Even when I was young, I didn't enjoy mornings on a treadmill. Especially dressed as a model complete with a perfect ponytail. I didn't enjoy Zumba, or Aerobics, or even walking for an extended period of time. Some people do. Me? Not so much. And I used to feel badly about that. I felt I was supposed to want to exercise everyday...to enjoy brisk walks in the morning, and dressing up for exercise class at night.
Another thing about me? I am a homebody. I have always been happiest and most comfortable within the walls of my home. I never feel the desire to get dressed up on the weekends and go out to dinner or to a bar or a party. I feel much more happy being in my jammies, pouring a cup of coffee and hitting the couch for the evening. That is just me. It is who I am. I used to feel weird about that. I used to feel that I shouldn't be happy at home with Lifetime movies and a good book. I should be like everyone else, right?
And then there is the sun. I have always avoided the sun. I just do not enjoy being in the hot sun. I don't like to sit in the sun, or lay out in the sun. I just don't like it. And that is something I have felt weird about my entire life. I like to go outside in the early morning or late afternoon. I enjoy being at the beach when everyone else is leaving. It is just me.
This of course brings me to one last thing. I have never tanned. My skin is as white in August as it is in December. I am pale, and I always have been. It doesn't bother me. But it seems to bother other people! It used to bother me when people constantly commented on my lack of a tan. It used to make me feel embarrassed to wear sleeveless shirts in the summer because I knew someone would comment on my pale skin. Again. It is just who I am.
I do not judge other people's choices. I learned a long time ago that what other people do and enjoy is not my concern. Simply because I don't enjoy exercising, socializing, or tanning does not mean I think those things are wrong. Or weird. Not in the least. Some people enjoy exercise. That is great, really. Some people like to go out. I think that is awesome. And some people love the sun. They enjoy getting a tan every summer. Again. That's great, really!
While I feel that all of these things are great for people who enjoy them, I have only recently felt comfortable admitting that I don't. I haven't always been able to own the fact that I may be different, even considered strange by some. Today, I am comfortable in who I am. And in what I like. And I can only hope other people will be the same. But if not, that is ok. Really. Because at 48 years old, I am who I am. And I am proud to be me.
I wish I could tell my younger self not to worry so much about what other people think. I wish I could tell her to own who you are. Embrace the quirks that make you...you. Be yourself and respect the fact that others may not agree with what you do. I would tell her the best feeling in the world is being comfortable with yourself and who you are. I would tell her...Just do you.