There's an absolute pleasure in getting older. A secret only revealed when you have enough years on you to no longer care about trying to be something that you're not. At 42, I finally feel like I fit into my own skin, and I no longer waste time trying to please anyone but myself.
Growth is like change, one of those things that can't be demanded of someone. Forcing growth never has a happy ending. You are either the kind of person who likes to grow and change, or you're the type of person that does it reluctantly through experiences or bad shit going down, kicking and screaming the whole while. I'm a happy changer. I like change, I like growth, I'm hungry for knowledge, there's too much stuff going on in the world to be ignored. I believe in our ability to transform ourselves into whatever we want. I think we're all searching for who we are meant to be and trying to escape the chains of who we've been told to be, it's just that some of us do so more publicly than others.
We can sometimes (all the time?) hide from our true self, telling ourselves that it doesn't actually matter, doesn't really exist. As if acknowledging it's existence might somehow let it infiltrate the reality we've created for ourself. We all want to be so damn perfect, so damn right, so damn right now, that we forget the little voice inside that's saying "I'd rather stay in bed today and read a book".
This year I've been peeling away layers I didn't even know existed. Things I thought I should be (happy, funny, perfect), who I was told I should be (quieter, less emotional, quieter), who I tried to be (a perfect mother, wife, daughter), who I'm most definitely not (a perfect mother, wife, daughter) and I find myself, underneath all that shit, left with me. Authentic me, full of flaws and wanting.
So the mask is slowly slipping off, I'm starting to feel a bit more like me again. Knackered, annoyingly bossy, scatterbrained, dreamy, vulnerable, boring, dorky, loud and alive.
Who lurks underneath your outside face?
Underneath my outside face
There's a face that none can see.
A little less smiley,
A little less sure,
But a whole lot more like me.
Underface ~ Shel Silverstein