When I was in my early twenties, I longed to have a bit of belly fat so that my belly could look as sexy as that of my best friend. Eventually, it happened and I was ecstatic. Today, I have more belly fat than I had asked for.
When I was twenty, I was often the center of attention. Today, I’m no longer the center of attention, but rather watch proudly as twenty-somethings master center-stage much better than I ever did.
When I was twenty, I could run up the stairs many times over. Today, whether I go up or down the stairs, my knees remind me that I’m no longer twenty.
Image: K Kendall via Flickr via Creative Commons license
When I was twenty, I could eat whatever I wanted and as much as I wanted while developing pretty close to no body fat; and I didn’t develop cellulite until I was in my late 30’s. Today, cellulite keeps my thighs, buttocks and belly warm at night and during the winter months.
When I was twenty, I had no wrinkles. Today, I’ve earned my stripes.
When I was twenty, I had no grey hairs. Today, L’Oreal is my accomplice.
When I was twenty, I was too shy to wear a thong bikini. Today, I wish I still had the body to wear one.
When I was twenty, I had more energy than I knew what to do with. Today, I’ve reached a point in my life where I treasure inner peace and tranquility.
When I was twenty, I had to dance to channel my emotions. Today, I’m able to talk them out, but I still love to dance, even if I’m spatially challenged.
I’ve never been a wallflower. I’ve always spoken my mind ever since I discovered I had a voice. However, when I was twenty, I lacked the confidence to know when I should speak up. Today, I’ve developed confidence and assertiveness, but also the ability to choose my battles.
I’ve gone figuratively swimming amongst alligators, snakes and sharks; all in the same tank. I not only survived, but managed to earn respect.
I’ve also been fortunate enough to have several men take me under their wings throughout my career and show me the ropes while giving me the freedom to be me. Likewise, I’ve been protected by women older than I, who guided me and reprimanded me when I needed it. Today, I look back with appreciation and try to pay it forward every opportunity I get.
I’ve been blessed with friends who demonstrate integrity, sincerity, kindness, and a giving and loving nature, who have always been there when I’ve needed them. I hope I’ve earned their appreciation and respect as much as they’ve earned mine.
When I was twenty, I thought the accumulation of wealth made you rich. Today, I know better.
When I was twenty, I was afraid of making mistakes. Today, I know that the only way to learn the lesson well is by making them.
When I was twenty, I thought I had to prove something to the world. Today, I simply open the door and my heart to those who want to know me.
When I was twenty, I did what I could to darken my skin, often suffering burns so it would have “some color.” Today, I cherish my milky-white skin and say to people when they ask me to go suntanning, “I don’t ask my brown-skinned friends to lighten their skin, so why do you ask me to darken mine?”
When I was twenty, I wanted to conquer the world. Today, I just want to see it.
When I was twenty, I felt twenty. Today, I am forty-eight, but my spirit still feels nineteen.
When I was twenty, I laughed with a loud, uncontrollable contagious laugh. Today, I still laugh the same way. It’s nice to know some things haven’t changed.
Do not be misled by my apparent sense of self-confidence, for I have many insecurities, most of which I choose not share here. They are, after all, my kryptonite. However, today I know they are also what make me uniquely human.