paint now. It's something you really need to do very regularly, it's a kind of muscle memory. I'm thrilled I managed to give birth to a daughter who has more talent than me and crucially, she had none of the self consciousness that I had about if others like her stuff or if it's good enough. I want her to hang on to that ruthless self confidence forever, and I want to learn how to get some of my own.
What about you? What are you most confident about yourself? Do you have qualities you like that others don't so much and you don't care?! Can you remember as a kid feeling good about yourself? Are you still in touch with that thing?
To join me in this journalling adventure towards greater self acceptance, be sure to get Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance by the magnificent Rosie Molinary.