On January 27, 1993 in Ms. Hamlet’s Third Grade Class, I wrote a journal entry titled, “Why I Like Myself” and it went a little son’thin like this:
Well, I like myself because of lots of things. I like my style. I like my handwriting. I kind-of like my coloring.
I like myself because I’m not selfish. I like the way I think of things.
Well, there you have it—I only “kind-of liked” my coloring. What can I say, being accurate was important to me. Yes, I was an anxious kid.
My mother walked into my room this morning reading a journal entry from my Third Grade composition book, aka my journal. I browsed through all the entries, but this is one that drew me in. Why, you ask? Because I was about 8 years old and answered the question better than I would today. It was simple, it was honest, and I was aware of how I felt. I seemed pretty sure about the things that I had narrowed down. Perhaps as children, the constant growth, evaluation, and journaling helps us pin things ideas down firmly.
When was the last time that you sat down to journal something out? The 90s? If you wouldn’t mind picking up a pencil, I’d like to ask you to do something with me. Imagine you are in your third grade classroom. I’m sure that you’re remembering who was cool, what you thought about the people around you, and what was exciting to you back then. To add a bit to the ambiance, I can throw in some words to help: Super Nintendo, Jansport backpacks, #2 pencils, Saved by the Bell, Tater Tots, and Hi-C. Doesn’t matter where you lived, you know what those are.
When you’re done with that, remember having to fill a sheet of paper with yours thoughts. The whole class concentrated on answering the teacher’s one question.
So, what do you like about yourself? Ask yourself the way you’d ask a kid.
I can tell you now that the first time you were asked this question in elementary school, you may have felt as stumped as you do now, but you worked through it. You sat down anyway and you tried to answer the question.
What do you like about yourself? You may not know now, but hopefully after 15 minutes of rambling, you will fill the sheet of paper with your response. Make sure to read it over when you’re done.
If you do the assignment, you’ll soon realize that there are things that you genuinely love about the way that you are. And even when we are not great at something, you’ll discover the ability to love yourself just for wanting to be better at something. Hence, my feelings on the coloring.
Find out what you like about yourself, write it out. You can trust me. I know what I’m talking about, I aced this one.