I am a mom. I am a wife. I am an athlete. I am a coach. I am a trainer. All these things are true about me and they all are a part of my life. I am also a reader, writer, artist, student, teacher, cook, caregiver, caretaker, firefighter (metaphorically speaking), endless clothes folder, snack bitch, house cleaner,dog wrangler, cat herder, landscaper, motivator, instructor (different from a teacher imo), singer (in my car) and dancer (anytime I can).  But they do not define me. I refuse to define myself by what I do. These things do not tell anyone who I am.

So who am I?

I am loud. I am gregarious. I am active. I am energetic. I am curious. I am crafty. I am a lover. I am a fighter. I am immature. I am inappropriate. I am too much for many and not enough for some. I am open minded. I am cultured. I am hard. I am tender. I am strong. I am passionate. I am compassionate. I am empathetic. I am restless. I am patient.I am salty. I am snarky. I am rebellious. I am a people pleaser. I am horrible at taking compliments. I am weird. I am nerdy. I am geeky. I am nosey. I am moody. I am positive. I am happy.

But this is still a very limiting description of who I am. And even still it doesn’t lend itself to what I believe, or what I stand for.

I believe in kindness. I believe in giving. I believe in patience. I believe in the big picture. I believe in encouragement. I believe in volume. I believe less is not always more. I believe in letting go. I believe in name calling (if you’re a jerk, I’m gonna tell you so). I believe in criticism. I believe in spiritual shit. I believe in magic. I believe in science. I believe in taking responsibility. I believe in owning your shit. I believe in hobbies. I believe in fun. I believe in standing by your convictions. I believe in pride. I believe in staying humble. I believe in hard work. I believe in music. I believe in blood, sweat and tears. I believe suffering pain makes you stronger. I believe in forgiveness. I believe in silence. I believe in integrity. I believe in decency. I believe in courtesy. I believe in common sense. I believe in kicking ass and taking names. I believe in the hustle. I believe in variety. I believe in diversity. I believe in inconsistency. I believe in loyalty. I believe in habits. I believe in change. I believe in love.

What I DON’T believe in is….

Insults, slurs, hate, pretentiousness, regret, self-loathing, cruelty, victimizing, blaming the world for your shit situation, holding a grudge, staying angry, giving up, giving in, quitting, conforming, staying in one place, ignorance, blind trust, waiting for your ship to come in, the lottery, holding on, spite, bullying, mindless noise, running your mouth, inaction, stubbornness, stagnation, monotony, failure, dead ends, conceit, know-it-alls, pills to fix your problems (yes I know there are plenty of situations where medical intervention and modern medicine are necessary. I’m not insensitive to that, but there are more circumstances people think they need medication when they don’t. They need a hobby or good old fashioned therapy!), sitting on your ass, lethargy, boredom, helplessness, nihilism, blandness, lack of taste, lack of color, lack of empathy.

This is not to say I do not believe these things exist, but rather that I do not endorse, condone or support any of them.

Think about who you are, what you believe and what you don’t. Don’t allow the world to box you into labels. You decide. No one can tell you who you are. You make that decision. If you’re unsure, go find out! Explore! Experiment! Go places, see things and meet people! There’s a whole amazing, colorful world out there dying to share itself with you (literally and figuratively). And even if you think you have yourself figured out pretty well, and you may, go learn new things! Try something new! Take a yoga class, eat a bug, get a tattoo, get another one, jump off something (safely), find a thrill, feel the adrenaline (and not from blue lights flashing in your rearview mirror). Dance wildly! Sing loudly! No one cares, I promise (that’s another blog topic).

I believe we are all diamonds. Some more in the rough than others. But with each new discovery we make about ourselves, we create a new facet. The more we learn, the brighter we shine in every direction. Sometimes we shine for others until they find their path. Sometimes only for ourselves. When we do for others, our light becomes a little brighter, a little deeper and we’re made better by it. Don’t sit around waiting for someone else to put facets on you. That’s ridiculous. When we say “you complete me” we are giving them that power. The power to make you happy. NO! You need to be happy FIRST! You can’t take care of anyone else or be expected to make others smile when you are unhappy with yourself. Find what makes you happy. What makes you more you-er! The more you know yourself, the happier you will be, trust me. Choose to be multi-faceted. Choose to be happy. CHOOSE YOU!

Temet Nosce      

Carrie Giordano