Friday, March 7, 2014

Who Are You? A Topic for Each Week of the Year {Week 8: Personality}

Week 1: Name/Birth
Week 2: School
Week 6: Grandparents
Week 7: Parents

What was your personality like as a child? Are you the same, or did something happen to change you? How would you describe your personality now?

I've always been shy and quiet around people that I don't know. As I child, I was very respectful of authority, mainly motivated by a fear of getting in trouble. I always behaved really well at school and other extra-curricular activities because I hated the feeling I got if I did get in trouble--it really made me upset. In one grade (second?), my teacher did the green card-yellow card-red card system. You started the day with a green card. If you acted out or did something you weren't supposed to, your card got changed to yellow as a warning. If you did something again, you went to a red card and a note got sent home. My card was green all day every day--except one. I had been playing with friends at recess and we'd missed the whistle signaling that it was time to go in. Once we realized that we were basically the only kids on the playground, we ran back to school. We were late--and our cards were changed to yellow. I was devastated. Seriously, I was SO upset. And I was never late back from recess again. As a child, I loved school and was always very studious and devoted to my schoolwork. I've always been a worrier, too. My mom used to tell me I'd give myself and ulcer from worrying so much. I'm a serious person, I guess you could say.

I'm making myself sound pretty boring. I will say, though, that when I was around people I was comfortable with (like my family and friends), I was super silly. One time I had a cold or something and discovered that when I exhaled my nose made a whistling sound. My brother would (nicely) poke my baby sister in the belly and say "Pillsbury Dough-Boy," then I'd make the "toot toot" sound with my nose. Weirdo. My oldest sister got me a key chain that said, "I'm not weird, I'm gifted." I love the key chain, because it almost perfectly summed me up. I had the nickname "giggles" in my family, which originated when my brother was talking to a girl on the phone and after I found out that he was talking to a GIRL (whom I knew and whom he'd been friends with for a long time) I started cracking up. He tried to get me to say "hi" to his friend (Rebecca), but I could not stop laughing long enough to even say "hi." I'm also extremely ticklish and, once I get going, you don't even have to touch me to tickle me.

I've always had a lot of self-confidence issues, which I think contributed to me being quiet or shy. I was really overweight throughout elementary school and got teased a lot because of my size. My parents walked for exercise early every morning and as an elementary schooler, I would get up early and walk with them in an attempt to lose weight. In fourth grade I got strep throat and had to go to the doctor. The doctor was an Asian woman who basically let me and my mom have it because I was overweight. I'd never felt so terrible about myself before. I remember her asking if I ever did anything active--and I did. I had dance class weekly and had club basketball practice twice a week, in addition to a weekly soccer or softball practice (depending on the season). I dreaded going to the doctor any time after that appointment. Anyway, because of my insecurities about my appearance and my experiences being made fun of, I kind of assumed that unless I knew for sure otherwise, other kids probably didn't want to be my friend.

Thankfully, as I got older I slimmed down a lot (though, really, I never would have called myself "slim"), which really helped my self-confidence. I started to do pretty well at sports, making the middle school basketball team and the all-star team a few years during city league basketball. I got a lot better at soccer and was an important part of my team. Playing sports was really important to me and really boosted my self-esteem.

I still see a lot of the same personality traits in myself that I had as a child. People I don't know well probably think I'm super quiet and shy all the time--when in reality, I'm not. I still am extremely self-conscious, but I don't feel like my worries inhibit me from trying things that I really want to do. When I'm with people I'm comfortable with, I'm different. I'm funnier. That may sound weird--but Ryan, who knows me best, thinks I'm hilarious. He thinks I'm funny because I'm more willing to say funny things around him, because I'm not worried that he will think whatever I said was dumb. I always worry about having people over, but every single time we do have someone over I wonder what I was worried about because I end up having a great time. I'm not very likely to speak my mind in a big crowd, but I'll share my opinion in a one-on-one setting or in a small group. I don't open up to people quickly--I'm not likely to share a lot until I know someone really well. But I think that's okay. One thing I have worked on changing about myself is going out of my comfort zone to meet new people. In the past year since we moved into our new ward, I've made a bigger effort to make friends rather than waiting for friends to come to me. And I think I've done pretty good. I have a hard time establishing those close relationships, but I thrive on having at least one or two good friends who I can rely on. I've also worked on worrying less. I'm not always successful, but I'm certainly less of a worrywart than I used to be.  

1 comment:

Mandi Rolfe said...

Wow! I did not know that we were so much alike. Reading this post, I seriously thought that I was reading about myself. I did not know about the doctor though. That's horrible!! So sorry. :(