What I am Good At

(Not coming up with titles for my posts, obviously.)

The lovely and talented jayesel (@jayesel on Twitter) blogged yesterday about “Imposter Syndrome” and the practice of downplaying our talents in public. Go, read (if you haven’t already).

And then she challenged her fellow readers and bloggers to find seven things about themselves they liked and to brag about it.

And I thought, I can do that.

Then I struggled to find seven things to brag about! I kept falling into the trap of thinking of things I stink at (like math). I don’t know why, because if you’ve ever met me, I’m not the most modest or humble of people. Plus, I know how to take a compliment (say, “Thank you” and move on — something I am teaching my girls). Ultimately, this is my list of seven.

1. I am a good writer. Writing is the one thing, the very one talent, I feel I can claim and celebrate without hesitation. It’s what I do and who I am. I am a writer.

2. I am a good mother. I know that I am a human mother (i.e. not even close to perfect) and I’m okay with that. But I love and care for and enjoy my children and I love being their mom. It really has made me my best person.

3. I am good at being myself. Which is to say: What you see is what you get. I don’t play games; I don’t put on airs; I don’t pretend.

4. I am good at finding facts. Now I say this as someone who came out in support of health care reform, and as someone now who supports the building of the Cordoba Center in New York City. I looked into a lot of things that were being said about these politically charged issues, and decided where I stood based on facts — not spin or out-and-out lies. But I also say it as someone willing to do her homework (usually at snopes.com) about that aspartame e-mail making the rounds.

5. I’m funny. Sometimes I mean to be, sometimes not. But even if I am only cracking up my husband and my kids, that’s all that matters. And I don’t mean I’m a funny writer or a stand-up comedienne. I’m not a jokester. But I see the humor in a lot of situations, and (I think) I help people see the humor, too.

6. Apparently, I’m a good dresser. I say this on a day that I have gotten numerous compliments on my outfit, which can be challenging when you’re dressing your 24-week-pregnant self. And here’s a strategy I’m employing this time around: I’m not wearing a lot of maternity clothes. I’m just wearing regular clothes in bigger sizes and pairing them in interesting ways (and with the proper accessories). (Obviously, pants are an exception to this. I have to wear maternity pants and jeans — the trick there is to wear comfortable ones.) Today, I have on a pair of maternity jeans and an off-white cami under a brightly patterned summer dress I bought at Costco (label: Forbidden , size: L), gold earrings and bracelets, and cute $20 sandals from Target.

7. I’m a good Catholic. Again: perfect? No. Practicing? Yes. Proselytizing? I’m trying. My faith is another part of my identity I will claim and proclaim and celebrate. It is, without question, a large part of who I am.