This Friday I'm hosting a link up with an assignment entitled Brag Book. I want you to toot your own horn. Shout your strengths.
It's not a lesson in boasting, the point is to take pride in something about yourself - small or large, it doesn't matter - and let us appreciate it about you. It's counterintuitive to what we're taught. For some reason we're supposed to pretend that everything we do well just "happens," and that it would be rude or presumptuous to act otherwise.
But this wintery week, let's sit up straight, hold our heads high, and boldly brag.
Here are mine, one serious and one not so.
I keep an absurdly tidy fridge and pantry.
I group like items together, and I straighten them every time I open the door. I do not keep leftovers for more than a day. Finding something in the back of the fridge that "I'm not quite sure what it is" would turn my neck into bright red hives.
While I'm fairly organized in general, I am hyper-organized about food. I know that it partially stems from my mom's abundance of food in her fridge and pantry (she could, at any given time, feed the entire neighborhood three times over), and partially stems from my own food anxieties. I am a very picky eater and that little quirk has weaved its way into multiple aspects of my life, including (but not limited to) lining up the yogurt.
If you've known me for a long time, this tidy tendency may come as a surprise to you. I was a fairly messy and scattered person until I moved to California when I was 22. Whether it was because I finally took ownership in my personal space or because I was exerting some semblance of control, I got neater and neater as the years passed. During the time I had roommates, I rarely went into the kitchen at all. Once I had a space to call my own, I realized that what made me less anxious about learning to cook or even being in the kitchen at all was a visually appealing space. So now I can see all of the food in my fridge and pantry at all times. And no hives.
I make independent decisions
Before I understood that there was such a thing, I knew that my parents were raising Free-Range Kids. A true latch-key kid, I started staying at home after school by myself when I was in the third grade. I played outside, I watched tv, I read my books. I had less restrictions than almost any other kid in the neighborhood, and my parents didn't grill me on where I'd been or who I'd been with. I'm sure I offered that information - I have always been a chatter duck - but I never felt like I had to share anything.
When I was twelve, I began making my own religious decisions that were different from the family. My parents patiently and quietly supported this. They didn't question me, or ever make me feel like I was too young to understand what I was doing.
In high school and college, I tried numerous activities without pressure from either peers or parents. Some worked out, some didn't. Some I wanted to work out, but they didn't. The same was true for dating. I never had a curfew, I was never told that someone was "not my type."
And then, in the summer of 2001, I moved to California. I had no family, one friend, and only enough money to last a couple of months.
I'm sure it was a combination of genetics and parenting style that made me an independent thinker. I am attracted to other independent thinkers and when I see someone in an unnecessarily dependent situation, I want to pull my hair out. Or pull their hair out, whatever the case may be. I have to remind myself that independent thinker that I am, I have made my fair share of terrible decisions along the way.
But somebody let me, and that made all the difference.
This assignment was harder than I even thought. I'm nervous to post it. I almost want to circle back and tell you about all the parts of my house that are messy and all of the bad decisions I've made along the way.
But I guess I've made my own point.
I want you to boldly state something that you're good at or something that you've accomplished or just something about yourself that you're proud of but that you don't get to talk about. Write a post on your blog to link or get ready to post something in the comments on Friday.
I cannot wait to hear about the best parts of you.