About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Words That Still Hurt

Write the one thing someone said to you a long time ago that still hurts.

   That’s the writing prompt I discovered in a book.  And I knew instantly, what that one thing would be.  

   Back during my high school days (we’re talking about the years 1991-1994), a friend of mine told me something that I have carried with me, locked away in my memory.  

“Your sister is prettier than you.”

   I didn’t doubt it.  My sister is three years younger than me.  She’s always been taller and thinner than me.  She never had the same problems with acne that I did.  She was pretty.  No question about it. 

   To this day though, I don’t know what good can come of a comment like that.  It hurt me then, and it still hurts, and it made me look at things differently.  Because I realized then that people would look at my sister and I and compare us -- “the pretty one” and the “not-so-pretty one.”

                         My seventeenth birthday

   I never felt my looks were my strength.  I knew what my strengths were.  My neat handwriting.  My good grades.  My reading speed.  My quick math calculations.  I was a good student.  Studious, serious, and sincere.  (And in all fairness, my sister was also a good student.)  

   I accepted, quite a while ago, that I would never be pretty in the way that beauty pageants describe pretty.  I’m too “me” to be that kind of pretty.  And by me, I mean “authentic.”  I won’t wear clothes that aren’t comfortable.  I won’t wear a bathing suit that covers less than my underwear.  I won’t wear shoes that I can’t walk in.  I won’t wear a bra that adds sizes to my breasts.  I won’t wear gold jewelry or big diamonds.  

   It’s been more than twenty years since Sally spoke those words to me.  They were mean and unnecessary (as I’ve found, most hurtful words are).  And they’re just that -- words.

     And I’m sure those words, like the Preamble to the Constitution (which I first memorized during elementary school), will continue to remain in my memory.   


  1. I am so sorry you have been dealing with those words all these years.I will never understand why people don't think before making comments that could hurt someone's feelings.Those people are very selfish.I am always told when I show your picture how beautiful you are.You are BEAUTIFUL both inside and out.I really wish you would start believing it.I love you and I am very proud of you.

  2. You are a beautiful young woman. You need to believe it. Your mother & I are proud of you.
    Love, dad

  3. Nance,
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.. Also, beauty comes from within, therefore making you so so so so very beautiful. I don't know why you listened to that woman who obviously was very ugly inside to have said that to you. However, having the same thing said to me, I firmly believe that as long as I am a good person on the inside, then it makes me more beautiful. I know your sister and you know mine so you know what I am saying. I love you so much and miss you more than words!!!

  4. Honey,
    You are a beautiful woman! My Pisces princess! I Love you with all of my heart!
    Love, me