Watch out. This is a deep one.
Coming of age is something I’ve been giving some thought to these last couple of weeks.
I’ve really exposed a side of myself that feels a bit new and a bit scary by releasing my first podcast and as I get out and about meeting new people who are doing such interesting things I inevitably end up comparing myself to them and one of the realisations that I keep making is that I’m STILL (at the mature age of 36) justifying my actions and worrying what people think. There really is nothing like the process of listening to your own voice, opinions and thoughts over and over again (whilst editing) to make you question the value of what you have to say.
Am I intelligent enough?
Am I coherent?
Why does what I say matter?
I have just over three years to enjoy before I start my fifth decade on Planet Earth and I’m setting myself the target of coming of age and FINALLY getting comfortable in my own skin (and I don’t necessarily mean that in a body image kind of way – I’ve never been overly concerned about the way I look.)
‘Life really does begin at 40. Up until then you’re just doing research.’ Carl G Jung
This quote rings so true to me at the moment. I feel like on my 40th birthday I will be handing in my dissertation of life and that these last few years are all about summarising and making sense of the 36 years of research I’ve conducted on how best to be me. I’m sure those of you with even more decades of life experience will think this ridiculous and point out that we are all continuously evolving and maturing as we gain more and more valuable life experience and perspective but I really feel like the number 40 will hold real significance for me.
I’ve spent my life so far feeling sorry for people who are not aware of how others are judging them or rolling their eyes at their behaviour when in fact the person I really want to be is that person who is impervious to the opinions of others and (without being a totally selfish member of society) is just owning life and only losing sleep about the shit that matters.
I’ve had moments of clarity when I’ve understood that there is no set way to be ‘cool’ or interesting but if I’m honest those moments ebb and flow like the tide and the challenge is to close down the drawbridge of worry, dust off my birthday suit, dress it in whatever makes me feel like me and blinker myself to what others would like me to be.
What do you think? When did you come of age? Do we ever start to feel like real grown ups?
Let me know your thoughts?