For those of you who have been following along, you may have realized I have some self-esteem issues. If I couldn't be the prettiest, then I was going to be the funniest and if I couldn't be that then I would try something else to make you like me.
I've always marveled at people who can be so authentically, sometimes outrageously, themselves and just go on about it without giving it a thought.
I've had extensive conversations with one friend in particular about this and while his advice was sage, I could never apply it.
There was no "Aha!" moment (sorry, Oprah). There was no life-altering epiphany. One day - and I can't even tell you what day it was - I just decided that some things aren't worth compromising. I've tried to be the nicest, the funniest, the most whatever, and there are people who still don't like me. As a recent FB post recently stated "I am just not some people's cup of tea and I am beginning to be OK with that." In fact, I've realized some people HATE tea. The tea doesn't take it personally. In fact, I think the tea probably says "OK, then, enjoy your coffee."
For a very long time I've been stuck in the teen angst years, just trying to fit in. Now, as I approach 40 faster than I'd like, it isn't about fitting in. It's about authentic friends for whom you'd do anything and who might even return that favor. The people who will always tell you the truth, even if it isn't popular or what you want to hear.
The friends I've had for decades and the friends that I see most frequently (not necessarily the same people) have made it safe for me to be me. They've seen the good, the bad and the downright ugly behavior, and they love me anyway. And made it OK for those who who may not even like me to have that opinion, too.
So now I find myself, in my late 30s, trying to be who and what I really am. Is this when most people find out? I feel like I may be coming late to this particular party, but I'm OK with that. I have a few more decades to evolve and get it right - for me.