A good friend recently sent me an article on how to write a good bio for yourself. I had previously told her that I’m terrible at recommending myself. “Hi Sarah, nice to meet you, what do you do?” “Oh umm, me? I uhh… I’m just a server.”
I’ve realized why I do that. I used to be terrible at recommending myself because of my lack of self-esteem and my belief in the lies that others told me – that I was worthless, that I wasn’t special, and no one cared. As I’ve grown and changed over the years, those beliefs have changed too (thank goodness). But new beliefs sprang up to take their place.
In recent years, having received numerous unflattering and untrue stereotypes, I have dumbed myself down around other people in order to make them feel comfortable with me. It’s as if I am trying to disprove their theories that I am stuck up or intimidating – how could this girl be stuck up when she makes such a fool of herself?
This past week has really opened my eyes to my own false beliefs in this area. If I have a daughter someday, would I want her to dumb herself down, and to publicly mock herself just so that other people can get over their own insecurities and be comfortable around her? Hell no! It’s sweet of her to try to make others comfortable, but it isn’t her burden to bear.
Somehow all of this just clicked for me. And so, I want to get better at recommending myself. I want to be able to advocate for myself for a change.
Here are some of my favorite answers from the article on writing your own bio, that I’ve written about myself:
1. What are you known for? What do you have a knack for?
I’m known for my ever-changing laughter, my tendency to apologize for no reason, and my interest in all things beautiful – from handmade earrings, to stunning landscape photographers, to pieces of waterlogged driftwood.
2. What are you passionate about personally? What do you really enjoy? What can’t you stop talking about?
I’m passionate about writing, and as the two often go together, I’m passionate about reading. Words hold so much significance for me. Words change my mood. Words teach me and hold me, embraced in the warmth of their meaning. Also, I love people. I can’t stop talking about people.
3. Where can we find you when you’re not working? What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend or a Sunday afternoon?
I love spending time with friends. New friends who expand my perspective and challenge my views and old friends who teach me the value of loyalty and commitment. I love hearing people’s stories, and learning about their life struggles and successes. It excites me to be able to see other people for exactly who they are. I also love adventuring, drinking steaming beverages from ceramic handcrafted mugs, and playing with strangers’ dogs in the park.
4. Where did you grow up and why aren’t you there now?
I spent my childhood in the Middle East – Egypt and Jordan to be exact. My family moved back home to Canada when I was ten. I still long to be immersed in the dust of the Middle East again, but I know that my feet will find their way back someday. For now, I have memories of the warm ocean breeze, the curious laughter of my brother and sisters and I, the strong black tea given to me by the village mothers, house maids, headless chickens, and chicklets – multicolored gum pieces that I would stuff into my mouth by the handful.
5. What would be impossible for you to give up?
It would be almost impossible for me to give up Chap Stick. I love it so much; I should probably buy some shares in one of my favorite Chap Stick companies. The smoothness created, the tingles, the soft scent – I’ve got to pause this for a minute to find my Chap Stick and apply it right now. I sound like a Junkie, don’t I?
6. Why would someone not want to work with you?
I’m a little bit OCD about some things. I would NEVER wear stripes and another pattern together. Stripes and polka dots? Noooo. Stripes and floral? Gaaag. Stripes and checkers? Kill me. Some people can pull it off. But me? I literally get uncomfortable thinking about wearing two extreme patterns like that together. I also like the bathroom sink to be toothpaste free. Seriously though, how hard is it to rinse the sink after you spit? What’s that? Your spit landed on the stainless steel silver tap as well? Rinse that shit off. Come on! I’m not that crazy, right?
7. How do you want to be remembered?
For some reason, I want to be remembered for my hair. I like it. I like my hair. I definitely have bad hair days, but for the most part, my hair is a bit of a celebrity to me. It holds curl, soaks up hair spray without looking greasy, and has natural volume. What more could a white girl ask for? You dark skinned ladies know what I’m talking about. Big hair is bad ass.
For my tomb stone: R.I.P. Sarah Anderson – Chap Stick Junkie with Bad Ass hair.
On a more realistic note, I would love it if others remembered me for my heart – for how much I loved and gave of myself. My lovely friend Tina pointed out to me that I always wait for others to enter an elevator first, before entering it myself. She’s right. I do that. I also hold doors open for strangers, give the woman in front of me the ten cents she’s scrambling for, and hug people often. I’m content to just be a part of people’s lives, to watch them grow, and respond with kindness and love when I can. So, it might be nice if people remembered me for those things too.
Edited tomb stone: R.I.P. Sarah Anderson – Lovable Chap Stick Junkie with Bad Ass Hair and a Huge Heart for Humankind.
That makes me sound pretty good doesn’t it? Yeah, I’ll take it.
Now I need to go through these answers and construct an actual bio, but I just wanted to share some of my responses. So? What does your bio say about you? I’d love to read it! Yes – I would.