Reversing a trend

Earlier this week, Jasmine at An Experiment in Poverty, and I were talking about the sad fact that there are so many wonderful, beautiful and competent women who suffer from low self-esteem. Instead of going on a tirade about how fashion magazines teach little girls that you have to be thin and pretty to be liked and about the unspoken expectation that women be good mothers, wives, housekeepers and hostesses all while holding down 9-5 jobs, I have decided to tackle the problem head-on.

Each week, I am going to post a compliment to myself and a compliment to a friend.

I am competent. My life--like anyone's life--has been like a roller coaster ride, full of ups and downs. But, no matter what life throws my way, I can walk away a stronger person. I have made mistakes. It's only human. But, my mistakes do not make me any less of a person.

Lora (at Jakezilla) is someone I know I can always count on. If you need advice, talk to her. She will look at your problem objectively, without making you feel stupid for not being able to do so yourself.

I met Lora about a decade ago--we were both waitresses at an Irish bar in Philly. I don't remember much about the Lora I first met, except that she liked whiskey and making silly faces. We weren't great friends back then, but we kept in touch and grew closer over the years. I'm not sure what she saw in me, but I always liked Lora because she was didn't--and still doesn't --allow others to tell her how to live her life. She refuses to conform to society's definition of what a woman--a wife, a mother, a daughter, a professional--is supposed to be. Lora is just Lora, and I wouldn't have it any other way.


  1. i love this, mara! i'm really glad you're doing it.

    your compliment to yourself was really good. it's great to know that you're strong and that you can get through trials. it gives you faith in yourself for the next set of problems that come your way.

    i thought about doing this before too, and now that i see it in action, i might give it a try myself if you don't mind! i would definitely credit you with the idea. :)

  2. oh wow! thank you so much. it's hard for me not to see myself as a "weirdo" about those things that you listed sometimes, and it's really nice to see myself in a different light.

  3. I think this is a great idea, MJ! Cheers to mistakes and learning from them. Let me share with you one of the many quotes that inspire me in my many failures:
    "The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire." -Oprah.

    Have a good night! :)

  4. This is great Mara! I like that you're blogging it, and not just keeping it private. We need to support ourselves and each other.

  5. Awe thats a great idea!!!!! its nice to say positive things :)

  6. What a great idea! There are too many women out there that have no self-esteem, for no reason! I may steal this from you and start doing this as well...I think all women should! I agree...Lora is amazing!