MJ and I have basically been lifelong friends, and it's my pleasure to introduce her first guest post. I, for one, really appreciated reading her story and her advice. Hopefully there will be many more of her insights to come!
So without further ado…
Hey. My name is M.J.
So without further ado…
|MJ, since you left the formatting up to me you get a Jack Sparrow gif. You're welcome.|
But just knowing my name doesn't say much about me, does it? No, you still don't know who I really am.
I'm a senior in high school and a Taylor Swift fan.
How about now? No, not really. But do I even know who I am? A year ago I would have began to say, "Of course I do, what kind of question is that?!" but then thought hard for an answer... and blanked out. It wasn't that I didn't know how to put it into words, I honestly didn't know how to define and describe myself. I wasn't sure what type of personality I wore, what gifts I displayed, or what weaknesses I fought. I had never deeply evaluated myself.
Do you know who you are? Self evaluation is something I invite you to do now. It is important to know who you truly are. Even if you think you know who you are at first, think again. Rid yourself of any lies that may have developed as you changed, or even self-deceived, and describe who you are with evidence to back it up.
I bet you can list off a few talents and flaws right now. For example, I am rythmically and athletically gifted. I'm getting pretty good at violin and dance. I also take pride in my flexibility. I know my hobbies, or what I'm good at. And I know what I'm bad at. Math, competitive sports, and being cheerful when I don't get my way are a few.
Now we are closer to answering the big question, but not just yet.
What about on a characteristical level? Am I generally kind or unpleasant? I have to think about this question a while. Why? Because this sort of thing is a choice! I can be who ever I want. What's important is who I choose to be. We have to earnestly believe we can and will be something in order to become it.
I think I have changed since I had this epiphany. Before, I was generally very sullen. The home schooled life can be very very dull. However, it doesn't have to be. I don't have to be upset over a lack of social and physical exercise.
I looked at my life; I saw who I was. Then I thought about who I wanted to be. Keeping in mind the sky's the limit, I thought about people I wished I could be and why.
I have a friend who I am ever impressed by her compassion. She's in love with the whole world. I had another friend who was very popular. She was confident, outgoing, and easy-going.
I can be all these things: compassionate, confident, outgoing, and chill. I am proud to say, I am (yes, I have proved it too) all these things. *takes a bow*
|I thought this was suitable. Continue, my friend:|
How did I do it? I completely turned my life around, but it wasn't as simple as that. I took it one trait at a time. And each one took practice. After while it became second nature. It became who I am.
First I got up early and completed my homework in an organized, timely manner. I took breaks so I could focus. And believe it or not, I actually may have enjoyed it a tiny bit. Don't get me wrong, I still hate school! It just became more bearable.
Then I emailed my friends. I told stories and teased and LOLed. A lot. I also had extracurricular activities and social events occasionally. Every chance I got, I made an effort to be friendly. I took extra steps towards compassion.
To be honest I was previously not compassionate or sympathetic at all. I started by inquiring into the wellbeing of my friends. I showed them how much I cared. I told them what they meant to me. Told my family and friends how much I loved and appreciated them and why.
" , you are the fire that warms the hearts of others. , you tease me so, and for some odd reason I like it! , you were always there when I needed some one to talk too. , I flippin' love you!!!"
This rekindled love in my heart that I thought had drowned. I found myself loving like my very special friend I mentioned earlier.
After I got used to putting my feelings into words, it became easier to speak to acquaintances and even strangers; to be confident and outgoing. I used small talk with meaning. If some one looked upset I'd ask, "Are you alright?" Before I would have been simply unattracted to this person and ignored them. And if I liked some one I'd let them know. " , where have you been, I missed you!"
After small talk, I tried having deeper conversations. It took a while to become comfortable with people but I became smoother about striking up interesting conversations. Confidence took practice. I gave it all I had. Success!!
Now what about my faults? To hope to ever overcome faults, we must first recognize them. I get out of hand on the Internet, gossip occasionally (more or less...), disregard my parents' wishes constantly, and I'm sure much more.
If you are having trouble coming up with flaws, I'm sure there is someone who knows you well enough to point them out to you if you ask. Once you have them laid out for you, take one at a time and think up a strategy.
Say you, like me and like 98% of the world, gossip.
What's wrong with gossip? It can hurt people and their reputations. And it's often a lie, whether you realize it or not. It might be exaggerated or one sided or evolved in the process of story telling. It's all fun until you are the topic of gossip. All around, it's just not a good idea. So what should we do about it?
Um...just don't. Simple as that. It really doesn't have to be complicated if you make your mind up and stay strong. Remind yourself with an encouraging Tumblr quote on your dashboard. I feel stupid punishing or rewarding myself so I would recommend the prayer method. Every time you slip up ask God for assistance or just say a simple Lord's prayer.
Now we know who I intend to be. How well do you know me now ? I'd say about 30%. What's the other 70%? My dreams, random quirks and tendencies, emotions, preferences and fancies, and the list goes on. You would have to spend a lot of time with me to figure it out, or ask my friends because I am subconsciously me (who else would I be?). I guess you can't know someone just by reading one blog post .¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Until we meet again,