Underneath my yellow skin

If you can’t say anything nice

Come sit by me. That’s usually my attitude towards that saying, but today, I’m going to put a spin on things and list all the good things about me that I can. Why? Because normally I gloss over them or downplay them or ignore them completely. I’m not comfortable with any kind of self-praise, evev if it’s just me saying it to myself. I’m treating this as just an experiment to take the heat off myself and I’m pretty sure I’ll explain away every positive point, but so be it.

Let’s start with the physical. I have two features I like. One is my hair, which is funny because I wear it in a topknot all the time. When I wear it down, I get compliments on it. It could be simply because of the sheer length.

Side note: I’ve mentioned this before, but my hair used to reach my waist. It stayed there for several decades until a few years ago, it began to grow again. I had no idea why. Normally, I would give credit to taiji, but that wasn’t something that had changed in that time. After some reflection, I realized it was probably my change in diet. That was around the same time I cut out dairy and gluten plus some other things that were giving me issues. That made sense to me and I’m sticking with it.

It grew to nearly my knees, well, a few inches from my knees, and I noticed that the edges were getting scraggly. I cut off roughly six inches and it’s now at the top of my thighs. I’m holding out hope that it’ll grow past my knees and that’s my new hair goal. The old one used to be let it turn all white a la Storm from the X-Men before chopping it off.  Now, I want it to reach my ankles.

I also like my eyes. They are dark brown and warm when I allow them to be, and they can radiate anything I want them to emote. Most of the time, I keep them buttoned up because that’s how I roll, but they are pleasing to me.

That’s mostly it as far as my physical appearance goes. I rarely look in a mirror because I hate the way I look. Well, I used to hate the way I look. Now, it’s more I don’t like it, but the  intensity is not there. I prefer not to look at myself, but I don’t spiral if I happen to glimpse myself in the mirror. I will say that I used to be proud of my biceps when I lifted and I’m starting to love them again with all the weapons I’m doing.

I had a blip in the road concerning my biceps because the last guy I was in a relationship with a decade ago got upset because I had bigger biceps than he did. He bitched and moaned about it, and I wanted to tell him that he could lift as well. I mean, it’s not like I had a mysterious secret. Well, it’s partly my body type as I’m quick to build and retain muscles, but still. In addition, so what? He had very outdated ideas about gender which is one reason it’s better we’re not together.

That’s it for my body! Let’s move on.

Related to my body but not specifically about it–my ability to pick up most things quickly. How is this related to my body? Because I use it in taiji all the time. I can learn forms with relative ease–not that it means I’m GOOD at the forms once I learn them. This is good because it kept me from getting frustrated on that level. Let’s be honest. Knowing what I know about myself, I would have quit if I got stuck on the form for months on end. That’s one of the downsides to having a good memory and learning things quickly–I get frustrated when I don’t perform to my expectations. It’s why I hate badminton, but we don’t talk about badminton.

When I latch onto something, I go in HARD. Again, this can be to my detriment, but there are some positive aspects to this trait. That’s why I was able to beat all the FromSoft games and plat the first and third Souls games even though I’m trash at them. It’s why I can write 2,000 words of fiction a day, well, that and the fact that I’m verbose. Words come easily to me, especially the written word.

It’s how I basically mainlined the Sabre Form, the Karambit Form, Deer-Horn Knives drills, double sabre drills, and the spear/staff drills. If you had told me three years ago that I would be learning multiple forms at the same time, I would have laughed in your face. Now I’m doing it and loving it. I’m also going to watch my teacher’s teacher’s videos for the Karambit Form and the Dancing Wu-Li Sword Form because I’m behind. And the Fast Form. I’m obsessed with the weapons, and in this case, it’s a healthy obsession.

Let’s see. What else? I’m a good listener. Probably because I was forced to listen when I was a kid. To my mom, I mean, as she unloaded about her life. Something that still continues to this day. I can empathize with people–or at least make it look like I do. With people who are close to me, I really do empathize. To people I’m not close to, I can just make it seem like I care, even when I really, really don’t.

This is both a blessing and a curse. In the Before Times, I was working on turning down this ability because it caused me problems in the real world. I had cashiers telling me their life stories when all I wanted to do was buy my groceries. I once listened to a woman for hours tell me about her travails with her teenage kid and it wasn’t as if I knew her very well. I didn’t. She was a friend of a friend and I liked her, but not enough for that.

I’m also an engaging writer, which is different than being a good writer. I’m that as well, but I’m prouder of being an engaging writer. It’s also something that’s taken a hit in the past few months, probably because of pandemic burnout. But I know how to tell a story and I’m not afraid of milking it.

Related, I’m charismatic when I want to be. This is another that I feel conflicted about because I’ve watched my father abuse this trait all his life. I know I can manipulate people if I want and I know what buttons to push. Because I am so cognizant of how my father used it to the detriment of others, I go the other way and tamp it way down.

I also like my sense of humor even though it’s not for everyone. It’s sarcastic and can be dark, and I keep most of it to myself or share it with my besties who see things similarly. I also like my singing voice! I like my voice in general (until I hear what it actually sounds like) because it’s low and husky. There’s a richness to my voice that I appreciate.

I like the fact that since I know I’m weird, I don’t care if people like what I like. I’ve gotten pissed before at people who have harshed my mellow on something specific, but in general, I know that my tastes range from weird to trash. One of the most liberating things about this is that if someone says something like, “Your taste in music is garbage!”, I can say cheerfully, “Yup, it sure is.” It baffles people and stops further comments in most cases.

I can occupy my time by myself. I don’t need to depend on others to make my time meaningful. I take it to an extreme degree in that I vastly prefer my own company than most other people’s, but I’m fine with that. It’s made the pandemic easier on me than others, probably, even though I’ve realized that I need that 10% time I spend with other people more than I thought.

I have a strength that doesn’t seem lie it is one, but it is in the long run. I’m stubborn as fuck and pigheaded in my opinions. That’s not the strength. What is a strength is that even if I deny what someone is saying to me at the time, I’ll go away and think about it. If I find merit to it, I’ll change the way I think. I may not tell the other person I’ve changed my thinking, but I will not hold onto an outdated way of thinking forever out of pride. I’m not saying I change on a dime, but I will think about it.

I’m a cheerleader for the people in my life. I want what’s best for them and I want them to be happy. Not ‘I want them to be happy in a way I think they should be happy’, but I truly want them to be happy. I’ll go to great lengths to help make that happen. It’s very hard to reach the inner sanctum of my heart, but once you’re there, I’m loyal to the death.

That’s about it off the top of my head. Not a bad list. There were more than I thought there would be.



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