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What’s Wrong With Your Face?

I just returned from a weeklong writer’s conference. I’m exhilarated, exhausted and happy.

It was a wonderful experience, and I met fabulous people. I learned a lot about myself, and I got a lot of great feedback on the book I’ve been writing. The best news is that I pitched my proposal and an agent wants to see it.

My head is spinning. I spent the week reaching beyond. I’m all for stepping out of the comfort zone, but never have I encountered it in such an intense way. I looked at the conference as a means to try new things even if it meant I may not be entirely comfortable with the process.

I spontaneously read an excerpt from my book, The Covert Actions of Control Top Pantyhose, during an open mic event at a local coffee house. I was so nervous I wanted to puke, but it was validating to feel the crowd’s energy.

I’ve been on an interesting journey this week that has been the source of much reflection. Since I lost weight, I have really been trying to figure out who I am, where I want to go and how I want to travel. At times, I feel like I have a handle on this, but then something reminds me of how far I have to go.

For instance, I know I must work on meshing my self-image with what others see. Part of this realization came as people complimented my work, but then they discounted their own. Being thrown into a group of strangers, we all make quick assumptions about the people we meet, which don’t necessarily convey the true essence of who we believe ourselves to be.

I felt like I was making great progress accepting affirmation from these people, but a new friend called me on something that made me examine my actions. At dinner one evening she paid me a compliment, and I felt pretty good that I accepted it with a simple thank you, no discounting, or so I thought. She paused and asked, “Melissa why did you crinkle up your face when I said something nice about you?”

Ouch! I never realized I did that. She went on to say something to the effect that I was beautiful and had a lot of talent. Shit, she sounded just like my mom, only this woman shared no womb bond with me. She wouldn’t accept a sarcastic quip. Now what?

I have to say it was a squirmy moment. This week gave me a glimpse of the way others perceive me, and it made me realize that perhaps I have more to bring to the table than what I readily accept on a daily basis.

After that moment, I realized the number of times that I scrunched up my face. There are lots of ways to discount ourselves, and I guess my mom was right when she said, “wipe that look of your face.”

Have a great weekend!


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