New Years rolls around and everyone starts to think of resolutions. I’ve never really been one to make them, but I did start to think about how others would describe me – me as the person I was in the past. That “past” has somehow become a length of time that’s quite large – but happened so fast. Anyway, I started thinking about who I was. . . and who I am. A personal reflection of sorts which is totally in keeping with a New Year’s post. And where many resolutions relate to a person’s outside, I’m more interested with what’s inside.
In my earlier days, I think I was (or maybe still am) probably perceived as:
1. Shy and Quiet.
I think this is probably accurate. . . as even now I can be. Or maybe it is more being introverted. But not in all situations. I don’t like crowds. Never have. In small groups, I am far from quiet. But I have always been able to entertain myself and don’t mine being by myself. Perhaps it’s being an only child? I was very “bookish” – and rightly so being the daughter of a librarian. I’m still bookish and will be forever. I pretty sure that at the end of my life I will still not have read all the books I want to read. Teachers will tell you I wasn’t quiet. This really cracks me up since I spent 25 years teaching high-school kids. . . many of them “talkers” – and not always in a good way. So I was social, but not one to stand up for myself. That came later when I figured out that nobody else was going to do it for me. And then I became a mother and the whole “mama bear” instinct took over and, again, their were times where I was quite forceful. But I’m never going to be the girl at the party that dances on the table or wears a lampshade on my head.
That stereotype is the bane of an only child’s existence. We are not all spoiled. Truly. I certainly didn’t get everything I ever asked for. And I didn’t always get my way. I grew up not thinking much about money. Looking back I suppose, compared to many of my friends, we were actually quite poor. But I have parents who were amazingly talented at making a little go a long way. I never once felt like I was deprived of anything. And they gave me unique and wonderful opportunities that helped me grow as a person. I was loved. Fast- forward to the last 24 years and I have been very spoiled by my wonderful husband. This Christmas my husband and I didn’t exchange gifts (not because we were opposed to it – but I had an accident and surgery, a lengthy hospital stay, and were were out of the country) and we both didn’t miss it at all. We had each other and our son and it was perfect. Being loved is the BEST way of being “spoiled”.
3. A “Goody Two-shoes”
Not much explanation needed here. I was well-behaved. I didn’t cause trouble. I didn’t get involved with people I thought could get me into trouble. This probably lasted until I was a junior in college and started to take a few more risks. . . very controlled, safe risks. Okay, so not really risks at all. I do not have the “risk-taking gene”. And as a teacher I had the reputation of one who always followed the rules. And then I married a COP. Ask my soon to be 22 year old son and he would tell you that I still follow the rules. I believe in a clearly defined set of expectations and consequences: I it’s who I am. .
There are probably hundreds of former students out there to attest to this. But for every one of them, there’s another that would probably tell you that I gave them a break in one way or another over the years. I think that very early in my career I was very set in my ways and saw everything as black or white. Experience and maturity softened that side of me and I came to see that most things are really some shade of gray. But when I think about my perceptions of others, often my first impression is very strong and hard to change. And, I can hold a grudge. lol. So I suppose there are still parts of my personality that would be considered stubborn. Or tenacious. Tenacious sounds like a more positive trait, doesn’t it?
So, here – at the close of 2014 – I am pretty happy with who I am. But that’s not to say there isn’t room for improvement.
Happy New Year!