Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Ay, mija!

December 2: Gorgeous | When did you feel beautiful this year?  Why?

SusieQ calls herself my work mom.

She's very short, but she wears those ultra supportive athletic shoes with three inches of sole that are popular amongts the 60+ set, so you almost don't notice. She has the most amazing laugh, it is loud and girlish and infectious. She's is always perfectly coiffed: not a hair out of place, penciled in eyebrows, lip liner. Oh and the jewelry! Bangles, rings, necklace, diamond earrings. 

She has a big Hispanic family: six sons, five grandsons. Two daughters-in-law that she doesn't care for much.

Man, she sure loves me, though. She's always full of smiles and compliments. "Ay, mija, you look so pretty today!" She hugs me and touches my hair and scolds me when I threaten to cut it. She tells me how smart and pretty I am.

It was overwhelming, at first. My family has never been particularly demonstrative or complementary. I'm suspicious of positive feedback; compliments are backhanded or come with big old strings attached.

I didn't know how to react to so much positive attention. I've never had someone be so excited about me before. I thought she was crazy.

But over the last year or so I've grown to love her. And somewhere along the way I even started to believe her a little.

I feel... empowered.  I am able to look myself in the mirror and see the beauty in the girl looking back at me, instead of the flaws.

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