Today, I have a better sense of self than I ever did, and it frustrates me when people think they know who I am, and it couldn’t be further from the truth. Maybe it is up to me to convey myself more clearly. The truth is this.
Regarding people and relationships–
I think a lot of people see me as a very social person. One of my best friends describes me as magnetic, and my sister describes me as a social butterfly. If I’m at a party, I’m definitely engaging… up until a certain point, when I usually sneak off to do my own thing. People generally want to be my friend. It’s this natural thing about me – I am fascinated with people and how different and the same they are. I think on some level, people pick up on that and respond to it. People see me as a safe space and tell me a lot about themselves without much prompting, and voila, a connection is made. It does take me some time to really open up to others, though.
While I do possess a natural gift for making others feel comfortable connecting with me, and I think it is one of my best traits, it has gotten me into some dangerous or unpleasant situations. Or, at the vert least it can be quite draining. I used to be open to the world, but later I realized I need to be more thoughtful about this trait. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been more selective with who I want to pursue a deeper relationship with because it makes the connection that much more meaningful to me. I feel a little sad that growing older has made me more guarded, but I’m at this point in my life where I’m the busiest I’ve ever been, and I really value my personal time. I want to use it to take better care of myself and be more thoughtful about the people I really care about. And I’m finding I need more recovery time between social events just to get myself centered. Maybe the pendulum will swing the other way again, and I’ll experience another renaissance where I’ll throw my soul open to the world, But for now, I only make time for myself and for people who I really care about.
Regarding work ethic–
I have always been a person who approaches work with integrity. I work hard and don’t like to take short cuts that compromise quality. I don’t like cheating/cheaters, and I have less respect for people who get shit handed to them instead of work for it. But I’m going through this period where time and energy are finite resources for me. I have run myself ragged before and found it gets me further away from achieving my goals. It also takes its toll on the people around me.
I’ve always heard the phrase “work smarter” but it’s only in the past year or two that I am actively implementing that principle. Working smarter means admitting mistakes even if it’s awkward or I might seem dumb. It means asking for help even if it might make me seem clueless. It means reaching out to people who can be a resource, instead of feeling like an imposition. It means treating mistakes as a learning opportunity, instead of beating myself up about it. It means looking at my shortcomings dead in the eye and asking myself how I can change them, or if not, how I can still achieve my goals even though these are a part of me. Working smarter, most importantly, includes scheduling time to take care of myself and relax, so that I can be my best self and able to put out quality work when it matters. I used to think, the more I ran myself into the ground, the more I proved myself to be a hard worker and the more respect it would get me from my peers. Now I believe that the better a person takes care of themselves, the better they will be able to handle the rigors of the job. It is something I am constantly working on. I’m far from perfect and want to reach a level where being more balanced and relaxed comes more naturally to me, but for now I think it is a good thing that I am actively working on this. I can already feel a difference.
Regarding Political beliefs–
Admittedly, I haven’t always been aware of social justice issues. Growing up I was pretty sheltered, and in college I was just doing what I could to keep my job and pass classes and have fun. It wasn’t until I began law school that I started being aware of issues like the flaws in the criminal justice system, race and class issues, reproductive rights, gender equality and LGBTQA+ issues, homelessness, and everything in our society that disadvantages the population for the benefit of a small group of people in power. The older I get, and the more aware I am of these issues, the more I see it as a responsibility to get involved. I can’t just sit by and think I can’t do anything to help. I have a law degree and a big heart. I want to find ways to focus all the negative energy I feel when tragedy strikes, into trying to make a change for the better. I am excited to get involved in some organizations this fall, and start volunteering some of my personal time to advance social justice causes and engage with my community. I’m not as vocal about this facet about myself on social media, but it’s also something that is a work in progress for me. I think I will be more vocal the more I get involved. Just so others can see, there are things they can do to help.
Regarding my personal style and appearance–
I have two sisters, and I am definitely the most low-key among us three. I’m not as on-trend as they are with clothes, and I don’t spend as much time or money on hair and make-up. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, because they do what they do so they can feel comfortable and confident.I like being on the low-maintenance end of the spectrum because that’s where I’m most comfortable.
For me, at least as far as my beauty regimen goes, skin care is my priority because my face is prone to unrelenting dryness and eczema break outs if I’m not thoughtful about what I put on it. Taking care of my skin helps me feel comfortable and confident. I use face wash that a dermatologist recommended to me, and I moisturize my face and neck with coconut oil or vitamin e oil. I use sun screen. I have some anti-aging cream samples that I’m trying out. I drink a ton of water every day. I love to get glammed up if I’m attending a special event or going on a fancy date, but on a regular day, if I am wearing make-up, the routine is a swipe of mascara, a little blush, dusting of baby powder, and lip balm or maybe light lipstick. I don’t use foundation, though I am considering maybe getting into the tinted moisturizer game if I can find one that works for my sensitive skin. I sometimes use heat on my hair to give some organization and to de-puff my messy waves. It’s taken me all of my teen years and early 20’s to finally learn to love my face as it is naturally, so I guess covering it up seems almost a disservice to my growth and journey to acceptance. I’m not anti-make up tho, I think it’s fun to try new things and diff colors… And sometimes I just wear red lipstick to cheer up, even if I’m just at home. But make-up, in general, is just not an everyday hours-long affair for me.
As far as my clothes go – I like my style. I like that I can see a trend and be like, “that meshes with what I am going for” or “that is something I am definitely not buying into.” I like coming up with my own look based on old or weird things. I like dressing up and using things people wouldn’t expect or think of. I think of my style as classic and low key with an unexpected twist here or there. A little off beat but put together. And ever since I was a kid and stole my dad’s old FILA sweater that I wore til it had holes it in, I loved the feel of mens clothes. More room to move in, and usually better thicker quality materials. I definitely followed the “grungy” look in high school because of the comfort and cool of plaid and loose jeans. These days I think I’m a lot more polished and most of my tops have a collar and buttons because that is most versatile for me.I have my share of dresses and skirts, but my closet is also filled with things for a man that I wear proudly as a woman.