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The one thing I enjoy the most about getting older is discovering me. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what it is that makes me, Me. I’ve taken many tests (color tests, personality tests, numerology-you name it) to try and come up with a sense of who exactly I am. I’ve always been pleasantly surprised at the end of one of these tests. Because they helped explain the person I already knew I was but couldn’t put into words. When you understand who you are and what makes you tick or smile, you live life a bit fuller. Recently, I realized that I am a true competitor. It’s not other people I enjoy competing with, it’s, myself. For as long as I could remember I always competed with myself. I challenge myself with the silliest unimportant things. An example of one of these situations happens while I am waiting tables. When I notice the customer is finished eating, I immediately ask if I could take the dishes away. Partly because I was trained to this (at the higher scale restaurant) and mainly because when they get up to leave the game begins. If I cannot clear the entire table with one swipe I get annoyed with myself. It’s not because I’m lazy and don’t want to return to the table to clear the rest. It’s because I know there’s a system that will allow me to completely clean the clutter in one shot. The cups we use are plastic and are easily stackable. The dishes all place inside each other neatly and silverware can be placed inside the red plastic cups. All seasonings can be placed in the bread-basket. If the basket becomes too full, I can stick a ketchup bottle or salt shaker inside my apron pocket. I bend my left arm and tuck the cups into the inside crease, which acts as a pocket. My left hand balances all dishes and with my right hand I gather all of the place mats, empty straw papers and any opened sugar packets. I throw all extra debris on top of one place mat and roll all of the garbage into a tube, which I then carry away with my right hand. When I see the table absolutely cleared I get a feeling of perfection. I walk away with a grin on my face. I just won the competition. Sometimes I even feel a bit smug. The times I begin to get over confident are usually shattered when one of the dishes fall to the floor turning every person’s eyes on me. I smirk then laugh at myself out of sheer embarrassment. My inner voice taunts me telling me I should have paid more attention to the way I balanced the plates. The funny thing is, I remember stacking the dishes and thinking I should probably fix this but then thought nah I’ll make it. The only thing I ended up making was noise. But I did learn another thing about myself. Sometimes I take shortcuts when really I should be enjoying the drive.  

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