Back in 1985, I sat across from this girl in kindergarten. We sat 4 kids to a table and out of the many tables in my class, I was “lucky” enough for her to be seated at mine. She didn’t actually make fun of me. It was the oddest thing. Each and I might add, every day, she would loudly exclaim that I was making faces at her. Not once had I ever made a face at Jessica, yet every day she would accuse me of doing so.She would rally her fellow soldiers, also known as my classmates, to choose sides against me.
I am relatively certain that Jessica may have participated in some form of military training. I can’t be certain though, as we didn’t attend the same preschool. The reason I say this is because first she was relentless – did you order the code red? Answer the question! Were you making faces? – And secondly she could control peoples’ minds. Eventually she succeeded in convincing each of my classmates that I ACTUALLY WAS MAKING FACES AT HER. Day after day passed as she managed to continue her torture tactics, refusing to stop until no one in the class would sit with or play with me. So officially, at 5 years of age, I had my first arch-nemesis.
As I write about it now, the feelings of insecurity and introspective questioning that would plague me on a daily basis continue to puzzle me. What possible expressions was I unintentionally and repeatedly making with my face? But alas, I still don’t know. My only explanation was that Jessica just didn’t like my face.
Thus commenced my ill-fated relationship with Jessica. Throughout elementary school, she constantly tried to make my life miserable. Finally in the 3rd grade, we weren’t in the same class so I was actually able to make some friends. Then, in the 4th grade, the girl I considered to be my best friend was in the same class as Jessica and they became best friends. So of course, I again got the shaft. Another big win for Jessica.
But anyway, I tell this story because Jessica did me a really big favor back in kindergarten. She made me realize that no matter what you do, there are just certain people in life who just won’t like your face. And you probably will never figure out why. They may not even know why themselves. But it’s just a fact. They don’t like your face.
I still struggle with this to this day… no, not with Jessica. I struggle when people don’t like me. It doesn’t happen very often as I am a really nice person – true story – but it does happen and like I did in kindergarten, I rattle my brain thinking about what possible face I could have made at the person to make them dislike me. But, then I realize, thanks in part to Jessica, that it isn’t anything that I did. Sometimes people just don’t like your face.
You can only be the best you that you can be. You can only be the person that you are. And if people don’t like that, then they simply don’t like it and you just have to accept that fact and move on.
So, my advice is to embrace all those wonderful people who actually LOVE your face because thankfully, in life, there are usually more lovers than haters. And more importantly, love your own face. You’re the one who has to look at it and all its many expressions for the rest of your life. Not Jessica. Definitely not Jessica.