Everyone is worthy of compliments. I would even go as far to say that people should not only be profusely complimented but sincerely accept the compliments, unquestionably. They should embrace them. Hug them. Entwine their little humble self around them and ponder those words nightly. Let themselves be immersed in the intentional, thoughtful words of others and in return, spread that same joy by complimenting their fellow humbly deserving humans.
In honor of my love of compliments- both giving and receiving, and my devout belief that compliments should be shared and given freely, I will post about some of my all time favorite compliments. These compliments I have carried with me for years and they have comforted me in dire needs of solace. (I should forewarn, with my palpable belief that compliments should be accepted in all shapes and forms, I also believe one should interpret the words/facts/opinions of others in any way he or she wants. True or not true, sometimes you just got to have fun with things).
So here we go, my favorite compliments of all time.
One time, before my first class of the day, someone complimented me saying I look like morning.
Ah, morning. I imagined my hair emanating the refreshing smell of dew droplets on the grass. That my skin was radiantly glowing like the sun when it modestly peaks over the horizon. That my very essence evoked the sensation of being awake, of being alive. Yes, I relished, I was like the morning.
I replied with a genuine thank you.
I sat back in my chair and noticed my hair dripping onto my shirt- still wet from the shower and then realized the real meaning behind “morning.” Not only was my hair soaking my shirt, my shirt was backwards and it was stained by my coffee. It soon became painfully obvious that the word morning was synonymous with hot-mess. Aware of my morningness, I surreptitiously settled into my desk and sheepishly retrieved a packed cold oatmeal breakfast from my purse. (I was starving and the damage from embarrassment was already done, so oh well).
My for real, for sure all time favorite compliment is much more magical though. To this day it remains unparalleled. I was gifted with this compliment on an average day at my former job and it happened like this.
I was standing alone at a computer, mindlessly ringing in people’s food orders when out of the blue a coworker approached me and said I smelled like a corndog.
The very food that had been ceaselessly satisfying my hunger for years. Corndogs are delicious, immaculate, heaven sent, and now I had the privilege to smell like one? This meant so much. This meant I resembled happiness. This meant I resembled summer. This meant I resembled every Minnesotan’s favorite family memories of the state fair. Heck, it meant I resembled the sole meaning of family itself.
This had to be my biggest life accomplishment thus far.
As a side note, it has been years since that compliment and I still fail to suppress my urge to gloat. I typically tell most people I know that one time someone complimented me by saying I smelled like a corndog. (If that isn’t the key to making friends folks, I don’t know what is).
In hindsight, I really have no idea what my coworker meant. Maybe it was that I smelled greasy. Maybe it was very literal in the sense that I gave off a stark scent of ketchup drizzled on the ground up remnants of a murdered pig. Maybe I heard her wrong. I really have no idea and it doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter because words, like most things in life, are all about how you handle them. And while I’ll admit this blog was a poor example of what compliments mean, whether innocuous or offensive, fact or fiction, they can be immensely impactful simply based on how the complimentee chooses to interpret them. Basically, these words can make or break you but it’s up to you to choose how they affect you.
So, I choose the fair. I choose the sun.