I reckon I was an awkward teenager. Maybe even more self conscious than the average young person. I would agonise over what other people said about me, and took it for gospel. I was too shy to enjoy attention at social gatherings but not shy enough to hide behind that role. I have ALWAYS desperately looked forward to my birthday. Not because I wanted a top birthday present or a glitzy party but because I got to be a year older. I’m a summer baby, what can I say? When you’re a kid, being the youngest in the class sucks. Fact.
I guess what I’d say is; I’ve never been comfortable in my own skin. I always wanted to me more…To be less… I thought that my insecurities would cease with my single years but I carried them through into my years of marriage.
Young adulthood is what you look forward to when you’re a kid. You’re old enough to live how you like but not old enough to be considered ‘over the hill’. I look back on my 20s with so many AMAZING memories; I became Mrs Steward, I became a mother, I became a youth worker. But the nostalgia is tinged with a little sadness that I still took myself so seriously. How much time did I waste waiting to validate myself?
As I wander into my 30th year I’m starting to feel a little easier with myself and its’ so liberating! My really short hair is growing out and it looks dreadful, but I’m actually pretty indifferent to scraping it back and pretending I in fact look like Zooey Deschanel. I had NO idea who my pretend-teenage-daughter was talking about half the time today (actors and singers ‘apparently’) – and I was totally cool with just being excited for The Great British Bakeoff.
I just don’t know what it is about age that makes us chill out. But for me it’s working so I’m not knocking it. I look at 14 year olds in tiny skirts and no jacket, wondering what on earth they were thinking as they left the house, and then laugh at myself remembering that I was in fact that girl not too long ago who sneered at old people wearing jackets.
And right now, I’m so happy to be someone wearing a jacket. We’ve all heard the rumour that 40 is the new 30. But for me, I have the feeling that 30 is the new 20.