Hello and welcome to my blog! Welcome to the Ramadan series. Yesterday I was at my mom’s so I couldn’t write. It gets pretty hectic over there. I have 7 siblings but only 3 of them live in Lebanon and I have 8 nieces and nephews but only 2 of them live in Lebanon so imagine if the whole gang was there!
Family is nice. I mean, there’s always drama and bickering but it’s nice to be surrounded by loved ones and have people who actually tolerate my chatterbox qualities. That’s what I want to talk about today. Qualities.
What qualities define you?
I don’t like to be defined by certain qualities because I believe in a growth mindset and I’m always working on improving myself and bettering myself, but I do feel there are certain qualities that I define myself by and then there are certain qualities people define me by, and those are usually the qualities I don’t like.
I define myself by my roles, in order of significance. So basically I’m a Muslim, Mother, Daughter, Wife, Sister, Friend, Writer. I wish I had some role in the community like a teacher or if I was working in my field, a pharmacist (I don’t define myself by the years I studied because I didn’t actually apply my knowledge).
Other people define me by my emotional side. To my loved ones I’m sensitive, open, talkative, neurotic, impulsive and moody. These, to me, are my flaws and the things I’m constantly working on eliminating or improving, yet I feel defined by them. Even when I improve, I’m always treated the way I used to be. I feel like, for example, my in laws, are always waiting for my bomb to explode, because I lost my cool in front of them about 4 or 5 times in 7 years, so they define me as emotionally unstable, or so I assume.
How do you want to be defined?
I want to be defined by the qualitues I possess the least but aspire to the most. I want to be known as wise, kind, and forgiving. I want to be defined by the way I handled a difficult situation calmly (it happens sometimes but nobody notices because they only remember my outbursts).
I think the problem is that I have an assumption that certain people have certain assumptions of me and then I deem my assumptions true without fact checking, because honestly, the few times I fact checked, I was right and it hurt. Sometimes I was wrong and was baffled (someone I assumed looked down on me once said I was sweet). Other times their assumptions of me were actually worse than what I thought their assumptions would be (someone once told me their 1st impression of me was that I was a snob because I was unapproachable).
Find out what you want to be defined by and work towards it
The top on my list is wise. Wise people are highly valued in society and they are calm and collected and good at problem solving and critical thinking and making decisions. They don’t act foolish or impulsive. They don’t raise their voice in anger or hurt someone in a rage. People come to them for advice or just to lighten their burdens. They are one with nature and deeply connected in their spirit to a higher power and are not moved by worldly possessions.
I think I don’t give myself enough credit where credit is due. Something about my low self esteem and capacity for self loathing. For example, yesterday, I made 2 social mistakes and it was awkward. I immediately felt depressed and helpless and started telling myself “I don’t know how to act around people” and “I always make these types of mistakes” and “I never learn”. Upon discussion with my sisters, they suggested alternative things I could have done but acknowledged that it wasn’t all my fault. They also suggested a solution to rectify the situation (at least one of the situations) and suddenly I didn’t feel so hopeless anymore (I’m wishy washy like that).
My point is, I think I need to dig deep sometimes to find my good qualities. For example, I am creative and determined and persistent. I am somewhat resilient and patient (the patience is according to my mood and it’s a work in progress) but among all the qualities I have or am flawed by or I wish to possess, the one I want written on my tombstone is she was kind. I don’t want to be remembered as this unapproachable volatile person who was also shy and socially awkward. I hope I become as kind as I aspire to be, and that I’m remembered by this kindness.
What quality do you want to be remembered by?