"There is nothing so agonizing to the fine skin of vanity as the application of a rough truth." -- Edward Bulwer-Lytton
I used to wish, for the sake of my pretty friends with "pretty person syndrome," that upon them would befall some sort of disfiguring but not painful accident so that they would then be forced to develop those "other" parts of their person that have nothing at ALL to do with appearance.
Being pretty is a handicap to personality more often than not (the exceptions being very few and far between in my experience).
For this reason, I thank the pudgy stars that I grew up fat. My sense of self worth has very little to do with how I look. It matters, but not as much as how I treat the people in my life and what I contribute to the world around me and those in it in my own little, yet currently plumpy way. Just a thought.
My time with our visiting friends yesterday was just as inspiring as I thought it would be!!! John said, "Barbarella, dare to be great. Because not many other people will." And then he gave me tons of guidance and suggestions on how to further my career.
These are words that have been echoing in my head since then. What does "great" mean to me? To do my best and stay true to myself in the face of all challenges. To continue to grow and change and consider all feedback, even though I may initially want to disagree with or dispell any feedback that seems critical. If we're going to grow, we need to learn how to listen to criticism, how to properly process criticism, and how to change in ways that may improve us as people.
I do not think I am a great writer. But I think I can be. And I look forward to learning as much as I can in ways that will improve and hone my writing skills and style.
There are a lot of ways in which I can improve, and I hope there always will be as long as I live. Because, as my father says, if you've nothing left to learn, why are you still here? Life is a process. You can fight it and bitch and moan about what you're not, what you haven't done, what you don't have, or you can embrace what you have, who you are, be STOKED about it, and go from there.
My life is AWESOME. BUT, reflecting on my journals, I am surprised to find that I thought the same thing before I met David -- before I fell in love with the perfect man for me, before we moved into a fabulous penthouse, before I was doing what I love for a living.
Five years ago, when I was moving in with my father after losing my job, a month after learning of my cousin's death in the falling towers, I journaled about how lucky I was to have a place to go until I found another job. I wrote about how awesome my life was, because I had friends and family and ambition. I wrote about how lucky I was that no one close to me had a life-threatening disease, that I had working arms and legs and the ability and smarts to get back on my own two feet. I wrote about the beauty of transition and pondered optimistically about what was to come once I crawled out of the rubble of a tough time.
Why am I telling you this? Because you need to know, I NEED you to know, that happiness is not conditional. I am happy with my life, but not for the reasons you may think. I have always been happy with my life because I have always strived to find things to be happy about. Yeah, it's easier to do now, or at least it seems that way. But looking back through my writing, I never had a problem finding things to be happy about, regardless of my circumstances.
David says this makes me a glass-half-full type of person. I say, that's the way to go unless you want to make your way through this world as one miserable, constantly-unsatisfied wretch. The one fact of life I am sure of is that happiness is a choice.
And this has been the word of the Barb.