"There came a moment in my life when I realized that I had stepped into another part of my life. I used to walk into a room full of people and think, do they like me? And one day I walk in and I thought, do I like them?"- Victoria Principal
I had that moment this weekend at a pottery convention. Yes, I did.
Some folks may or may not know that my cousins own a pottery store. Each year, they put on a mini convention in which pottery store owners from across the country come to learn about new techniques and products, socialize, share information, etc. My cousins are always generous enough to invite me to join them because overall, it's a GREAT time. And while these conventions are fun, they tend to be NERVE WRACKING for me. Creative types can be intimidating. I would be so worried about whether I was good enough to be there. I would think about my hair and my clothes and my weight. Was I smart enough? Was I worldly enough? Was I successful enough? Was I artist enough? All my answers would normally be a quiet-as-a-mouse, "no."
But this weekend, I felt differently. This weekend, I walked into the room feeling as if I was every bit as good as those creative types who manage to make a living doing what they love. Just. As. GOOD. Different, but equal. And that was okay with me.
Each year that I attend, I offer to bring cupcakes for the meal that they serve on Saturday night. I love doing it, and was eager to get a chance to flex my baking muscles.
When I proudly presented my cupcakes to the group of people, most people were enthusiastic and offered many kind remarks about my baking abilities. It was nice to be appreciated and recognized. Who doesn't like a good pat on the back now and then?
A bit later, as a woman was standing in front of the cupcakes, trying to decide which one to take, another woman walked over to advise her. This cupcake authority blurted out, "Oh, don't take that 'breakfast for dinner' cupcake. It wasn't very good at all." She knew that I'd made those cupcakes, and still proceeded to explain that it didn't knock her socks off and that it wasn't worth the calories. I was a little taken aback at the comment, truth be told. But, I managed to grin wide and reply, "Well, that cupcake is a bit of an acquired taste." Thankfully, she walked away as quickly as she'd approached the table.
In years past, I would have melted into a pile of depression on the floor in the face of such a criticism. I would have quickly left the room, had a good cry, and taken every single word to heart.
But this year was different. This year, I truly let it roll right off my back. It was still rude and annoying, but I didn't care about her point of view. Perhaps it was because there were other people eating that exact same cupcake and raving about how delicious it was. Perhaps it was because she isn't exactly the most diplomatic person I've ever met. Either way, I didn't care. I DID NOT CARE.
At that very moment, I knew that I'd turned a corner. Will I always be able to brush things like that off? Probably not. But for once, I didn't give a shit what she thought about me or my cupcakes. For today, it just didn't matter. She was irrelevant to me, and that felt good.
Way to go,me. Way. To. Go.