I always tell people that it's so much easier to be truly excited when good things happen to my friends than it is to get all stupid giddy on my own behalf. It's not that I don't want good things in my life, because I do. It's more that I think tooting the proverbial horn sits right up there with looking in a mirror and forcing myself to focus only on the good I see instead of automatically groaning about the circumference of my ass. This is, I assume, the same bullshit conditioning we are programmed with that makes it seem perfectly natural to gush about how lovely and beautiful our friends are and tell them to just STAHP IT when they reply with the expected disparaging remarks about crows feet or gray hairs or muffin tops.
Of course, we don't usually realize how utterly blocked we are...how unnaturally , well, natural it all is -- so much so that I still can't stop myself from doing it WHILE IT IS HAPPENING -- to forgo simple thank-you's when we are complimented. Instead, we wave away the positive we insisted our friends recognize within themselves because "It's Just Different, OKAY?"
Thank you would be weird; pompous, even. Proper ladies are supposed to be humble and never boastful. So we downplay everything from the promotion we busted our asses for finally happens to shining from the inside out in a favorite dress. We'd be the first to tell our friends not to say exactly what we do when we respond to their pretty words with frowns and ironic laughter. "This Old Thing? You can't be serious. But look at YOU. You look great!"
You see, I have good news to share. Big news to share. So far, I've privately told a few close friends and felt my brain short-circuit on itself when I realized Thank You changes everything and needed to be the only response I am going to allow myself. Thank You is powerful because those two words show ownership, confidence, and awareness of our strengths, talents, and hard work. Thank you is you telling me that I have incredible eyes and me smiling back because I happen to think I have incredible eyes, too.
Thank you is power.
I want to own that.
I high-five myself every single time I tell Eliana that I am proud of her or that I love her hair or compliment another purposefully mismatched outfit and she smiles back and says "Thank you." I always want for her to be as unapologetic and confident as she is right this very minute.
So when I tell you that I am proud to announce the inclusion of one of my essays in Sarah Fader's Stigma Fighters anthology (to be published by BookTrope, and you tell me how excited you are for me because you are my friend and you know how hard I have busted my ass SINCE I WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD to make this happen?
You can bet your sweet ass I'm owning that.
And when I tell you that I am honored to be speaking at the 2015 Lifestyle Blogger National Conference (#LBNC15) in LA, Feb 19-22, I truly and honestly AM honored to have been selected by community founder and conference creator Ana-Lydia Ochoa-Monaco?
Fuck Mercury and retrograde.
Thank you is also the only appropriate response to your heartfelt excitement for me (because you know I'd be just as excited for you!) when I tell you that I learned today of my nomination for a TECLA award for Best Parenting Blogger. I'm waiting patiently for Hispanicize to announce the finalists and if I'm there, I suppose I'll be looking for plane fare to Miami for the 2015 conference. If not, it's all good. I've got my big girl 'chonis on.
I am being recognized by my peers for my work. That feels really fucking good.
And when I say that I still haven't wrapped my mind around the fact that Booktrope accepted my manuscript for publication -- the one I started writing back on Eliana's 2nd birthday -- I'm being honest because I haven't. The working title is Baby Fat: Adventures in Motherhood, Muffin Tops, and Trying to Stay Sane, and guess what? Not only will I say Thank You for your kind words, I'll tell you that it's about damned time someone was smart enough to recognize my talents because I'm a good writer.
I'll say it again.
I'm a good writer. I have a book deal. (Oh my God, I have a book deal!)
Thank you for believing in me.