Ten Reasons to be Me

Sometimes it’s not enough to try. Life beats us up, throws us down, tramples us dead on the ground. Sometimes it’s just not enough to try. We falter, we fall, we fail. Once we’re there, bathed in darkness, it’s hard to swim to the shore. Sometimes I think it can’t be done at all.

But even in the deepest darkness there’s still light, and when we’re on our knees, it’s to that star inside we must turn our eyes. Listing the things we admire in ourselves, recalling our strengths, can draw that light nearer, and with our strength returned, we can finally swim ashore.

Today I’m diving in. Will you swim with me?

I don’t always try to be funny, but I do tend to bring a little life to the party. Which is odd, seeing as how introverted I am inside, but I think in a way that’s the logic life demands: Those who don’t fight nor flee, resort to humor. My comedy isn’t always your cup of tea, but I’m bound to make everyone smile once in a while–even if you’re just smiling cause you proved me wrong when you didn’t smile. Oh, wait. You’re smiling now, aren’t you?

One of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received was on my trip to Israel. One of the guys in my group was a little uncomfortable, being around the first real gay guy he ever knew, but the night before we all left, he told me he was really glad he’d gotten to know me because I was one of the nicest guys he’d ever met. That made my trip even more memorable than before.

I’m horrible to keep in touch with, but it seems everyone wants me too–in a little more than a year in school, I’ve met more people and made more connections than I thought were possible. Perhaps there are those who have more friends than I do, but it truly is quality over quantity here.

I might be street-stupid, but I’m book-smart. I love to read, and I think in a large part that aptitude is grown from many years of self-studying while being homeschooled. Hardly any of my classmates ever read their textbooks (at least, of those I’ve spoken to), but I do–and I think, especially in the classes I’m in now, that’s an admiral trait (and certainly a great help).

Some might see obsession as a bane, but for me…okay, it isn’t always a great reason to be me, but at least I use it to my best (at least when I realise what I’m doing). I mean, I’m clearly obsessed with math and science at the moment, which may or may not be why I’ve maintained a 4.0. In the past I’ve been obsessed about dinosaurs, video games, and boy bands, but thankfully those obsessions have all passed as well. I think. At least the boy bands, in any case.

I’m diligent to a t, assuming we’re measuring from d, otherwise I’m not sure what word we’d end up with. I keep at things. I try my hardest. I study study study, and then study some more. And I hate personal failure, so I’m constantly pushing myself further. Maybe all that’s not diligence? Well, that’s what I’m calling it today.

I might not have all the answers, but at least I usually know where to get ’em. Recall all those connections I’ve made? They’ve gotten me places, and through my own observations, I’ve gathered a lot. I’m a sponge of information (remember: I’m smart), so I suck it all in most of the time. It’s when I get wrung out there’s a problem….

I never thought I’d say it…but I’m quite the leader, actually. (Or maybe I just like power…? I’d think on it, if given the time perhaps.) Truth is: I like action. I like seeing change in the world around me. I love feeling inspired by others, and I love being able to inspire others in the same way. So I teach. I tutor. I lead. It’s a natural progression of events, isn’t it? You mean, it isn’t?

Pride sometimes is negative. Pride sometimes is flamboyant. And I know I’m sometimes a bit a both but mostly not of either, but it’s worth including in my list. Truth is…I’m modest. I’m reserved. I’m working toward being refined, but that’s a state function, not a transitory style. I’m proud of who I am, of what I’ve done; but I like to keep that pride inside. I’m not one to brag or boast, or flaunt or flourish. I like being comfortable, being me. Maybe I don’t wear rainbows or flutter my eyelashes, but at least I’m true to myself and proud about that. If it’s any consolation, though, I do have a rainbow colored pencil. Soon it’ll be gone, but that’s the nature of pencils in any case, to be whittled down until there’s nothing left. Come to think of it, that’s the nature of rainbows, too; to shine until they fade. There might be some deeper meaning to this. Or perhaps I’m over-thinking.

Honestly I could elaborate, but how can I honestly portray honesty? I mean, I could be lying. Plenty of people do. But I don’t. On occasion I might bend the truth or omit details, but doing so is not a habit, and if done so, it’s not for poor intentions, or at least it’s never intended to be. I’ll honestly admit I do lie sometimes, but in some situations lying is socially encouraged: When you ask me, “How’re you?” do you want the short answer (“I’m great! How are you?”) or the long answer (which would not be nearly as cheery)? Chances are…you don’t want to be bothered by my problems, and I don’t want to bother you with them. Honestly.

I think I lost track of my point at some point. In any case, it’s good practice to take time now and then to remind yourself of how great you are–why everyone has reason to be each of us, which in general sounds so much less stupendous than in particular, but that, too, is the nature of uniqueness: If everyone’s unique in our own way, is it unique at all?

I’m studying tangents too much, I believe. My point remains–we all have our good qualities, more often more than we each realise we do. And every now and then, especially when we’re struggling or despaired, we should take the time to remind ourselves how great we are. It’s a nice ego boost, sure, but it dispels a lot of doubt and uncertainty, too, and with their departure, goes a lot of stress. In today’s days, who couldn’t do with a little less stress? I know I can–it’s why I’m taking yoga: Get a good grade for relaxing? Sounds good to me!

All the best, everyone! Thanks for reading.

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