Perhaps it’s the kind of world I find myself being born into, or perhaps it’s only me, but this modern-day fixture with age is both laughably silly and quite unnecessary. At the same time, it raises its head when you least expect it. Your age, sometimes, matters.
It matters, admittedly, if you let it. This is one of its kinder sides. More than age, more than a specific number over which one chooses to focus, I think it would serve as a better window to life perhaps if one chose to look at life in phases. Preferably, actually, through phases that one concocts as one lives one’s life. So. For me, I think I have clearly left the shore of childhood and adolescent innocence, and do find myself, having only recently disembarked onto the shore of young adulthood, bewildered and confused.
I find that I have to bravely embrace this new place. I say bravely, because it is hard to own this land as my own, even if for only a little while. I am scared. But I have arrived here. There is the familiar if largely unremembered sense of disorientation and fear, the same that I must have felt even though I couldn’t articulate it then, when I was just embarking on adolescence, and, stretching back even farther, well, even when I was born.
I know more now than I ever knew when I was leaving childhood. I knew too less then to fear the loss of childhood even. I read a little, I was told several things about adolescence. I had enough half-cooked knowledge to guide me to what I could expect from this phase. And I took it in my stride, I think, whatever little stone adolescence chose to throw at me. The thing is, the less you know the cockier you can be. My confidence in my abilities took root here.
It only flowered, my confidence, which is something I am grateful for. As I look back, as I am looking back, I get a feeling that I am also trying to evaluate “what went wrong” when really, nothing did. I cannot help it, I always looked at mistakes with something of a mix of curiosity and enthusiasm, because they were the holy grail that would then lead me to perfection. Not perfection, not really, but betterment. Learning. I scour through my recent past to try to look at mistakes I might have made that places me where I am now.
Self-care, self-healing, self-confidence are all paramount, as I have recently realised. But those are not the same thing as cultivating a self-aware reserve of your talent, ability, and intelligence in your consciousness and grooming it from time to time. Nurturing it, tending to it lest, you fear, you lose your self-confidence and sense of self-worth.
Beyond self-esteem and self-respect, beyond working towards a self that is at peace with itself and who, by virtue of said peace, is able to careful walk along that edge of self-confidence without wallowing in it, I don’t think there is anything more to work towards, as far as the self is concerned. Once that is achieved, the rest, whatever comes along, is not the self that is doing it.