What Do I Like About Myself?

The incomparable Heart in San Francisco has tagged me with the most challenging meme ever: I must share ten things I like about myself.

It's a little hard to think about what I like about myself. It feels a bit immodest to do so. For example, this is what Heart said about me: "I love her fine mind and great honesty, her personal beauty."

I am tempted to just write that over and over again ten times because it sounds so good. I mean, seriously...I'm incredibly flattered. In fact, I should get myself a custom t-shirt made with that on it. I'll wear it on days like today where I've eaten way too many cool ranch Doritos and feel like a Mrs. Potato Head.

Anyway, because I have such an admiration for Heart's wisdom, maturity and sense of justice, I decided to go ahead and do some self-reflection, even if it makes me feel absolutely immodest to tell you these things. Whew, deep breath....here goes:

Ten Things Liz Likes About Herself

1) I have never hidden my love for Depeche Mode or tried to downplay it to gain acceptance from anyone. Growing up, I was fine with being the "weird mixed girl who likes those depressing British guys." I wasn't about to turn around and start pretending that I liked Ready For The World just to have more friends. My love for Depeche Mode has lasted since I was eleven. It's almost become an emblem for being proud of who I am, what I like, and who I love. Despite all that, even today, folks will seriously try to ridicule me for loving Depeche Mode. People, not just family either, have commented that it's my "white side" coming out. I've had folks who've barely know me say with thinly veiled disdain, "Oh, aren't they an '80's band? So you're stuck in the 80's musically?" or else I get the, "They're soooo gay!" comment, but only men say that. I guess if members of Depeche Mode were gay, I'm supposed to suddenly stop liking their music? My comeback to that is, "Oh, that's right! I heard you slept with one of them! How was it for you?" That usually shuts most guys up with a quickness and hopefully points out to them how stupid that comment is.

Anyway, I'm so into Depeche Mode that I have t-shirts (both tour and custom-made), track-jackets, dishes, necklaces, screen savers...and, ahem, the Depeche Mode thong underwear. I know, crazy! I have stopped short at getting a DM tattoo, but I'm still young so there's hope for me yet.

2) I can talk to anyone about anything. I think this is because of a few things. First, I'm interested in a lot of things and pretty well read on a variety of topics, so I feel comfortable talking to a wide range of folks about many different things. Second, I'm not shy about admitting when I know absolutely nothing about something and then inviting someone to tell me about it. Third, I really like people and believe that everyone has something I can learn from and something to offer this world. When I first moved to NYC, it took me a couple of days to realize that you weren't supposed to talk to people on the subway. You're just supposed to try to look uber urban and tough. It was an adjustment since back home in Chicago, I'd interview people while waiting for the El. With a mini-cassette recorder no less. Out here in LA, I met one of my dearest friends on the street in downtown. Once I realized that I wasn't about to get mugged, I was totally comfortable talking about everything under the sun. Come to think of it...maybe I should have titled this one "I'm really friendly" or else, "I'm really nosy!"

3) I smile a whole lot. I even smile when I'm dancing. Especially when I'm dancing! For awhile there, I was self-conscious about my smile because my bottom teeth are crooked. I never got braces growing up. I also have fairly full lips, and trust me, pre-Angelina Jolie, my lips were not in fashion. Unfortunately, a guy I was seeing years ago teased me about both teeth and lips. He called me snaggle tooth sometimes and joked that I had such big lips. (That should tell you a whole lot about where I was in my life that I would even tolerate that kind of crap.) Fortunately, one day I snapped out of my coma and he became an ex. Nowadays if folks comment on my crooked teeth, and believe me, some rude people do, I tell them they are welcome to pay for my invisible braces.

4) I am very empathetic. I have been through a lot in my life and so I find that it breeds a deep empathy for other people's situations. I've survived through so many hard things and I know that there's always something else going on behind what we see of a person. I think the best way to come out stronger is to just love other people as much as you can. I try to keep that in mind and just see the humanity of someone first and foremost. I find that I can easily step into someone else's shoes. For example, I have been the shy wallflower at a party so if I go in a room and see wallflowers, I make it my job to make them feel welcome, valued and wanted.

5) I'm pretty laid back and relaxed. No, I'm not a high maintenance woman. I can rock some high heels and a dress, but I'm just as happy in flip flops and jeans. I never had the money growing up for a whole lot of beauty products, clothes or accessories, so I never got in the habit of thinking I needed all those things. It's not that I don't like nice stuff. I do. It's just that I know I don't need certain things to survive, especially when I know other folks in the world have so little. It makes me think about how when I traveled in China, I slept in a "motel" that cost the equivalent of $1 USD per night. It was in a remote village and had a communal bathroom with no door. I brushed my teeth and washed my face with water running out of a broken pipe. I wore the same clothes day after day because I wanted to be able to pack light. I'm telling you, after you do that, a high maintenance attitude is just silly. As long as I'm comfortable, I'm all good.

6) I treat everyone with dignity and respect regardless of who they are. Nothing irks me more than the jerk who treats higher-ups with deference but then acts nasty to the assistant or people they perceive as being beneath them. You've seen those jerks, right? They're the person who ass-kisses when someone has a bunch of degrees or personal wealth behind their name but then treats those without that stuff like they're no one. To me, people who do that are scum and it becomes very difficult for me to treat them with dignity and respect. One thing I'm infinitely proud of is that I've never been that pompous, pretentious, condescending scum/jerk . If I ever become that, please, God, send the lightning bolt to strike me dead. I couldn't stand myself if I became like that.

7) I have beautiful eyelashes. They're long but not too long and curl in such a lovely way, all without an eyelash curler. My dear friend Leili's father gave me a compliment years ago about my eyelashes. He couldn't believe they were real because they looked so curly and beautiful. I'd never really noticed that about my eyelashes before then. Thanks Mr. Towfigh...you made me realize that my curly eyelashes are fabulous.

8) I am the human version of MapQuest. I have an affinity for maps and atlases that harkens back to my brainiac nerd days of reading them for fun. I started studying street maps of LA when I was fourteen and had no clue I'd one day be living here. Plus, my father is a driving short-cut junkie so I suppose I'm genetically programmed for expertise. People really do call me when they're on the road and need to find their way around. The best was when friends born, raised and currently living in Chicago called me up a couple of months ago to ask for the best way to get somewhere in Chicago!

9) I'm a good mom. When folks comment on how well-behaved and polite my sons are, I feel really happy and very proud. I decided a long time ago that the most important job I could ever have is to be a good mother. I want my sons to be spiritual and social warriors, examples of excellence and free from the prejudices that breed such unhappiness in our world. I enjoy teaching my boys prayers and then hearing them recite them back to me from memory. I love exposing them to the arts, reading to them, and encouraging all their creative and intellectual interests. I'm not afraid to roll around in the grass with them and let them ride around on my back either. And, I give them kisses and hugs, and shower them with affection. I never want them to think they aren't loved. So when my three year-old runs forward to try to open doors for me or my six year-old wants to talk about God, I know I've done something right.

10) I can let my hair down without having a single drink. My sister often says I know how to have a good time so well that she's afraid of what would happen if I ever did drink. She's probably right. After all, you know how folks say they throw a couple of drinks back to help them relax when they get to the party or the club? You know how people say, "I did that? OMG, I had no idea! I was sooo drunk!" Yeah, well that's never been me. Why should I feel self conscious about dancing all by myself on the dance floor? Why should I need a depressant to help me feel confident enough to go talk to someone I don't know? So if you get to a party and see me dancing on top of the table, guess what, I'm completely sober. I own up to the table dancing 100%. What can I say? I've been dancing on tables since I was two.

So that's my ten things! I hope it wasn't too painful for you to read, and hopefully you know me a little better now.

Here's the hard part...who to pass this on to? Only five people? Well, some of you all may not want to do this, but I'm going to pick you anyway!

1) Sundry at Any Given Sundry. She's an amazing photographer, writer, observer of people, and my inspiration for next year's trip to France.

2) Phillipe over at Baha'i Thought because he has such a keen intellectual mind, a fantastic sense of humor, and the ability to articulate the practical applications of spiritual principles in an incredibly logical manner.

3) Jameil over at the Me, My, Mindspace because she always make me laugh and has such a youthful and positive energy.

4) 1969 over at Nineteen Sixty Nine because she tells the best stories, has such wisdom and keeps it real like no other.

5) Mojan Sami over at Mojan Sami Blog because she is really funny, obviously in love with her husband, takes the best pictures, and is a really good writer.

There are more of you I'd like to tag but I'm keeping it to five. If I tagged you and you don't normally do memes, put your own spin on this! Make it your own to suit your blog.

Again, thank you to Heart in San Francisco for tagging me. If you aren't reading her blog yet, you should. She's one of the best!


none said…
Those are some great things and some of the most important ones to have :)
Anonymous said…
This is awesome and inspiring. Nice job.
Oh, Liz, I loved this. I am even more entranced with you than before, and that's a lot.

Thank you for being such a good sport. It was very hard for me to do, too, but somehow, I thought it would be easier for others.

I can talk to anyone about anything because even if I don't know what I'm talking about, I am convincing.

I didn't wear lipstick until I was 17 because other girls made fun of my full lips, so it seems particularly bizarre that so many women are undergoing painful collagen and tape threading procedures now to make theirs bigger.

You are lucky to be you because there is so very much to like about you. Thank you so much for sharing a few of those things on demand.
This comment has been removed by the author.
P.S. I would like to dance on tables with you sometime.

I don't drink either, but tend to run around to all the tables and snatch their baskets of pretzels, which I pile on my own table. Everyone assumes I'm drunk, and I don't disabuse them -- I just like pretzels.
Anonymous said…
You have a great list, Liz. I was nervous about writing mine, but once I got started, it wasn't so bad. In fact, it's nice to take a moment to not focus on my weaknesses. Lots of love!
Dena said…
you are all that and a bag of chips ;-) really, don't ask me why i thought that.....but seriously, i feel so fortunate to have met you (can you believe we've known each other for @ 15 years?) and am looking forward to actually seeing you in person....maybe in january or february.

love you lots,
Organized Noise said…
First time through (via 1969). I like this and the way I am feeling this week, I need to do this to cheer myself up. I'll be back.
Sundry said…
We have so much in common!

These are things I also like about you!

I'm looking forward to reading all your other linkees. I find the most interesting people through you.

And thanks for thinking of me! [blushes]
Jameil said…
AWWW!! a youthful, positive energy! that's so fun! it makes me want to know myself! :) i'll do it b/c i like to talk about myself. i know that sounds vain but its true. tho i'm a drinker, i, too, don't need drinks to be on 10 at a party. there were many times senior year where i was drunk and had a BLAST! the entire year. good times man, good times.

i love that you dont' hide your depeche mode lovin despite its strangeness. being a good mom is a GREAT compliment. you should see how my mom beams when people talk about us.
Ian Lidster said…
So nice to get to know you better in both your complexities and your obvious serenity. You are quite an inspring and together individual. Well, damn it, I now like you even more, and I sure would like to see those eyelashes.
Liz Dwyer said…
Thank you so much! This was a difficult task. Initially, I could only think of a couple things and I considered polling people I knew. But, I'm glad I was patient and put a little more time into reflecting on myself. I have a laundry list of things I need to improve, but maybe I'm also not so bad!

Heather B,
Hey! How are you? That's so nice for you to say! I appreciate it.

I really enjoyed it once I started. I could only think of three things initially. And then seven. And then finally I got to ten. Yeah! Much better than doing "Ten things you can't stand about yourself!" ;0

Table dancing is severely underrated. I haven't done it in awhile since I'm usually watching my 3 y.o.'s attempts at it! I think yours is a fantastic pretzel collecting tactic. I should try that sometime.

Thanks, Moj! I really do think your list is very interesting. Like I said in my comments, I admire your conciseness! I wonder if it's just human nature to not want to do something like this but yeah, it is good to not focus on weaknesses all the time!

Ha-ha! You are too funny. I'll put that "bag of chips" comment on a t-shirt too. And yes, time goes so fast. Fifteen years? Wow. that's a long time. January or February? Does this mean you are coming out here to visit? And I can't wait to see what you say about yourself. I think Mojan tagged you!

Organized Noise
Welcome! I'm glad you came by to visit. Good that you're considering doing this. It did cheer me up, especially thinking about the eyelashes! ;) Come back and visit me again soon!

You were the first person I thought of to tag...maybe because we do have so much in common! I do wish I could take pictures like you and I think it's so wonderful how you capture your life with a photo every day. I'm looking forward to reading your ten things!

LOL! See, you DO have that energy! It comes through in your comments.

In my world, it's strange to not love Depeche Mode! Both my sons know that they're my favorite artist. I hope one of these days I can take them to a concert, but by the time they're teenagers, I'm sure they'll have their own musical interests and they might not include DM at all!

I like that word "serenity". I definitely wasn't feeling that way even three months ago and you're right, I do feel much more that way now. I hadn't even realized that that's what it is. I still don't know if I have myself "together" but I'm trying.

And I got my new camera today so maybe I can figure out how to do a closeup of the eyelashes! :)
Ehav Ever said…
I do agree with you on coming up with a list of what you like about yourself. Sometimes people spend so much time beating themselves up instead of finding their good qualities. Nice blog.
Anonymous said…
You can talk to me on the subway in NYC anytime! Great post.
Anonymous said…
Here are some words that will resonate with you,
I ask for a moments indulgence to sit by Thy side,
The works that I have in hand
I will finish afterwards
Away from the sight of Thy face
My heart knows no rest or respite
And my work becomes an endless toil
In a shoreless sea of toil
Today the summer has come at my window
With its sighs and murmurs;
And the bees are plying their minstrelsy
At the court of the flowering grove
Now it is time to sit quiet
Face to face with Thee,
And to sing dedication of life
In this silent and overflowing leisure
Rabindranath Tagore
Organized Noise said…
Just came back to let you know that I posted my 10 things today if you wanted to check it out.
Liz Dwyer said…
Ehav Ever,
Welcome and glad you came by for a visit. The very interesting thing that I found about coming up with this list of things I like is that it makes me think about the things I don't like about myself in a much less static way. I haven't always been able to say these things about myself so it gives me hope for what I can change in the future.

Ha-ha! Actually, we can get on the subway with our kids and see who does more talking, us or them. For some reason, I think those little boys will have the subway chit-chat thing on lock. All I'd have to do is tell mine that we're in Gotham City and I'm sure the chatter will flow for days.

So beautiful. I have not read that one in a long time. Tagore has such beautiful poetry. Thanks for reminding me of that.
Liz Dwyer said…
Organized Noise,
I'd love to! Thanks for letting me know.
This is a great post. I agree with Heart - you do have a fine mind, great honesty and much beauty. I love reading your blog!
Liz Dwyer said…
Why thank you! That's really nice of you to say. :)
Sundry said…
Thanks again for this. Fun way to get to know bloggers a little better. Yours is the most hoppin' blog I visit.
Liz Dwyer said…
You are absolutely welcome! I'm glad you did it and had a good time doing it.

And I don't know how hoppin' I am...especially when I'm being a couch potato insomniac right now.
Anonymous said…
Great Article! Thank You!
Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
nice blog!Nice information

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