You see it everywhere: Check this box. Circle this response. Choose one. There isn’t time for anything more than that. Life is short. There’s so many of us. You either belong in this category or that one. Have you had to fill out a questionnaire about yourself lately? How about create an online dating profile? “Sell” yourself to a potential client or employer? The world we live in expects us to tuck ourselves nicely into these little boxes that describe who we are as a person. They want a black and white answer. A yes or no. No room for gray area, no time for maybes. Even when they do give you an extra category or two (are you fat, skinny, or “athletic”?), we are still expected to fit ourselves into a specific mold. A “this” or “that”. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure if I were to describe myself to someone, I would not want to give blanket statements that could also be potentially descriptive of my old Aunt Flo who also “has blondish hair, is medium height, with blue eyes” (disclaimer: I do not actually have an old Aunt Flo and if I did, I would not be rude about any of my great aunts, this is simply an example). I am so much more than that. YOU are so much more than that. What if there was time? What would you say about yourself if instead of being forced to circle an answer, you were given a clean, blank, endless line?
Tall or Short? Well I’m actually 5’7” to be exact. Is that tall? For a girl? What if I was a girl giraffe? Then I would be short, right? I don’t like this question. Next one please.
Fat, Skinny, or “Athletic”? None of the above? I like to play basketball and sometimes I go to the gym but I also sometimes like to take 6 months off at a time from the gym. Does that make me “athletic” build? Or just “lazy” 6 months out of the year? I prefer unmotivated. No, actually I prefer “keeping warm for the winter.” I don’t like to think I’m fat because that’s just bad for the ego, although sometimes the thought does creep into my head (I’m only human, after all). I know I’m not skinny either. I’m just me. I’m 5’7”, 165 lbs, size 9 shoe, hands the size that fit perfectly into my husband’s and my students’… Will that work for an answer?
Introvert or Extrovert? When I was younger I was always told I was shy. I honestly think people telling me that is what made me that way. Personally, I just think I’m a good listener who sometimes doesn’t have a lot to say. On the other hand, I could also talk your ear off if I am passionate about something or if I’m in the mood. Sometimes I like to have my alone time, but often I’d prefer to be around other people. So does that make me an introvert or an extrovert? I’d say neither. I’m just Kellie. Do introverts like to laugh? Because I LOVE doing that. Do extroverts like to read books? Because I also love doing that…. Bummer, another question without a straight answer. Weird.
What is your occupation (circle one response)? For my day job, I am an occupational therapist working in special education. I’m also a high school girls’ basketball coach. I’m also a wife, daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, friend, and doggy-mama. I live to make people smile. To lend a listening ear. To give advice. To enjoy life’s little moments. And the big ones. To follow my dreams. To follow Jesus. To follow y’all on Facebook and Instagram. How could you possibly expect me to circle one option for my occupation? My life is my occupation and it is so much more than a circle around one simple response. So take that silly questionnaire.
So now it’s your turn. What would you say about yourself if instead of being forced to circle an answer, you were given a clean, blank, endless line? Would you still be tempted to circle one or the other? It is the easy way out after all. Or would you make the time to really make an effort to describe yourself? It’s so easy to be hard on ourselves and only see the negative… especially when forced to make a choice between two lame options. See the positives. Embrace the positives. Share the positives. Write them down and shout them from the rooftops! (or just share them with your closest companion(s) if you aren’t quite comfortable with shouting things from rooftops like I am).
Until next time,