December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)
I have to admit, when I saw this prompt earlier in the day, I felt extremely intimidated. I grimaced at just the thought of pulling some stuff together for this. Shit, I started to wonder, “what was thinking jumping on board with this project?” However, as the day went on, I think I managed to make a few mental notes that were worthy of this.
1. I cook well, and it brings out life in people. I am not an exceptional cook by any means, but I definitely like to track down more unique and different recipes when I can. Mostly in the case that I can introduce myself and/or others to foods they do not typically eat. Remembering back to the first time I cook fettucini carbonara for a friend and myself, she raved about how amazing it was, and we spent the rest of the evening talking about all these amazing dishes we’ve had in our past, and dishes we wanted to try. This also takes many a new friend by surprise, because they don’t realize how into cooking I can be!
2. When I get onto a topic in a conversation that I am passionate about, I just cannot shut up. Well, likely I can, but it’s the way I get so into the discussion, they get a kick out of it. I’ve gotten a laugh or two from people stopping me when they realize how seriously I am involved in a discussion and telling me to dial it down a notch; it’s typically just speculation, or discussion for the sake of discussion, and my excitement has simply gotten the best of me.
3. I am such a devil’s advocate when people get staunchly set on a single point in a discussion. There are times I am even strongly in support of the individual’s own conclusion/opinion, but it frustrates me when they are blind to the strengths of a contrasting point and/or the weaknesses of their own! I remember many an evening during my undergraduate years where I’d be present for heavily semantic discussions on religion or science, and I would be arguing back and forth almost like a mediator, trying to get the various factions to understand the points of the other factions. Granted, this is not a consistently beautiful trait in myself (frankly, it’s downright irritating to the stubborn types), but for those who see what I’m doing, it usually puts a grin or smirk on their face to know that I’m really just trying to get people to see through each other’s eyes.
4. I am a musician at heart. I love to listen to music; I love to play music; I even love to randomly come up with music, be it rudimentary rhythm while I’m bored, or tweaking some musical passages of a piece I love into something even more amazing. In high school, I had a strong supporting of friends (coincidentally, many of them were in the orchestra or band as well) who thoroughly enjoyed the music as well. I wasn’t hot shit or anything, but I was a pretty good violist. When I went to play for MSUM Moorhead during my undergraduate years, I just sat in the back and reveled in simply playing the music. The next year, I went right to 1st chair, much at the behest of the other violists as well. They were ecstatic to have a stronger player leading their section, and as much as I hated the stress, anxiety, and sometimes difficulty of parts being a principal player, I really did love the parts I got to play.
Similarly, I love getting into the music I’m listening to. I love to move to it (despite my horrible dancing skill), and even sing to it in my own privacy at times. I have no idea what my voice sounds like to others when I sing, but I’ve been told it carries rather well; I learned at a younger age to project the sound more from my chest than my mouth…I’ve hummed like that for decades (well, just two I guess). Also, and this is going to be a first for me, I’m going to admit that I love the way my voice sounds (to myself) when I sing…especially if it’s in tune, too. I do not think I have told anyone that before, let alone allowed myself to mention that in any form. But that ties in a bit to my last “different” trait.
5. I have a voice that I play around with sometimes that few people have heard. It always used to make Holly laugh, although a few of the other people who have heard it just gave me funny looks about it. It started from singing…it’s the same voice I project with when I sing; it starts deep in the chest and carries out. Well, Holly had picked at it a bit while I was singing one day in the car, so I just starting going off on her like a TV show announcer with the voice. She thought it was great! People tend to get a kick out of it because it does sort of sound like an announcer of sorts, but in my own head it just sounds so foreign compared to my own voice, so I rarely use it. That, and I have to think about it a little bit to use it in conversation. But, for a little while, lil’ ol’ Jamie can trade in his persona for a new and improved voice and a personality swap to go with if I so desire!
So I suppose that’s a small taste of what makes me different. With the way my life’s been in the dumps lately for various reasons, it was hard to come up with anything that felt like strong indicators of my uniquely “different” characteristics. However, I feel it was a decent survey of some traits about me that really emanate in my day to day interactions, and not just so much in individual cases (with the exception of no. 5 there). I guess tore that intimidation a new one, huh? 🙂