I remember the scene like it was yesterday:
We were walking the track during recess, feeling altogether too old for the jungle gym and monkey bars and swings. Soon we’d be moving on from elementary school, getting stuffed in lockers and garbage cans, passing notes and calling boys on the landline, hoping the telephone was free of younger siblings listening in.
And that’s where our story picks up (from a submitted article earlier this year):
I can pinpoint the exact moment being liked became my life’s greatest ambition: nearing the end of our 6th grade year, my classmates and I vied for various nominations – Smartest, Best Dressed, Class Clown, and, of course, Nicest. These awards mattered greatly to our 12-year-old selves, defining who we were at our deepest core, branding us for life.
Nicest was who I’d always been: I wasn’t the best at throwing the dodge ball across the gym floor, and I wasn’t the prettiest one all the boys wanted to talk to. But I could do nice. I was the best at putting on a smile, while making my rounds from group to group on the elementary school playground. I was a friend to everyone.
We were outside for recess one day when Matty, my childhood playmate, came up to me: “You know, Cara,” he said, “I would have voted for you for Nicest, but lately you’ve been a …bitch.” He whispered the last word of the sentence like he was trying it out for the first time. I stood shell-shocked, his accusation hanging in the air like the little girl on the monkey bars behind us.
Matty walked away, leaving me standing there alone. Tears brimming in my eyes, I vowed never to be called the B-word again – I would work harder, and from here on out, I’d only be voted Nicest.
The article as a whole talked about how the bravest thing I ever did was give up needing to be liked – even though it’s still this creepy, crawly internal struggle that still rears its head every once in a while.
But for me, this example, this one conversation, this one minute
memory on the elementary school playground is an example that “…nothing, in fact, is small.” Friends, you are in for a treat, as this is the theme of Guest Post Tuesdays this year. We have 44 different writers lined up to tell their stories (with room for eight more – could this be you?) – and they’re going to tell of small moments, of minuscule conversations, of glances and interactions and meals that changed them, forever.
So, get ready: check in every Tuesday. Get to know these friends and acquaintances of mine, and cheer them on like you’ve never cheered on be, mama. be content before! They’re putting their hearts on the line – and I’d love for our little community here to be their biggest fans.
What about you? What conversation, what interaction, what moment (like mine on the elementary school playground) changed you? And, more importantly, on a scale of one to a billion, how excited are you for Guest Post Tuesdays?