I’m going to admit that my day started off great, and then a dip in the road has me feeling a little blue. Yes, I am allowed to feel upset, even as bubbly as I am, I have my days and this is one of them. But, no matter, I am going to get through it like the fabulous diva I am.
This post couldn’t have come at a better time. We place a lot of emphasis on what other people think about us, “do you think I’m cute?”, “how does this look on me?”, “what did you think of my article?”, “did you like my cooking? does it taste good?” The validation we seek at times can be a double-edged sword. It can be uplifting or borderline co-dependency.
The challenge for today (cue drum roll)–
Day 8: The Last Time You Smiled When Someone Complimented You. What Was the Compliment and Why Did You Smile?
I’ve received a tremendous amount of support from friends, family, acquaintances, online communities, and complete strangers. It is uplifting to have a group of cheerleaders on the sideline rooting for you, you feel like, “heck yeah! I’m a champ! I got this!” It’s when you become dependent on this validation that it can be dangerous to your self-esteem. That’s why I picked the last compliment that made me smile from a complete stranger. Here’s how the story unfolded…
I was browsing through my local Lane Bryant store, checking out the new maxi dresses and swimwear. I was wearing a geometric print tank top, some dark blue jean shorts, and a straw fedora hat. I’d just finished trying on a tankini in the dressing room while snapping a picture with the #ImNoAngel. Feeling confident, like I could take on the world with my tankini, I wanted to bust out the “I’m the king of the world!” Leonardo Dicaprio-style move. So, as I headed to check-out, I was already feeling all kinds of goody vibes. Then, my eyes met with a woman, around 50-60 years of age, and she looked at me so warmly. She simply said, “Cute hat!” and I smiled and said softly “Thanks”. That’s it.
That happened over two months ago. I’ve received compliments since then and smiled. But, I picked this encounter above the rest to convey a powerful message about self-love. I didn’t know this woman, she didn’t know me. Two strangers whose eyes met at a store they both loved shopping at, a safe haven for big beautiful women. In this space, you feel safe to try on swimsuits, sleeveless dresses, and ask the attendant for assistance with your bra size or measurements. You breathe a sigh of relief. I can just be me right now.
When I let go of any worry about what someone is going to think of me trying on this bathing suit or dress, I can just play and have fun. So, I took selfies in the dressing room and let my guard down. I uplifted myself. I empowered myself. I complimented myself. When I walked out of that dressing room, I was the king of my world. I didn’t need anyone else to tell me I looked cute or sexy. I simply was. When my eyes met with that woman, I was already smiling, already feeling good. What here words offered for me is what many champs experience when they’ve scored that point, a cheerleader, a supporter, and someone who is saying, “Hey you go girl! You got it! I see you!” If this woman hadn’t complimented me, I’d still feel beautiful, I’d still be okay. But, it’s an added plus to know that there are women who will support you in your journey, who recognize your beauty without causing them to devalue their own.
XOXO Chica Rosita