- to the height of it all -


52 weeks of gratitude: 5 things i like about me

it's probably no coincidence that i stopped participating in the gratitude challenge when i was faced with this prompt:
list 5 things you like about you

not very long ago, i wouldn't have been able to find one thing that i truly valued about myself beyond my academic abilities. when i had nothing else, i had school. i was good at it, and i felt that no one could take that away.
but then i dropped out of my doctoral program.
and at first, it was a disaster. if i didn't have school, what could i possibly offer the world?
but that experience humbled me and demonstrated to me that without God's blessings, even my lifelong abilities could change. and i learned the danger of finding beauty and value in nearly everything around me, but not in myself.
until i was forced to look beyond what i could do in the classroom.
and that was when everything changed.

5 things i like about me

my ability to be objective. someone once asked me how i could give someone who seemed guilty the benefit of the doubt. what was once an obsession over things being "fair" as a child has grown into a quality that i and, i believe, those around me admire. i try not to make judgments of anyone before he or she at least has had a chance to be heard. and when that is not possible, i go to great lengths to see the situation from his or her perspective before taking action. i can easily detach my emotions from most (not all) situations in order to judge and choose the best decision.

my ability to be calm in crisis. in most instances of crisis or stress, i am usually able to keep a calm and clear head. i am solutions-oriented and i immediately begin seeking out a solution before/in lieu of freaking out.

my hair. this sounds vain and superficial, but i am really proud of my hair. for years, i was told that i didn't have "good hair" and that it would never be long because i'm not "mixed," because i'm dark-skinned, etc etc. many of these things were said to me by my own family members. to be nearing waist length is more than just a fantasy -- for me, it is a visual depiction of the ability to reach a goal despite being surrounded by negativity.

my journey toward finding and affirming my beauty. again, this might sound vain, but it's something that has been a lifelong struggle. in many places, i am pretty much the opposite of the standard of beauty in lots of ways, and that was never lost on me. i was told multiple times by boys and men (usually ones of color), it is constantly affirmed in both entertainment and supposedly-"reliable" media (and even "science"), and these things just made it hard to accept who i am. i know people say that you aren't supposed to care what other people say, and i agree wholeheartedly. but hearing the same things constantly from childhood to adulthood can make wading through their voices to find your own incredibly difficult. i have worked hard to discover and treasure my beauty, and i don't take that lightly.

my drive to be better. i truly believe that if you aren't growing, you aren't living. i used to obsess over perfection, but that is not the case anymore. i want to be the best i can be for myself. i want to look back on my life and know that the decisions i made are ones that shaped and fulfilled me. i want to leave this place without any stone unturned, without any adventure not taken, and without any regrets. that is part of the reason why i have this blog, and it is why i will continue to challenge myself.

what are 5 things you like about yourself? share them with me below.


Rachel G said...

Many, many people do not have the ability to be calm is times of crisis! Treasure that ability! I enjoyed reading this post--it's worthwhile to be able to comment on your best features!

Britt @ The Pinnacle Project said...

Thanks, Rachel!

Hsiao-Ting said...

I'm so proud of you to get back on the horse and list 5 things you like about yourself :) It's always tough when the one thing you have to offer or identify with (aka what you do/profession) is gone and then you feel lost. You have soooo much to offer than what you do. Love the list you listed :)

Kristal @ Beautifully Curled said...

Wow. Britt. God's grace is so beautiful even when we don't see it at first. I, too, was very academic oriented. This became my identity all the way up to grad school. I had to make great grades, I had to graduate top of my class, I had to complete my engineering degree with honors in 4 years, I had to go to grad school, I had to get this awesome job bringing in boo hoo money. My acceptance by others depended, or so I thought, on achieiving all of these things. Unfortunately, my "perfect" little world crashed when I withdrew from my graduate program because I became pregnant and then went through post-partum. I was devastated. I was lost. I was so depressed even with a little one. It was difficult but God was with me. It took me 2 years of therapy to loose the bonds between academia and who I am. Once that happened, I was able to see myself in a more postive light instead of a failure, a disappointment, a let down I thought I once was. I still struggle with finding the next steps in my life professionally, still struggle with anxiety, still struggle with self love some days. But I love that I am a fighter, I love that I believe in my potential no matter how long it takes, I love that I am objective as well (I give many the benefit of the doubt because God does so to me every single day), I love that I am creative, I love that I am loved wholly by God.

Such an awesome post Britt! We are on this life journey together. A hundred hugs from one who understands. So proud of where you are right now! :-)

Britt @ The Pinnacle Project said...

It really is hard to separate what you do from who you are sometimes! Thanks so much for the encouragement!

Britt @ The Pinnacle Project said...

It's like you're in my head! I definitely can relate with feeling like a complete failure because that is exactly how I felt at the time - like someone of whom I couldn't be proud. God is working on me with this even today, but I am so thankful for the exact reasons you've listed.
Thank you so, so much for being supportive! It's crazy that sometimes you can think your own circumstance is the individual tragedy when there are people around who are dealing with it as well who can be amazing resources.

Bailey said...

Beautiful entry Britt!

Britt @ The Pinnacle Project said...

Thanks, Bailey!!!