Friday, May 18, 2018

Some things never change...

When I was a teenager, my favorite thing to wear was jeans and t-shirts. I favored pony tails and skipped the make-up most of the time. Flip-flops were my shoes of choice. I wasn't exactly a tom-boy, I just wanted to be comfortable.  And, because I, like most other teenagers, wasn't all that comfortable in my body I sought to be comfortable in other ways. And, I liked the way I looked in jeans and t-shirts.

This was somewhat of a friendly battle between me and my mom. She wanted me to be more girly. She didn't tell me what to wear, exactly, but thought I should wear make-up and do something with my hair, maybe wear something with flowers on it once in a while. When I began to attempt to attract boys, I tried to make more of an effort, but I never was very good at being interested in things that would make me "prettier."

Twenty-five years later, not all that much has changed. I'm still not all that interested in things that would make me prettier. I care about being comfortable, just like I did when I was sixteen. I thought this was likely (thankfully) one of the only things I have in common with my younger self. As I considered it, though, I think I may have sold myself a bit short. Maybe there is a little bit of who I was way back then still lingering inside me, deep down.

When I was tossing on my Deadpool Taco's t-shirt and jeans this morning, hair in a messy bun, no make-up, I realized this was exactly something my teenage self would have worn. It made me smile, but it also made me think about the things about us that change and those that remain the same. My mom's favorite saying is "the older you get, the more like yourself you become." I never understood that when I was a kid--grown-up mumbo-jumbo, if you asked me. But, as I've grown older, I don't just understand it, I both believe it and don't. I have a relationship with that particular bit of wisdom.

In some respects, I've become so much more who I was always supposed to be. In others, I thank God that I've changed so much that my former self is unrecognizable. Still in others, I've grown into someone my teenage-self wouldn't necessarily approve of. I think this happens to everyone, we're all a big ol' ball of hopes, dreams, and disappointments that make us who we are today. I'm able now, though, to step outside my comfort zone and do things I never could have back then. Maybe that's the difference between being an awkward sixteen year old girl and a 40 year old woman. The ability to differentiate between comfort and hiding. The ability to put yourself out there because you have to, or need to, or just want to.

I still want to be comfortable. I'm older now, but I'm still wearing my jeans and t-shirts. I imagine I always will. But when I leave my house, I usually wear make-up now, too. I straighten my hair so it looks good and try to be generally presentable. Not so I can be prettier, attract men, or look more my age, but because when I look better, I feel better and have more confidence. That's something my teenage-self didn't much understand or care about. I just try to do those things while wearing what will make me most comfortable.

Then there are times when comfort still wins over looking/feeling good and I leave the house wearing slippers.



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