I always seem to get a bit reflective around my birthday. I guess it’s that “getting older and (supposedly) wiser thing” that happens.
I’m turning 32 on the 8th of August and part of me doesn’t feel a day over 18, but there’s a bigger part that embraces the fact that I’m getting older.
I remember turning 30 a couple of years ago and seeing so many of my friends having panic attacks and freak outs because “OMG 30 IS SCARY!” I, on the other hand, was basically just “eh, it’s a number, who cares?” But, I have to be honest, my 30’s have been infinitely better than my 20’s, and it’s not just for the “obvious” reasons of getting married and a new challenge in my career or any of that.
It’s more because I care so much less about what other people think and about what’s “trendy” or if I’m doing what other people think I should be doing, or if I look like what society would deem “beautiful”. Growing up and into my 20’s, I cared what people thought, I cared about whether people would see me and think, “she’s pretty” or “I like what she’s wearing!”.
I literally don’t care anymore.
And it’s a mindset that I really had to grow into; it’s something that comes with maturity and that comes with becoming more comfortable with yourself. I basically lived in discomfort in my own skin when I was younger; I had glasses which I hated, my smile wasn’t what I wanted it to be, I was overweight, I had acne…I could go on and on with all the stuff I thought was horrible about myself.
I still have glasses (because I’m blind as a bat without them and have a weird aversion to the thought of touching my own eyeball).
My smile could still use some work.
I’m still carrying a bit more weight in my mid-section than I probably should.
I don’t really have acne anymore, though; thanks to my dermatologist, so….that’s something.
But, I’m comfortable with all of this now. I carry some extra weight, but as long as I’m healthy (ya know except for the whole celiac thing) and my clothes fit well, I don’t care. Health reasons are the only reason I have for shedding those pounds. I wear glasses because I always have; at this point I think I’d look “weirder” without them.
If someone has an issue with it, they don’t have to look at me or be around me. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.
It’s something that I try so hard to get into the head of the girls in my school. I know they are at the age where they care; I understand that, I respect that. But, at the same time I try to make sure they appreciate themselves before they try to get others to. If you’re looking at yourself through the eyes of someone else, you’re probably not going to like what you see. But, if you are comfortable, truly comfortable, with yourself, you don’t care what others think; you don’t have to dress a certain way because everyone else is, or act a certain way.
I like to set an example by supporting brands who make a point of actively supporting women like True & Co, who operates on the mission that you don’t have to be a certain way or look a certain way to be comfortable with yourself. They empower women to be the best versions of themselves in any shape, size, color, or age and they do that by making sure every woman is fitted with a comfortable and perfectly fitting bra. You don’t have to wear super tight or constricting bras just because all the people you see on TV or online do; you’ll feel a lot better in a bra that fits well and doesn’t crush your rib cage (we’ve all had those right?).
I don’t claim to be 100% comfortable with myself yet, it’s a learning experience. But I am so much better and so much more forgiving of myself than I used to be. I am so much more than the bigger girl with glasses who has an odd smile and acne scars. Now, I’m a human being, I’m a woman, I’m a wife, I’m a school counselor, I’m a friend and one day I hope to add more to that list, like Mom, Grandmom, Mother-In-Law, etc…and none of that has anything to do with my smile, weight, etc. It’s just who I am and who I hope to be.
What makes you, you?