I never gave much thought to skin when I was a kid or even a teenager. It got scraped, black and blued, and even chopped open from time to time. One of my charming older brothers who shall remain nameless even smashed open the skin on my head with a baseball bat once. It was an accident. Really, it was! I remember from time to time examining my skin for some reason or another and actually liking it. I remember being 15 and being thrilled to return from the beach with the classic and cool bronze tan. As a 20 something, I remember liking my skin a lot. I was spared much of the agony of acne and my skin really was relatively flawless. No makeup applied. Self respecting hippie girls didn't do that. That was then.
Here's the shocking part: I don't like it so much now. You knew that was coming. It no longer meets the cultural standard for attractive. It still does an awesome job of protecting and containing stuff but it is multi toned and, yeah, not so smooth. There's no bronze now, only stupid patches of brown pigment. I've got some scars here and there and some veins that might scare little kids. These days I do apply a little of this and a little of that (emphasis on little) but am not interested in expensive skin care products or procedures. My skin continues to serve me well and I deal with its changing landscape.
What caught my attention recently was the phrase "comfortable in your own skin". Back in those days when I liked it, I can't say that I felt comfortable in my own skin. Those teen and early adult years were about figuring how who it was who really lived in that skin. I needed time to get to know her. I was awfully busy checking to see if she made the grade. Was her school and work performance of the highest quality? Did she dress and look right (whatever the current "right" was)? Did she say the right things and laugh the right way and blah blah blah? I don't think I was a whole lot different than most younger people. I know there are a few people who grow up feeling comfortable in their own skin and I think they are very fortunate. But I wasn't one of them.
I guess it comes to mind because I finally feel as if I am comfortable in my own skin. Yeah, it's not so pretty maybe but it finally fits really well. I have an ease now that took some serious years of living to acquire. I still have lots of expectations of myself and I am no where near ready to turn into a frumpy woman, but, on my good days I can also be much more accepting of me in the present moment. I am doing the best I can with whatever comes my way. My skin might be a bit lumpy or crinkled but my eyes are pretty damn shiny and I can sparkle just as much as I did when I was 21.