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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Anne Martin

April Ludgate is my Spirit Animal

If you've seen Parks and Recreation, you've been introduced to April Ludgate, exquisitely played by Aubrey Plaza. If you haven't seen Parks and Recreation - stop reading this and go watch it - NOW! Seriously, it's hilarious, charming, very clever, I could go on... Anyway, April. She's not what you'd call a people person. She's snarky and rough around the edges. But once you get close to her, she's fiercely protective and compassionate. She also has a fondness for animals - specifically dogs.

So, yes, April Ludgate is my spirit animal. I'm similar to her with my introverted personality. I don't go out of my way to make friends - in fact, it's very difficult for me to do. People tend to suck my energy and solitude re-energizes me. I am highly sarcastic and tend to have a realistic view of the world, though some people may say it's pessimistic at best. But I love very deeply and will cut anyone who harms those close to me. I also love dogs - go figure.

So why bring this up today, and why compare myself to a character that on the outside seems like an unlikable person? As an exercise in self-acceptance. Getting older, I've come to realize without self-acceptance and love of yourself, you hinder any progress and you stop yourself from achieving things you might otherwise try. Publicly writing, for instance. As a writer, we're called to open our hearts and let the world see our wounds. It's nearly impossible to do that if you don't accept who you are, own it, and use your strengths to help explore the themes and stories you want to tell.

Self-acceptance isn't just important for writers, or "creative" people, though. Owning and accepting who you are will further you along no matter what career or stage of life you're in. Trust me, I am no where near 100% there yet, and just because I own certain traits doesn't mean I'm not still working to improve myself. Small talk, as painful as it is, has gotten a smidge easier, but I know I have a long way to go.

My point is, don't shy away from who you are. Own it and show the world.


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