As much as some of us might like to cover our eyes and pretend much of our past didn’t happen, it’s sort of unavoidable.  When you get to be a certain age – and that age is different for different people – you have a tendency to look back over your life and assess what you have, or haven’t, accomplished.  It might center around something tangible like your family, your career, your contribution to society or a combination of such.  It can also center around something more abstract, like how you view yourself as a person.

For me, I often tend to land on how out of place I felt – and still feel, at times – in certain social situations.  When I was a kid, the daydreamer in me would imagine myself as someone entirely different from who I was in reality.  In those little fantasies, I was popular and successful and – this is the biggie – really, really pretty.  Of course, life would then come along and give me a not-so-gentle nudge, and I’d revert back to my real self…which was none of the above.

The good news is, while I doubt that I’ll ever be 100% comfortable in my own skin, I’m not nearly as hard on myself as I was when I was younger.  Time has allowed me to embrace a certain level of acceptance.  And it’s not that I’m settling.  I’m simply acknowledging that I am, in fact, downright okay just the way I am.

That’s actually been one of my favorite things about getting older.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always a bed of roses.  My joints ache, my skin sags and I’d love to lose some girth, but I’m a whole lot happier about who I am now than I was about who I thought I should be way back when.  I no longer dwell on feeling as though I’m less than.  It took me more than a few decades to get to this point, but I finally stopped wasting precious mental energy on wishing I was someone I’m not.

Along that same vein, the link below will take you to an essay titled Tambourine.  It highlights how the significance of one little thing affected how I felt about myself.  I sort of wonder how many of my peers will be reminded of their younger selves when they read it.  I mean, surely, I can’t be the only one who thought a special something could change my very existence. 

Or then again…maybe it really was just me.

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