Cute But

So, the story goes like this.cropped-fullsizerender-11.jpg
I was in college, waiting tables and bartending at a golf course, trying to make ends-meet to support my upcoming unpaid student teaching internship.
One summer night, nearing midnight, we were ready to shut down.
Except for one remaining table of gentlemen. Hours had passed after their 18 holes, food had been devoured, drinks had been poured. More drinks had been poured.  I waited patiently.  Last table.  Nearly midnight.  Go home, fellas.  Finally, when the big guy was ready, he did some kind of “just this side of Uber-finger snappy-thing” that I suppose was meant to summon me over.  Whatever.
I hustled over, picked up the tab, thanked them all for coming, and kindly asked if he would like change.
Here it comes.
“Yeah, I want change! Honey…you’re cute but not that cute.
This incident happened almost two decades ago.  And yet it stuck with me.  When he said that, he essentially bestowed this kind of “black hat” upon my newly arising identity at a precarious time in my life.
I was cute, but not that cute.  Maybe then I was smart, but not that smart.  A good writer, but not a great writer.  A decent teacher, but no teacher-of-the-year.  I was stopped abruptly, subconsciously.  I wore that black hat for almost two decades.
Then, hats off.
Hats off to bullshit.  Hats off to girl-power.  Hats off to thinking we can’t do things that we definitely can do.  We can do it; we are doing it.
Hats off to the growth mindset.  Here’s how it works:
Instead of saying to yourself I’m cute, but not that cute.  Think about how pretty you are–pretty kind, pretty smart, pretty funny, pretty capable.  Instead of thinking about your but…look ahead with intention.  Acceleration.  Don’t stop short because of an ellipsis.  Get over those humps.  I’m going to…see what’s up ahead…and try doing the next scary thing.
Always keep “if” and “yet” in your lexicon, as well.
And swap out those “should’s” for “could’s”.
Instead of feeling like we should make an earth-friendly, raw, vegan, Pinterest-worthy, Snapchatting meal for our kids every single night after work, we could just have a cereal and jammie party.  (Shout-out #THSEnglish.)
After nearly two-decades of hearing that gruff guy’s voice in my head, here’s my exit ticket: the next time anybody tries to “black hat” you, put it back on that BUT-head, instead.


1 Comment

  1. Heather
    April 15, 2017 / 1:30 am

    Crying! Thank you Megan! You cN write! Omg! Love it

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