Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hardcore Self-Esteem

A bit of news before I start!

My wonderful friend Jenn Johansson has announced that she has an agent! Which, you know, I totally saw coming way back when she told me about her idea, but that didn't stop her from worrying (never stopped me with my books either, heh). Go congratulate her if you have the chance.

Get excited, because Julie Halpern, one of my favoritest authors, is holding a contest for her hilarious book INTO THE WILD NERD YONDER. It's out in paperback on the 7th, so if you don't win you have NO excuse not to buy it. While you're at it, you may as well pre-order DON'T STOP NOW, her next book coming out in June. I've read it; it's freaking awesome. Go. Click.

Finally, I'm sure you all read Nathan Bransford, former agent and awesome author, but I really wanted to point out this post on Virtual Witch Hunts, anyway. I talked about kindness last Friday for HWS, and this is exactly what I mean. As always, he said it very well.

And now, on to the post!


This is my daughter, who you all know as Ninja Girl. Her real name is Kora, and as you can see from this picture, she has quite the little personality. She is probably the most self-assured little girl I have ever met. Every day she reminds me that being myself is the best possible option.

You see, Kora is nothing but Kora. This is one thing she is very adamant about. She knows who she is and what she wants and she always has. One day, I can't even remember how old she was save she could talk fairly well, I said to her, "Kora, you're beautiful."

She gave me that face in the picture above, as if I'd insulted her deeply, and then said, "No! I'm Kora!"

I laughed, but at the same time I was proud. I loved that even a compliment that put her into a category was insulting to her. She is simply Kora. And it didn't stop there:

"You're three years old."

"No! I'm Kora!"

"You're silly."

"No! I'm Kora!"

"You're smart."

"No! I'm KORA!"

Sometimes she even adds a very cute "hmph" for emphasis. Her sense of identity is hardcore. She only wants to be herself. She is confident in who she is. In fact, I'm pretty sure she thinks she's the most awesome person on the planet. I dread the day she loses this—I want her to hold on to loving who she is as long as she can, but I know what growing up means and how hard it is for girls. I know that someday I'll have to remind her about her "No! I'm Kora!" moments, and they might mean nothing to her as she figures out how to balance being herself and belonging.

But for now I will treasure every "No! I'm Kora!" I get to hear, and I'll remember that I need to have more "No! I'm Natalie!" moments. Because I do like myself, and that's more important than I think we realize.

36 comments:

  1. My daughter is doing the same thing right now. I can't tell her she's anything but herself. I dread the day she loses her self-assuredness, too.

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  2. What a cute picture! Love the intensity on her face as well as the weapon in her hands. Oh, the wings are a nice addition as well.

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  3. I LOVED Into The Wild Nerd Yonder! So funny! I didn't know she had another one coming out. I'll have to check it out!
    Your daughter is so cute by the way. Don't you love how kids are so confident? :)

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  4. Thanks for the shout out, Natalie! You're awesome!

    Say it with me:
    "No! I'm Natalie!"

    I loved this post. My son, Parker, does the exact same thing. I love their confidence and self-assuredness. They know who they are and it's better than any one compliment we can attribute to them. They are the whole package.

    So are we. We just forget way too often. Love this post! :D

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  5. She's got that eyes that could kill thing going on!

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  6. This made me laugh out loud. What a spunky girl you've got! It was inspiring to me, and a good reminder to just love ME. I think sometimes we get so tangled up in the things we DO, we forget to just BE. :)

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  7. What a cutie pie! My six year old is the same way. Anytime I tell him that he's cute or smart or any of those great things he is, he says, "I know." Where does that confidence go? I wish I still had it. Having a blog has definitely made me take a look at who I really am and what I have to say. I'm still trying to figure it out and be okay with me.

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  8. Yay for Jenn! And yay for Kora!! I love the fact that she is carrying a machine gun while wearing a fairy costume.

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  9. Great Post!! She is a cutie!

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  10. haha, your Kora sounds like my youngest daughter. What a cutie she is!!! Machine gun toting fairies... awesome.

    And YAY for Jenn!

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  11. She is the cutest thing ever! I love the fairy/la femme fatale blend. I might copy her costume for this halloween. Most importantly, I love when our children remind us of important lessons in life...be yourself.

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  12. She is adorable! And how fantastic. My daughter did that to a lesser degree, but she's always been very confident in herself and I, too, wonder what will come as she gets older--but I'll hold onto those reminders for her, too.

    And you're right--I need to have more of those moments for myself. Thank you for sharing this.

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  13. UH-freaking-dorable! (for her)

    And well-said! (for you)

    :)

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  14. She looks so spunky! Love that. :)

    And I agree. I think I need to spend more days looking in the mirror and reminding myself that I'm Debbie! And that's okay.

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  15. This is SUCH a cute picture! It sounds like you're raising an amazing girl! I hope she does hold onto that sense of self. We could all learn a lesson from Kora.

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  16. That is adorable! My duaghter, now 11, was very similar. She's always known who she is and what she wants and she'll blaza a trail a mile wide to get it. Sometimes I have to rein her in with the, "Hello! You're only eleven!" bit, but I try not to keep too tight a rope on her. I want her to stay confident in who she is, especially now that puberty has struck (dear God, help me!).

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  17. Good point - thanks Kora!

    And congrats to Jenn

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  18. De-lurking to say that this post is the best thing I've read about identity. So simple. And the photo is awesome.

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  19. Thank you for sharing the picture and stories about your daughter! Too cute. And inspiring. =) Have a great day, Natalie!

    Erin @ Quitting My Day Job

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  20. Great post. Your daughter is so cute, wise, and I love her name.

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  21. AWE.SOME. I love that we CAN learn so much from our children! It's just a matter of taking those lessons to heart.

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  22. Okay, that picture is utterly adorable. (Or, utterly Kora.) Growing up doesn't mean that your daughter will lose sight of who she is. My mother used to remind me every day as I got ready for school, "Remember Gina, you're smart, you're beautiful, and you're a good friend." I never lost sight of that, no matter what life threw at me. So just think, there's nothing stopping you from helping your daughter remain just Kora, as long as you believe it's possible.

    <3 Gina Blechman

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  23. I love this! Your daughter is adorable. :)

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  24. I liked Kora the moment I saw the picture. I like here even more now that I've read the post.

    My son, Isaac, does the same thing. Like when I asked him if he was going to be a ninja when he grew up, he said, "I'm not a inja[sic]. I'm Isaac!"

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  25. Your daughter looks so cute in that picture! She looks like a cool superhero. :)

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  26. Oh, your daughter is absolutely adorable! I love the expression on her face, and that she's wearing wings while carrying a gun. Kora is a beautiful name, by the way, and it is important to be self-assured. It's one of the things that makes getting through life much easier.

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  27. Kora seems like such a character. It was really nice getting to meet her. And I have to agree with Remilda, Kora is such a beautiful, unique name.

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  28. That's the most precious thing I've ever heard! If only everyone could keep that. Children are awesome.

    And that pic is awesome!

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  29. It is so nice to see a mother encouraging her daughter's independence this way....I see a major difference in those friends of mine who grew up with mother-love, with those who didn't. This solid base of being loved for her full, whole, big self will serve this child so well in life, no matter what she goes through.

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  30. I LOVE your kid. What an amazing little soul. And kudos to you for teaching her such an important trait. Confidence, little ones!

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  31. Some kids have an incredible sense of self - they just know they are enough! We have much to learn from these wonderful little people! Don't forget the ones who don't have this feature built in! They need encouragement and nurture a little more before they work it out! I have one of each kind.

    Keep up the great parenting!

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  32. She would definitely be inspiring.

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  33. Your daughter is so cool. I love a self-confident girl. They rock the world.

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  34. I LOVE that picture. She gets that from you.

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