Reschooling Tool #10: Self-Reflective Forwards

I haven’t done one of these internet forwards in ages, but they are oh-so entertaining. I prefer to think of them not as “a waste of hours of my life,” but rather “an important opportunity for self-reflection.”

Though they can be as self-indulgent as a love letter to yourself, forwards like this are actually helpful for regularly practicing introspection and recognizing what makes you an interesting person. Plus, they’re awesome for procrastinating what you’re actually supposed to be doing right now. Enjoy.


(This is a Facebook forward, so I’ve adjusted the terminology a bit.) These are the directions: When someone sends this to you, you have to write down 16 random things, shortcomings, facts, habits or goals about you. At the end choose 16 people to be send this to, listing their names and why you chose them. You have to send this to the person who sent it to you.

1. Since I can remember, I’ve planned my day around food. At age four, when I’d arrive at day care in the morning, I’d eat a bowl of sugar cereal and then immediately ask what was for lunch. Today, half of my online status updates describe what I’m eating, in mouth-watering detail.

2. I’m perpetually messy. I started reading a book that said messiness stems from self-neglect and self-denial, but it got buried under a stack of dirty laundry.

3. When I’m feeling down, a Sex & the City episode and choice Jack Handey quote will fix everything. Their curative powers are enhanced by free-flowing wine.

4. After six years of really not wanting any more school, I’m surprised to be thinking about going back. I want to research this “reschooling” business, as well as how new media affects human development, learning, and relationships. Hypothesis 1: It doesn’t count as quality time if two people are in the same room, but glued to their respective laptops. It MIGHT count if they’re instant messaging each other.

5. I’ve recently realized that at age 28, I say “like” a lot less than I did at 21, and end fewer statements with a question mark.

6. Books are both my greatest love and the bane of my existence. I tend to buy books and then resent them for taunting me with all the knowledge they contain. For this reason, I recently gave away half of my personal library, which was almost as painful as donating a kidney. Almost.

7. I get anxious if I don’t have something to write with at all times.

8. I tend to think, “I could never do anything but THIS” (e.g. live in the Bay Area, work for a nonprofit, etc.), but I usually think the same thing about whatever I happen to be doing, wherever I happen to be.

9. When I’m supposed to make an important decision or pack for a trip, I eat lots of dark chocolate instead.

10. I’m working on getting out of my head more often. If I weren’t so lost in thought, I could actually listen to an entire radio broadcast or get to know San Francisco. It’s not uncommon for me to excitedly point something out to a friend, who replies, “That’s been there for months.”

11. Without meaning to, I frown when I’m thinking about something and am starting to develop deep furrows in my brow.

12. In the next few years, I want to live on the same property as my friends and share spaces like an art room, a workshop, a library, and a costume closet. And maybe a room exclusively for 90s dance parties.

13. One of my guilty pleasures is trashy celebrity magazines. The other day I saw the cover of US Weekly and said with disgust, ” ‘Angelina Reveals Bedroom Secrets?’ Oh, please.” After a pause, I grabbed the magazine and said, “Well, now I’m curious!”

14. If I could invent anything, it would be an instant human energy recharger. If video game characters can get a burst of life force so easily, why can’t we? Oh, and I’d invent a world peace machine, too, just in case you thought I was being selfish.

15. These are my favorite smells: bread or cookies baking in the oven, pine trees, men’s cologne, jasmine, fresh rain, and laundry.

16. I could analyze people’s behavior all day, every day. Oh, right. I already do.


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