I don't know if I told you. But I'm in Las Vegas. We have a gig this week. I need to make a big payment for school. So this was a mixed blessing for me! I need the money, but this is the last week of classes.
My only concerns for the week were; to perform every night for almost a week, hoping my clothes fit, getting my homework done, trying to keep up with work, and maybe catching a glimpse of the NASCAR action. I never thought I would run into an old classmate.
After we performed last night, we went to a party that our boss was throwing for some VIPs. We get paid to mingle with them. At nearly 2AM, I was beat and took a few minutes to clear my head. And I ran into a guy that I went to high school with. I almost didn't recognize him. But he recognized me. Apparently, he had been at our show.
And I was a little shocked by what he told me. "Our ugly duckling grew up to be a pretty princess." What in the world is that supposed to mean? I have never thought I was attractive. Ever! I struggled with my crazy hair, until I met the flat iron. And my makeup skills were limited to what I had to wear for cheerleading; bright pink cheeks, red lips, and blue eyeshadow. We looked like dolls! Add in the polyester uniforms, and you got what I wore 4 days a week!
But I never thought of myself as an "Ugly Duckling." I never felt like a "Homecoming Queen," but I didn't think I was doing so badly either. Apparently I was. OK, so I found out there was a bet about me. I found out just after we graduated. That was bad enough. But really, could it get worse?
I'm short. And quiet. Some people say shy. That could be true. But I just think I am quiet, unless I am around my friends. I was a major nerd in school. I still feel like one. But I don't care anymore. That's the difference. This guy, he is still stuck in high school. Wanting to be Mr. Popular again. I'm moving forward with my life.
I think I just shocked him. Because I am singing. Performing in Las Vegas. Getting to wear cute little dresses and red soled shoes. I don't know what he is up to. But my life as a performer, it is pretty fun. Granted, it's only 1% of my life. The rest of the time, I am scrapping for money and wearing scrubs. Working a 100+ hours a week! But for a few days a year, I get to be Cinderella.
I had never been so happy to be dripping in diamonds and having a bodyguard following me. It just makes me think, I am doing something right. And even if I am still the "Ugly Duckling," at least I'm having fun! At least I'm happy with the woman that I am.
I get paid to hangout with my friends. To perform and sing. I'm staying in one of the most amazing suites Las Vegas has to offer. But I am just happy with myself right now. Take away all the glamour, the Mafia poker games, the VIP friends...and I'm still happy with me. Because I know at the end of the week, we will fly home. And life will go back to normal. I'll go back to work and school. And counting my quarters to buy a box of macaroni. But still happy to be alive and making a positive difference in our world.
I also have a great group of friends. The kind that stick right next to you. The kind that catch you right before you fall in life. Maybe I don't look like a model. Or have a boyfriend. And maybe I crochet too much. But I am making a life to be proud of. Working hard. Providing a home and food for myself. I have amazing Goddaughters to love. And at the end of the day, I have more people than most that love me just like I am.
So maybe I was a nerd in school. Maybe there was a bet on me. Maybe I was not popular. And I was the only senior that didn't make it into the senior video. Heck, I don't even talk to anyone from high school anymore. But I did accomplished a lot in high school. More than just being a cheerleader and in the top 10 of my class. And since then, I have done so much more for myself!
I have chased after my dreams. Taken time to take care of my family. I have a home. A home that is mine. Not one that I have to rent. I have made the kind of friends that feel more like family. And I am getting a college education. Debt free I might add. It has not been an easy road. But it has been my road to travel. And if being the "Ugly Duckling" that finally grew up, brought me to this very place in my life, I would never change a thing. Everything in my life has shaped the woman that sits here typing today. And I'm happy with the woman that looks back at me in the mirror. All 5'0" of me! Including my very "Italian" nose!!!