When I was a teenager, my mother read an article in a women’s magazine about multiple intelligences. She picked one that she thought described me perfectly. It was “Intrapersonal Skills” – meaning, I know myself. Now, at age 36, I can see that as a compliment, especially for a teenager, since that seems like a rare thing. At the time, I was a little offended that she’d overlooked my other considerable intelligences, lol. The truth is I’m just an introvert and I enjoy and need to spend time alone – which is not always easy as the mom of four. Summer is especially hard on me. There’s no naptime and school time for me to recharge. It’s funny, but it seems working is actually when I get a little time to myself.
Things I’ve learned about myself this past year:
1. I’m an artist. Seriously, not a way I would ever in a million years have described myself prior to now. I can’t draw or paint. Put such tools in my hand and you’d wonder if I’d lost my mind describing myself as an artist. But give me a computer and drawing program and I’m not bad. And something I’ve always known, even when I didn’t think of myself as an artist, I have style and taste. My style is not everyone’s style, which in the past has had me doubting myself, but I’m learning that’s it’s okay and nothing personal.
2. Possibly pursuant to number 1, I love color. Not just in my house, which I already knew. I love to wear bright bold colors and design with bright bold colors.
3. Again, probably related to the first item, I am a sucker for red shoes. I just bought another pair yesterday. This might also have to do with a lifelong love for the Wizard of Oz.
4. I’m ambitious. I tend to think of myself as a slacker, but only because I could be for so long.
5. I’m becoming a leader. I’m actually in charge of our local Girl Scout organization (not the council, just our service unit, which is entirely volunteer) and have been president of our local arts council. My mother has long told me that I have a strong personality, but I’ve never really understood what that meant, since I consider myself quite shy.
6. I’m still shy.
7. I’m still unfocused in terms of long-term career goals. I have way too many things that I like enough to do for a living. I want to be a graphic designer and librarian and photographer and web designer and…
8. I have trouble saying no.
9. I want things done right and I’m willing to do them myself to get them done right. Sometimes this is not good. I need to let others do things and trust that they will and even if it’s not done my way, it will be done and no one but me will know the difference. This is advice relating to volunteers as well as my household and marriage. Sometimes this refers to planning an event for the Girl Scouts, sometimes it’s doing the dishes, sometimes it’s putting the kids to bed.
10. I still have a lot of rethinking to do. Sometimes I still think of myself as a painfully shy, painfully self-conscious fifteen year old with no self-confidence whatsoever. I’m not. I haven’t been that girl in a long time, but it’s still how I would first describe myself to people.