I can honestly say I am more comfortable in my skin than ever. While a few of my sarcastic friends might point to my increasing collections of a wrinkle here and there as the reason, I really find the difference between my ears.
As you get older you body tends to ‘reallocate’ or ‘redistribute’ certain portions to places you never intended them to rest. As much as I try, my body will never wear a 28-inch waist again as gravity has invited a few portions previously located about a foot north of the beltline to permanently relocate in a more southern locale. Granted the only six-pack I ever had in college contained barley and hops, I’m learning to adjust my expectations. In a strange twist, I feel as if I am entering what I will call ‘the age of eccentricity’.
Not to be insensitive, but I am increasingly recognizing it is okay to follow in the steps of those crazy people we all knew growing up. You know the ones – the guy who always wore red socks, refused to trim his eyebrows, or iron his shirts. The world is full of these aspiring (inspiring) individuals who at one point of another said ‘enough, I’ll be who I am’ and check out of the mainstream.
While I don’t plan to emulate the peculiar college instructor of the classroom where my wife and I first met (massive comb-over and two different wristwatches on his left arm), I am increasingly recognizing it is the ticks of these very people who make them so interesting. And if you’ll admit it, we probably all either know someone like this or find ourselves increasingly moving towards this end.
My aunt insisted in driving only a red car as she thought it was somehow safer. While we all quietly smiled in the background, this was important to her and until her final days, she did just that. Afterwards we came to appreciate her little eccentricities as just another manifestation of her individualism rising to the top. She really didn’t care what statistics said or what people might say behind her back. In the end, what she felt comfortable with mattered most so long as it didn’t harm anyone else.
This comes to mind as my wife remarked it might be a good idea to iron a favorite linen shirt I am wearing today. While I recognize her suggestion for more than a mere remark intended to help me, I also know I like to wear linen or cotton shirts ‘au naturel’. They just plain feel better on my skin – and I like it that way.
This brings me to a stranger approaching me in public one day in saying, “Man, you’ve got some wild-ass hair there.” While we both smiled, I found myself taking absolutely no offense at his remarks. Much like the guy who stopped trimming his eyebrows in the 1990’s, I’ve become comfortable with the way my hair wants to grow out of my head in all directions and different shades of black and grey. It is what it is.
I don’t really know where this new phase will lead me – or do any of us. That is just a part of the journey of life. What I do know is that with each day I find myself becoming more comfortable in my skin (insert sarcastic remark here) and I’m looking forward to the ride.
– 30 –