Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.
Yes, I just quoted Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.
Today, I am thinking that I need a “You’re Ugly” friend. You know, someone that tells you like it is and whom you can always trust to give you a useful opinion. Someone who might let you walk out in public looking ridiculous, but lets you know that she will not be going with you.
Words are funny. They are so, so important; they shape our relationships and interactions. I love words so much – I studied English with a fervor unmatched by any passion in my life. It amazes and empowers me to know that one single set of letters can provide a complete and profound understanding of a single thought. One of the first things my roommate and I bonded over was a partiality for etymology. (I know… Nerds.)
However, I also adore logic. I see words as a source of power to find the purest truth in simple forms, and I appreciate it when they are used as such. In common conversation, they are more rational than emotional to me, capable of giving me quick and efficient understanding.
If I am running off to work in sweatpants and a blouse, please don’t take the time to tell me I look lovely. I need to know that I look unprofessional and to have a skirt thrown at me before I get to the door.
Others, however, may view words in a completely different way. My roommate might think they should only and constantly be used for affirmation – an embodiment of what Gary Chapman would call her “love language.”
But there is something about listening to someone sleep-talk about how stunning you look that night – with your wet hair and old t-shirt and a toothbrush sticking out of your mouth – that makes one doubt the value of any similar, consciously-made compliments.
Tonight, I am feeling really good about myself. It was a good day, with lots of people coming up to me at a convention and being really polite, and a handsome and cool fellow (casually) asked me to grab a bite and for my number.
-In my world, that’s not unheard of I guess… but it doesn’t
happen everyday, if you know what I mean.-
I left feeling flattered, but my logical mind was saying,
“Okay, today you were somehow on-point. What’s different about you today? What makes you more attractive, engaging, or friendly, or what are you missing on other days? How can we learn from this for self-improvement?”
And none of this was self-pitying, self-deprecating, or pompous. (Or at least, it didn’t feel like it). It felt more like scientific study, and the need for an outside observer grew in my mind. It’s exciting (to me, at least) to realize that self-improvement might be within your grasp… But who would give me a truthful depiction of where my average stands on overall pleasantness? (Not my roommate, for sure, unless normal people are actually going bra-less and frumpy on first dates).
I ran through my friends and couldn’t think of anyone that I could be sure would help me come to a wholly logical conclusion. Someone I could call and ask,
Am I secretly hot?
and they would respond,
Heck no, only when you straighten out that nasty hairdo of yours. Then, with enough foundation and the one outfit you own from this decade, you may have some game.
I can work with that.
Now, this “You’re Ugly” Friend would have to be one that I love and respect, and who reciprocates those feelings. And the people who can’t be that friend are equally valuable in their ways. And maybe you aren’t like me, and you never need or desire that. (Power to you!) But sometimes…. I just need some straight-up criticism, right? It’s good for me.
Also, there are fireworks outside my hotel room now. I think they are congratulating me on completing Day 3. ^.^