Sum yourself up in 3 words

What makes us human is that we’re made of multiple parts – and not just physically. So when someone asks me to define myself in three words, I always feel fake in my answer – because how can you describe yourself in three words? How can you fit all that is you in three measly, little words?

Let’s take an example. We’ll call her Jackie, who is good at sports. Yet that’s not the whole of Jackie. Jackie is also terrible at Maths and Science and English, but she has a knack for IT. When she was at school, she was the one who could fix the computer or sort out the projector when it wasn’t working. Jackie has a loving mother and father, a father who isn’t her biological father but a father all the same. Jackie eats meat but doesn’t like to say that, despite the fact that steak is her favourite dinner. Jackie is also in love with a man called Brian, who thinks she’s crazy but wonderful. You could label her as any of these things: Jackie who is good at sports, Jackie the computer whiz kid, Jackie with the step-dad, Jackie the meat-eater, Jackie who’s in love with Brian. She’s not a 2D character, she’s human. A person. Made of multiple parts.

So you see? That’s why it annoys me when I’m asked to sum myself up in three words, because there’s so much more to me than three words. I’m Eleanor. I do Classics with English at university. I adore reading and books and love to write as much as I love to read. I spend more money on books than clothes, and sometimes vent about my feelings on the internet. I have two brilliant parents and an older brother who goes to the same university as me, and no, I didn’t follow him here. I have a dog that I love and take too many pictures of, posting them on social media. I can make conversation with a stranger no problem and I like making people happy. I love to travel, even though I’ve hardy travelled. I prefer picnics to parties and like sunshine but sometimes also rain.

So when you’re asked to just give three words, how do you pick? Yes, I’m a hard worker and friendly student, but I’m also always talking and don’t particularly like silence. I like talking so much that I often find myself talking loudly and sometimes I’ll cut myself off, because I’m paranoid that I’ve been talking so long that people won’t like me as much. I feel like a constantly changing person, loud and joking for one friend, then a quiet advisor for another, depending on what they need and what makes them happy. I doubt myself at least forty times a day, no less sometimes more, and always feel kind of average. I hate cat callers but also feel slightly more confident after a wolf whistle, although I hate them just as much. I’m conflicted. Even my hair is conflicted; parts straight, sometimes curly, mostly wavy, and always a combination of the three. I’m terrible at make-up but when I get it right I take so many pictures as a reminder that I can look pretty, but then feel so vain ten minutes later that I’ll delete every single one.

So don’t ask me to sum myself up in three words, because I am far more than three words could even imagine.

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