Sculpture of a number 5“5Things” is a regular feature here on Finding 300 each Tuesday (starting today).  I really appreciate that Shelley was game to be the first “5Things” guest blogger.  In Shelley’s own words, “I’m windy as hell,” but I love what she has written here.  And if you like what she writes, definitely go check out 1–or all 3–of her blogs, all of which are good reading and informative!  {Links at the end of the post.}

I originally thought that Katie’s task to write five things that I liked about myself was a pretty easy request until I sat down to start framing the jottings that I had placed down on paper. My life (probably like everyone else’s) is full of contradictions: I have spent most of my life as an overweight woman, but I’m pretty damn healthy and enjoy things like hiking and have participated in four 5Ks. I am a hard worker, but I left an industry that I loved and I was near the top of my game to pursue a relationship with the man whom I eventually married. I consider myself a writer, but I’ve been working on the same novel in fits and spurts for over five years.

But despite my contradictions – I’m thrilled to participate in this … so here goes:

1) I love my legs. Unlike the founder of this blog, I don’t have the greatest ankles on the face of this earth, but these legs have walked all over the world. When I was 20 and a junior in college, I had the opportunity to spend six months studying in Malta as part of a study abroad program hosted by my college. To be blunt, on that January evening when I boarded a flight on Icelandair, my legs almost didn’t want to walk down the hallway towards the plane, but after those moments of sheer fear, my legs found themselves in Reykjavik, London, Rome, Israel, Tunisia, Amsterdam, Paris … not to mention the neighborhoods that I called “home” in Malta for the six months when I was a resident on that Mediterranean island. Domestically, these legs have found me in other amazing locales – many wonderful hikes around the Midwest, random road trips with friends and family … I am so lucky for the ability to be mobile. I do not take it for granted.

2) I like my independent spirit. “I am proud that I raised such an independent daughter,” my mom once said to me, “but to be honest, there are days where I wonder if I did a little too good of a job.” My mom said that to me sometime in my 20s. I think I was probably working as a reporter in Wisconsin at the time and was reveling in my single life – I had a wonderful apartment, my cat, great friends, a decent job in a town located on Lake Michigan and none of the trappings of a relationship. And at that point, I think my folks wondered if I would ever get married.

Fast forward five or six years, and now I am married – but I am extraordinarily happy that I waited until I was 30 to get married. (For the record, my husband has been a friend of mine since our sophomore year of college – it just took us awhile to realize that we could be something more than friends.) My 20’s ran the gamut – figuring out what I wanted in a career, times of extreme happiness and really crappy loneliness, one significant failed relationship and moving from Iowa to Minnesota to Wisconsin and then back to Minnesota again … I wouldn’t have been a good wife if Ryan and I would have been attracted to each other when I was 25. Life needed to knock me around a bit first.

3) I am a quick learner. I sucked at college (Bs and Cs all around), but I am a quick learner. This skill has served me well over the years, whether it is learning the terminology of court hearings as a cops and courts reporter when I was a journalist or figuring out computer programs in the jobs that I’ve held since leaving newspapers.

4) I am a “glass is half full” kind of person. I can be snarky, I can be ornery at times, but I truly believe that things work out in the end and that half of the fun in life is in the journey from Part A to Part B. One of the ultimate compliments I ever received was from a friend who told me that the world was full of troupers and whiners – “you are a trouper,” she said.

Shelley and her husband5) I like my eyes. And if I have to throw in one facet of myself that is totally vain – I like my eyes. I may be nearsighted and have astigmatism like you wouldn’t believe, but they are dark brown and beautiful.

You know you want to read me:

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P.S.  Interested in being a 5Things guest blogger?  Email me at finding300{at}gmail{dot}com.
Pic by losmininos from flickr.