I recently met up with a friend for coffee and asked him the following question.
“At what age would you say that you were most comfortable in your own skin?”
His reply was almost instant and it was this:
“The age I am now, Definitely. To be honest I think the answer would have been the same if you’d have asked me a year ago, 2 years ago or even 5 years ago, because that’s life isn’t it? You’re constantly learning and growing.”
My answer would have been almost identical. There are countless magazines, self-help books and interviews with boring celebrities who feel “fabulous at 40”, insisting that there is a particular age when we should feel great about ourselves. Well bollocks to that.
Admittedly, I am the most content I have ever felt but simply because I despised being a teenager. The constant need for acceptance when you are at such a young age is enough to make anyone reek of desperation and it is just not necessary.
Let me give you an example, It took me a while to get my first job and after months and months of searching, I finally made headway. Like most student jobs, it wasn’t much to brag about, just a little spot in retail but I was elated none the less. I had a massive crush on a colleague and one day I heard him discussing his love for basketball.
Due to me being a douche, I waited till the next shift we shared together and casually slipped in that I had joined the basketball society at school. This was quite clearly bullshit but I think he bought it.
Consequently, he spent hours on end asking me how I thought “the game went” and then invited me to “play ball”. I managed to withdraw from his offer for months (I know right? Impressive) until he turned to me at work one day and said “you don’t know jack about basketball do you?” To which I replied “Jack who? I don’t know that player.” Busted.
As a result of my stupidity he found out that my knowledge of basketball spanned as far as me having watched Space Jam on numerous occasions as a child.
My point is this. As you grow older you learn to accept yourself, no matter what your age. It’s a long process but you get there. Lying in order to impress people when we are young only results in us losing sight of who we really are.
Once you get past the dreaded stage of being a teenager, you will hopefully realise that you no longer have to pretend that you like basketball, or the taste of couscous, or whatever the latest trend is. You will instead be surrounded by beautiful people who will adore you simply for being you and this is when, regardless of whether you are 20 or 60, you will truly feel comfortable in your own skin.