I could probably come up with a really long list of my deficiencies. After all, I was programmed to focus more on possibilities for improvement than on things I already had down pat. Isn’t that how it always is? We spend our time trying to deal with our negatives so we don’t take time to accentuate the positives.
I know the things at which I excel, but the only times I really think about them is when I’m writing a cover letter or reprising my resume. And even then it takes me a dog’s age to figure out how to explain them without seeming full of myself. That’s my biggest fear, I think, that if I talk about my positives I will go too far because I’m not used to it.
But I’m thinking about them now, after all this time, trying to measure them in terms of what I bring to the table, not in terms of how many things I bring to the table because we’re having a contest. There is no contest, and there is no winner. There’s just me and this silence while I think of how to put them down. A list is always handy.
- I’m a good listener. This isn’t really me saying it. It’s more the combination of others telling me this over and over through the years and my own determination to make sure others feel heard and understood. I know how it feels when I think people aren’t listening to me, so I’m empathetic to others in that sense.
- I’m a good worker. It doesn’t matter what the job is, or how boring it is, or how unfulfilling it may be to me personally, I take my work seriously. I can’t imagine doing a half-assed job, and I can’t understand people who live their lives to waste as much time as possible.
- I have a good memory. Although as I get older my memory seems to have taken a left turn, usually I still can get it straight if I think on it long enough. I never took notes in school because I would always remember the information so long as I was paying attention to the instructor.
- I’m a good writer. While I don’t think I’m in league with the classic writers in fiction, or poetry, I think I’m solid. I cover my bases, I love figurative language, and I know how to use it for effect. For years the only thing I could say positive about myself was that I was a good writer, and I think it’s still true.
- I’m a good friend. Being a good friend isn’t about just listening. It’s also about taking it all and giving advice when it’s needed. I take time out for my friends because they’re important to me, every single one. I subscribe wholeheartedly to the notion that friends are the family we choose for ourselves.
- I’m good with crowds. The more people the merrier. I like being the center of attention because it doesn’t make me nervous. I don’t think it is a coincidence that I teach others because it gives me a platform from which to pontificate. But just because I’m good with crowds doesn’t mean I want to be in them all the time.
- I’m a good father. I struggled with my idea of what I would be like as a father, and sometimes I still do, but I have a much better handle on it now than I did during those first days. But my key goal as a father is to make sure my children are taken care of, physically and emotionally. I’m doing my best in both respects, every single day.
I was going to also say that I have a good sense of humor, but I think my wife would disagree, and quite loudly too. She would probably tell you that I’m hit or miss when it comes to jokes, so I’ll exclude that one. What I will say in parting, though, is that the title to this blog entry is a tribute to Derek Zoolander. Who likes to do stuff good too.