Self awareness is a beautiful and ugly thing, based on the eyes of the beholder. I struggle every day with this awareness. I grit my teeth on days when I am not feeling great, I smile on days when I do. In our own ways, we struggle, I STRUGGLE.
This small incident is about this pretty cute child, a kid who made me feel good.
Let’s clear a couple of things first:
I don’t like looking into mirrors and taking selfies. I never have and I don’t think I ever will. I should get some credit for trying though. I have an acute self awareness of why that is but that is a matter for another day perhaps.
I am not a moody person, like at all. A simple calm, smile or laugh is always there with me on the surface, no matter the turmoil inside. I always know what I want and how I want it. There is no, ‘feel like it’ factor, contrary to whatever I might say.
It was one such day last week- a day of turmoils. I wasn’t feeling so good. My heart would beat out into my ears until it gave way to a headache. I went about my usual activities, cleaning, cooking, sitting ideal staring out the window with a pen in hand and a blank paper on my desk, going for a swim or walk in the evening depending on what I or my husband wants to do that day, watching television and making casual conversations here and there. It wasn’t visible, it never is!
But to me, it was all visible for I did nothing productive that day and neither did I try to be be better. A small kid came along to do that job for me. It was just another day and the girl was exiting the pool area while I was entering it. We were at the door. I opened the door to let them out first, ‘She is pretty.’ the girl said instantly.
I heard it and I didn’t react. Truthfully, I was zoned out! The mother, perhaps thinking that I didn’t hear it, repeated it to me. This time it did register.
‘She says you are pretty.’ My face split into a smile and I brought myself to her height then and looked at her. Really looked!
‘You are prettier.’ I told her and she skipped away with her mother happily.
I was still reeling from the compliment. I say reeling and not relishing because I have no idea whatsoever how to digest compliments (or critics for that matter) and her innocent impromptu left me stunned. Now, I know people say good things all the time but I don’t believe half the things people say but when a child says it, you got to believe it. There is no other way to it.
Mind you, pretty was probably the last thing on my mind that day, walking around the area in my night shirt and pjs with my usually smooth hair going haywire (courtesy of no combing). It is also the only time I have ever been called pretty compared to many close minded compliments I have grown tired of in the past.
Maybe on other days, it won’t have made an impact but I was suffering from image issues that day. And I know I am blessed with many things others wish to have and I am thankful for it, but it doesn’t wash away my problems of self image.