Accept your quirks.
I have ridiculously stumpy toes, moderately stumpy fingers, and pretty stumpy legs that sort of turn out in a weird way.
I have a gap in my front teeth that didn't close even after braces.
Sometimes I snort when I laugh.
I make really stupid and completely not-funny jokes when I am nervous about being liked in front of people.
I straighten the books on our bookshelves at least once a day.
I have an immature aversion to squishy foods, but most especially peaches.
I can listen to the same song over and over and over again until I'm sick of it, and, in turn, I will sing one little part of it over and over and over again until everyone else is.
These are some things about me. They are things that have always bugged me about myself, but I can't or won't do much to change these things. Maybe other people have these traits and maybe they don't; but they certainly are an inherent part of what makes me me. These are my quirks.
I think one of the major reasons that I couldn't wait to turn thirty was because it's the magical age when you're at ease with yourself, apparently. Though I've acknowledged that these and [many, many] other things are a cohesive part of the "Sarah package," I've not really accepted all of it. My self-confidence moves in inconsistent waves, and I can't really seem to drum enough of it up when faced with these things about me, these quirks.
Until recently? Is thirty really the magical mile-marker? I don't know. But suddenly, I'm just like, "Dude, it's a thousand outside and I'd really rather wear those shorts I bought than care about my knee fat, you know?" And Iris has the same front tooth gap and suddenly it's like this brilliant beautiful thing that we share; I love it now.
I don't know if it's turning thirty or just making it through so many other things on the journey here, but I'm starting to see why women say they feel so at comfortable with themselves as they age. At times, the maturation process has struck me in a negative way and I start fearing the signs of age for a minute; but then I realize I'm only afraid of losing this person that I've become more confident living inside. I won't lose her. I'm going to continue to grow into her.
It's like the things I started to think in my head five years ago--I'll wear what I like, I'll speak my mind, I'll seek the things that make me happy, I'll learn to love wholly--are finally making their way into my heart. They've moved from a thought to an action because they are becoming a part of me. I can dress myself in a way that makes me comfortable and be proud that I feel like me instead of worrying that I'm not trendy enough or the right body-type for skinny jeans and crop tops (because, seriously?). I can not only speak my mind but also admit to not knowing something or not liking something; and if a person thinks less of me? Well, that's on them. I have people who love me and I know who they are, just like they know me. I'm starting to trust that this adult life I envisioned is a good one and really ought to make it happen without questioning whether or not it's right or wrong. It's my happiness--not a selfish one; it's like destiny. I'm making life with people.
What I'm trying to say is, whether it's admitting that I will probably always struggle with biting my nails or really doing something, finally, without worrying about the opinions of others, I'm feeling able to accept myself. I don't know if it really does take age to accomplish this; I hope my girls find it sooner than thirty. But thirteen or thirty, accept your quirks. They are yours and that's amazing.