My attitude towards life has changed so drastically since I turned 25. I’ve never been one to tie life experiences or growth to age, but WOW, I’d be remiss not to take notice of how I’ve changed.
One of my favorite phrases has become “…and that’s ok.”
What has become clear to me, is that for all of the progressive strides that we have made in today’s society it has also given way to an almost painfully absent sense of contentment driven by nothing more than sincere appreciation as we are without the need for comparison.
If we so choose, we have the capacity to drown ourselves in information, pictures, words, the lives of others and so forth and so on. This is all fine and well until you’ve unknowingly birthed insecurities into your life or find yourself feeling an urge to change something about yourself so that you may fit in with the communities most intriguing to you.
The internet and social media give us the opportunity to circulate within the “best” of everything around the world. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I found myself becoming jaded by it all.
Living life and being an active and avid consumer in this digital age caused my perception of beauty to change. There was a time when my idea of beauty was what the society-at-large identified and glorified as beautiful. This was particularly troubling because at that time and still today, nothing about me fits that description or definition…
The change in me started out really subtly. I think its origin was more a sense of pacification or consolation to prevent myself from jumping down the rabbit hole of insecurity. And then before I knew it, I began saying “…and that’s ok.” as my default.
My nose doesn’t look like that and that’s ok.
My butt doesn’t look like that and that’s ok.
I don’t look like her and that’s ok.
I don’t have ________ and that’s ok.
I’m not exactly where I want to be and that’s ok.
My body doesn’t look like that and that’s ok.
I don’t feel motivated to live that lifestyle to have that ______ and that’s ok.
Not everyone will find me attractive and that’s ok.
I’m not skilled in this area and that’s ok.
I’m not who I once was and that’s ok.
I’m leaving and that’s ok.
I’m walking away and that’s ok.
I’m putting myself first and that’s ok.
There was a time when I’d jump down that rabbit hole and I’d slide in a downward motion for days before I could reach a stopping point and begin climbing my way back up. That’s why it’s so important to stop the downward momentum before it starts because it’s almost impossible to fix when you’re in the middle of it. “And that’s ok” is my favorite way of stopping anything before it has a chance to start. This phrase gives me strength. It gives me peace. It liberates me. It gives me security. It gives me permission to love myself, not in spite of these differences, but rather in appreciation of all of the effort God put into creating me just as I am, thinking just as I think, looking just as I look.
Another aspect of me that changed was how I interacted with people who I don’t particularly care for. When I was younger, perhaps because I had to do it, I was great at pretending to like people I didn’t. During this time, I also didn’t understand the concept of loving people you don’t like. Today, there are people I don’t like, but I love them so much. Now, for whatever reason, I’m not so great at pretending to like people I don’t. I’m not ever intentionally rude, ever, I just don’t go out of my way to pretend that I enjoy them being in my life. In short, I stopped faking and I stopped giving myself even the slightest illusory idea that I needed people in my life who brought chaos to it or disrupted my peace. I can truly love someone without liking him/her. I don’t like him/her and that’s ok.
I also learned that I’m not as attached to certain things as I once was. One of the most freeing realizations and experiences for me was being able to acquire things that I most wanted only to realize that none of it means anything. None of it means anything…and that’s ok.
I have no desire to fight every battle and that’s ok.
I’ve learned that detaching myself from people that I love and things that I feel tethered to is both terrifying and tempting and that’s ok.
I’ve learned that I’m fine with waiting and that when I’m feeling impatient or restless it is because I’m disconnected from God. I feel compelled and driven, but I’m not in a rush and that’s ok.
I’m only half-way through 25, wonder what I’ll realize by 26!
I am who I am AND THAT’S OK.
You are who you are AND THAT’S OK.
I love you.