I think it was The Happiness Project and, of course, Gretchen Rubin’s blog that first got me thinking about what I honestly like and don’t like — and accepting that I can’t force myself to like something, just because other people seem to enjoy it. Or ignore the things I do like if others don’t like them as much.
You’d think I’d be good at this — when I was little, I was the only one in my sixth grade class who liked Hanson, and oh, the teasing and rude remarks and outright cruelty I suffered because of it. (Junior high kids can really suck sometimes.) I always sort of reveled in being a non-conformist, at least in small ways. I was a tomboy. A book nerd. A soccer player in a class full of basketball players.
And I’m decently good at a lot of things. And yet, there are still so many things I wish I could make myself enjoy, or things that I desperately wish I was better at. Like…
Drawing, sketching, and painting
It especially sucks being the daughter of an architect and an art teacher when you can’t draw a single thing besides, like crappy outlines of palm trees. I’m really good at drawing palm trees. Anything else? No.
Keeping my nail polish from chipping
Is this a skill people can learn? Can I YouTube this? Or find an e-course that explains the secrets behind it? As I write this, I’ve kept my most recent self-done manicure chip-free for three whole days and I’m insanely proud of myself.
Cleaning/maintaining a clean house
My husband would appreciate me acquiring this skill too, I bet. I’m not asking for anything Pinterest- or magazine-worthy. Just a consistently clean kitchen, laundry that stays under control, and manageable clutter. That’s it. Why is being a grown-up so hard?
Pinterest-worthy holiday decorations and food
I save all those pins for super cute, DIY decorations for every holiday and all that stylish, delicious, theme-appropriate food…and never do any of it. I tell myself that one day, when I have a larger place and room to store craft stuff and decorations (currently, all our Christmas decorations are shoved in two Rubbermaid bins that sit on our patio) things will be different…but I’m not so sure about that.
Making small talk with strangers
I have to give myself serious pep talks whenever I go to a networking event, or a party where I won’t know many people, or really any social situation. I don’t think I’m a bad conversationalist, but when I’m talking to someone I’ve just met, I really rely on them to drive the conversation forward.
Staying patient while driving
I’d like to think I’m making progress on this one, but it depends on the day. Or, you know, all the other drivers on the road could remove their heads from their asses. That would work, too.
Styling my hair and doing make-up
Hairdressers are always puzzled by me. I go in and tell them what I want, and specify that I don’t spend much time styling my hair and I don’t really use any product, so it has to be a “wash-and-go” style. “So you use a little mousse or hairspray here…” No, I don’t really use those. “Oh, so you can blow dry and flat-iron…” I don’t have a flat-iron. (I tried to use my friend’s once and that was a disaster. My hair looked great in the front, but the back was a ridiculous mess.)
Also, they also comment on how nice and healthy my hair is and I can’t help but think it’s probably because I don’t do anything to it besides shampoo + conditioner (and yes, I wash my hair every single day. I’m sorry, when I work out even a little bit, it gets sweaty and gross and I’m not going to subject myself or anyone else to that hot mess).
Oh, and make-up. I can do very basic eyeshadow/liner and mascara and…that’s it. I’m scared of wearing blush because I’ll look like a clown and I watched this video on foundation/contouring/highlighting and couldn’t believe this girl spent 20 minutes every day just doing her face, before even doing her eyes, blush, and lipstick.
Getting up without hitting snooze
My ongoing battle. Last week, I read about a trick where you use Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule an embarrassing Facebook post or tweet or whatever to go out when you want to wake up. Then you have to get up before then to delete the post before it sends. Genius, I thought. I gave it a shot — and woke up at least three hours (maybe more) before my alarm, panicked I had overslept. I spent the rest of the night/morning tossing and turning, half-awake, and having dreams where I’d gotten up and, like, my computer wouldn’t power up, or the tweet had been sent but some reason I couldn’t delete it. So I totally got up on time, but was so zonked from only getting maybe three or four hours of sleep that day was basically shot. Never again.