Biologically, I am 29, and I do not act like it! I get paid to play like a 2-year-old and I party like a very-active grandma. Part of my journey towards self-love is accepting that I am unconventional and should not expect to find a conventional love. But first let me learn to fall in love with myself. In being true to myself, living according to my own inner authority, I will be present and authentic so that I can do just that.
I learned a lot about love and pain at a very young age, and I felt jaded and different. At first, I could only believe that I had grown up too fast, always acting too mature for my own good. With this loss of innocence, I found it difficult to connect to my peers, so I stopped trying. I was a weird kid, and I had found my weird friends, but then my friendship needs changed. We had grown together possibly because we were different than everyone else, we were the eccentrics.
That may sound vague, or even cryptic, so let me elaborate…my peer group felt like it was morphing into a multi-headed blob, instead of being a happy group of individuals. The thing we had in common, our weirdness, came to define us and became heightened. We became stereotypes and we stereotyped ourselves. But there was so much more of me that was not being acknowledged in any way.
So I choose to go off in search of a different kind of connection. I followed the beat of my own drum, and I began to base my friendships on true interests or values we had in common. This journey has been hard from the beginning. My parents had a new baby at home, so without friends, I had plenty of alone time. In some ways this was a huge boost of self-love, but I didn’t see it that way.
Soon, I got sucked up into a friendship that still persists today, with my cousin, older by eleven years, but his mind worked just like mine. An odd friendship for a 15-year-old, but our conversations were more educational than anything I learned in school. We truly had a connection; it was palpable. Even I, young as I was, knew this was the kind of friendship people want to have, so even while people (mainly our family) questioned our “motives” I stayed dedicated.
Ever since, I let my friendships happen, no matter who they are with. I can make friends with a four-year-old stranger at a wedding, or a 60-year-old stranger. I have never lost my ability to play and enjoy life, which some could perceive as flirting with the world! I own my interests, and they are by no means “cool.” I love picture puzzles, cribbage, intellectual discussions (where I seem to find many people who have retired awhile ago for some reason), but I am having a ball!
I may not meet a cute age-appropriate co-worker at work (since I am a nanny), nor may I find love discussing the Tao Te Ching with people twice my age (but maybe I will), but it doesn’t matter. But, I am sure to find friends, as I play with toy trains and poetically recite Lao Tzu…and I will nurture my love for my Self, and my own personal journey.