I have found that it is not easy to define oneself. Most persons when asked to divulge a little more about himself or herself usually state a job title or a familial role. Who we are, is not what we do, but knowing that does not make it easier to define yourself. I have decided to create a ‘cheat sheet’ and tell you a little more about myself.
1) I am short. Let us start with the obvious. I stand at under five feet tall and truth be told I really don’t feel short most days. For me the realization came one day when I visited a primary school and saw what I thought were children of average height for their ages. Then it dawned on me that some of the children were taller than I was.
2) I am a picky eater. There are so many things I prefer not to eat and I am ashamed to say included on that list is our national dish.
3) I love words. I was ‘encouraged’ in primary school to start reading the dictionary and that passion has continued across the decades. Each day I try to learn a new word thanks to an app I have on my phone! And of course, I do the quizzes to make sure I know them. I have been called a nerd.
4) I cannot swim. I have made at least six formal attempts to learn how to swim to no avail. I can ‘swim’ for as long as I can hold my breath and then it is all over. I recall an early attempt in a pool and after the water poured out of my ears like a waterfall and the spluttering stopped, the swim coach asked me, ‘Renee you plan on emptying on the pool today?’ Needless to say I was not encouraged to continue but I persevere.
5) I love makeup. I discovered makeup in my third decade of life and we have been going steady since then. I do not need to wear it every day as most mornings I fly through the door with soap and water being the only products on my face. Nevertheless, there is a euphoria of sorts experienced by opening a new lipstick, or trying on a new blush. It is a great stress reliever for me.
6) My favourite instrument is the pipe-organ. I started playing it when I was about 17 and I still enjoy doing so. I play three other instruments but the king of all instruments continues to reign supreme for me. I however do not play as often as I did before since I have chosen to focus on church, family and career at this stage in my life.
7) I am very organized. I would not classify myself as ‘anal’ but I do like to have things a certain way. I cannot do ‘last minute’. I was not shocked when one day my husband told me that I did not have OCD, I had CDO (since the letters had to be put in the right order). That is his opinion. I beg to differ. When one is organized there is little difficulty in finding socks, reports and keys. There is adequate time to prepare for whatever tasks lie ahead to avoid undue stress and strain.
8) I am reserved. I don’t want to say I am shy but in social settings I prefer to engage my ears more than my mouth. This is in complete contrast to my significant other who would talk to trees if only they could respond. I was called a snob by a professor simply because I was not talking a lot in a group setting. I disagree since I still possess that ‘common touch’. I tread lightly as I declare that I choose not to disclose my profession in non-professional settings. It is not that I am not proud of the accomplishment, but the title does not define me. When I got married I changed my name to my husband’s and so many were shocked and wondered why I didn’t keep my maiden name as a professional. Secretaries change their names, fisherfolk, teachers and stay-at-home mothers, so why not me as a doctor?
9) I have a fascination for driving. I love cars. The louder and faster, the more exciting for me. I hasten to add that I stay well within our stipulated limits and I try to obey to the letter the road traffic laws. This annoys my friends greatly as I refuse to overtake on solid lines or ‘drop the car’ in no parking zones. Articulated trucks and buses are another passion and I have already determined that upon retirement, I will pursue a truck licence. There needs to be an end to the mind-numbing driving of an automatic vehicle. What do I want for my next birthday? A slate grey, six-speed manual vehicle. We can discuss the model and make another time. I cannot wait!
10) I am a work in progress. I argue with my husband or maybe more correctly, towards my husband as he is not the type to argue. I make mistakes with my children; I doubt God quite often, a fact of which I am not very proud; I irritate my friends and family members at times. There is a long list of areas in which I can improve. However, what I am discovering is realizing that I am not perfect is a wonderful thing. As a human I make mistakes and as far as I can tell, none of those mistakes has killed me to date. As I am doing, give yourself permission to be human and not allow fear to keep you from avoiding mistakes, but take a ‘calculated risk’ and learn from any mistakes. Solutions are the result of improving upon prior errors. I think I will copyright that last statement!
(Renee Boyce is a medical doctor, a wife, a mother and a Christian, who is committed to Barbados’ development. Email:reneestboyce@gmail)