Gendusa: Thank you, Kay, wherever you are

Published 6:36 pm Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Lynn Gendusa
Former Troup County resident living in Roswell

As a child, I was never was comfortable being me. Insecure and riddled with allergies, lack of beauty, and poor math skills, I would always compensate by trying to be the class clown. I wasn’t good at that either. 

When I began 7th grade in McMinnville, Tennessee, a new girl joined our class who moved from Oklahoma. Kay was outstandingly beautiful, sweet, and was also excellent in math.

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By the end of 7th grade, my insecurity became problematic, and my silliness was even getting on my nerves. Kay and I were on the same junior high basketball team and became good friends. I don’t need to mention she was also one of our best forwards who could outscore me every scrimmage. I wished with all my soul to be Kay, or Barbara, or Phyllis, or Betty. I wanted to be anyone but me.

One day after a game, twelve-year-old Kay began changing the course of my life. I was in the locker room, acting goofy when she asked to speak to me privately. While her eyes gazed thoughtfully into mine, she took my hand and said,

“Lynn, you don’t need to act silly or try to be someone you’re not for us to love you because we do. You just need to become comfortable being you.”

By eighth grade, I was on my way to discovering who I was and learning that being me wasn’t as bad as I once thought it would be.

I moved away a few years later and never saw wise Kay again, but to this day when a feeling of insecurity floats into my soul, my mind returns to the locker room off that Tennessee basketball court when I first decided I needed to live with the person I was meant to become.

We must let people into our worlds daily and be open to their advice and counsel. Sometimes my self-doubt returns, especially regarding my writing.

When my ego gets in my way, here comes my friend, who proceeds to tell me to quit my whining and continue typing. This beautiful Kay-like person loves me enough to remind me not to be silly and keeps my eyes focused on the mission.

God made each individual person with individual strengths.

No matter how old we are, we must pick up the guide, find the aid needed, and prosper. It is a gift to be unique, extraordinary you.

Thank you, Kay, wherever you are.