I was listening to a new radio show this week called Plus Size Diva's. They have a segment called "Stuff We Love", and they were interested in talking about Project Cat's Away's heroine, Emma, who's a regular kid who happens to be a junior secret agent. She has a round tummy and thunder thighs, just like I did as a kid, and they and I both thought she was a great example of body positivity.
The show is brand new, in fact, last week was their first episode... ever! And that's when their very first caller ever called in... kind of.
The caller wanted to talk about ghosts. Or goats. It wasn't a great connection, so I'm not really sure which. Point is, she had no idea about the true nature of the Plus Size Diva's show and she certainly had nothing informative to say on the topic of body positivity.
And it didn't bother those women one bit.
They laughed it off and on they went, putting out a hilarious and insightful hour of facebook and radio broadcasting.
Me... I would have been gutted.
That was their very first caller, ever! They answered her call on the air! They were excited to talk to her! And she didn't even know what their show was about! How embarrassing!
But, embarrassing for who?
That dingbat caller wasn't their fault. She wasn't their responsibility. She made a silly mistake, but the radio hosts had nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed over, and they knew it. They just rolled on with their day.
We should all be so strong.
Two years ago, I was up for an exciting children's writing award and I flew all the way to England to attend the luncheon for the winner. It was fancy. I bought a new dress. I straightened my hair. I clomped down cobblestone streets in high heels.
The editor stood up in front of a group of industry people, editors, agents, publicists and the like and espoused on the wonderful finer qualities of the other four books and authors up for the title... and completely forgot that me or my novel even existed.
"Well, that's everybody,' he said.
One of his junior editors had to put down their napkin, lean slightly forward and gently remind him that no, that wasn't everybody, Julie from Canada was there, too... dining two seats away from him for the full length of the four-course dinner.
I was mortified. Humiliated.
I held it together for the rest of dessert, waved my goodbyes to new friends, then cried all over the streets of London.
(And in case you haven't guessed yet... I didn't win.)
But it wasn't the losing that hurt so much. It was the effort I'd put in, only to be completely forgotten. It was mortifying. I know I did nothing wrong, but I'm still overcome with shame and embarrassment at being so thoroughly over-looked. So much so, this is the first time I've publicly shared that story (and believe me, I've thought twice and three times about whether I wanted to leave it in).
But, I did, because I have nothing to feel silly over. I did nothing wrong. That wasn't my mistake. It was his.
When you come across a moment like this in your own life, when something's not your fault, you've got to release it.
It's not your fault. And it's not your problem.