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Eating From My Own Bowl

The birds, Trooper and Nugget like to eat oatmeal for breakfast. They each have their own identical dish.  Nugget starts to eat right away. Trooper does not like his dish. He wants to eat from Nugget’s dish.

Does the oatmeal in the other dish look better?  Why won’t he eat from his own dish?

I often want what someone else has. I don’t look at what is in my dish. The  delicious hot fluffy  oatmeal of my life.  The things in my bowl; how tall I am, that I am a quarter of an inch from being 5’7″ , the color of my eyes, my tonal range when I sing.  I wander away from my glass Pyrex dish, like Trooper, and I look in on some else’s life and try to imitate it, or I simply covet it.  I mope and peck at the glass like Trooper does, trying to eat Nugget’s oatmeal through the glass. Not being content with what I have.

When I was in seventh grade I sat two seats behind Joanne.  She had long brown hair down the middle of her back. She had a cute little nose, and wore a real bra.  I had short hair and glasses, a pimply big nose and I wore a training bra. She always did well in class.

When the teacher handed Joanne her marked test  paper, Joanne covered up the top corner of her paper where the grade was printed. She would squeal and then run to the back of the classroom, followed by several girls. They would exclaim at her high mark, squeals coming from the back of the room.  The next class after the test, during the lecture, I leaned out to the right from my desk into the aisle and stared at Joanne. I wanted to see what she was doing. I wanted to see why she always did so well on her tests. I studied her.

“Pam, tell me about the blah, blah, blah, I was just talking about.” said the teacher.  ( I was Pam in grade school. Don’t get any ideas. I go by Pamela now.)   I had no idea what she was talking about, as I had been staring at Joanne. Then it occurred to me that the reason she got higher grades was because she was listening to the teacher.

I stopped staring at Joanne. I sat up straight, and looked at the teacher.  I paid attention in class. I studied. I read over my notes.  Then we had a test.  Several days later, after the teacher had marked the tests she handed them back to the class. Joanne ran to the back of the room with her test and her group of followers. The teacher handed me my test. I saw my grade, and quietly turned my paper over.  I was content to be me, with my short brown hair, pimply nose and training bra.

I will learn to be content with what I have. I am going to go and sit in my Pyrex bowl now. I will smile and eat my own oatmeal.

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Oh Pamela, you can tell a story, girl. I am always totally engrossed by the details, the emotion that you can capture with even the simplest of sentences. I can picture you leaning over into the aisle to look at Joanne. I AM you leaning over into the aisle to study Joanne.
    It’s funny, but I didn’t really learn how to be happy with who I am until I was quite grown up – like 20-something.

    • Thank you leaning over the aisle with me in seventh grade, and listening to my stories. I enjoyed taking motorcycle lessons with you.
      I am curious to know your story about learning to be happy with yourself. Wondering what is in your bowl.

  • Don’t we all go through that period of wanting to be someone else? As seventh graders the insecurities run rampant. You were smart back then to learn what it took to get the grades you wanted. Your writing has so much voice, I am always eager to read what you put out for the world to see.

    • Did you ever want to be someone else elsie? I can only imagine you ever wanting to someone else if you could be a strawberry farmer, or perhaps a digger of random holes beside the road. In your writing your voice speaks of contentment and joy. I look forward to reading your writing. Thank you for reading my voice.

  • berdeane

    Pamela to me you have always been & always will be the most beautiful & smartest girl in the world. My little “butternose”, always able to eat out of your own bowl!!

    • Thank you mother. Now the secret is out, my name as a child 🙂