raindrops on roses, and drop tops and crock pots. these are a few of my favorite things.
on november 7th, 2015 (only know exact day because i checked the date on my instagram post) i got a tattoo. i don’t know if i’m really a tattoo person (apart from my full sleeve and ‘no ragrets’ across my chest) but nov. 7th rolled around and well, here we are. finally, i was inspired to live as my classy chest tat told me and screamed NO RAGRETS as i whipped open the door to the the tattoo shop (everyone looked very concerned) (please know i’m joking).
i timidly stepped in and appraised my surroundings, a little overwhelmed. overwhelmed by the strikingly dark colors and machines-of-mass-torture sounds. overwhelmed by the middle aged biker looking artist who was surprisingly, alarmingly comfortable with dropping the f-bomb in normal conversation. may have looked like a biker but swore like a sailor. (except now imagining this man as a biker/sailor and his harley morphs into a motorcycle-boat as he drives off into the sunset-illuminated ocean).
i explained what i wanted in pocas palabras because this man skipped small talk and went straight for topics i preferred to reserve from sharing, so obviously my natural reaction was to be uncomfortable and closed off. he brazenly offered a few more profanities as he messed up (or f*@!ed up as this lovely man substituted) the stencil of the tattoo on my wrist, like a solid 63 times (ok ok. more like 62). after about the 3rd mess-up i was getting impatient and didn’t know how much longer i could sit through listening to obscenities yelled in my ear (don’t get me wrong – he was friendly, just a large personality). but he did it. took maybe a grand total of 3 minutes. felt almost no pain. there it was. smaller than a dime.
i look down at this tiny, brown plus sign. smiling at this little mark on my body. a symbol of the positive; of adding. but more, a symbol of being positive about life, reminding not to lose myself in the negative; of adding to who i am, putting more into life. and brown. to represent nature and the earth, so positivity becomes natural and brings me back down when i start to feel like i’m floating away. i struggle with being okay. i struggle with coping.
it’s july 8th, 2016. while i stare at the thin symbol once again, this time i look back at the past nine months; when i finally gave the governing foundations of my character to positivity.
do i have the same number of things to be positive for in my life, then versus now? or did i maybe discover the significance and appreciation of everything i have? i see positive energy and optimism like it’s a big, red, hot air balloon in the sky. i feel positivity in everything.
today is october 26th, 2016. i glance down at the tiny cross and feel hollow. positivity isn’t flowing like a fountain. it’s kind of like an empty well. to take a cue from my tattoo artist, i’ve got no fucks left to give.
are you there world? it’s me, margaret. today is march 11th, 2017. this is taking me a lot longer to write than expected but it’s been a much longer journey than i was prepared for (kinda like the terminal, but without tom hanks).
well i guess here we go.
as i scrolled through facebook, i saw a post. someone asked a young girl to write down her 10 favorite things about herself and put it above her bed. i paused to read her favorite things and thought, “well shit. that’s incredibly cute.” then i thought to myself, “well shit. what are my 10 favorite things about myself?” and i tried to think of things about who i am, rather than, “i like my chubby thumbs because no one else has the same ones” (well besides megan fox).
so, here i am kendrick lamarr style trying to confidently sing i love myself. i tried to think about just me. who i am when i’m alone. who i am when i’m around my dog. i didn’t want them to be the things other people have to tell me for me to believe; the things only other people see and believe about me. rather, i thought about what i know about myself without needing an outside perspective to confirm or remind me. i spent more time on this than i expected but it also took me about a year and a half to post this so tbh no one’s ever going to win this chess match.
1. i like that i seek to recognize good in a person. to see them as their strength. i associate them with a positive attribute so when i think or talk about that person there are just good vibes. and i think there is significance in how you regard others because it reflects how you value people, so the better thoughts you naturally think about people – the more likely you are to say better things about them. that’s the purest way to see someone; it’s to see their soul.
2. i like that i am funny (i know i’m usually the only one laughing). i love making people laugh because it’s one of the most natural emotions in life and can be mutually shared. it’s not necessary to only live solemn, serious, somber, and any other ‘s’ adjective that fits the bill. it adds a lotta joy. so it’s good, i think, to approach life with an eager sense of humor. it makes me happy, the act of being lighthearted. it relieves stress. it’s inclusive to others.
3. i like that i am creative. it’s my soul activity. everything clicks. i free my mind to go forth and conquer and because of that, i daringly face what scares me and do unbelievable things. i love spending my time pursuing creative endeavors like painting watercolors, playing ukulele, taking photos, writing about topics i’m passionate about. the whole shebang.
4. i like that i am confident in being unapologetically comfortable with simply who i am as person. like in the sense that i accept who i am. i have pastry padded hips and think my nose is too wide and talk excessively when i’m nervous or passionate and do other things that don’t conform to society’s expectations. but i also am okay with it. i’m confident when it matters and comfortable to not care about the nose and talking because i set my own personal standards. i don’t have to be what society wants me to. i think it’s really important to my relationships with other people because there’s more maturity and less egocentricity.
5. i like that i am weird. i honestly don’t feel obligated in any way to be normal or act in a way that’s not authentic to myself. mostly because i make myself laugh and maybe it’s more fun being eccentric and i’m not following a textbook life (unless i’m actually the one from that math problem who has 34 watermelons and you take away 2 – because no one needs that many watermelons and oh god why did no one ever stop me).
6. i like that i smile real big. in the words of buddy the elf, smiling’s my favorite. a smile tells a lot about a person. i always smile with sincerity, and genuinely. it means i’m happy. it shows joy in simple things. smiles have a warm connotation. it’s the easiest way to communicate with someone. it’s a mental hug. it breaks language barriers. it’s universal. plus it’s hard not to smile back at someone when you smile as big and cheesy as i do.
7. i like that i get so passionate that i’m hella hyped. about my ideas, or other people, or what i’m doing, that i’m outright dorky. there’s so much zest for life and it should be worth a big deal, it’s good to make a big deal about something but especially someone. caring deeply shouldn’t be considered taboo. i love being excited about and for others.
8. i like that i love to learn. i love to learn everything. i’m so overly eager to broaden my knowledge of the world, the life within it, how things work. what does it all mean, man *70s hippie voice* and the incredible thing is that there is always more to learn and you never know if it’ll change you by how you’ll grow from it.
9. i like that i am mom-ish. i love to take care of people because I can tell when they need it but don’t know how to ask, or don’t yet realize they need help. your mom’s not there 24/7 so i’m other mom (not in the coraline way) when you’re lost in the metaphorical grocery store that is the world.
10. i like that i am positive to the point where people are like “omg shut her up.” mostly because i can see how much it’s already changed my life. i find creative new ways to be optimistic and be mr. brightside. it helps in more ways than one, and the people in your life are direct recipients. it feeds your soul to spend time with positive minded people.
i spent time on this. work work working like rihanna. i’m annoyed by how many times i used the word “i”. but i think that’s good. i think if we all spend that much time on ourselves, we will be happier. we will see our reflection show who we are inside. like Mulan. (but without chopping off our hair and saving china.)
so what if we all wrote our 10 favorite things about ourselves. what if they were the first thing we thought about as we woke up in the morning and the last thing we thought about as we went to sleep each night. notice how much it changes your day to day life and interactions. you confidently remember these things throughout the day. they are your personal mantra. but then poses the question: how do we find modest humility? how do we avoid haughty arrogance?
i spent a lot of days lost and confused in the darkness, but spent more looking for the light. positivism became my aurora. enough of a leading light to remember a time without the night. the dawn became my resilient strength. i am self-assured. i am confident. my form of self-love is wanting to only be myself, not anyone else. my happiness generates from myself. i can’t look to or depend on others to provide this for me. this internal entity can’t be solved by an external source. it is you and it is found inside you. accept all parts of who you are. once you learn to love yourself, it is then you love outside of yourself. it’s a pure, unconditional love for the other. love is not self-serving.
you do you, honey boo boo.
i challenge you to write your 10 favorite things about yourself. i hope you will share them with me.
more than anything, i challenge you to love every single thing about yourself. i hope you know i love them too.