Friday, June 26, 2009

My thing......(?)

I mentioned a previous post that I am not really sure what "my thing" is. That thing that people know you for, that in some way defines you. I mentioned in that post that I wouldn't mind if "my thing" was cooking, but really that isn't me.

In college I had a boyfriend who definitely had "a thing." That doesn't sound quite right :) Actually he was known for two things. He was incredibly funny (imagine dating Will Ferrell but cuter) and he was an amazing musician. (guitar and singing.) These two aspects defined him and everyone knew it. One night we were on a date and I asked him what he though my "thing" was. He looked at me intrigued, and then after a moment said "Well, everyone always says you have great hair." Problem was, he really wasn't kidding. That was a low point for me :)

Anyway, since that time I have thought a lot about the things that define us. Maybe the closer you are to someone the harder it is to define them and that is why it is difficult for me to define myself. My best friend Carrie was the athlete of our high school. No question, that was her thing. To me however, that never defined her. It was just a small piece of the person I knew. Probably because I am not athletically inclined --at all-- but I mostly saw her confidence, her wit and her ability to combine popularity with kindness (not an easy feat).

After that post, I got quite a few emails from friends who have an opinion on what "my thing" is. I won't share them since that would be awkward, but it was funny that all my college friends said "my thing" was my humor and that I played guitar and sang. (Hmm. Guess I picked up a few things from that college boyfriend.) My local friends probably don't even know I play the guitar, so that couldn't be my defining trait.

The other night I asked Shane for his opinion on "my thing". He thought maybe it was always striving for success. That was a sweet husband answer, but if someone were to ask about me, no one is going to say "Oh Natalie, yea she is the one who is always striving for success." :) Maybe they would say "Oh Natalie, yea she is the one that writes that really random blog."

My question to you is...."What is your thing?"

26 comments:

Katie said...

I struggled with this awhile back but then I found "my thing". I teach children and work with kids and absolutely love it. I also love music and reading and counseling other people.

Becky said...

Interesting question. I've actually been thinking about that lately. I think that "my thing" is presentation, but not in a shallow way. I like to work hard on making things (home, scrapbook, blog, journal) look and be nice. I think about how I address myself to others. I consider what the best way to handle situations are. I am concerned with how my son will best be taught the important things in life. I love Photoshop, taking pictures and writing. I love cooking, but always want to remember the dish by taking pictures, which means it needs to look nice. I want to be my own life's souvenir.

Thanks for making me think more. I hope you like the soliloquoy.

Are You Serious! said...

♥ I don't think I have a thing... I don't have one thing that I do? hard questions! ;)

Anonymous said...

I think that creativity is one of your gifts as well as humor, thoughtfulness, insightfulness (not sure if that's really a word, but you get what I mean, right?) and excellent taste in books, clothes and home decor. You are also an incredible wife and mother. I'm not sure how you'd roll up all of those things into being one "thing", but they are definitely things I think of when I think of you. Maybe it's as simple as that you are very good at being Natalie in all your unique and amazing glory. You are a very special person indeed and I feel very blessed to call you my friend.

Natalie Jane said...

Seriously the sweetest thing "Anonymous".





That chocolate forward you sent today was freaky.

Anonymous said...

Every word is true, my dear! :)

Harley Dee said...

I've struggled with this too. Seems like everyone I know has a calling. I mean, I love to bake and do cakes, but I'm not fantabulous at it. Makes me feel like I should be great at something, you know? :)

Canadiachik said...

I grew up an athlete...but as a mom of 3 wouldn't consider myself that now! And really, I don't think I would choose 'athlete' as a defining characteristic.

When my husband and I talked about this recently, we defined 'our thing' as that which we DO that most fills our depleted buckets and makes us feel like ourselves.

For him; sharing and enjoying great music, movies, and strategic games with people close to him.

For me it was tough to narrow down. I seem to do a little of everything - sew, cook, entertain, craft, sport; although none of these things incredibly well or all the time.
What means the most to me? Thoughtful service and sincere friendship. I love to gather people together, be it couples, large parties, just the gals, or small moms groups to relax, relate and laugh at the mundane. In a sense, these are my 'things'!

It's easy to find thing labels for some people whose talents are physically obvious, but perhaps the rest of us have talents and/or interests that are more emotional and harder to nail down with one word.

April said...

I think it depends on the season of life you're in...

I could listen to Emily sing and play guitar for hours when we were in high school and college- but now she hardly plays- I always used to think that was her "thing" until we became best friends- she is so much more to me now- I still think she should sing and play more though-

Brett, Juliann, and Mae said...

I was thinking about this a few days ago. My mother growing up would often yell at my siblings and I and then complain about how she didn't know who she was. Then she would say "I am just a mother." How interesting, that I have only ever wanted to be a mother. Now that I am a mother of a 10 month old, I do see how important it is to have your own identity other than your child's mom. I hope if people do think I have a thing, it would be hosting fun events/a house that loves people in it.

Jill said...

i suppose my "thing" would be my love of {graphic} design. i design things in my head while i lie in bed at night. it's sometimes a curse, especially when i just want to relax and turn my brain off! but i'm glad i have found a hobby/stay-at-home-job doing what i love!

Jill said...

p.s. i believe your "thing" is a true gift for writing!

:)

Lisa said...

I agree with Jill (above), that you have a talent for writing Natalie.

What happened to "Natalie's Essays"? I really enjoyed your stories!!

Natalie Jane said...

Natalie's Essays are now just part of this blog. There are links to a few of them on my righthand sidebar. That is sweet you like my little stories :)

Gilbert Family said...

I am still looking for "my thing" There are lots of things I like to do, see, hear, read, etc...but those things don't define me. I am a mom (which is someTHING I absolutely love) and I am a wife(another wonderful THING) but if someone were asked to describe me (without giving physical details or details of my family) I think they would draw a blank. I have a SIL who is an icredible dancer...that's her THING, I have a friend that can sing the phonebook and it sounds AMAZING...her THING. I guess I just am associating "things" with incredible talents and that is what I am lacking. I am so excited for my journey of finding it though. I want to "test the waters" on a lot of different THINGS and decide which one is going to be mine :)

Gilbert Family said...

GREAT post by the way!

Mooshii said...

I just wanted to say, I found your blog when looking at pictures on google images, and your blog just happened to be a host site for one, so I started to read it bc it looked beautiful, and I have to say...although I don't know you, your "thing" is that you are an incredible wife and mother. Just from reading a few posts I can tell that.

I can only hope that one day I will be blessed in the same way as you and be as wonderful a mother as you are.

Lovely blog and I am not proudly a follower. :-)

Holly from the UK :-)

Natalie Jane said...

Hello Holly! Thanks for your nice comment. And in the spirit of the UK....http://shane-natalie.blogspot.com/2009/06/proper-ladys-tea.html

Molly said...

Haha oh Natalie. I could name a million things that are your "thing." When I look at your life I feel mine is so boring because you make your life so creative, and interesting. Its like reading a magazine on mothers who have it made, but not just a mother. I always tell wayne that I wish I was more like you but know I never will be. Your thing, is making the simplest things art, and making everything around you beautiful. Plus you make it look so easy, but everyone knows its not. Yeah that may not sound like a thing. And this might now make sense but to me it does. You have MANY MANY things.
Now my thing.... have no idea. Asked wayne... yeah he just gave me compliments, not things. So i have nothing. I did in high school but not now.

Natalie Jane said...

Molly, are you kidding?

Not only can you claim that your thing is that you are good at EVERY sport, but that you are the most likable person imaginable. And you are hilarous. And you have the best ugly face, second only to Emily.

Misty said...

I guess I write as one of "my things." I am always writing poems, essays, or stories at the drop of a hat. I enjoy photography very much though and hope that can become my thing!
As far as you are concerned, you seem like a gal that has it all! I admire you very much and read every post you make! You make everything look so beautiful. I am so glad I met you through blogging and would be thrilled to meet you one day in person. We are only a couple hours away from one another!
Keep up the great work!

Rachel said...

Hmm that's a hard question... I guess what everyone says my "thing" is it i'm funny. I love to make people laugh and i'm constantly being silly that's just who I am.

I would definitely say your thing is you're always making something fabulous in the kitchen!

kristi lee said...

hmmm...we've discussed this before. i know my thing is music. i just wonder if it's really my "thing" if i do nothing with it? i feel like my "someday i'll use it" time is running out. or maybe just my "marketability time" is running out. hello...getting old here!!!!!!

Madeline and Family said...

I wouldn't say random blogging per say. You can tell a lot about you from your blog. Even if it is random, I would have thought you planned it out (because it is so neat). My friend that reads your blog to told me that your blog looks so professional (I agree). But, in no way does that define my cousin. I agree with your husband and I love your blog.

Anonymous said...

I feel like I have yet to define my thing but I know what characteristics, natural skills, etc that it will compliment. I have a knack for anything creative/artistic.... from jewlery to photagraphy to sketching to painting...etc. My biggest obstacle is patience and disipline. I have the passion...but need to weed out all the distractions in my life that keep me from fine tuneing that "thing" that I'm passionate about and gives me geniune pleasure and reward.

As for the Anonymous comment: That was beautiful. Someone is very fond of you and appreciates all that you have to offer. I think that is a big part of your "thing" is to be recognized and appreciated for those unique abilities and characteristics.

I wonder if this anonymous might be that college boyfriend? If so sounds like he has realised how much you are worth over just your gorgeous hair :)

Natalie Jane said...

I doubt it. :)

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