As I sit here with my bright red hair in space buns and planning my next tattoo I sometimes wonder if it’s time to grow up.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those middle aged women out clubbing every weekend as if I were in my 20s and responsibility free (though maybe that’s only because I’m not allowed to be THAT person), but I do wonder if I should just be more grown up. I mean, that’s what’s expected right?
What does being a grown up really mean?
In my mind it means:
Dying my hair a nice ‘normal’ colour.
Wearing shoes more than trainers.
Calling walking a ‘hobby’ rather than a means to get from A to B.
Getting my clothes from Joules or somewhere similar that ladies seem to get their uniform from.
In my mind it means ‘being boring’.
Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying these things are ‘wrong’, if these are the things that please you then that’s fabulous – it’s just not the vibe I can ever imagine myself going for.
In the past I have, on occasion, found myself slipping toward the mundane.
A few times I’ve looked in the mirror and caught myself with a more muted hair colour and a ‘comfortable’ outfit on and thought to myself ‘Who even are you?’.
In fact, the times when I feel really low about myself and all I have become generally tie in with those moments when I have let myself simply exist.
When I’ve forgotten how to be me.
I’ve made big changes over the last year or so – completing my teacher training was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I must confess, when I completed it the tiny amount of self confidence I had, had was completely battered into submission and I spent a lot of time wondering if it had been a waste of time BUT I got a job that I LOVE and get to work with people I respect and admire.
This job has gone on to open up this new little pocket of life that is mine, is perfect and allows me to be me.
Having this thing that is mine, is ME, has definitely helped me feel happier. My self confidence is really growing (it’s never going to be great – that’s just the cross I bear) and I feel like I actually contribute to life in a viable way now.
I listen to music so much more again and find myself dancing around the kitchen like a fool or belting out songs in the bathroom. My imagination is back – I day dream again, I imagine all the paintings and drawings I will never have time to do and the films I will never make.
I want to write again, my opinions are back.
I am enjoying life so much more again, doing things I like – all because these things are what make me, ME and that’s OK!
I know that my favourite version of myself isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I’m totally down with that. I would rather be unashamedly me – laughing, having fun and being a bit of a knob than be squashed into submission.
In fact, when I look at the friends I’ve chosen and the women who inspire me I realise they’re all women who don’t fit the mould. They are dancers, writers, models, artists, gamers, creatives – these are my people and I definitely consider them to be grown up.
It’s very easy, especially as a woman of a certain age, to just get weighed down with conforming. To let being a mum/wife/partner become your defining role. To set aside the things you love to do because either you haven’t got the time or ‘what will people think’. It’s easy to be made to feel that we don’t play a part in society at the moment, in fact we don’t fit back in until we are entirely unfiltered old ladies in the supermarket.
It is easy to forget how to be us.
Getting on with it and toeing the line is what is considered to be normal, to be grown up but surely being grown up shouldn’t be at the expense of being you?
So, do I need to grow up?
You know what? I think I have grown up already.
My bright hair, my creativity, my individuality, my friends, my job, my lack of stuffs to give and my being an AMAZING mum and wife (you don’t need to ask them, they will agree) are all part and parcel of the grown up me and I like it.
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