I'm getting old...er. And yes, oh wise older-er ones, you were right - when you get there it sure does feel like it's arrived quickly. This is going to be a short post because my old brain is so tired... just kidding. Yes it'll be short and yes I'm damn tired, but, I'm fine. Really.
When I was young, like the 13 to 16 year old range, I wished I was prettier. Just purely more physically "pretty", whatever that even is. At the time, I thought it was a thing that was achievable only as a result of one's appearance. Like having boobs for example, or legs that are not thickest at the knees. Yeah - I was skinny. At that same time, I was a super happy kid. I had great friends, a loving family, a boyfriend, and an all-around fantastic life. I just didn't quite get the whole pretty thing. I didn't know how to do it, didn't feel I was it. "What-evs, (teenage me) I think I'm great."
Although I didn't really love what I saw in the mirror, I did know I had something. Something about me that was good.
In my 20's it morphed a bit. Maybe partially driven home by the fact that I lived in Santa Barbara where there are TONS of beautiful women, I wasn't really impressed by "pretty" anymore, I didn't envy "pretty". I had been told that I was "super hot" in those days, but - too late - that wasn't what I wanted anymore. I found myself having feelings of jealousy toward the confidence that I saw in some other women. Especially those who were not conventionally "pretty". To see them just loving themselves so much, appearing not to want to be anything but themselves, and to be happy doing it - that was what I then felt I was missing. At times I found myself wishing I was older, so that it would be easier to be just like, yep - I'm me. Take it or leave it. Little did I know I could have had it then, if I'd have just figured myself out sooner.
My early- to mid-30's are either an irrelevant, or highly relevant, period in this sequence. I became so damn depressed that in a way I envied everybody and nobody at once. If you've never been there it'll make no sense to you and that's ok. It was just... *NOT*... self-love. That's for sure. I started to type "lucky for me, I crawled out of that", but that's doing myself a disservice. I climbed, clawed, shined on out of it, by finding my power and allowing myself to use it.
Now I'm 42 years old. I have some grey hairs, I have wrinkles, I have baggy eyes. My elbows when my arms are straight look like that thing we used to do with our knees as kids where we would squish it up in our hand and then poke our fingers at the squishy wrinkles. Oh - AND, (bonus), I have pretty serious hormonal acne, every single month. So pimples, wrinkles, greys, saggy neck skin, eye sacks.... all the goodies.
I feel more beautiful now than I ever have before. Please note that I am not using the word "pretty". Sometimes I still look in the mirror and think, "oof". Everyone has their "oof" days. That's ok. But having finally reached my first stage in life where I'm honestly not feeling envy toward anyone (except maybe lottery winners, let's be real), it is GREAT. I can happily play with my squishy elbows, deal with my pimples like a teenager, maybe use more lotion to see if wrinkles do something miraculous (not on the edge of my seat there), and all of it, and just be happy to be me, in a body that continues to let me see the light of day.
I know, I'm talking like I'm 90 years old here. I'm a bit of an old soul, but seriously. I've finally reached that "fuck you if you don't like it", stage in life, and it's really fucking good.
That's me up there. No filter. No hair dye. Pimple scars. No makeup except mascara. (Almost forgot another bonus: my scandinavian roots mean a crapload of lightly colored hair adorns my body). Sun spots. Crooked teeth. Squishy elbows. I wouldn't have it any other way. And if you don't like it, as they say in the south, "well bless your little heart".
Own your life, fellow humans. Whatever it looks like, and whatever you look like in it.