Thursday, October 26, 2006

Learning to Love Yourself

(For "Love Thursday")

So often in the blogosphere we are confronted with a lack of love. This is one of the many reasons I enjoy the idea of "Love Thursday"; it forces us to examine our lives, and find the love in the everyday. We're also often encouraged to combat the negativity that can float around here by saying loving or nice things about other bloggers. Which is great, by the way, but how many times do we turn that love inward? Too often we forget to love ourselves.

Show of many of you out there put yourself last? Ah, I see quite a few hands, especially from the moms. It's so easy to sacrifice ourselves, our dreams, our ambitions, and most of all, our self-esteem. I know I'm certainly guilty of that one. So, for "Love Thursday" (and my 29th Birthday!) I'm going to force myself to list ten things I love about myself. I challenge each of you who read this post to do the same. You don't have to post about it on your blog, but take the time to really think and write down those ten things you love about yourself. You might be surprised what you come up with! Happy "Love Thursday" everyone!

Ten Things I Love About Myself
  1. My blue eyes. Both of my parents, and my younger brother have green eyes, so I love the way I stand out. I love how the shade of blue changes with whatever I'm wearing, and I love that I have a visible physical connection to my grandfather and my niece and nephew, who share my eye color, despite both of their parents having green eyes.

  2. My complexion. I get more compliments on my skin than any other physical feature I posses. I have very fair, porcelain skin, with rosy undertones. Classic Irish complexion. I rarely need makeup, and have been fortunate enough not have acne problems.

  3. My dimples. I share this feature with my maternal grandfather, my Grandaddy. As far back as I can remember, even to this day, every time I see him, he smiles and says, "Show me Grandaddy's dimples." Now, how can I resist that?

  4. My big heart. I'm such a notorious softy. I fall for pretty much every sad story out there, especially if it involves children or animals. I bawl my eyes out every time I watch "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition", because I empathize with the family's situation. If I see a person in need, I always want to know how to help.

  5. My sense of loyalty. I am extremely loyal to my family and friends, and will stick up for them when they need it, and am by their sides when the chips are down. My loyalty goes hand in hand with my sense of protectiveness towards my loved ones.

  6. My sense of humor. I am a complete and unabashed goofball. I will pretty much do anything for a laugh, even at my own expense. I'll make a complete ass of myself, just to crack someone up. Humor is one of the biggest things that my husband and I love about each other. Our ability to laugh at life has kept us going strong for 11 years.

  7. My ability to find beauty in the everyday. I know it's cliche, but I'm rather like that boy in "American Beauty", I think there is so much beauty in the world that sometimes I can't stand it. The simplest of things are beautiful to me: a child's laugh, an autumn leaf, the sound of the surf upon the shore - I wish I could soak it all in and share it with the world.

  8. My taste in music. I love everything. There is not a single genre of music where I cannot find an artist I could enjoy. I love discovering new artists, new sounds and even re-discovering the greats from the past. My diverse taste in music can open me up to new experiences, and help me to make a connection to people with whom I would normally have nothing in common.

  9. My cooking. I'm not a gourmet by any stretch of the imagination, but I make delicious home-cooked comfort food. I'm not one of those cooks who measures anything. I'm more free-handed with my style. I know if I have too much or too little of anything based on taste alone, and I generally create recipes in my head. I don't get to cook as often as I'd like, but my husband thinks I am presenting him with manna from heaven any time I do.

  10. My political activism. My interest in all things political began during the '88 elections. I remember being fascinated by the political process, and watched the debates between Dukakis and Bush on t.v. Now, how many 11 yr. old girls do you know who do that? I am a person who believes in standing up for what's right, and holding our leaders accountable for their actions. I watch and read any political commentary I can, and try and keep abreast of the latest legislation. I believe it is my duty as a citizen of the U.S. to exercise the freedoms granted to me in our great Constitution by casting my vote in every local, state, and federal election. If I weren't such a hothead, I'd probably run for office someday, but I'm afraid that my mouth would get me into trouble.

Finally, here's one of my favorite photos ever taken of me:

This is me, circa 1997. I went to one of those fancy photo places in the mall, where most women put on feather boas and have big hair for their pictures. However, they had started to do a "Hollywood Glamour" look that I loved. I just knew the photos would turn out great, and they did. The photographer instructed me not to smile, to think of the time ("It was war, all the women were sad", he said.) and to only use my eyes to express my emotion. I really think that all comes out in this photo. No one ever believes me when I tell them it's me, they always think I'm showing them a picture of my grandmother or something. Guess I was born in the wrong era, huh?


wzgirl said...

Gawd, Nat. What an incredibly cool pic of you. So smoky, vintage kitty-cat cool. Yeah.

I heart you, too.

MamaSutra said...

I'm visiting for the first time via Chookooloonks. I loved this post; I was feeling kind of down tonight, and I started reading Love Thursday posts and I feel so much better. I really like what you said here; I think your list is a great idea and a great challenge to other bloggers!

shaz said...

nice photo! Happy 29th! I'll be there in december.

Schatzi said...

Great photo!! I always thought that those places put on WAY too much makeup and made people look funny.. BUT I LOVE THIS PHOTO!! Great photographer!

Crunchy Carpets said...

Fabulous Idea
and FABULOUS Photo!!

I love it.

I went to a 1940's themed wedding and we had sooo much fun dressing the part

erinberry said...

Happy Birthday!

That is a gorgeous, gorgeous photo, woman!

Kellie said...

I've always liked that picture of you Nat. It's awesome.

I think the list you did is great. You are right, we do not love ourselves enough.

Paige said...

What a great reminder. Thank you. I like your list as well!

1girl2boys said...

What a wonderful idea. And that's a beautiful picture.

Ollie said...

Happy birthday chickadee!!

Holy smoke, that is a great picture! You completely belong to the era of glamour!!

Paradise19 said...

Nat, here's to another fabulous post! I really liked your list and it inspired me to really think about things I love about myself too. You're right; I spend a lot of time putting others first. It's just a way of life now. But tonight I'm going to think of ME, even if it's not Love Thursday anymore!

P.S. Sorry about my crying child at your birthday party! But, I believe that a house of chaos, with children's laughter and the sound of forks clinking hungrily on overfilled plates, is better than a quiet house any day. Happy 29th, my dear sis-in-law!