I’ve had a couple conversations with a couple of different people over the past wee while about others’ various character qualities. There has been a whole cast of really rad characters who I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my time with recently, and in trying to figure out what I like the most about them, I’ve also tried to figure out what I most like about myself. I’ve always been a fan of a good dose of self-reflection, so I’ve come up with a list of five things that I want to hold myself accountable for always striving to be better at.
In chatting to a friend who works at a restaurant & bar, the subject of needlessly rude people came up. There are some people you come across who just end up being biting, caustic, and condescending to you, even if you’ve just been perfectly nice to them. Personally, I find it absolutely exhausting to be mean to strangers, but there’s always that one day when you’re running on very little sleep and have an incredibly low tolerance for nonsense, and it’s hard not to be just a little bit snappy. These are the days that I want to remind myself that that’s lammme. It feels so much better to go about life being pleasant, and I want to make a particular effort to continue to do so, even if it takes a whole bunch of willpower. Chat back to the cashiers making small talk. Smile at the people you walk past in the halls. Reassure the barista who mixed up your order that it really honestly isn’t a big deal. Calmly inform the people ignorant to a reality they don’t have to live that they need to rethink their words. There’s a lot to be said for the power of being nice.
Along with being nice, there is being kind. Now, these two things sort of go hand in hand, but I like to think that kindness is the walk that supports the talk of agreeableness. There’s so much warm and fuzzy that comes from being kind. A simple compliment to a friend or stranger can brighten their day immensely. Things as simple as checking in with people you care about but haven’t spoken to in a while, truly acknowledging the person speaking in a loud group, giving when you have extra, holding the elevator, or simply just saying thank you can make an incredible impact, and it’s really no extra effort on your part. A little extra kindness is always a welcomed thing, and I want to hold myself accountable for contributing to that.
I do not want to go about my life all wishy-washy. I want to have causes I believe in, goals I work hard to achieve, and passions that I whole heartedly pursue. I want to live a life in which I am excited to wake up in the morning because there is always some little thing to look forward to. I want to be able to put a lot of effort, love, and joy into what I do without breaking my own emotional bank, so to speak. My biggest passion now is, and always has been, music. I have the beautiful opportunity to use this love to teach, to perform, and to connect with so many stunning humans. As I graduate from university and dip my toes into the ~real world~, I can only hope that I continue to find myself in circles of people who work with genuineness and fervour, and that I am constantly inspired by what’s around me. I want to be excited about what I get to do, and I will make a point to try and plop myself into long-term situations in which that is the case.
With children. With traffic. With teachers who can’t figure out how to present on PowerPoint. With parents. With co-workers fumbling over their words in a presentation. With folks telling a story that you really aren’t that interested in at all. With the kitchen at restaurants. With people at cash registers who are just learning. With anyone who is just learning. With the internet when the connection is being absurdly slow. With people who need to be corrected. With change. With friends who are taking ages to get back to you on something. With folks who are going through a rough spot. With yourself. Sometimes things just aren’t gonna happen any quicker than they are, so you might as well learn not to let that bother you.
Finally, as a sort of accumulation of all of these things, I want to continue to strive to be loving. I want to love what I do, and I want to love the people I do it with. I want to surround myself with people, places, and things that I truly care about, and I want to feel like they truly care about me. Even when a situation seems dark and unlovable, I want to treat it warmly. I want to put only good things into the world, and that’s really what it all comes down to.
Hopefully, I’ll maybe get a little bit of that back.