There is no faster way to figure out who you are than to be run off to a foreign land and be forced to fend for yourself.
Familiarity is reason's greatest enemy.
Had I not come out here and temporarily abondoned everything and everyone I know and love, I wouldn't have come to the many, many realizations I have thus far. I've gained a better understanding of who I've been, who I can be, who I plan to be -- and perhaps most importantly, it's become inherently obvious who I never want to be.
I've had a lot of time to be reflective and analytical.
For example, I'm a notorious pushover. Perhaps this has only been obvious to myself, but I tend to cater to those who hardly appreciate my efforts. If asked, I do, despite the inconveniences. I'd argue that this, to a point, is one of my best qualities (I wholeheartedly believe we should all serve each other); but, in the same breath, I'd say that this can lead to toxic relationships that neither party ever appreciates. I've made a lot of strides in the growing-a-spine effort out here, fueled primarily by my frustration with several people I've interacted with in my short time here. I have no patience for selfish, intolerant people and, therefore, no desire to serve them when they ask (serving them on my own terms in another story). Learning to say no has been good for me. It's a skill I'm working on, but I have a feeling that I'll have plenty of opportunities to practice. (Yikes! Do you hear that sass? That was sass.)
When arguing with my sister, she'd always say: "You just have to be right." To this, I'd reply: "I have to be right because I am right." (Yeah, I'm that girl.)
Anyone in my family would agree with Stephanie, and it's something I've admitted to in recent years. I've been trying to trap my have-the-last-word attitude inside of my head instead of outside of my mouth (hey, it has to go somewhere). I'm currently surrounded by dozens of very intelligent, ambitious young people who I've quickly learned suffer from a similar sickness. Seeing others do what I've been often criticized for has been unbelievably enlightening.
So THAT'S what it sounds like when I refuse to be wrong? Do I argue over trivial things as if my honor had been brutally assaulted?
Needless to say, I plan to work on that one. (However, any claim that Shia LaBeouf is not the world's greatest actor WILL be challenged. I have morals.)
Personality defects are far from the only attributes that have come under psychological assault lately. A brief -- depending on your definition -- panic attack forced me to wonder what the hell I was doing studying journalism, but I've since calmed down. However, I'm a very, very, very impulsive person, so by the time I'd realized I was panicking unecessarily, I had already e-mailed advisors from a couple of other departments at USU. These impulses are probably what inspired the initial panic attack, but I must say that it wasn't entirely in vain. My momentary lapse in sanity actually granted me better clarity. I'll spare the internet world all the details, but feel free to ask me about my revelations on the side.
Physically, I've never felt more in control. Anyone who has spent more than 30 minutes in a room with me probably knows that I'm constantly on a diet. (Some of us might call it "weak-willed." I prefer "humbled.") Until now, I had never been able to fully commit myself to any one diet plan or goal. I'm easily distracted (back to that whole impulsive thing) and even more easily wooed. Present me with a three-story slab of vanilla cake and a phony "one piece of cake won't hurt you," and I'm all yours. It's a lie, people! A lie! If you're going to splurge on something with more calories than hairs on your head, do it because you've actually earned it, not because someone else -- who has no clue whatsoever how well you've eaten the past week -- said that you earned it. If you establish that you are in charge, you'll be less likely to succumb the next time they "just know" that you "deserve" that treat. I've stuck to a Slimfast/Special K/intelligent snacking/occasional exercise diet "plan" and have lost 9 lbs. in 6 weeks. I've never felt so good knowing that I've dedicated myself to something and am actually seeing the results. I'll admit that this ability to remain steadfast has a lot to do with a) my being poor/unwilling to produce a stocked kitchen for a short-term stay, b) too lazy to cook and c) too busy to cook, but I'm hoping the healthy routines turn into habits for the long haul. This has been a lesson in perseverance, that's for darned certain.
It's also been a lesson in "don't buy your pants slightly loose when you plan to lose weight, because they're stop fitting you after 3 weeks." RIP tan Dress Barn slacks. 9/11/12 - 10/8/12. You served me well. Ish.
Don't get me wrong, I can't wait to stop learning about myself and head back to Logan. I'm beginning to bore myself. For how much longer do I have to be the focus of my own life? Sigh. I miss Max, dancing with girlfriends in my bare minimums, lunch dates with my grandparents, fine-dining at La Tormenta (with Max), driving my guido-mobile, studying for tests (I've always known I was sick), shopping at Walmart, holding a job, going to Aggie basketball games...
Until my next pre-mid-life crisis!