The driving range was never very thrilling, but always interesting. The first day Maryorie was constantly speeding and getting in trouble. The second day I met my best friend's elementary school crush. The third day I had a conversation that changed my life.
When I showed up to range that third day, I had no idea how it would play out. I was given the keys to a car and a magnetic number 7 to put on the top and waited in anticipation for who my new acquaintance would be. And honestly, when she started walking up to the car and sat down in the passenger seat, I didn't think our conversation would go anywhere past "What's your favorite color?"
She had her long blonde hair pulled back behind a flat billed cap, with a shaved section of hair by her ear. She had on little jean shorts and big dark sunglasses to top it all off. People like that don't talk to me, I said to myself as I adjusted the seat for my short legs and started the car.
We began to drive around. "What's your name?" she asked.
I answered and asked what hers was.
It was a start.
"What's your favorite color?"
And I'm not sure where it went from there. After a while of talking to her, I stopped feeling so intimidated. We got to the point we were basically telling the story of our lives and what our dreams and aspirations are and the things we struggle with in life. It was probably the deepest conversation I've ever had with someone I'd just met. I felt like even though we were different in a lot of ways, she understood me. And not a lot of people can do that.
As I ranted about this and that and the things that make me feel insecure, I actually started hearing what I was saying in a way I've never heard myself before. And I realize that for so long I've been letting the criticism of others and even myself really keep me down. I've piled up this giant collection of insults, chastisements, and judgement and let them rule my entire life.
And you know what? I am not what people say about me, and you are not what people say about you. We are all much more complex than that.