My niece, Taya wrote a very shot memoir in third grade. It was made into a book and I had the pleasure of reading it yesterday.
It's called "Arizona" and tells the story of a family vacation at my parents' house in Scottsdale, AZ.
My favorite line from her story is on the page titled "Me."
She tells us she has brown hair and blue eyes and two best friends and ice skates at level 4.
Then she ends it with this:
"I love me."
Of course it made me laugh and it still does but I found it so hopeful and comforting. I wonder if all of us felt this way about ourselves at some time -- that we really loved ourselves and who we were. Not in a secret private way that we'd never admit out loud, but in a matter-of-fact them's-the-facts, "My name is Tatyana, I have brown hair and I like ice cream, I am a writer and I love me." The end.
Not to get all new-agey about "self love," but really. Don't you hope Taya, and all the other kids we adore, feel this way about themsevles forever? I find myself wondering, What could my niece's life be like if she held on to this "I-love-me" quality for the rest of her years and through teenage-hood and into her 20's, 30's, 40's...?
Since reading "Arizona" by Taya Mishel I've been breaking out into choruses of "I love me" during the day. I do it because it's like a new favorite song by someone I love. And the more I say it, the more it giddy-fies me.
Plus, it's a really ostentatious thing to say--out loud or to yourself.
Most of the time I say this to myself, but today I said it out loud while in the company of my friend Liz.
"I love me," I said out loud in the locker room after swimming. "I love me," I said while we did some work at her office. "I love me," I declared at the beach among the gays and teenagers talking at such a thrill pitch they can't hear an inch from their social circle.
Go ahead, say it. I dare you.
It feels damn delicious. At least you'll get a good giggle out of it, and who doesn't need that?