An Essay

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Anyone who knows me well knows I love spinning a yarn, whether it’s from personal experience or just made up out of some notion that passed through my corpus callosum traveling from one hemisphere of the ‘TK brain’ to the other. Lately I’ve been trying to focus more on casting some positivity out into the world, hoping I’d land a fish who needed to hear it. I think my Pollyanna Syndrome started in response to all the negative we see and hear on the news and in social media. It got me to thinking about what I would say to my kid self if I had the opportunity…

“Theresa, you’re not pretty. And guess what? It’s gonna get worse. You can’t stop it. And all your pretty friends are going to go through the same process you will. None of you have the power to control it unless you spend eighty bazillion dollars at the plastic surgeon’s office, so get over it.

You do have the power to change what people see, though. And for that, you’ll need smarts, a sense of humor, and humility.

Learn all you can. You don’t have to be Albert Einstein’s sister, but use every ounce of gray matter in that brain. Be curious about the world. Read something other than Teen Beat. Watch something on TV besides sitcoms. None of that crap is real, anyway. Study hard at whatever you choose as your vocation. Concentrate on educating yourself about things that are not part of your work life, too. Watch a documentary. Read history books. Visit museums and take in concerts, and not just one kind of music.  Absorb it all and savor it. It will give you confidence about your own place in the world. It will make you a better conversationalist. And because you’re interested in other humans, you’ll be better able to empathize with them and their own struggles. People worth knowing won’t care about your face when you have something interesting to say or an open heart to listen.

Laugh a lot. Laugh at yourself, laugh at the world. Life’s too short to be so serious all the time. Skip the drama. It’s an energy-suck. If you know that early enough, you can improve your resilience. Never laugh at anyone. Always laugh with them. Remember, you could be the next roast rotating over the spit.

That brings me to humility. Know your worth, but don’t inflate it. Remember to be the first to give credit to someone else when things go good and the first to take the blame when things go wrong on your watch. Yes, be confident, but keep a humble heart.

So that’s the bulk of it. Smarts, humor, humility. You can do it.

Keep lifting others up, even when people call you Pollyanna . You always wanted to be a cheerleader, so be one. Heck, for this, you don’t even have to do the splits. Bonus!”

I like to think I would have listened…

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