I recently experienced my first moment of pure envy.
For my 38 years in our world I have appreciated and admired other women. I admire their never ending capabilities as they morph between gentle mother to shrewd business woman; their physical beauty and their hearts which often have no end of love and compassion.
Women have such strength, such resilience to adversity, we all deserve to be admired and appreciated, especially by each other.
Thus my surprise when I felt this strange spiteful feeling as I looked and spoke to this friendly girl. She would have been no more than 20; tiny, toned, blonde and completely at ease with herself. The unknowing object of my envy was also wearing a skirt that I had purposely hunted down and realised, after a horrid 5 minutes in the change room, that not 1 of 3 sizes properly fit nor suited me.
The skirt was nothing special really, it was pretty, but most importantly, was almost identical to a skirt I had owned 20 years before. Seeing the skirt advertised on Instagram had invoked memories of when I used to wear hippy skirts and brightly coloured converse sneakers, with long, ripply, wild hair flowing down my back.
As is the case with nostalgia, although this time of my life was plagued with troubles, I choose to reminisce with rose coloured glasses, where the bond of friendship held me together, where we were oh so young, pretty and.. well young.
Youth, that was why I was envious. I felt, for the very first time, physically older. I saw a reflection of what I used to look like and I experienced true clarity that that time of my life is over. I had looked at that lovely girl and saw youth, a flat stomach, hips untouched by children, skin bronzed and yet to show the sun damage lurking underneath. I felt old.
Ironically, I don’t want to be in my 20s again, I like myself better now, I am better, in every way that matters. I understand my body, I love that I can run long distances, that I can competently practice yoga, contorting my body to bend and stretch, that I can practice handstands and cartwheels with my daughter and kick the footy with my son. I love that I can easily haul my chubby baby around and play crawling chasy. However, in that moment, I forgot all that I love about my able body and saw its age.
This small and insignificant moment in time sparked something deeper for me. It brought to the forefront a profound grateful feeling. I am growing older, what a privilege that is. I have wisdom that lovely girl is yet to obtain and even better, I know that I have so much more to learn.
As I walked out of the store, swinging a bag containing a hippy skirt I could wear, on the way home to my husband and three healthy children, I threw a thank you up above, I’ll take growing older.. the hippy skirt is optional.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. There’s a nifty little comment field below. Much love xK