Friday, February 20, 2009

The Defnition of Me.

"It is hard to toot your own horn. But I think that is part of what makes this post so interesting. Everyone needs to toot their own horn from time to time. Beep Beep!

The idea here is define who you are - what seven things, traits or qualities make up who YOU are?"

I read this tag on Tiburon's and Melissa's blogs. I was immediately intrigued as I just love introspection and self-analysis. but I had to think about it for a few days to make sure I could hone in on the true essence of who I am. So after several days, here is what I have come up with.

1) Original - I HATE to jump on the bandwagon. I hate to follow trends just because they’re trendy. I like to be original and unique. I don’t know if it’s because I was the only blond in a brunette family, the only Arianne I've ever known, the only Mormon at any of my schools, the only American at my German high school, or the only liberal in my conservative town (or so it feels)…I have just always identified myself as being different. And I like it that way. I have the confidence to not mind doing my own thing. I can still appreciate a trend, but I won’t do it just because everyone else is doing it. And if my own thing just happens to be on trend, well I WILL get on the bandwagon, but I’ll sit on the back bumper with a hat covering my face.
2) Chameleon – I think the thing that I notice most about myself, that is both my greatest strength and my greatest frustration, is my ability to be flexible, to blend in, to take various aspects of my personality and bring them out or stifle them depending on the situation. I don’t know if everyone is as multi-faceted as I am. But I know that I often envy people who have a very definite feel for who they are. Because I don’t. Or rather, I do, but it changes depending on my day, my mood, my company. I can fit in perfectly well in a circle of old ladies chewing the fat, or a group of teenagers, or a village of natives in India, or punks, or businessmen, or girly girls, or whoever. This comes in really handy sometimes. But it also leaves me wondering who I really am. Am I the person who loves antiques or the one who loves modern art? Do I want to paint my nails sparkly pink or wear all black? Do I enjoy classical music or techno? Do I want to wear heels or Doc Martins or Berkenstocks? The answer is all of the above. I am all of these, but none one of these alone. It's a blessing and a curse, being a chameleon. I can TOTALLY relate to this book.
3) Assertive/Pragmatic – I guess I’ve always been assertive. I’ve always had a strong level of confidence that has made me unafraid to seek after what I want. It has grown as I’ve gotten older until I am just plain pragmatic. I see a goal, and I head towards it. No reservations, to dilly-dallying, no pussy-footing, and absolutely no wishy-washing. I quickly assess my successes and failures, make judgments and corrections, and move on. I can occasionally get into trouble when I act too fast. Sometimes I don’t stop to consider all the options when I act. I just feel like I know what I want, and I go. But on the whole, this trait has served me well. I feel like I’m as successful as I am because I’m not afraid to follow through. Not much scares me. People don’t scare me, life doesn’t scare me. I can't be bothered to be scared. Like Nike says, Just Do It.
4) Compassion – I have a huge well of compassion. Unfortunately, it has gotten somewhat subjugated as an adult by my greater need to get the job done, to be pragmatic and assertive (see above). But the truth is, I have a very soft heart and I care a lot about people. And animals. And the earth. I am very conscious of others’ feelings, of how my actions affect people and the world around me. I love service and to do good. I love to help out and be a responsible citizen. My husband laughs at me because I am always making him pull over to help people on the side of the road, to give a bum some change, to rescue a stray dog or cat, to invite lonely people over for dinner, to call 911 when I see an object in the road that someone might hit. Even my mom says that I was so sweet and nice to my little brother growing up, that any success he has as an adult will be because of my compassion to him.
5) Knowledge/learning/adventure – I have always wanted to KNOW. I am one of those weird people who loves to watch the Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, and National Geographic Channel more than any others. I have loved to watch documentaries since I was a little kid. Keep your cartoons, give me shows on the ocean, wildlife, volcanoes, diseases, indigenous tribes, classical painters, musicians, history, inventions, etc. I have always loved school. And I have a knack for remembering all the things I learn. I have always done super well on tests. And I can name more species of animals and marine life than probably anyone I know. That stuff just sticks in my brain. Languages stick in my brain. At one time I was taking French and Spanish…IN German. Numbers stick in my brain. I remember birthdays and phone numbers of kids I knew in 1st and 2nd grade. I remember all kinds of useless trivia that doesn’t help for anything except shouting out the answers when I watch Jeopardy. I can’t get enough. I just want to learn learn learn! And if I ever got really rich and had unlimited amounts of money and time, I’d just take more lessons—cello, harp, piano, Mandarin, karate, cooking, chess, ballroom dance, belly dancing, auto mechanics, Russian, oil painting, stained glass making,Arabic….you get the idea.
6) Optimism/Happiness/Low Maintainance - My husband told me after about 5 years of marriage (and 2 ½ years of dating) that if he had realized how easy it would be to be married to me, he would have married me two years sooner. I consider this a great compliment. Because I think I am pretty easy to get along with. I am opinionated. And assertive. But somehow I still find a way to be easy to get along with. And I’m just a generally happy person. And always have been. I believe people can be better, I believe the world is worth improving, I believe that forgiving and moving on is easier than holding a grudge. I laugh a lot, I don’t take life too seriously. And I just can’t stand people who like to wallow in misery or anger. Being happy is just... happier!
7) People – I love people. Everything about people. I am one of those who loves everyone until they give me a reason not to. Or several reasons. Over and over. Those closest to me have often been frustrated by my inability to kiss bad relationships (of all kinds) goodbye. I just tend to see the best in everyone and cling to it, even in the face of all their many faults. I love to figure out what makes people tick, to try to discover their motivations. Long conversations are my favorite way to do this. So yes, I’m a talker, but if you will put yourself out there, I’m just as good of a listener. I want to hear your story. I want to understand you. That’s why my two majors in college were anthropology (the study of people as a culture) and psychology (the study of people and their psyche’s). I just love to dive into social situations and get to know people (often to my slightly more introverted husband’s chagrin). And that’s why I have traveled so widely and lived in so many countries. I don’t stop with people in the U.S. I want to figure out how people are all over the world. People--who they are and what makes them do what they do--simply fascinates me.

I'll be interested to see if my mom thinks this is a pretty good assessment of me-- no one knows you like your mom. But these are the things that I think most define Arianne.

So what makes you who you are? As you know, I'd love to find out! Consider yourself tagged.


tiburon said...

Thanks for playing along! Loved reading all this fun stuff about you :)

Kristina P. said...

Great post. It was fun getting to know you better. You are also super gorgeous!

rychelle said...

great post.

you are a very complex woman.

L. said...

Yes, Arianne, your mom thinks you NAILED IT! That's exactly the kind of person you are!

You can get frustrated by wishy-washy people, (and cruel and stupid people) but who doesnt? (except other wishy-washy people, and they're too wishy-washy to even think about what they aren't thinking.)

You are a wonderful, fabulous, good, good person who always tries to do the best as she honestly sees it. Your mom loves you very much and is exceedingly proud of you!

Anonymous said...

I knew I liked you and now you just confirmed it. ;)

Anonymous said...

I knew I liked you and now you just confirmed it. ;)

Anonymous said...

I knew I liked you and now you just confirmed it. ;)

Melissa said...

LOVED the post! Glad you played along! And now, 7 more reasons to explain why I dig you!

Christie said...

I loved reading all that stuff about you. I would have a difficult time coming up with a list, but perhaps I'll play along. Someday.

Karyn said...

you forgot.. in middle school you had 2 other mormons in your class. i think they where twins..... remember now?

Karyn said...

oh.. i know some mandarain... just some words and some common phrases. i'm getting better. will be fluent oneday.

i watch that hello cai lan with ted. plus i love cpop.

MiaKatia said...

I like you I really do. But in that totally non creepy we've never met blogger friend sort of way. I love that you dig introspection and that you are so candid about yourself. All great traits by the way.