Single Mom Slice Of Change:

Thank You For The Compliment


Biologically I am the oldest of seven kids. Emotionally I have been adopted by 3 no… 4 different families. I have somewhere around 3 adopted sisters, 6 adopted cousins, 2 adopted brothers, and a shit-ton of adopted parents.

I recently attended the wedding of one of my adopted cousins. In order to do so, I had to take a plane to Oregon. This is an emotional roller-coaster of a trip for a number of reasons.

  1. I had to ask for a seatbelt extender on the plane.

It’s embarrassing, and I hate it. But, this is the life I lead. Until I get my butt smaller, my gut has wear the extender of shame.

  1. I had to dress up. Like really dress up.

This doesn’t mean the same dress that has the stain on the boob that I hide with my hair… this means a stain-free dress that fits and isn’t covered in dog hair. AND WEAR MAKE UP. This will tie in to reason #5, but know that when I wear make-up – and dress up – I feel like a clown. Literally.

  1. I had to hold my own.

Yes… I discovered that I had to stand out there – on my own – for all to see – and because it’s a wedding, it means not hiding behind my cell phone or the boys. People wanted to talk to (me).

  1. I had to face some uncomfortable lectures.

Ok, so this one was a REAL problem, and by problem, I mean learning experience.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Ways To Forgive Yourself

See, this particular adopted cousin is one that I haven’t seen in Y E A R S. And in order to get to the wedding, I roomed with an adopted sister I hadn’t seen in an equal amount of Y E A R S.

As there are with all weddings, there are the obligatory family photos. I was a little shocked when I was placed on a list that required the wedding photographer, not just the cell phone images to be turned in to the bride at the end of the night.

While discussing this shock with my sister, she gave me a funny look and asked why. I made the mistake of telling her.

“Well, because I just didn’t even realize that she remembered me…. OR still considered me family.”

Have you ever had words cross your lips and almost physically try to take them back? I did. I tried. I failed.

My adopted sister turned and gave me a look that said I had just entered lecture territory. I won’t repeat the lecture word for word… but I will give you the highlights. They included, “That is YOUR problem. You have a serious issue with your own self-worth. If it is a feeling you keep having, and you are still shocked by, you have to stake serious stock in yourself and realize the value and impact on the people in your life.”

Keep in mind, she might not be wrong. Not that long ago, I was paid three compliments, and three times I blew them off. After the third one, the lady slapped her hands on the table between us and leaned forward. In a stern voice she stated, “Honey. PLEASE just take the compliment.”

  1. I had to learn to take the compliment.

I tell you reasons 1-4 in order to highlight reason #5. During the reception, I was asked to dance. I wasn’t proposed to, I wasn’t promised a one night stand. But consider this – there were plenty of other people there, and this man asked ME to dance.

Um… what?

(1) I weigh enough to require a seatbelt extender.

(2) I felt like I looked like a clown.

(3) I had no excuse not to.

(4) I had no idea anyone could even see me.

(5) I had to say thank you, take his hand, and head out to the dance floor.

Related: Our Story Begins: How Do You Do This Dating Thing?!

I can’t dance. I did not inherit any sort of rhythm from either side of my family. But, I danced. I sang. I laughed. I had a good time.

I didn’t die… and that bank of self-worth that for so many years has been so very low… well… I think it started grow a little.

Until next time, ask yourself… how can something so incredibly simple (like dancing at a wedding) be such a huge life lesson?