Getting To Know You(rself)

As a  kid I once tried out for a local production of The King and I.  To prepare for the audition, I hid away in my basement and belted the song "Getting to Know You" until my lungs nearly burst. 

They may as well have, because I didn't get a part. Thus began and ended my dramatic career, notable only for its brevity. But I wasn't so scarred by the experience that I can't appreciate the song "Getting to Know You." 
Haven't you noticed
Suddenly I'm bright and breezy?
Because of all the beautiful and new
Things I'm learning about you
Day by day

Don't worry, this post does not entail forcing you to memorize boring facts about random classmates. Rather this writing prompt is aimed at taking a moment to get reacquainted with yourself. Believe it or not, you might have changed a bit since you last filled out a getting-to-know-you questionnaire in your sophomore English class.

What stresses you out?

Where do you feel at peace?

What traits do you admire in others?

When do you get carried away?

What do you dread?

What healthy foods do you enjoy? What less healthy foods do you enjoy?

How do you deal with regret?

Were you surprised by any of your answers to the above questions?

Some of my answers...
I get stressed out by parallel parking, Em's whining, shopping with a toddler, road trips with a toddler, dressing a toddler (really anything involving a toddler), poorly managed time, feeling helpless against my appetite, having to tell people no, going too long without praying...you get the idea.

I get carried away reading recipe blogs, on Pinterest, organizing digital pictures, talking to my sisters or friends I've known forever, playing Tetris, browsing book stores, watching Hart of Dixie.

I enjoy avocados, every imaginable fruit, green peppers dipped in ranch, water, oatmeal pancakes, smoothies, bran muffins, pita chips, hummus, asparagus, broccoli.

I also enjoy Thin Mint cookies, cheese in massive quantities, rolls (white bread...gasp!), Golden Grahams, chocolate, cheesecake, Goldfish crackers...this list could honestly go on forever.

Traits I admire: authenticity, vulnerability, enthusiasm, quiet confidence, thoughtfulness, skilled listening, trust.

From this writing exercise I deduced:
-Maybe I won't be so stressed out when Em's no longer a toddler
-I should try to develop the traits I admire in others
-Making lists of foods makes me hungry

Spending time 'getting to know' yourself may feel narcissistic, but I believe becoming your own friend allows you to be a better friend to others. Self-reflection builds a stable base from which you can give more generously and more bravely claim your own happiness.