Flaw or Beauty Mark?


Sixth grade. After school. Me sitting on the sidewalk. The jingle of an ice cream truck at the end of the street.

A Latina girl with straight brown hair and a black girl with black hair slicked back in a ponytail were walking towards the ice cream truck asking everyone they passed for “fitty cent”.

When the Latina girl got to me, I asked, “Are you going to pay me back?” She said she would and I was in a good mood. So I gave her two quarters from the front pocket of my Pokemon backpack. I didn’t know either of them and I was too trusty back then. But I figured we went to the same school and I believed she would keep her word.

I never saw them until six months later when I recognized their faces in the cafeteria. I walked right up to her and asked in a friendly way, “Hey! You owe me fifty cents, remember?” She looked at me in disgusted confusion and said, “What?” I tried to rekindle her memory and she justified that she didn’t owe me anything because she didn’t remember. The black girl added, “Ew, you remember a stupid thing like that from that long ago? What a FREAK!” Then they walked away and it was my turn to be confused.

For the next 6 years, I pretended to forget promises made, events that happened, and the like. Overtime, I realized my memory was better than the average person because I often remembered minor details such as what clothes people wore, word-for-word conversations, and the order of small events.

Even though I stopped pretending after a close friend encouraged me to embrace who I am, it hurts me as much as it helps me. Just like my story, I still remember ALL of the unkept promises, hurtful words, and painful memories causing me to often hold grudges, be resentful, and be doubtful. They all randomly pop up in my mind and I have no control over it so sometimes I wish I could forget. Each benefit has a consequence:

  • I am a great study buddy (I’ve passed tests with a photographic memory of my notes.), BUT I end up doing most of the work while my notes get copied.
  • I am a super organized leader, BUT I stay on top of my team with constant reminders and updates. I sometimes feel too pretentious or that my team isn’t as reliable.
  • I am an outstanding worker, BUT I get teased and isolated. Sometimes I get tired of doing the work my fellow employees should remember to do.
  • I am a thoughtful friend, BUT my friends hardly reciprocate the same thoughtfulness. I get very nostalgic and try to hold on to better times when circumstances change. For acquaintances, they get flabbergasted and stalker suspicions when I recall minor details from our last encounter months or years ago.

Ironically, my best friend is the extreme opposite of me – she’s very forgetful. Sometimes she doesn’t remember what happened yesterday. This puts things in perspective for me. She also thinks her forgetful nature is her curse. But I sometimes envy her for being able to literally forgive and forget as well as starting each day with a clean slate. With that, we actually keep each other in check. She reminds me what should matter and to let certain things go. When this blessing starts feeling like a curse, I try to remember one thing she told me:

“That is what I love about you. You help me remember all the good times and when I need to be a better friend.” 

Everyone has their own blessing that can also be a curse. As frustrating as it gets to deal with everyday, here are some suggestions to cope:

  1. Know you’re not alone. There are most likely other people dealing with the same thing you are. They might even be “pretending” not to.
  2. Remember, there’s always two sides to things. Think about how it’s like to deal with the complete opposite of what you have to. Have an open mind to accept all of it for what it is.
  3. Seek external support and some sort of positive validation for your blessing’s purpose. What you see as a flaw, may seem like a beauty mark to others.
About Ronnell Morris

Ronnell is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of NWYT. She is a copywriter by day, a performer by night, and a triathlete by weekend. She loves Disney, musicals, eating, YouTube videos, list-making, and the colors pink and gray too much for her own good. See All of Ronnell's Posts

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