What I am.

“I love that she sees me clearly and calls me out on stuff.”  This was today’s gem in the “43 things we love about Libby” jar.

Yeah.   It’s okay if you are a little perplexed.

You either like me or you don’t…I don’t invoke a whole lotta wishy-washy feelings.  I think polarizing is the appropriate term for me.  “She’s not everyone’s cup of tea,” would be a nice Southern way of describing me.  Of course this would immediately be followed by, “bless her heart.”   I am a liability more than an asset to most.

I am…opinionated, verbal, and stubborn and at times, narrow minded.   I get my feelings hurt easily but I’ll tell you when that happens, and why  it happened and sometimes I’ll even go so far as to tell you what you can do to fix it.  I have an opinion that, when asked, I will share.  Openly.  Often, I speak before I think.  I’ve been known to keep talking long after I should have stopped.  This happens a lot.  If I think it-I say it.  If I believe it-I say it.  Some refer to this as a “lack of a filter” while others have diagnosed me with “foot-IN-mouth” disease.

Don’t I just sound delightful?

Luckily I have a group of friends who know me, get me and even like me.  They are quick to say, “Another way of saying that would be…” or rolling their eyes and saying, “Liiibbbbyyyyy….” which alerts me that I’ve said or done something that didn’t quite sound the way I intended for it to sound.    They seem to get that I mean no ill will or harm.  My opinions, my words and my INTENSITY come from my heart…which is not black as it has been accused of being.  I don’t mean ill will—I typically mean to help.  Really-I really do.  I am a fixer at heart.  If something is wrong with someone I love I want to fix it, to make it better.  Part of being in my world is that I try really hard to  let you know that you matter.  My attempts aren’t always successful but I try to be thoughtful.

I work hard and expect others to do the same.  I like to think I fight for what’s right and don’t have a whole lot of respect for people who look the other way.  I have no patience for ½ truths or partial stories.  Say it, own it and let’s deal with it.  I take on projects head on.  My approach was once compared to that of a bull in a china shop.  Hey…I got the job done.  Finesse?  Not really my style.

I sometimes admit when I am wrong (if it ever happens) and try to apologize when it is warranted.  Okay, in truth I need to work on these a bit.  I have no tolerance for things that aren’t done my way or at least the right way.  Control issues?  Probably a few.  Impulsive?  A bit.  Intense?  All the time.   I know my faults and admit them.  I also take a little pride in my strengths though I’ve seen that not everyone sees my strengths the same way I do.  I am not a game player of any sort.

Creating…any sort of creating is something I love to do.  Directions?  Not so much.  My ideas are often bigger than my ability.  The result?   A really well intentioned birthday present that you’ll never hang.  A charity cake auction entry that seemed so incredibly ingenious in my mind but executed so poorly that no one bid on it.  I believe there is a good, old southern saying for this particular trait as well, ‘out-punting your coverage’. I’ve heard it used with a perfectly respectable fellow sets his sights on an extremely talented and voluptuous blonde.  Well…you get the idea.

My tenaciousness is a plus sometimes and a negative at others.  My tendency’s run toward lazy but I can get a spark of oomph every once in awhile.  I believe you shouldn’t eat broiled vegetables on Friday because, well, it’s Friday and that deserves Friday food.  I suck at housekeeping but delight in creating spaces.  I am a yeller.  I don’t always have a lot of patience.  On the flip side I will cheer the loudest at any sporting event my children participate in–usually wearing a homemade t-shirt with their name or face plastered all over it.  I will also hug and say, “GREAT JOB” no matter what the score at the end.   I cry at the National Anthem–EVERY TIME- and I still tear up every at bat or at every swim meet.  I adore my children while expecting the most out of them.  In my heart I believe that manners matter and that I good man does the right thing even when no one is watching.  I parent that way.  I am tough and unyielding about some things while being generous and soft-hearted about others.   Predicting which is which isn’t always easy.

I am intense.  My friend that loves that I call her on things says I LOVE OUT LOUD.  That particular phrase thrills me to no end.  It’s a positive way of describing who I am.  At 43 I have learned to recognize (sometimes) that as a whole I am neither good nor bad but am made up of a little of both.

I get overwhelmed easily.  I don’t often think of myself as smart.  I am also intimidated by a lot of people.  Women my age.  Super-Moms.  Fit and well maintained women.  Men.  Women with good eyebrows.  Sharply dressed store clerks.  Stores that sell fancy clothes.  Dentist and dental assistants.  Nasty people.  Folks discussing politics.  Middle school teachers.  Super hip folks.  Granola types.  Athletes.  Stay-at-home Moms.  I could go on…and on…and on but I am guessing by now you get the point.

Luckily I’ve been adopted into a group of women that seem to appreciate who I am.  They take me as I am and well…they just accept me.  The things that most people don’t like about me seem to be A-Okay in this band of misfits.  They are the most intelligent, savvy, adventurous women I’ve ever met.  This “She sees me clearly and calls me out on stuff” may not seem like much of a compliment but it is. It really, really is.    I am okay being me in this group.  I have a place amongst this group of friends.  I don’t have to be someone I am not.  I don’t have to pretend to be anything other than me.   They appreciate the sentiment behind hand-painted canvas without muttering, “what they hell was she thinking.”  They tell when I’ve crossed a line and they cheer me one when I give up.  How much better does it get than being loved for who you are…even if who you are is a little ragged and rough around the edges?

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