First, the good news! My editor for ‘Mark of the Successor’ has returned the manuscript to me. To my utter amazement, she found nothing that needed changing. Of course, me being me, I still found three or four really small issues (extra word in a sentence, chapter headings not centered) that I corrected. I will admit, though, my writing ego was slightly inflated to know I got it cleaned up enough that she found no errors.
I’m not the most confident author out there. I grew up in an era where the bully was someone who threw punches, stole your lunch money. Words weren’t seen as painful. And there were a lot of words thrown my way.
Because of this, I’m a little paranoid some days. And judgmental. I’m usually ready to guard against the backhanded compliment, the person who says they’re a friend when all they want to do is bring you before class to mock you. I tend to talk down about my own abilities, make a joke out of myself, before someone else can.
When I grew up, you didn’t brag about your accomplishments. But there’s a fine line between bragging and being confident. Sometimes, I’m afraid I’ve crossed the line and offended someone to the point they want to avoid me. This is not a problem they have, but one I do.
Even ‘friends’ in grade school would call me stupid, lazy, dumb. But I still hung out with them because, well, they at least answered my phone calls or talked to me at recess. When this is what you’ve heard from your ‘peers’ for your entire childhood, it sinks in.
A few years back, I went to my 25th high school reunion. A good friend of mine, one that has been a constant voice of real support since junior high, and I went back out to our high school. I stood on the balcony overlooking the area where we sat during graduation and realized I was still trying to impress those who gave up on me in kindergarten. I was still wanting to hear them say I was worthy of their friendship.
And I realized that I didn’t need it. No matter what I do, they will forever see me as the dumb fat girl who won’t go farther than some cashier job at the local discount store.
Yes, I still have days where my paranoia comes out. Despite having an amazing group of friends now who support me in more ways than I can count, I wait for the other shoe to fall.
I really need to change that.