Remember who you are…

I have a Dolly Parton quote hanging over my desk.  It says “find out who you are and do it on purpose.”  I can remember writing that on a piece of note paper at a hotel the week after I graduated from medical school.  (That’s been a few years ago…)

At that point, if felt as though I was still looking for me.  Still figuring out who I was and what I was supposed to be when I grew up. 

The interesting thing these days is that I spend more time looking at the girl I was even before medical school, college or high school when looking for some insights into who I am. 

There is a lot of truth in the innocence of childhood – all of our favorites and not-so-favorites.  The things that made us happy at that point in life, set aside for the bigger responsibilities of adulthood, can provide just as much joy now if we give them a second chance.

Yes, I’m a little introspective today…so let’s land this plane a little. 

I always find it fascinating to recall or hear stories of the foods I liked and didn’t like as a kid. 

Just heard this one for the first time (that I recall) the other day.  When I was two, my mom took me out for my very first ice cream cone.  She bought me the ice cream and an unsweet iced tea for herself.  (Midwest in the ‘70s – who knew from sweet tea?!)  We settled in for our snack.  I took one bite of the ice cream and then handed it to her and took her tea.  Didn’t want the ice cream. 

It was about two years later when mom figured out that I was allergic to milk. 

I recall hating tomatoes with a passion!  They were slimy!  At least that’s what I complained about.  Looking back now, I know tomatoes are full of histamine (that protein that does some cool stuff in the body, but also causes allergies) and I was a kid with serious allergies!  Adding the histamine in the food was enough to make me feel icky.

Green peas were my nemesis.  And what is it about green peas?  Also full of histamine.  And they slow down an enzyme in your gut that metabolizes dietary histamine. 

I’ll tell on myself, though.  I was not some brilliant kid.  I loved strawberries!  And spinach!  They were my favorite foods as a kid and they are both full of histamine.  So it’s not a full-proof approach to food sensitivities and allergies.  (This will not be included in my soon-to-be-available Comprehensive Guide to Food Allergy and Sensitivity Testing!)

But looking back to what you liked and didn’t like as a kid can give you some insights into what may or may not serve you well now. 

And that could be with foods, hobbies, work or relationships.  I think I may take to changing Dolly’s quote a bit – Remember who you are and do it on purpose. 

Sixty-Second Self-Care Tip...

Ask someone who knew you “when”, either as a little one or some other time in your life which you mark as significant, to tell you a favorite story about you at that time.  It can be awkward and embarrassing.  But listen to the story without expectation.  Listen to the words they use…not the ones you would use to tell the story if you know it. 

After listening to one story – what did you learn about yourself? 


60-second self-care, definitions, Dolly Parton, histamine, resilience, Your Story

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