Day 2. What makes you uniquely you?
This is something I struggle with. I have a very mediating personality and like to make other people happy. Which means I frequently walk a line between caring for myself and caring for others. So I put who I am away. A lot. Too much. I've been planning some structured recreation of ME, actually, and just this week came across a great structure for it in another blog, Mighty Girl. Plan to try this.
Who am I? I like to say I'm behaviorally conservative but politically liberal. I've actually had strangers sneeringly say things like, "Well, aren't WE the young Republican." Which I guess means I dress conservatively? Yes - I'm preppy and mainstream looking. I have no problem with that. It's what's easy and comfortable for me, and seems to look right on my body. I'd look ridiculous is something hipster, or goth, or whatever. Just not my deal. The political side is more complicated, because while I used to call myself a liberal, I don't think I can anymore. I'm an independent? Or a moderate, maybe? A friend jokingly called me a safety-net libertarian, because while I dislike government intrusion into areas of morality and generally believe in the free market, I also will happily give up any amount of my income to protect children who need protecting. That's the safety net part.
I'm fixated on things being evidence-based. Sure, you need to go with your gut sometimes, but mostly I'd like research to back it up, thank you. I love everything music and theater, although I haven't indulged those hobbies in a long time. I can sing, but not enough to want you to listen to me do it alone. And not in a trained way. Same for dancing. Monkey shows all signs of following me down this path, and that makes me indescribably happy. She doesn't get why I tear up every time she sings along with a show tune or wants to put on a dance show for me. But that stuff was the happy-center of my childhood, and I'm so delighted to share it with her.
I'm pretty literal, and like things to be straight forward. I'm a HUGE over-researcher. Buying a new stroller sends me into catatonic fits. We'll be applying to Kindergarten for Monkey and preschool for Lion next Fall, and I already have spreadsheets. I expect to be completely consumed by it. There's another thing about me - education is incredibly important to me, and I am lucky enough to have grown up believing that you should weigh your options carefully and choose your schools quite actively. So we're tightening our belts in anticipation of private schools.
Hmmm, what else? I've always been involved with kids. I was the 5th grader who preferred to spend recess helping the 2nd graders than playing with my peers, and I actually got invited to one of their birthday parties! I babysat my way through college, early work years, and grad school, and in our wedding the flower girls were kids I used to sit for routinely and from birth. My career is focused on the public policy of early childhood, and it's really easy to get me worked up discussing inequities to children in this country. I'll avoid going there for now, but make no promises about later.
I'm not sure any of this makes me unique. Does it? If not, I'm pretty okay with that. There's a big gap between being unique and being cookie-cutter. Or worthless. Or worthwhile, for that matter.