But then, starting in grade school I remember hurting her feelings by comparing her classwork to everyone else's and making her feel like it wasn't good enough. And then in high school and college, I more or less told her she wasn't that smart. She derived a lot of joy from doing art, but because some other Indian ignorants devalued it and I began to agree with them. She still drew a picture now and then, thankfully, but she never called herself an artist. Or a writer. Or smart.
What a bitch I have been to myself. For 20 years.
Every single book on my shelf that I've read and put down- Stop Self-Sabotage by Pat Pearson, The 7 Keys to Happiness by Deepak Chopra, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle- say the same thing. And after spending years of wanting to be happy and trying to do what they say as if they are homework assignments but feeling like the magic never happened, I finally felt an glint of a glimpse of a fleeting shimmer of progress.
I was nice to me today.
That's all that it was. When I should've looked up directions more clearly before heading to an unknown destination and spent time getting lost, I was about to berate myself. And then I didn't. Instead, I just forgave myself.
I'll remember me for that moment. The way I remember when my second grade teacher gave me a teddy bear cushion to rest under my broken arm, when I had been angry at myself for having broken it at all. I will give myself teddy bear cushions.