Regardless of its form, one thing is clear. Coming of age is a big fucking deal. The Grand Poobah of life's milestone, possibly ranked high just after birth and death. It ushers and shoves you into adulthood where exciting times and experiences await.
Well, exciting indeed, because you're about to learn the ways of life as an independent and hopefully self-sufficient person. An avalanche of life's different experiences ahead. You'll soon find your place in the working world, feel like you're walking on super glue often, relish the magic of your first love, suffer the pain of a heart broken (hopefully not too many times), enjoy the freedom of financial independence, get a couple of slaps in your face or set backs. A mishmash of everything good and bad, happy and sad.
In short, you'll come to realize that, well, life does suck which makes me wonder why the hell does the whole coming of age warrant such celebrations when the many challenges, set backs, growing pain and hardship you're about to face as an adult are anything but celebratory??
Having survived my 20s struggling to make sense of life while learning to play the game of life and dodge its curve balls, it seems like I've come to a nice spot where I've finally felt comfortable in my own skin. The drowning seems to be gone, treading water is easier and now I'm swimming and managing pretty fine at the deep end of the pool. So how about a toast now instead? A tippling toast to celebrate being comfortable in my own skin? My little second "Coming of age", Version 2.0 perhaps?
With the fading youth and collagen came a wrinkle or two, as well as some pretty priceless lessons and realizations. My pseudo philosophical musing and reflecting have made me discover some of the things I enjoy now that I'm on a comfy spot. So being comfortable in my own skin is like this:
- You realize the whole concept of self love isn't some shitty mumble jumble self-help book conspiracy as real as a unicorn. You've finally accepted who you are and be proud of who you have grown into. You enjoy being the person you've developed into and take pride in being you. No more hoping you were as pretty as so and so, as rich as what's her name, or as lucky as someone else. You love YOU.
- You have a better sense of your core values.
- You're happy at where you are in life.
- You realize you don't have to and don't want to please everyone. You focus on yourself and not what other people's perception of you. You're self-ish (self-focused) but not selfish.
- You don't take everything so damn seriously anymore. You're more relax with things.
- You no longer take rubbish from people. You know your boundaries and set them well with gusto.
- You're finally kinder to yourself. No more excessive beating yourself up and you're more forgiving toward yourself. Always a lesson, never a failure.
- You have made peace with your own flaws. Your insecurities don't seem to bother you as much.You're able to joke about them, make fun of the flaws and at times, even come to love and appreciate them. Lack of height? No problem, being petite makes me look younger. Chubby cheeks? Good, I'll age gracefully. No boobs? Not an issue, I won't look fat, clothes fit better and they're cute perky ones that won't sag till my waistline. Get the idea?
- No more talking big or trying to impress. The last time I talked big and made up things to impress people, I was probably 15 or 18 trying to fit in. My 20s was spent trying to establish where I stand socially with the constant need to impress and be accepted and respected. It's tiring to say the least. Cue in the 30s, well, I don't give a damn. Now, that's just the way it should be.
- You count your blessings and give thanks and gratitude to the things you have. I thank the universe I have a comfortable life and a roof above my head every night when I slip into my nice warm bed. In my youth, I asked the universe for a Chanel 2.55 and asked the universe "Why the hell me?"
- You understand that you don't always get what you want and that it is okay (though at times annoying) to not have what you want.
- You thank your set backs because they're your perfect teachers in life.
- You're finally able to see how some set backs are indeed, blessings in disguise.
- You're rid of that sense of rivalry to outdo your peers, your friends, your colleagues, everyone. You know your own goals and what matters to YOU and now how it looks to others. You dance to your own beat and it makes you happy.
- You're a lot more humble than you were 10 years ago because you've come to realize you actually do not know everything or anything for that matter.
- You're more relax and in control of what life is gonna offer
So, this much I know and I wonder what and how the next decade of my life would be like and the lessons that come along. Now that we're not drowning in the deep end of the pool and are swimming pretty fine, let's hope we'll soon be synchronized swimming like a dolphin, or even better, be able to walk on water. You never know. Meanwhile, here's a virtual toast to all of us who have made it thus far intact. Sante!