If I could describe myself in three words, I believe it would be the following:

  1. goofy
  2. loyal
  3. good-sense-of-humor-having*

However, I’m afraid the stresses that come about from being a self-diagnosed workaholic that spreads herself too thin by attempting to also balance an unreasonably busy social life have slowly been turning me into less of the person one would expect to meet from the three descriptors listed above and more into a snarky, high-strung, debbie downer.

I don’t like that Amanda. I dislike it so much that I refer to myself in the third person when I am like that. It’s honestly not representative of me at all, so I can’t fathom it’s becoming a common perception of me, something one would describe me upon first meeting. It’s almost repulsive.

I’m also slowly making changes to combat it, too. One of these attempts, though it may seem silly, is a little hashtag I’ve been using more & more often. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll occasionally see that I use the tag #happypanda. It’s my excuse to share something positive, whether it’s the love I have for my city, or getting to spend time with those I love, even tweeting that it’s a pretty day.

Where’d this come from? The “panda” bit has has been a nickname used by various people throughout the years, especially my sister. But in the past six months or so this nickname has picked up steam with various people, including those I work with and new friends. From “Apanda” to “Panda Pants” it seems the panda nickname will never leave. And I’m absolutely fine with that. Nicknames are used to create a sense of belonging, sort of like an inside joke, or communicate a higher level of comfort between people. When people feel comfortable enough to call me a nickname of that sort, it makes me, well…happy.

In an effort to not only be happier, but communicate that I am, in fact, that goofy, good-sense-of-humor-having Amanda that I claim to be, I am making a conscious effort to show people this side of myself. #happypanda is just one attempt, but it’s a start.

*Don’t knock #3, if it has tons of hyphens it totally counts as one word.

I Tweet, You Tweet.