Arthritic pains, hot flashes, stress and wrinkles withstanding, I would not relive my twenties if you paid me. That creased, hot-to-the-touch skin cloaks me in a sense of comfort that I was never afforded two decades ago. In those days, I wore a skin that never felt comfortable. That twenty year old skin never seemed to feel like it fit on the body that was attached to my brain.
Perhaps these wrinkles are the road map of the journey that led me to where I am now. Each crevasse that is etched into my skin marks a milestone that ensured, not only a lesson learned but, a memory was created. Like every foolish twenty something, I thought I was invincible. I didn’t necessarily feel like the world owed me anything but I felt like it was my oyster and it was my destiny to find that pearl.
It took me that span of twenty years to realize that I am the pearl in the oyster of my reality. The epic search for the jewel encased in a hard shell was actually the search for my true self. The walls that I had created in my teens and twenties became the shell of my oyster and the pearl was me. Slowly, over these many years, that pearl has come to represent the confidence I now have in myself in every facet of my life.
Spending time chiseling away at the outer shell of my oyster has allowed me to gradually peer into the real meat of my reality and open the doors of that tomb that was my shell. I no longer feel the same constraints I did in my twenties and if some remnants of those constraints still remain, I don’t care. It is only a matter of time before the sand on the beach of my reality wears away the residue of that shell that still threatens to inter my world.
In my forties the world has become my oyster, once again, but in a completely different way. I know who I am and I finally can admit to what I want. My obstacle now is not the boundaries of my shell but the only the boundaries of my courage and my imagination.