Make a list of things you like about yourself. -Haley Moehlis, friend, cheerleader, life coach, English teacher extraordinaire, after a particularly rough period of self-pity and doubt.
I would also like to know how you view yourself. You seem so confident that I almost get jealous. -7th grade girl in a Dear Reader letter to me, asking for feedback on her poetry collection about self-image.
Things I Like About Myself:
1. I am a storyteller, and have been for as long as I can remember. I love taking the small moments and blowing them up, stringing my audience along and guiding them to the exact reaction I desire. I love captivating a crowd and the silence that leads up to laughter at just the right moment.
2. My smile takes up my whole face until my eyes are slits and the skin around them crinkles, and my teeth are naturally straight without ever having braces.
3. I make people laugh. I don't tell jokes, but I still make people laugh. I make myself laugh, too, and I think that's just as important. Being funny is something that comes naturally to me.
4. I am able to appear confident even when I do not feel that way.
5. If I don't know something, I find a way to learn it and put it into action. I don't allow myself to be satisfied doing things that don't work for me.
6. I give freely. I share my life and resources and experiences with others.
7. Efficiency. I get things done. Instead of complaining about not having enough time, I use mine.
8. Aside from brutal allergies this time of year, I'm physically healthy. I rarely get sick.
9. My writing voice is my authentic voice. I may not be formal or technical or even proficient in many aspects of the craft I love, but my writing is real and it is 100% me.
10. I love my job and I am passionate about it. I'm not embarrassed or apologetic about my passion for teaching writing to middle schoolers.
11. I'm not boring. I might be a host of other negative things on my worst days, but boring is never one of them.
Eleven things. Over 24 hours, I thought of eleven things I like about myself. It wasn't easy, but it was necessary.
I could probably fill a list twice this long with things I dislike about myself, but I won't. Dwelling on the negative is something I've done far too much of this week (this entire school year, really). I'm ready to focus my energy on adding to this list instead.
I teach 7th and 8th grade English in rural Iowa and hope to reflect, connect, and share with other English teachers. Iowa Council of Teachers of English Executive Board member. Iowa Writing Project superfan. UNI MA:TESS graduate.