There are perceptions about us which we create when we present ourselves to people we just meet, or haven’t met yet, sometimes exaggerated or even fabricated.
There are perceptions people have about us based on their personal experiences with us, or what they believe they know about us.
Then there are the perceptions we have about ourselves; things we believe or tell ourselves…things we tend to hide from others so we don’t distort their much more desirable perceptions of us.
These three lists reflect these perceptions about me.
List # 1:
“10 Facts About Me I Use to Market Myself”
1. I am a biological mother of one son, and stepmother to another boy and a girl.
2. I am a former licensed funeral director/embalmer.
3. I am an entrepreneur, having owned three businesses.
4. I am a writer.
5. I am an artist.
6. I am a crafter.
7. I love to sail.
8. I love to travel.
9. I am interested in social issues and current events.
10. I love a good challenge.
List # 2:
“10 Things My Close Friends/ Family Know About Me”
1. I am from Newfoundland, Canada but have been living in Alberta for over 15 years.
2. I grew up with alcoholism in my immediate family, and have one brother who is 10 years younger.
3. I did alright in high school, went to community college shortly after, and finally completed a 2-year diploma course at mortuary school when I was in my early 30’s.
4. I like to present myself as a pulled-together, physically-attractive 40-something year-old.
5. I have been divorced once before and now I’m blissfully married to the man of my dreams.
6. I love my children and they love me but I may tend to get too involved with planning their futures.
7. I have no formal training in writing or my other artistic persuits.
8. My sailing experience has been limited to a few whale-watching trips, a couple of short trips out on the water, three sailboat shows, and several sailing magazine subscriptions.
9. All 3 of my business have failed.
10. I’m a homebody who doesn’t socialize much with friends.
List # 3:
“10 Facts I Rarely Share With Others About Myself”
1. I have a love-hate relationship with Newfoundland. I love the culture, beauty and uniquenes of my homeland and it’s people, but I have some bittersweet memories of growing up there and moved away to allow myself a better future.
2. My mother passed away four years ago a sober, clear-headed woman who I loved deeply, but we struggled with recurring issues stemming from my childhood/her motherhood, and I have many regrets about our relationship.
3. My favorite subjects in school were English Literature and Biology. My love of biology/anatomy and a fascination with the state of death led me to become a mortician, but my love of the written word has created an intolerable “spelling/grammar police” in me. I still have plans of mingling the two to write a novel based on my experiences as a mortician.
4. I do like to put my best foot forward (physically), but most of my days are spent in jammies or sweats, no make-up, and unkempt hair. I find it botherome – no gruelling – to shower, shave, lather in self-tanner, exfoliate my face, use my DermaWand, apply cosmetics, dry and flat-iron my hair everyday…so I don’t.
5. I was married to an older, religiously-fanatical, “small” man, who loved to intimidate his family while presenting himself as a humble, respectible, upstanding member of our church. I fell in love (and remain in love) with my current husband while I was still married to my ex-husband. I left the church a confused, disillusioned Christian when I left my ex. My current husband is a humanist who has respect and value for all living things, unless you impose your beliefs on others with violence.
6. I want my children to be successful and happy. I give them too much unsolicited advice but I secretely fear they will make the mistakes I have made and will feel like they, too, are failures. I feel heartbroken and unappreciated when they forget me on special occasions, especially Mother’s Day. My biggest hope is that they will always think of me as a cool, loving, involved mother.
7. I am virtually “self-taught” in all of my interests, which I like to present as “skills”. I wish I could say that I have a degree in creative writing, or a Bachelor of Arts in the other areas I like to dabble, so oftentimes I feel insecure and seek the praise of those I love to validate my work.
8. My husband and I plan to retire to a live-aboard sailboat in Newfoundland in about 12-15 years, and have been planning for it, but we both are struggling with how we are financially going to be able to afford the cost of a sailboat, the yearly maintainance costs, and how to afford the practical training we will need before we retire. We believe in our dreams so much, however, that we are willing to sacrifice everything we have to make them happen.
9. I am terrified of having another business. I regret never going to business school, or at least doing business courses, but I insisted on trying to prove to myself that I have what it takes to be an entreprenaur, and jumped in feet first to try to bury the feelings of insecurity and self-doubt I’ve always struggled with. People tell me that you only fail if you never try. Why do I feel like such a failure, then, for having to abandon each of my business dreams?
10. My husband and I often joke that when he turns 50 next year, we are going to invite all of our FRIEND. That’s right. We have few people in our lives who we consider true friends. We have become seriously jaded and mistrusting of people, and now choose our friends wisely. We understand that friends grow apart and have their own lives, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. We love to be in each other’s company and consider ourselves each other’s closest friends. If we call you a friend, then you can believe that we don’t use that term loosely.
These lists are an exercise in writing for me. I started this particular blog to be more REAL, HONEST, AND RAW. And it starts with being honest about myself first. I promise to avoid disclosing names when I want to be completely transparent about my views on particular issues and situations I experience, but I know I can’t avoid speculation. My apologies in advance.