Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Being Yourself

Last night I went to happy hour with a couple of my good friends from college. It's sometimes still hard for me to believe that we've known each other for more than ten years. Along with being closer to my family, this was one of the things that really pulled me to move back here - getting to have the random evenings (along with planned events) with them. They are my people and we've all gone through a lot of shit together. The only bummer is that we're all so busy now we tend to go far too long between seeing each other! (Also, one of our group moved Jamaica. And it sucks that she's not around for happy hour right now. Except that she's in Jamaica. So it's kind of hard to feel bad for her.)

Anyway! One of the things that we talked about was a conversation my friend had had about being yourself. Specifically how at this point in our life, we've all more or less figured (some) things out and have become comfortable with being who we are. That we aren't trying to be anyone else, that we've accepted who our essential selves are. And that at this point, your friends have shaken out such that the ones who are still in your life are there not from any convenience (like growing up together on the same street, or living together in college or roommates afterward), but are there because they appreciate and like spending time with the quintessential "you." It was a really interesting point for me to think about.

See, I've spent most of my life being uncomfortable with who I was - whether it was my size, appearance, intelligence, whatever. And only in the past couple of years do I feel like I'm finally starting to own everything that makes me "me." And I've gotta say, actually being aware of it like that, being comfortable in my own skin and also recognizing that me being me is the person who my (incredibly talented and amazing) friends want to spend time with? It's a pretty good place to be.

For me, I think a lot of this acceptance came when I became serious about B. When I figured out that he liked me. Not any pretend version of myself, but the me who likes to wear sweatpants and watch football on the weekends. The me who very occasionally likes to dress up and dance with her friends, but who really prefers to go out for drinks at a local bar. The me who likes to wear makeup, but not enough of it that anyone really notices. The me who loves to re-read books and gets sucked into lives of characters on TV shows and is perfectly happy hanging out with my family. Feels good to know that all he wants is for me to be me. Because that's who he fell in love with and married. (And for the record, that's all I want for him as well.) 

Why does it take so long to understand that?

And I should note that I'm certainly not saying I have everything figured out (god knows I don't), but this realization of acceptance has been a big one for me.

I just wish I'd been able to figure it out sooner - I think my early 20s would have been much happier. But I guess this is what growing up is all about?

1 comment:

  1. Really well said! I was just reflecting on this the other day as well. Isn't it sad to think about your attitude towards yourself X amount of years ago? I remember valuing others so much more highly. It's sad to think about, but makes me glad I've come so far! Thank you for this post. :)


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