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I had to sit with this last writing challenge for a few days before I could attempt it. The idea is to take an honest look at myself and then talk about what makes me different.

I am interested in the differences between how we see ourselves and how others see us. I’ve known people who are convinced they are smart, honest, loyal – insert any adjective here – and yet exhibit none of those qualities.  I’m guilty of it myself.

This move was my opportunity to be the person I want to be and to do the things I want to do. It is an opportunity to let my outside more closely match my inside. On the inside, I’m a thoughtful, kind person, but the outside was always gruff, stand-offish and sarcastic. And it hurt my feelings when people treated me as though that gruff, stand-offish person was the real me. Now I can shed that persona. I can be a little more outgoing, as much as a severe introvert can be. I can express kindness – there’s no reason to hide it anymore.

Lots of people go through life never really knowing what they want or who they really are. They let others tell them what to think, how to act, and what to do. When you try to pin them down, they can’t tell you what they want. I have never had an issue with that – I know myself very well.  I’m not always certain how to achieve my goals, but I know what the goals are.  I think that makes me different from most people.

I’m not very judgmental. We are all a little judgey, but I think I hit pretty low on that spectrum. Knowing myself well (and being honest with myself most of the time) helps me with that. I’ve done some crazy, stupid shit and it’s probably no crazier or more stupid than the shit anyone else has done, so I don’t get on my high horse much.

If I had to describe my friends with one or two words, I can do that pretty easily. I think we all have traits that stand out. I’m not sure what my word is, despite what I just said about knowing myself.

There’s an old saying: No matter where you go, there you are.

I left there and I came here and I took myself with me. But that’s okay because I like myself a LOT better and now I’m letting the rest of the world meet me.