I keep wondering how my friends and family would describe me to other people.
Not how I look–that’s pretty easy to imagine. But instead how (and who and what) I am.
Would they say I’m quiet? Kind? Standoffish? Self-centered (blogging not-withstanding)? Would they describe me as loving? As helpful? As pessimistic? As pragmatic? Would the words timid and meek come up? What about supportive? Jealous? Cynical? Sarcastic? Cold? Warm? Happy? Angry? Joyful?
And then the question arises…
How do I want them to describe me?
The other day was my friend Jennie’s birthday (hi Jennie!). And as I watched her friends (myself included) wish her a happy day online, I saw many of them share things about Jennie that make her so special: how supportive she is, how she is their biggest cheerleader, how she just exudes this completely open wish for her friends to be their best person, to have their best life.
It was pretty cool to watch so many people openly share things that make Jennie awesome.
It was really thought provoking as well…
I have a friend from high school and college. She’s one of my favorite people on the planet, and she collects friends from all corners and areas and walks of life, which is a large part of her charm. She is adventurous, joyful, loving, open hearted, and kind. She radiates love into the world.
I kind of wish I was like her.
I don’t know how my friends and family would describe me, but my guess is that much of it wouldn’t be…any of that.* I don’t think it’s bad, most likely, but it probably isn’t anything all that special. And not that I want to be someone I’m not, or be painted with traits I don’t have. But I’m 33 years old, and I think it’s time that I start becoming who I want to be, who I hope to be. It’s time to decide what kind of person I want to be known as and start doing the work to become that person.
I need to figure out how I want to describe myself.
I don’t have any imaginings that I’m going to leave any mark on this world beyond the relationships I’ve cultivated and the person I’ve been. There will be no record of me in the history books, no place for me in a museum, no statue built to honor me. My only legacy will be what my family and friends say about me.
So what kind of legacy do I want to leave?
What I know–I want the legacy I leave to be positive. I want people to have a smile in their minds when they think of me. I want to be the kind of person that people want to be around, enjoy being around. I want to be someone who is not described by words like cynical and pessimistic and meek, but instead by positive words like supportive and open and loving. I want to be a better me than I think I am right now.
I don’t want to be someone I’m not, or pretend to be and act in ways that aren’t true to who I am. I don’t want to be fake or false or untrue. I don’t want to be anyone besides me.
But I want to be the best me possible, to make the best mark I can on this world, to strive to be more than my worst traits. I think I can do that. I’m not sure how, but I think I can be my best me. Because I’d like to know that my friends and family are describing me in ways that make me proud of myself.
I’D like to describe myself in ways that make me proud of myself.
I don’t know what that means yet, and I don’t know how to get there, but I know that I can’t stop thinking about it, so it’s time to give it some real thought, and some real attention. 33 seems like a good year to figure out who I want to be, right?
*Dear friends and family–this is not a veiled attempt to get compliments, or to have you describe me. I promise.
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