The first memory I have of feeling awkward, uncomfortable and embarrassed to be me is from when I was eight. It’s been a long journey since then. There are sign post moments that stand out. Lessons learned and heartbreak earned. I tried hard sometimes and didn’t try much at all other times. I learnt some stuff and forgot other stuff. I learnt what it is to be me, right here, right now.

I was in my pre-teens when the battles with my body started. The battles with other people started around the same time. I would do anything to prove my worth, show people I had value, prove myself to them. All the while maintaining a holier than thou exterior. I hid behind that front when I was scared or challenged. I was better than them. Even though I knew, to my toes that I wasn’t. It’s hard work keeping that type of mask in place. Let me tell YOU.

Masks are hard work. Full stop. I find it harder to pretend these days then to be myself. I still get embarrassed, usually when I fall, or do something unavoidably stupid. But I’m not embarrassed to be who I am. I’m not embarrassed to be me. A few years ago a friend told me of the calm that enveloped her in her late twenties/early thirties. I nodded, smiling, thinking sure sure. But now I’m here, I think I might say the same.

Laugh if you will. But I do. Scoff if you will. My brother should definitely look away.

If this is what thirty is going to feel like, bring it.