Do you ever think you have yourself all figured out, only to find things aren’t so cut and dried as they seemed? That happened to me when I re-read Little Women.
I’m 28 as of Thursday.
Twenty-eight, not thirty, and not as momentous.
But still, I try to enjoy every birthday even if it’s not an epoch. I use birthdays for self reflection, and as an excuse to have some extra fun on the blog and let my readers get to know me a little better, if you will. On birthdays past I’ve shared 25 random things about me, 26 things I need to nail down before I get any older, and my 27 favourite heroes, heroines, and villains from classic lit.
You might be expecting another numbers list this year.
Well, you’re not going to get it!
Not a 28-things-long numbers list, at any rate. I’m getting too old for that; this would be a mammoth post if I tried! Instead, we’ll just go halfway and I’ll share 14 things.
This year it’s 14 surprising things I learned about myself in the past almost 3 decades.
1. I’m not Jo March
Everyone wants to be spunky Jo, right? I saw myself in all of the March sisters when I read Little Women ages ago, but I figured I was the most like Jo since she was adventurous and wanted to be a writer. Then I re-read the book recently and realised: I’m not a bit like this girl! Well, the writerly part is still there. But (among other dissimilarities) I’m not and never was overly clumsy, impulsive, nor did I ever assume I wouldn’t be married. I’m a lot more like Meg and Amy, actually.
2. I can enjoy mushrooms and onions
I vowed to loathe them for all eternity, but now I regularly put them on our shopping list! What changed? Well, I “discovered” red onions, which I like much better than white, and I realised fresh mushrooms (as opposed to canned) are actually incredibly versatile and tasty! I have my husband to thank for changing my mind on these.
3. My favourite TV series in an anime
Yes, me who loves period movies, discovered a few years ago that my favourite multiple-seasons TV series is Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. An anime. I like it better than Downton Abbey. Better than Doctor Who. I’m not even kidding. It’s brilliant!
4. My hair is a little bit red
Although for a long time I assumed I had brown hair, my aunt once commented that my hair had red undertones! I was delighted when a hair stylist confirmed this years later, and now, although I really do love my brown, it gives me a tiny joy to see my red glints in the bright sun.
5. And my eyes are a little bit green
The thing about hazel eyes (which is what I’ve got) is that they’re not brown. They’re not green, either, but they are sometimes. It was a pleasant surprise to me to notice that my eyes look a little different from day to day.
6. I can survive (even thrive) through northern winters
Given the right layers and the proper footwear, I can be comfy in northern climes. I was scared of the big bad Michigan winters, but when we moved there for three years I had the time of my life tromping through snow and even feeling those cold, cold winds on my face.
7. I like wearing orange and purple
You know how you just write some colours off? I wore red–not orange, and pink–not purple. And I missed out. I’m glad I finally gave orange and purple a try!
8. I don’t need to make a lot of money
Part of my life plan was to marry rich. I assumed I’d have a lot of money when I grew up! But now I don’t care, because I’m loving simple and “less.”
9. Favourite books are meant to be re-read
It’s shocking when I think about it now, but there are so many books I consider to be favourites that I’ve actually only read once! I’m returning to my old favourites now, and I intend to become a re-reader.
10. I could’ve been left handed
I shoot pool instinctively like a left-hander, wear more jewelry on my dominant hand/wrist, and favor my left hand in other ways that make me wonder–maybe I was supposed to be a leftie?
11. I wasn’t a child prodigy
Since I wanted to be an author, I figured I might as well be a super young author who was well known before she left her teens. That didn’t happen.
12. Talking to strangers isn’t so hard
When you’re naturally shy you just assume you’ll always be that way. And while that might be true, you can also learn the social graces to converse comfortably with just about anyone. I think that learning to talk with people you just met is really about hospitality. About making them feel comfortable and at ease. Your own shyness melts away a little when you put other peoples’ comfort above your own. Mine has, at least.
13. I’m not completely crunchy and never will be
I got really in to natural living about five years ago. I made all kinds of strange things in my kitchen and began working on greening nearly every aspect of my life. But in the last year or so I’ve lightened up in a lot of ways and decided that I don’t need to be a die-hard “crunchy” woman, and that that’s not a good fit for my personality or goals. I do still love pursuing natural living, but I’m taking a much simpler, gentler, “semi-natural” approach.
14. I’m still an INJF
Since I’m not a textbook INFJ, I always get a little nervous when I take a Myers-Briggs type personality test. And I’ve taken many over the years! Each time, I check the score with trepidation. Am I going to see a different set of letters this time? Will I have to start this journey all over again of understanding my type? But no, INFJ it always is.
I suppose as much as I like discovering surprising things about myself, it’s also nice to know that some things stay the same.(: