Thursday, March 06, 2008

Journal topic: Strengths

This is the first of the journal topics, which I found here and copied over to my blog to make it easier for me to go through one at a time. I'm going to try to do at least one a week, maybe more, in an attempt to write more here on the blog, even if my daily life isn't interesting! I find sometimes that my days are similar and I hate to write about the same thing every day, so these journal topics are my attempt to mix it up a bit and gain some insight into myself at the same time. My version of the list can be found here, but go here for the entire list and more topics.

Today's topic: What strengths have you developed over your life?
I thought about this a great deal while interviewing for jobs. You know the drill, "what are your strengths and weaknesses." For work, I always say things like: multitasking and the ability to handle stress and deadline pressure. These are great strengths in the workplace and are characteristics that serve someone well in my field, where there is always deadline pressure and stress is a part of the daily routine. I also usually try to fit in there somewhere that I can improvise when things do not go as planned. This is something I've picked up just recently with my previous job experience and I think it's a pretty good skill to have, especially as it translates into daily life. But what do I consider my real strengths? The non-job interview answer is that I'm a survivor. Who could have imagined when I was 18 that I would have to handle a divorce at 23? I know, it happens all the time, but it wasn't something I was prepared to deal with, and it wasn't something I could talk to anyone about because nobody I knew had endured a similar situation.

Another strength I have is that I don't give up easily. When I got the phone call from the stage manager for the current play at my theatre, she said "I hope this won't discourage you and keep you from trying out for other plays." That thought never crossed my mind, really. A few failures do not discourage me from doing what I love, whether it is acting or writing. I was talking to my mother a few weeks ago and I made the comment that everything I love to do, everything that means a lot to me, comes with a certain amount of inevitable rejection. She said that she wasn't sure she would keep doing it if she had to deal with that kind of rejection, but I have learned that it's just a part of the process and if you love something enough, you will handle the rejection the best way you can and keep going. In fact, you find a way to use that rejection as motivation to try harder, to keep trying, and to never, ever quit.

So that this won't turn into a lovefest from me to me, I'm going to stop now, but it was a great topic and a wonderful chance to look inside myself and see the strengths that I have developed, just in the last 10 years or so. It's nice to look back sometimes and see how far we've come. If you decide to use this journal topic, leave me a comment - I'd love to read what you wrote!

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