Most of the time when people ask to describe yourself, it can be difficult. But one of the things I can say with certainty is that I have a curious mind, and I love to learn. I’ve been a college student since 2006. Due to certain reasons, I’ve stayed longer than expected at a school, or I’ve taken breaks from my education.
Thinking back from 2006 until today 2016, I realize that I want to learn everything. But that’s a bit outrageous considering we have to pick something and move on to solid careers and pay bills. Students usually discuss which classes they like or not. But when I look at the schedule, I always debate greatly over which class to take because they are ALL interesting to me.
When it comes to reading, I don’t stick to a specific genre of fiction or nonfiction. I don’t have a favorite author or writer. I’m like a little kitten when he’s playing with a cotton ball, and he sees the red dot, “Oh! What’s that.” I love learning new things. I do have two favorite books: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Homecoming by Cynthia Voight. I remember hating Frankenstein for creating the monster and leaving him to survive on his own. I’d always think, “What a jerk!”
Besides the malevolent actions and evil of the monster, I always identified with him a bit more. Granted I don’t excuse his wrongdoings. I’ve always felt like an outsider and a bit of an oddball, and this may be due to my introverted personality.
My siblings like to call me a “shy dog personality”—meaning, in spite of my introversion, I like people—like many introverts, except we need our lonely time to recharge for the social events. It’s a good thing that the term “shy dog” is not an actual term. Phew!
As I’ve gotten older, I have established a close group of friends that I can trust. And I’m still welcoming to new friends because we can always have new friends. Some may be close friends, other casual friends, other coworkers or peers. And all that is okay.
Furthermore, the story of Homecoming, three children abandoned by their parents deal with the dilemma of being caught and separated. Now, thankfully, my parents have never abandoned me. They’re great parents with their human flaws of course. But I have felt abandoned on my life choices, like becoming an English major.
One of my father’s statements, when he heard my career choice as a writer, he said “so you believe in the starving artist ideal. Business—business pays the bills.” He might be right. But paying for bills is boring. And who needs food for that matter? I’m kidding. We all need to pay our bills. And we all need food. I love food, and my favorite food isanything homemade, hamburgers, and sandwiches.
That brings me to my next point, ever since I reached 10th grade, I’ve been struggling with weight. Even today, I yo-yo a lot. And when I am stressed, I eat. At some point, I was very heavy, about 200lbs for a 5’3. I’m a small woman, but I feel like I’m a 5’7.
Everyone in my family is taller than me, even my younger siblings. My cousins are 6 footers. So it’s something that does not bother me at all. My weight, on the other hand, bothered me a lot at some point. I felt frustrated. It still kind of does today, but I try my best not to let it overpower me.
The brutal truth pours out of the veins of my family, so I’m even comfortable, sort of, with straightforwardness. Many years ago, my younger self, was getting ready for a job interview. I tried on many outfits until I began to cry out of frustration because I hated what I saw in the mirror. I did not like my image.
My dad told me, “honey, you look beautiful.” I then replied pointing at the mirror, “I don’t. I look fat!” And his next comment was the game changer for me because I decided to lose weight after it. My dad said, “Well, the mirror isn’t going to make you look thin. You have to do that on your own.” I stopped the tears at this point and began to wonder about that statement. And guess what! I got the job that day. My weight didn’t even matter. The weight only mattered to me.
And let me add another “guess what” to this story, that was the only time my father ever called me beautiful. The only time I find out that my parents are proud of me or believe that I am smart it is when they’re telling our relatives or their friends.
When I eavesdropped for the first time on one of the “praising conversations” about me, my reaction was, “what the…” And I’ll leave at that. Any other time, my siblings and I, we kind of don’t receive praise. We do, but my parents don’t exaggerate any praise. It’s a bit subtle.
Though there might be substantial evidence on why that’s not considered good parenting, I use my upbringing in a positive way. Plus, we’re sure our parents love us. They’ve dedicated their life to us.
If I work hard on something and I don’t receive praise for it, it’s not going to tear me down. No one likes to hear criticism obviously. But we need constructive criticism to improve any aspect of our life and skills we wish to develop.
Everything is a process, and we start as rookies with many challenges ahead under the scrutiny of our fellow human beings. Scary but doable.
My upbringing, introversion, education, and my heavyweight younger self, plus other parts of my life have all shaped my writing. That’s how I came up with a fiction novel idea, which I call “Phat Earth, Not Fat Earth.” She’s roughly based on my experience. But she’s her own character: bitter, solitary, and somewhat of a depressive woman in her late 20’s.
So I invite you to follow me on this journey of a story that I can relate to in many aspects. My goal is to send a positive message about the image of women through my character, Earth—yes, that’s her name. She is going to bear the repressive burden society places on women. And if any gentleman has felt their weight has hindered their social and or love life, please, follow me on this journey too.
I also have a project in process on introversion, a nonfiction piece. Yes, a topic quite popular, and yet so much confusion still. There is a lot of information and research on it. So why not bring it down a notch to something more informal, less dense for all of to grasp the essence of introversion and extroversion.
Extroverts, let’s help that loved one, that peer, that coworker. And introverts, let’s speak louder in our own way. For those that suffer from shyness and anxiety, let’s find ways to work around these weaknesses that may convert into strengths. I’ve done it! So can you. I invite you to stay tuned and updated on all my projects, including my blogs.First blog post