Monday, June 28, 2010

A Strong Personality

There has been a lot on my mind lately.

Things I want to talk about but don't want to talk about, to admit here because here makes it real in ways that it's not when I talk to Hubs and my amazing friends who live mere miles from me.

But Linda over at All & Sundry posted something recently and it made me cry. Straight up cry.

Then a few days later a friend told me I apologize too much and I didn't need to. That sent me on another crying jag while I stood in the shower and let the hot water wash away the chlorine my skin drank in during that morning's swim workout.

So I have been thinking about all this.

For as long as I can remember I've been labeled as "someone with a strong personality." And when it's brought up, it's always in a sort of negative way, explaining away why I am upset about a falling out with a friend, or why people react to me the way they do, why that bothers me, etc, etc. I'm tired of that being the only thing people see or talk about. There is more to me that a strong personality. And having a strong personality isn't always bad. That's what I keep telling myself anyways.

My friend telling me I apologize too much was... well, rough. But it forced me to think about it more, and I realized that I am always apologizing to people because saying I'm sorry often times disarms people. If I admit fault first, well, maybe then the person with whom I have an issue will, well, not hate me. Or dislike me. Or feel any sort of negative feelings towards me. I realize that a lot of people don't like me. And most of the time I'm ok with that. But when it's someone that *I* like and want to have a friendship with, well, that hurts. And I feel somehow responsible for the relationship not working out. You know, because of MY strong personality.

Never mind about the fact that other people have their own issues and personalities and I can't control that. That's the rational side of my brain trying to explain away everything because I'm supposed to be all mature and adult now that I have children and everything.

So when Linda posted again (Yes, I love her blog. No I am not stalking her, she just deserves some credit here for being awesome.) with a link to a Meyers-Briggs-type personality test, I clicked on over. Heck I know who I am but I needed to see if the INTERNET agreed with me. Because all things are validated on the internet, right?

And what did I come out as? ESFJ.I'm an slightly leaning extrovert with a borderline sensing, super strong feeling, evenly judging personality. How's that for strong?

ESFJs at their best are warm, sympathetic, helpful, cooperative, tactful, down-to-earth, practical, thorough, consistent, organized, enthusiastic, and energetic. They enjoy tradition and security, and will seek stable lives that are rich in contact with friends and family.

I'm so tired of being labeled negatively as having a strong personality. What about how much I love people? How much I truly want others to succeed at what they are doing? How I want them to be happy? How I genuinely seek to find the good in everyone, to the point where I rationalize away shortcomings? I am the biggest advocate for my loved ones.

I'm so tired of being sad when people I love and respect fail to see me for me. For all of me. For the bad parts AND the good parts. This is not my fault if their minds and hearts are not open. I'm tired of feeling empty when I am so richly blessed. I feel like such an ungrateful fool. I am tired of the people who don't matter still holding on to pieces of my heart, pulling me back down, making me question all the things I believed I was good at, making me doubt the person that I am.

I am a good person. I have integrity. I have a big heart. I am a good friend. I believe there is good in everyone.

And I have a strong personality.

I wish that didn't sound so negative.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Tiny Tank Cannon. And A Nose.

I was having a lovely afternoon sitting on my sofa, sipping fresh iced tea I let steep in the sun this weekend, working and chatting on IM with Jenn when she sends me a note saying she had to put her daughter down for a nap. No worries here, I heard screaming from the back bedrooms and thought my Bear, who had stayed home from school with a fever, was up from his "nap" and needed some milk and a snuggle. But then I realized it was actually Bug who was screaming from his room where he was also supposed to be napping.

I opened the door to find him sitting up in bed with his hands to his face. His expression was contorted and he kept screaming "I have a bad itch in my nose." I tried to shush him lest he wake Bear but he wasn't having any of it. I scooped him up and carried him across the house to our bathroom, sat him down and said "Now what is going on?!" He repeats he has a bad itch in his nose. I get a tissue. He tries to blow his nose and he screams.

That's not right.

After a few deep breaths together to calm us both down he wails "There is a gun in my nose!"



I rush to his room and find the green matchbox size army tank on his floor and think maybe the huge cannon arm on the front just scratched his nose. (But why the hell was it up your nose kid?!) The thing looked intact.

As he and I discussed the problem I realized that hey, there is tiny looking cannon behind the big cannon and "what is that tiny hole right next to the tiny cannon?"

Yeah. There's supposed to be two tiny cannons behind the big cannon.

Not really sure what to believe, I fetch a flashlight and see nothing up his nose.

After a quick call to the doctor to ask "what the heck do I do because I don't see anything but he insists it's up there?," they suggest I bring him in. So Hubs came home from work to stay with the still sleeping (thank you!) Bear.

After a 30 minute ride to the pediatrician and an hour wait in the lobby, we see our favorite doctor ever. Bug is all cheerful again because the gun thing must have settled in to place and isn't really bothering him except for the stream of clear snot running down his lip that he tells me I can only wipe gingerly and "NO MOMMY I WILL NOT BLOW MY NOSE AGAIN."

She asks him what's wrong and immediately he says in a sweet sing-song voice. "Oh I have a gun up my nose from my green tank and it's just a little bit stuck up in there."

I showed her the tank and she grimaces, then checks him out. The look she gave me as she said "Oh I can see it" was a mixture of horror, nausea and laughter. She got some scary looking tools and a nurse and explained to Bug that she had to get it out because it would make bad boogers, he couldn't move when she did it or it'd hurt, and she didn't want it to hurt him. I love her. Bug totally was like "yeah ok, that would be bad." And despite the nurse holding his arms and me holding his legs, my kid didn't flinch any muscle except his eyebrows as it took her two minutes and a lot of determination to dislodge the tiny cannon.

Bug's reaction to this?

"Oh I feel so much better without a gun up my nose!"


"Now I can have GOOD BOOGERS!!!!!!! I can shoot good boogers from my nose. HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!"

She told me I made her day bringing him in.

Later Hubs asked Bug how he got the gun up his nose. He replied "Oh I just put it between my finger and my thumb and it swirled around and got stuck up there."

Yeah. I am raising boys.