This is Courtney Turcotte Bond. Courtney has been an English teacher at Washburn Rural High School for 14 years. She’s also the owner of Bondbons, where she specializes in “gourmet cake balls, cake pops, and various chocolate-covered bites.” Her husband Randall, along with their kids, also help out as needed. This is part one of her story.
“People have a lot of issues with self-image because they can so easily compare themselves to others especially with social media, which I believe causes a lot of depression. Someone once said that, “comparison is the thief of joy” so I try to remember that. I tell my kids, like for example if they say that something’s “weird,” I tell them that I like weird. Weird should be cool and embraced and more accepted. So if you have a certain music genre that you like, or if you want to dress a certain way, just do that.
I did this social experiment three or four years ago, when I taught summer school, where I wore the exact same outfit every single day for four weeks. It was a black shirt and khaki pants. The way summer school works is just students going at their own pace and they can check out whenever they’re done. So as each kid was checking out, I pulled them aside and said, “Hey, did you happen to notice anything about what I wore during summer school?” And I’m not even kidding, not one kid noticed what I wore.
On the very last day I told the five remaining kids that I wore the same black shirt and khaki pants every single day to summer school and they didn’t believe me. So I wrote about that in my blog and it really stuck with me that we care way more about ourselves than anybody else cares about us. Even thinking about what I was going to wear today for the photo shoot I couldn’t decide, like what earrings, and then I reminded myself that nobody freaking cares. You’re going to look at whatever picture is posted way more than what anybody else is going to look at you. You’re going to notice more things about yourself than what anybody else notices, so that’s a piece of advice I give my students. Be yourself and don’t worry about what other people think.
Even when people pick up orders at my house you can easily get sucked into, ‘I want my house to look really nice’ or ‘I want the best things and the most fashionable things’ but is anyone even going to notice or care about that? Or if they care, why would I care that they care? So that’s been a large paradigm shift in my life during the last three or four years.
I’m also working on a book and since I’m an English teacher, I feel like I’ll be judged more harshly, so it isn’t coming to me as easily as I thought it would. I have a lot of writer’s block and I struggle with that because I’m quite a perfectionist, but I try reminding myself that I’m not Nicholas Sparks or a New York Times Bestselling author. I’m sure that Nicholas Sparks’s first book sucked or that he struggled, so I try reminding myself that I didn’t even know how to bake ten years ago and now I made a very successful side business that’s been fun and it’s something I can use to encourage other people.”