I am going through a yearlong leadership training, and my retreat is next week. (I'm equal parts excited and kicking myself because I'm socially awkward.) One of the things we're required to do is bring a $5 gift that represents us, and it has to be unisex. Mission impossible.
Thinking about this task really made me think about things that represent me as a person. Do you ever see something and think "Wow, that really reminds me of Friend XYZ!"? I spent a lot of time trying to think of what people saw that reminded them of me. My friend Nicole did a similar blog post last week, and it inspired me to do my own take.
Here are a few things that I feel "represent" me. Some of them may seem a little materialistic, but I hope that if you feel that way, you'll read the reasoning of why they resonate with me.
My hot pink Lilly Pulitzer dress:
If you've been with me for awhile, you know that I celebrated four years cancer free on June 1. (If not, here's the post!) The dress I'm wearing in the photos is my first Lilly Pulitzer dress. I had dreamed of owning a Lilly for years, and my mom bought me this dress the day that I was declared cancer free. (It was a bribe so that I would stop wearing cardigans to hide my scar.) I fell in love with Lilly because the bright colors were representative to me of the new lease on life I felt.
Skinny diamond band:
When I started my senior year of high school, I found out that my "first love" was cheating on me while I was in the hospital. I was devastated and embarrassed and living in a small town did not help. My mom gave me this ring as a reminder that I don't need to be in a hurry to settle down or to "get a ring" like a lot of the girls I went to high school with felt pressured to do. The ring was my mom's first engagement ring from my dad, and even though they've been divorced for years, I still wear it every day. It's subtle, classic, and sparkles despite being so small, which is exactly why I love it.
My hair is a mess quite often, and that's how I like it. One of my former co-workers used to comment on the fact that my hair was a mess, and I would always reply with "I'm too busy living a life I love to worry about my hair." It's basically my life motto at this point. Bobby pins are a life saver, because when I need to look like a respectable adult, I can just pin my hair out of my face.
Pink fleece blanket:
My sophomore year of college, one of my sorority sisters bought me this pink blanket for Christmas. She was older than me, and I really looked up to her. This blanket and I have been through it all together, y'all! When I was so depressed about my cancer diagnosis that I wouldn't get out of bed, I cuddled up in this blanket. It's been with me through two apartments and a stint on the sorority hall. This blanket is kind of a local celebrity. At my old job, I had an open office and often came in contact with lots of influential members of my community. They would always see my legs wrapped in my blanket and make a joking comment about it. And you best believe it's with me at my new office!
A ballet shoe:
My love for ballet really shaped my life. My mom put me in lessons at the age of two, and even though I was never the best, I learned so many lessons that would carry me in life - discipline, poise, confidence, teamwork... you name a life skill, and I probably learned it in dance class! I knew no one when I started high school, but because I joined the dance team, I actually had a few friends the first day at my new school. My dance team coach really worked with me on the requirements necessary for the University of Tennessee Dance Team, and I had every intention of dancing in college until I was diagnosed with a chronic illness the summer before my senior year. Throughout my life, people have told me that I "look like a ballerina," and I grin from ear to ear whenever I hear it, because I'm so thankful for the fifteen years that dance impacted my life.
Shew, that turned into kind of a heavy post! I hope that y'all feel like you learned a little more about me, and now I'm going to turn the tables because I want to learn a little more about you!
What items do you feel represent you?
PS - If you're curious about my $5 gift, I'm going with whiskey in a teacup! Pretty representative of my personality, and a little airplane bottle and dollar store tea cup mean that I won't have to cheat on the budget.