Aw geez. I am extraordinarily uncomfortable with writing prompts such as these. And this is legitimate. This is not one of these typically female baiting techniques that some women will use in order to receive false compliments. This is not the writing equivalent of “Does this prompt make my butt look fat?” It is not arrogance when I say that my writing butt looks completely fine. My thighs, on the other hand, could use some work. I think this has something to do with my overuse of conjunctions, but I’m not sure.
I’ve always been uncomfortable with praise. It makes me itchy, like woolen sweaters. I don’t particularly care for it. I just like to sort of exist, and if I can just get the work done that is called Life, then that’s even better. So when I’m asked to self-praise, then that is sort of condemning me to a life time of woolen jumpsuits and not just sweaters. To me, we live in a world of game-playing when it comes to praise. People use it as Monopoly-style currency. All fake and easily stolen from the banker. It rarely means anything, and so I don’t trust it. I don’t like knowing where I stand with people, therefore instead of stuffing me with compliments just tell me what you appreciate about me. Tell me things that are authentic. Real.
But tell these things about me, from me? How odd.
I know that one thing that makes me different from many is my ability to listen and be a loyal friend. Sometimes too loyal. I am a very good friend. I’ve chosen to not have many shallow friendships but instead to have few very deep and rewarding friendships. This has allowed me to create a strong network of people I can rely on. That is to say I am, of course, friendly to many. But the people I have held deep to me, are close. I am intuitive. I have an ability to know things as I am listening to people and understand what they are trying to articulate. And so, because of this, I can be sensitive to them.
On the other side of this, ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a quirky sense of humor. Sometimes sarcastic, always sassy. There were times when I would get in trouble because people thought I was really quite serious when I wasn’t at all. Not once did I ever think it was my fault — they were the ones with no sense of humor. My mother never saw it that way. I can still hear her with her thick Spanish accent, “Cristina….!” and then a deep sigh. Thankfully, I’ve grown into my sense of humor.
I struggle with the concept of “beautiful”. But I do know I’m getting better with it. This prompt has been itchy and woolly, but so are a lot of things. I’d much rather have fleece. Then again, fleece makes me look fat.