Updated: Jun 15, 2022
The heavy three-word question is very weighted. At least for me, it was. I found it hard to separate my personal opinion from what others have told me. Others have revered how great, accomplished, wishy-washy, or moody I am. And yes, I can be all of those things, but I wanted to delve deeper to develop the cores things about me.
Liris Crosse's Book, Make the World Your Runway, populated this question. If you haven't read it, I suggest you do as this book is life-changing. Honestly, I can only attest to half of the first chapter considering I was stuck on this question for three weeks. This question was more than a pitch or a quick introduction to myself, and I wanted to define the foundation of who I was, excluding people's opinions of me.
These Three Words
Off the bat, I know I loved my sense of humor. I laugh at most things that anger most people. Most likely, when you look back at some things about others and even yourself, most of that stuff was so ridiculous its comedy. In the past, I was accused on several occasions of being "child-like," and I would get offended. Today, I take that as a compliment as children have an innocence about them; they are open-minded and willing to learn and try something new.
If that is child-like, whatever, I refuse to be some stuck-in-the-mud adult that criticizes and finds the worst in everything. I don't care how childish I seem; my knees and responsibilities are enough reminders from adulthood I need.
The second thing I thought about was my integrity. I am so hard on myself and others about saying and doing the right thing. At times, it can come off as self-righteousness, so I eventually placed most of the pressure on myself. Yet still, I always check my intentions at the door to make sure that what I am doing has is genuine and honest. For instance, if I am volunteering for something, I genuinely want to do it or not because I want someone to like me. If I hurt someone's feelings, I obsess about how I could have handled it better.
Even though most people are confused when I apologize, I have to apologize if I felt like I offended. Unfortunately, I have fallen victim to gaslighters that always made me feel bad, but I have learned how to discern this with boundaries and therapy. I love that I have integrity because my knack for trying to do the right thing, even when no one is looking, makes me feel encouraged by attempts to be a decent human being.
Lastly, I love my high level of vulnerability. I have been reprimanded so much about how quickly I forgive and forget. My memory has never been the greatest, and if I hold grudges, when will I find time to obsess over things that don't matter? I'm joking but partially serious. If you apologize, you are sorry, and we can move on. Discernment has been my friend nowadays, so I know who to let back in my space. At first, everyone held the key to Renita-land, but only the loyal and respectful now have access.
Also, I don't like bitterness. I'm not too fond of the idea of holding on to what someone did to me ten years ago. Sometimes, some things from my past trigger me, so I deal with that present-time, but to close myself to love, life, and being happy is a deal-breaker to myself. Life is not an audition; we only get one of these, so I am careful of my emotions and how long I am upset or sad about something. After all of the terrifying experiences and hurt I've experienced, I am relieved to be still open-spirited.
Dang, I Can Only Think of Three
After these three things, I was stuck. I became dismayed because I only had discovered three things. I shared this with my therapist, asking why I was not happy about this. She explained that I found three extraordinary facets about myself and that for it to be a foundation, it doesn't have to be a laundry list of things. She reminded me that it was my thoughts about myself and not an essay.
Once I digested what she said to me, my body became warm, and I started to smile. I grew excited to discover how extraordinary I am and how those three things are comprised of a million other things. I felt like this was the first step of knowing who I am. At the start of the year, I shared that I would take flight on some things on an Instagram post. These particular things will take courage and to have courage is to feel confident within me. To build confidence within myself, I would need to know myself. I have never had faith in anything I did not know, so why would I expect any less from myself. So this year, I challenged myself to get acquainted with myself, and I am just in awe of how incredible I am. It is not about negatives and positives; it is about me as a whole.
Don't Be Shy? What are your foundation traits of yourself? How would you rate how well you know yourself excluding others' opinions?