12 Things That Show You Who You Really Are
By Brianna Weist
1. What your ugly looks like.
There are few times in our lives we are uglier than fresh after heartbreak, so that's a good place to start. We're reeling and hysterical and compromising every conversation with the news of our failed romance. We are selfish and pathetic and quite possibly the worst version of ourselves. Watch yourself when you're at your ugliest. Understanding who you are isn't all about noting all of your positive qualities, although that is important too. You have to understand yourself as a whole person, the good, the bad, the ugly.
[I haven't really experienced a lot of heartbreak, but when I have, I'm not ugly. I'm just sad. Sure, I'm a weeping mess that's craving chocolate and a kitten to cuddle with, but I wouldn't say I'm ugly. I do remember a period of time when I was ugly, when I had an ugly soul and an ugly personality, and that was the summer after I turned 18. I was dating this loser, but I, at the time, of course thought he was brilliant. It's a long story. I refuse to be ugly like that again.]
2. What you do when you're upset.
Do you quietly calm yourself without telling anybody? Do you take it out on other people? do you act out physically or violently? These are all signs of what's brewing underneath your surface, or more so, your grasp on self control.
[When I'm upset, you'd never know. I'm one of those people who hides how I'm feeling. I'm that girl who says, 'Nothing is wrong. I'm fine,' which drives Ryan crazy, I'm sure. I think that's better than lashing out, though.
Speaking of lashing, out, when I was working at the pharmacy on Monday night, one of the pharmacists was really stressed out and overwhelmed and just angry at the world and everyone in it. I was observing him while he was stressing out, and I wanted to tell him to take a deep breath - no, take ten deep breaths. There is nothing so important that it needs to be done right.this.minute. But I said nothing.
Later, as I was filing scripts, I found this. I asked him about it with my eyebrows raised and he just chuckled. We all have different ways we deal with stress, and for this person, it was to write profanity on an important document.]
3. How you treat others who can do nothing for you.
We're all kind and generous to the people who can do something for us in return. But what about the people you don't really need in your life, who you don't know, or who can't do anything for you? See how much love and kindness you have for those who won't or can't return it. How often do you do things for the sake of goodness, not for the sake of appearing to be a good person, improving your reputation, or getting something in return? For most people, it's unfortunately not very often.
[After working at the pharmacy for going on 7 years, I've seen my fair share of people who are in poor health, who are living paycheck to paycheck, who barely have enough money to pay for their prescriptions, who could wilt away or fall over at the slightest breeze, who say they don't have insurance with a slight shame in their voice, and I always think, I've got it pretty good.
I don't mean to sound like a brat, but I've had it very easy in life. My parents have provided me with everything, to this day. I will graduate college with little debt, no overdue car payments, and savings in the bank. I'm so fortunate that my parents both have good hearts, and I'm thankful I inherited that.
So when I see others who aren't as lucky, fortunate or well-off as I am, I wish I could give them a break. Maybe that is why I want to join the Peace Corps so badly. I want to help others who aren't as fortunate as I am, and I wouldn't expect anything in return, and that is perfectly fine with me.]
4. What you do when you're alone.
Take notice of what you do, or what you want to do, when nobody is watching...when you're not trying to live up to someone else's expectations or prove something. See who you are when nobody else is there to influence you.
[I'm an introvert, you all know that. I love spending time alone. But I do experience that feeling that I need to live up to someone else's expectations when I'm around someone else. I do this even around Ryan, and we've known each other for a couple of years! I sometimes feel like I need to put on a face around other people, even my friends who I've known for a long time. I should relax more, I know. Because I'm sure people would like the Kelsey with the mask off just as much, or even more, than the Kelsey with the mask on.]
5. The similarities in people you choose to date.
I am so sorry to bring this quote up, but you really do accept the love you think you deserve. You associate yourself with the people you believe you deserve to be associated with. What do the people you surround yourself with, or you choose to get into relationships with, tell you about how you feel about yourself?
[I strongly believe in the quote, 'Show me your friends and I'll show you your future.' My ex-boyfriend told me that years and years ago, how ironic! I choose my friends very carefully (which goes without saying, if you're my friend, you are damn important to me.).
As for relationships, all of my past boyfriends and the one I have now all have been really caring and affectionate. I've had a wide variety of boyfriends in my 22 years, from a tattooed, hipster artist to my high school crush, from a Jewish dirtbiker to a boy who I was 'boyfriend-girlfriend' with in kindergarten and again in sixth grade, and maybe I'll write about them someday, but each of them has shaped me into who I am, and I'm thankful for the experiences I've had with all of them.
Warning: things are about to get cheesy in here. I'm especially thankful for Ryan, who has changed me for the better, more than any of my past boyfriends put together have. I've learned so much about myself because of him, and he has helped me through so many of my 'ugly' times. But I'll stop before you feel like you're going to throw up. Here's a picture of us for good measure.]
6. How often you admit to your own mistakes.
There is a certain grace that comes with being vulnerable. There is also a certain insecurity that becomes apparent when someone is completely unwilling to admit that they are, indeed, human just like the rest of us. See how honest you can be with yourself.
[I've never been good at admitting when I make a mistake, but I've learned that the only way you can learn is by making mistakes. I'm a big believer in that. So I loosened up, and if I made a mistake, I would ask myself what went wrong and how I can learn from it. I'm more vulnerable because of it, but I'm slowly becoming more and more okay with that. Mistakes bring you forward, not backward.]
7. ...And what those mistakes are.
I know there are some organized religions that believe that all sins, regardless of severity, are wrong. Meaning, you should be condemned for lying just as you should be for committing murder. However, this isn't a rant about organized religion - my point is to say, you should note whether or not your sins are lies or murder (hopefully not literally on the latter).
[I've passed my angry, teenage phase of making my parent's lives a living hell (you can ask them - I did), and I recognize the mistakes I made, but I'm going to say the cliche that every girl says: I don't regret anything, and any mistakes I made has made me into a better person.]
8. How you handle someone else in need.
How selfless you are willing to be at any given time is very telling of who you are. It's especially crucial to note you find yourself helping others, and if doing so yields any benefits for you.
[Not trying to toot my own horn or anything, but I'd like to think I'm pretty selfless, especially when it comes to my closest friends. I would do anything for my best friends and my family...for my littles, my big, or my boyfriend. Another reason I'd like to join the Peace Corps!]
9. Your favorite songs, books, photos, authors.
Simple, but something you can't neglect. Your tastes say everything about you. I once heard someone say that if you forget who you are, just look around. Look at the people, things, jobs and loves you've surrounded yourself with. On an even more basic level, look at the things you've collected around your home or apartment; they're all telling of who you are.
[I'm always proud of the space I call home. Whether it was in the dorms in the six pack, the Delta Zeta sorority house, my apartment room in Dublin, or my apartment in Whitewater, I've made every space just perfectly Kelsey. I think you would be able to tell a lot about me by looking around my apartment now. You'd see lots of books, lots of pretty posters, hippie-esque decorations, and Delta Zeta memorabilia.
From my music choices, you would be able to tell that I'm not a big fan of country or rap music. I'm a fan of slow, dreamy music. Bon Iver, Mumford & Sons, Ellie Goulding. I'm a dreamer. A lover, not a fighter.]
10. What you consider your greatest failures to be.
Note what you consider to be success and how that aligns with what you've been taught and how you've been conditioned. See where the two overlap, so you can also see what you actually believe to be your failures.
[I've made my fair share of failures, I can tell you that! I think this goes along with #7, what your mistakes are. I've made a lot of mistakes in my lifetime, and I still turned out okay.]
11. What you'd do with your days if money weren't an issue.
I'd be writing in a little country home and raising children...so I guess I'm 1/3 there. If all your finances were taken care of indefinitely, after the novelty of being able to travel and do other exciting things wore off, what would you do with the rest of your time?
['After the novelty of being able to travel wore off...' That would never wear off for me. If money weren't an issue, I would want to travel everywhere. Tibet, Mongolia, India, South Africa, Greece...I could go on forever. One of my dream jobs is to be a travel writer. (Although I doubt anyone would read it. I mean, look how great this blog has been doing....merr :/) I would love to write about the people I meet, the landmarks I see, the places I stay, the food I eat, the conflicts, the stories. Everything. I would write about everything.]
12. What comforts you.
The things and people that comfort you in times of need are things that are deeply embedded in your soul, or they resemble or reflect those things. It's crucial to note what makes you feel at ease. It's another way of realizing what you love, and isn't that what understanding yourself is all about regardless?
[What comforts me? Simba, always. Before him was Pepper. Writing has helped comfort me. It's like therapy. I always feel at ease after I write in my journal. Writing this blog has also helped comfort me. And the 365 Days of Happy project, of course.]