Maybe when I’m older.

When I was little, I used to think, “Maybe when I’m older, such-and-such will happen.”

Interestingly, I still think in these terms.

Such-and-such could’ve been — and still is — anything. Maybe my skin will look better, maybe my eyebrows won’t be so weirdly shaped, maybe I’ll actually have long hair, maybe I’ll lose my Del Taco tummy, maybe I’ll move to Seattle, maybe I’ll move to Portland, maybe I’ll become stronger in my faith.

Maybe my guard will come down, maybe my defenses will soften, maybe I’ll stop joking around so much because I think the quiet me isn’t very interesting, maybe I’ll find an amazing bra, maybe I’ll get better about recycling, maybe I’ll clean my shower every week.

Maybe I’ll actually learn how to play bar chords well. Maybe I’ll record a CD of my own music. Maybe I’ll become a runner, maybe one of my big toenails that endured an unfortunate and gnarly childhood injury will stop its penchant for becoming ingrown, maybe I’ll outgrow my fondness for ugly pajamas, maybe I’ll have better dating luck, maybe I’ll stop eating after 7pm, maybe I’ll start buying proper (read: pricey) footwear for a woman of my age and maybe I’ll stop getting weirded out by the fact that the word “woman” does, in fact, apply to me. (I’ve always been fond of the word “chick,” but maybe I’ll someday realize how immature of a word it really is.)

The facts are these: my skin will always be flawed, and I will always tweeze when I’m bored. I’ll never have long hair because my addiction to volumizing products means my ‘do would be the size of Texas during the grow-out stage, plus I lack the patience to grow it out. I’ll never stop feasting on Del Taco and I’ll likely never move out of state again, though I would like to make Seattle and Portland more frequent vacation spots. I’m still working on my faith.

My guard will never come down, and I’ve come to like it that way. My defenses will never soften, and while I wish they would, they make me feel safe. It’s a false sort of security, but I find strange comfort in it. I won’t stop joking around because it’s a habit; I’ve come to find that people think I’m in a bad mood when I’m quiet (not the case), so it’s behavior I’ve adopted over the years. The bra thing will eternally be a challenge — unfortunately not because the girls are large and in charge, but because I have rebellious shoulders which find amusement when my straps fall down…which is every day…awesome. I’ve gotten better about recycling and I’m proud to say that I’m a weekly shower cleaner instead of letting it go, well, longer than a week.

I’ve yet to sit down for any length of time and put effort into learning bar chords, and I’m still merely dabbling in the music thing with no steady drive towards making my own CD; I’m in idle most of the time, with periods of 15-20mph here and there…then back to idling. I’ll never be a runner, because my orthopedic surgeon told me so. My toenail will likely go another 25 years before it’s fully — if ever — done being ridiculous. I’ll probably always wear ugly pajamas, since I’ve yet to see a cute pair that is a) warm b) without feeling like I’m wearing a flannel straightjacket. Successful dating will probably always elude me but, in the meantime, the bad stuff makes for great fodder. My sweet tooth means I’ll always have a knack for eating after 7pm, I’ll perhaps someday work toward improving my shoe stash, “woman” will always make me feel 60 years old and “chick” will continue to be my go-to word in any setting. It makes me laugh.

Now that I’m older, with hopefully many more days ahead of me, my “maybe when I’m older” thoughts bring a smile to my face. I’m quick to consider them my flaws, but it’s only me who’s put them in that category. Flaws or not, I’m thankful for them. If they weren’t there, who’s to say that my hobbies I find so much joy in would still be my hobbies? Who’s to say that my friends who I appreciate so much would still be my friends? Tonight I am thankful for them all, for they’ve had a hand — whether big or small, directly or indirectly — in making my life rich and my heart full.

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