To survive Alcott, I made a list of things I liked about myself. I thought I’d share it with you today, maybe it will help someone. The list is unfinished. Please read what I wrote afterward.
I wrote the following in July 2012:
I am actually the bravest person I know.
My body is more resilient and durable than the average human body. I have excellent physical endurance.
I am articulate.
I am well educated.
I am a skilled writer.
Some people think I’m wicked funny.
I’m wicked smart.
I can turn on the charm.
I can turn on the wit.
I can turn on the good manners.
I look cute in a tie.
I am an innovative knitter.
Puzzle is the best-dressed Schnoodle in New England, wearing her L.L. Greene sweaters designed and knitted by me.
I don’t put cute puppies and kittens up on Facebook, nor do I quote God.
I tell it like it is.
I say what I think and encourage others to do so as well.
I am good with money and write up a budget I can follow.
I don’t think I have bounced a check since the 1970’s.
I actually enjoy being poor and wouldn’t have it any other way.
I am wicked good with computers.
[skipping this next one, I have mixed feelings about it.]
I am car-free.
I am proud that I never got married.
I like my name.
I am proud of my past, my history and heritage.
I belong to an awesome church.
I am a squeaky wheel.
I overcame many bad habits that I picked up in the mental health system, including whining, rocking, and speaking like a child.
I quit smoking.
I had the same wonderful partner for 13 years and we were best buddies for four previous years.
I am a straight-A student.
I have written 5 books [now, 6].
I am a two-time [now, three] National Novel Writing Month winner.
I have written a lot of music.
I can type without looking at my hands.
I own over 700 books.
I give a damn good reading.
I am good at public speaking.
I am a member of the Gold Key Honor Society.
I ran a 5k at age 52.
I performed stand-up comedy in a bar.
I once hopped on my bike and rode 100 miles without a map and 45 cents in my pocket.
I hitch-hiked across the country with my dog when I was 21.
While undergoing brainwashing by a religious cult, I figured out what was going on, secretly tried to alert others, and got kicked out of the cult.
I make sarcasm fun.
I had sex in the McLean Hospital tunnels, made famous in Girl, Interrupted (not exactly the mile-high club).
I am a good storyteller.
I am published.
I was on the front page of the Watertown Tab once, above and below the fold.
I got a standing ovation at my grad school graduation.
I earned my undergrad degree summa cum laude.
I survived the death of my partner.
In 2005 I was brave enough to fly to the UK to meet a man I met online.
I am capable of falling in love with a person of any gender.
I am out of the closet.
It appears that I ended the list here, though I intended to continue. I had not run out of ideas but had run out of energy and time and perhaps had plenty else on my mind.
What would I add now? A lot. I have accomplished quite a bit since that time. I am in a much better space than I was then, too. I don’t need a list to remind me that I am a worthy person. In addition, I don’t need to prove to anyone else that I am a worthy person and deserve space on the planet. All humans are worthy of that. My paranoia may tell me that the planet is trying to kick me off, but the first Principle of UU tells me THERE ARE NO ASSHOLES HERE. I can look at Puzzle’s cute little face and that tells all.