While I would love to live within the worlds of so many stories, if I could choose just one person, I would trade places with the character I based upon my own teenage self: Jory in My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters. I gave Jory all the strength and learning that it took me many more decades of living to figure out.
Picture me in my basement at almost 40-years-old opening an old box from high school and finding a snapshot of me getting ready for junior prom. I'm wearing only my fancy backless bra or else I'd share the photo, although at this point, maybe I should get that cute young me all over the internet. HAHAHAHAHAHA (I am SO thankful the internet didn't exist for my low-esteemed self!).
I burst into tears. Hard sobs.
I had spent all of my teenage years hating that face. Now that girl looked young and pretty and excited about going to prom. I had so much fun--I went with a super nice guy, and when we were out at dinner at a little Italian restaurant off Virginia Street, the waitress thought we'd just gotten married so she brought us free wine. Thank you, Reno's quickie wedding chapels!
What a waste. All that face hate.
Writing My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters was embarrassing for me. Cathartic. But so embarrassing. More than one old friend felt compelled to tell me that my nose was just fine. Ugh.
I wrote the story to face my own demons, and talking about the book once published cured me of ALL my nose issues.
Best of all--I showed a few teens how to be strong. I've heard from a few, but I hope there are many more. If only I'd been one of those girls!