Does anyone miss their teenage years? I suppose there is fond nostaliga over those few nightmare years of hormonally charged tempter tantrums, but while I still care about my friends and I appreciate what I learned in school, I have no desire to be 15 again.
When I was young, I assumed the best part of being an adult would be earning my own money and buying my own crap. I suppose independence is what I was looking forward to. I had no idea that the best part of growing up would be that my shame and embarrassment would disappear.
Yes, folks. I’m about to talk about bodily functions. I’ve been told I do this too often.
For instance (and I don’t think I’m alone in this) when I was a teenager for some reason a certain aspect of being female tended to shame me.
Past me: Oh God I’m on my period at school, what if someone in the bathroom hears me changing my pad and recognizes my shoes and knows it’s me this is so humiliating I’m going to die! I can’t possibly use a public restroom right now I’ll have to hold it until I get home ugh I feel like I’m going to explode why is this happening to me
Present me: Ah, urination is so refreshing. *scores 10 point goal with “feminine product waste” or whatever that sign on the bathroom doors calls it*
Past me: Oh God I have to buy pads from that guy at the checkout what if he looks at me and knows I’m on my period nooo this is the worst feeling ever why is he looking at me
Present me: *to husband on other side of store* HEY CHAD! GRAB ME THE JUMBO PACK OF PADS! IT’S GONNA BE A BAD ONE!
Similarly, I used to be terrified of pooping in public, but you know what? Better out than in. I don’t know who said that originally but that is sensible advice to live by.
I can also blow my nose in public without assuming people are judging me. No, that’s not right…I can blow my nose in public and I don’t care if people are judging me.
When I was thirteen, my friends and I played this game at lunchtime that involved writing dirty jokes. I couldn’t even bear to read them out loud. I laugh when I remember that. Maybe that shame would have helped me. I don’t miss it.
I also discovered a new sense of self confidence, right around the time I exited my emo clothes phase. I guess wearing all black got to me, because I never leave the house without at least two colours now. What’s that, you say? The colours don’t match? Not a problem. I still have issues with my weight some days but for the most part? I’ll wear it and wear it proud even if “it” looks like a couple of patterns vomited all over me.
If patterns could vomit, I would totally let them vomit on me.
Self confidence and lack of shame…who knew how much I would come to cherish such things?