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.

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9 thoughts on “What I am Good At

  1. That does it… I’m doing one of these too, although I’ll no doubt borrow heavily from what I wrote in Jayesel’s comments.

    (I may adopt some of your #4 though… I’m very good at being skeptical, which leads directly to the finding of facts. God bless Snopes!)

    • Good for you!

      It’s not so much skepticism (although there’s that, too). It’s that I like (intelligent) debate. Sometimes I find myself saying, “well, that is true, but I think X is more important.” For example in the health care debate: reform isn’t cheap, but I think it’s more important that all people have access to good health care at a fair cost. That kind of thing. 🙂 And, hey, you learn some interesting stuff on Snopes!

      • That’s exactly it… values heavily influence your point of view. There are often factors that you feel differently about. You have to weight the factors that are most important to you.

  2. Oh yeah, you’re definitely a writer. I found your health-care post on a web search several weeks ago, and have sort of been lurking on your blog ever since. I like the way your mind works, and the way you put it into words.

  3. @bluzdude: Especially when it comes to political discourse, I think values get lost in the equation for a lot of people. On the other hand, other people have different values than I do. I have to respect that. During the 2004 presidential race, my MIL (for all of three years) declared to me that she was voting against, and I quote, “abortion, gay marriage, and taxes”. I just had to shrug; it seemed a terribly narrow view to me, but maybe my decision to vote against war and tax breaks for rich people seemed narrow to her.

    • I think most people don’t necessarily agree with every single thing their party does… I always vote for reproductive freedom, separation of church and state, equality across the board and the interest of the middle class over the rich and powerful.

      Sure, I’d like lower taxes, I’m just not sure I want the return to 1945’s social norms to get them.

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