I didn’t make the cut for the T.A.G. (Talented and Gifted) class in elementary school and I’m still kind of bitter about that. (I mean, aren’t ALL children talented and gifted in their own ways?? What a terrible name for an “elite” group of kids!) And in high school they announced over the intercom that I had been voted “Most Likely to…” do something remarkable. (Honestly I’ve blocked the details out because what happened was pretty traumatic.) The next day they recanted, explaining that the votes had been miscounted and one of my classmates was actually the one to receive the honor, not me. But I guess I’m a late bloomer because Talk Magazine recently gave me a special honor. And it’s in print so I don’t think they can take it back.
25 Most Beautiful Women in the Upstate
Thanks to a nomination from a dear friend that I can only imagine was beautifully and thoughtfully crafted, I was selected as an honoree for the 25 Most Beautiful Women in the Upstate for 2021. The article in the October issue of Talk Magazine explains, “Every year we wonder how we could possibly choose only 25 women who make our community a better place to live. We receive hundreds of nominations and there are countless numbers of women who fit that description.” For only the second time in the magazine’s history, they awarded 26 women this distinction for 2021. “In so many ways, it’s an encouraging sign that the number of heroes out there is growing and that we are all still just as excited about recognizing them as the first year we published this feature,” Chris Worthy wrote in the article.
Answering Some Tough Questions
When I found out I had been selected for the honor, I received a list of questions and I was given a week to respond. The questions were wonderful, thought-provoking and tough! Here are a few for you to mull over:
- What do you consider to be your life’s work?
- What is the biggest compliment you’ve ever received?
- What’s your motto?
- What do you want to do for the rest of your life?
- What are five words that best describe you?
Not easy, right?? Especially that last one! I called in reinforcements for that one and asked my girlfriends what they thought. We came up with optimistic, resourceful, playful, compassionate, and driven.
One story that didn’t make it into the final article was my answer to the question, what’s the biggest compliment you’ve ever received? Here’s what I wrote: “Few things touch my heart more than hearing kind words about my kids. One recent compliment that stands out happened this summer on a beach in Ogunquit, Maine. We had been playing in the ocean for a couple of hours. As we started packing up the lady who had been quietly reading next to us stood up and approached me. My first thought was, she’s going to complain about how loud my kids have been! But I was totally wrong. She said, “I just have to tell you what a joy it has been to listen to your children the past two hours. The way they speak to each other is so loving and it has been life-giving to me.” I got tears in my eyes—in fact, I do now just thinking about that brief conversation! As a mom I often wonder if I’m doing this parenting thing right. But hearing that affirmation from someone—even a stranger—was so encouraging to me. And a reminder as Mother Teresa said, ‘kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.’ I don’t think I’ll ever forget the impact that stranger had on me that day.”
Among Truly Beautiful Company
I was familiar with a few of my fellow nominees. I was in a church small group with one a few years ago and another is an artist I’ve admired for a long time. But I have not yet crossed paths with most of the women on the list this year. I have taken time to read their stories and try to find them on social media. It’s amazing to me that even after nearly two decades of living and serving in this community, there are still so many people I need to meet! But it is a special gift to be among such beautiful company!