Being Me....

Recently my class sang a song at PTF called "Being Me". Although I got sick of became tired of the song after about a zillion practices, I did ponder on the words quite a bit (here I go, pondering again). One line said "I can always be myself better than anybody else, just being me." That really got me thinking. (Pretty big feat for a third grade PTF song.) 

We all have things about ourselves that we would like to change, right? Other people seem cooler, or smarter, or funnier, or prettier, or... "perfecter". (I know it should be more perfect, but I had to stay with the  "-er" theme... I'm a slave to parallelism.) Basically, most people are not okay with themselves at face value. While I'm all for self-improvement (especially if your "self" is really lame to start with!), I have decided in recent months that there are some things about myself that are simply not going to change, and I'm okay with that. Especially after I saw this little picture recently:

No matter what, there will always be things about myself that I don't like. (And this is all aside from dieting/weight issues... no one will ever be happy about that stuff! And if you are, I hate you I don't want to hear about it. =) But comparing myself to others, especially when it comes to things about myself I don't care for, is just pointless.

- I will never be a good public speaker. Like my alter ego, Mia Thermopolis, I am just not cut out for it.
"I will never be a public speaker... just call and tell him I want to be a mime."

When I posted a few weeks ago about my major stage fright issues, I didn't even touch on the fact that I literally get sick if I have to speak in front of people. I was asked recently to speak at my best friend's bridal shower. I am the matron of honor, and I said no. I know! I'm a despicable human being. But I knew that I would be so sick with nerves that I wouldn't even enjoy the shower. (That and the fact that with fewer than two years of marriage under my belt, I hardly felt qualified to address a gathering of married women about, well... marriage. I'm not quite an authority just yet.)

Anyway, I am NOT a public speaker. I can write speeches all day. I'll tell you what to say; I just can't say it. My shakes are exponentially worse when I'm speaking. Even my voice shakes. It's horrible. This used to really bother me... my dad's a preacher, and my mom is a speaker at ladies meetings all over the country. (No brag, just fact.) Couldn't some of their skills have rubbed off on me? Apparently not. I got the Mia, run off the stage with my hands over my mouth genes from some shallow trickle in the gene pool. Thanks, DNA. But I have just decided not to let it bother me. So what if I would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy? Let others speak. I will continue to blog and write and hide from all speaking opportunities.

-I will never be able to pass up a "good deal". Now, my definition of a good deal and other's definitions of a good deal are probably different. My defintion is at least 75% off. If there's no additional percentages off, forget it (unless it's just super cheap to start with.) Now, my husband and I have completely different schools of thought here. He doesn't care if it's reduced to practically nothing... "Do you need it?" What kind of question is that? Well, no. I do not. What does necessity have to do with shopping, anyway? About as much as being hungry as to do with eating... NOTHING. =) For now, I am firmly accepting of my deal-finding abilities (and I do believe they are a supernatural gift, not to be wasted.)

- I will never be able to go through an entire conversation without at least thinking, if not actually verbalizing, a movie quote in some form. I don't think that that's necessarily a bad thing anyway, but it's like something I can't turn off, even during, say, church, when I really shouldn't be quoting movies and making myself chuckle at inopportune times. The worst part is that I get really bothered when people don't "get" my quotes. My husband is the worst about this, although it's cute that now he tries really hard to at least pretend to guess which movie I'm quoting. Our family is so nerdy about it that some movie quotes have just worked their way into our everyday conversations. "Sometimes you just gotta cut a man loose." (Hoosiers) "I'm not happy, Bob." (The Incredibles... by the way, that's my dad's name in my phone.) "But what do I doooo?" (The Kid) "You crasy!" (Nacho Libre) And on and on I could go. I used to feel bad that a large percentage of my speaking was made up of movie quotes... but now I just feel proud of my freakish memory that records huge portions of film. =) I suppose other people have conversations that are just their own words, but how boring would that be?

-Finally, and this is the "truest" of them all... I have finally accepted the fact that I will never be known as a "sweet" person. I'm fairly certain that no one, in this universe, would ever be like, "Aw, Ashley's so sweet." It's ironic that two of my best friends in the world (Sara and Brook) are both your typical "What a sweet girl" girls. I guess that's why we get along... I am the salty to their sweet, so to speak. That used to bother me periodically... about... annually I would try to do a sort of personality paradigm shift and cleanse myself of my sarcasm. Of course, it never lasted (imagine that) because I just can't be something I'm not.

Now, before I go any further I have to say that I'm not advocating being a jerk (or any other bad kind of person) in the name of "That's just the way I am." Do not use this against me! "Oooo, Ashley says that I can accept my heinous sins because comparison is the thief of joy!" Um, no. I have known far too many people who have grown up to be little monsters because their entire lives people made the excuse for them, "That's just how she is." Well, if "how you are" is mean, or rude, or immature, or whatever, then you probably shouldn't accept it. Your joy won't be "thieved" if you're only comparing yourself to other morons. Just a thought. =)

Anyway, back to me the last point. I would never want anyone to think I'm mean (because I'm really not). So it might bother me if someone thought that, but one must always take my sarcasm in the way that it is intended, which is with humor and love.) Okay, maybe not love. But humor definitely. =)
Should it bother me that I'm not thought of as a "sweet girl"? The funny one. The sarcastic one. (Charming sarcasm, not biting sarcasm. I hope!) The wordy one. (Sorry about the length of this post!) But sweet? No. That's reserved for people who have a little better control of their verbal Print Preview. (Although, in my defense, I often feel that I am merely voicing the mental opinions of others. "That was terrible!" "Yeah, well, you were thinkin it!") My only regret is that this trait might keep me off the ladies meeting speaking circuit one day. (Bummer!)

Truthfully, not many people have made me feel this way. All my angst has been self-imposed, which is just silly, of course. So, rather than compare myself to my sweet friends, or my sappy mother, or my beautiful/talented/sweet sisters (you decide which is which... I wouldn't DREAM of differentiating!), or anyone else, I will continue to quiver at the thought of public speaking. I will proudly display my clearance prices. I will quote movies "so hard, it'll make your ancestors dizzy." (A little Mulan for you there.) I will keep reveling in my brand of humor, which I rather like, thank you. So what if I go all Mia-in-debate-class when asked to speak? So what if I spend all our money in $3 increments? So what if I have the mind of a little child and think in Disney quotes? So what if my first instict is sarcasm and not sugar? I'm ME. And I'm okay with that.
Those things make me... Ashley. If you have (harmless) quirks (and we all do!), just embrace them. My life has been simpler since I have!
And remember... "beee yourself!" (Sorry... Aladdin... just had to throw that in there!)


  1. OK well you basically just outdid yourself. . .

  2. Nice! Great read, Ashley! :) My "harmless quirk" is my chub...I've just decided to embrace it and accept it! ;) Just that much more of me to love! And for the record - I love your humor. :) (Maybe I also need to accept and embrace the "harmless quirk" of using too many smileys...)

    1. Ha... you are not chubby, please! And I am also guilty of overusing the smileys... but that's okay, right? =)

  3. Oh it's there honey...something about being stretched to the max then deflated 3 times will do that to a girl! Lol!! ;) Glad you're doing this blog - gives me a good giggle!!

  4. Okay, several things...
    1. I never thought about the whole Mia thing but it is so true! You are so like her character! Which is cool cause I think she is charming.
    2. It is a rare and unusual gift to be able to insidiously insert movie quotes without even having to think about it. When they come out like natural language, this is a gift.
    3. Love your post! You are awesome. :)

  5. "bein me, bein free, bein alllll I can be!" lol

  6. The world would be sickening if all we ever ate was sugar :)


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