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  • Writer's pictureA.S. Morris

Magic Acts.

The other day I was having coffee with a friend debating our various skill sets. Fortunately for me this individual shares my love of sarcasm and cynicism. They know who I am at my core and has no qualms calling me out. Which they do often and with a joy filled heart.

I’m not sure how we got to the point in our conversation of talking about our respective lists of labels; how others may perceive or describe “you,” but we did. I fully own my list of traits. I am okay with not being “nice.” I try to think how I may have changed or grown since moving from the big city to a small town. Unfortunately, it’s been a hell of a ride since we moved here almost four years ago. Its Lifetime movie level impressive when you think of what we’ve managed to navigate. Honestly, you’d think we were making the whole damn thing up; wishful thinking.

I know these life experiences have not made me any softer and certainly haven’t lessened my moody self. I’m aware I can be a giant pain in the ass and that fortunately my talents outshine my bullshit.

I tried to think out my five areas that are room for growth and five areas I seem to be excelling at. Unfortunately, I could only conjure up nine total traits. You may read this list and think some colorful thoughts. Good for you. This is my list about me. You are welcome to share your thoughts but as you see below, I don’t claim be nice.

I’m not nice (or sweet)

  • Im a good person and a kind person. I will help anyone and everyone. I believe in the human spirit. I however am not nice. I’m okay with this. Would it help my cause if I leaned into niceness, probably.

I’m not an eternal optimist

  • I’m not an eternal pessimist either. My anxiety and depression impact this area greatly. I live in a world of waiting for the other shoe to drop; we haven’t had a ton of positivity these past couple of years. My ability to relax and spread inspiration is minimal.

I’m enigmatic

  • I’m a handful and challenging. My husband would probably give this response five-stars. I try to use this talent for good, most of the time it drives my husband crazy. I’m pretty okay with this talent….

I’m hard

  • I’ve been told more than once I need to soften up. Dusty off the city. I’m still not sure how I feel about this. Honestly, I’m not sure how to soften up. That is not an innate skill for me. Im a tough cookie. Im determined. I’ll go down swinging. I’d like to be softer in my approach to things however life keeps giving me/throwing us curve balls and I just don’t know how to absorb this gently.

I’m moody

  • Pretty sure this trait ain’t changing. I’ve been moody since 1985.

I am passionate

  • Watch out world when there is a cause I believe in. While my career path is shifting, helping patients and making a difference is more than a job. Doing good and quietly giving someone a soft place to land means so much to me.

I am resilient

  • I/we’ve been through hell and back and round again. I’m my own worse enemy and am more likely to take myself down. I will not let someone else take me down without a fight. Don’t tell me I can’t do something. It will only drive me harder.

I am intense

  • I like things done certain ways, I’ll push others to obtain the right thing and move the needle in a positive. I had a former colleague call me intense in the middle of an ICU years ago. They aren’t wrong. I will always advocate for what is best.

I am fiercely loyal

  • If you’ve somehow managed to accept the first 8 traits about me and love me for me, I will forever be loyal. This also applies to organizations I’ve worked for or volunteer with. I will do anything for my friends or causes. With that being said, this comes with a great deal of trust.

I have vacation time that need to use up before the end of the year. I’m trying to bring myself to commit to taking two weeks vacation. You’d think I was trying to commit to shaving my head. Vacation time that would likely help lessen some of my not so ideal traits. With that being said I was not born the with trait to relax, I will still be working some while on vacation (because, life), and organizing the pantry or the kids bedrooms sounds like a miserable way to spend vacation.

The last time I stepped away from work to take some time and relax my demons came to a head and one psych admission, suicide attempt, and 30 day inpatient treatment later ….that was quite the 8 week vacation. While I appreciate the extreme experience that was I’m still processing it and it’s two years ago this week that started this journey. My office can still be a triggering place as I spent so much time there with my thoughts knowing I needed help. Yet, knowing, at the time that was the only thing I had left in my world that was still spinning.

October is a busy month for us, both kids birthdays plus my parents birthdays. Should be a spooktacular season. Unfortunately for me it’s not exactly pumpkin spice and everything nice. I’m going through the motion, making safe choices, and just accepting the depression and anxiety that cling to the air this time of year.

I know the cloying nature of my illness will not always be this way. Which makes things even more trying. Being outwitted by something you can’t see but feel is a bitch. I’m resilient, a fighter and being brought to my knees by my own thoughts is ludicrous. I hope, in time, this will not be my norm. That I won’t secretly loathe October. I have a weekend of little girl birthday activities ahead of me and lets not forget Halloween.

So I continue to try and navigate. Try and be okay with accomplishing what I am able to accomplish. Try to figure out how to lean in to my areas for growth.

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