Yesterday, this thought came through my Twitter through the television show THE REAL. The question/topic was would you date your twenty-year-old self. Adrienne Haughton answered this as only a woman could whom is familiar with her entire self. She admitted that she was selfish, didn’t know how to say “No” and was only worried about her career.
I mean, that’s powerful.
So, the question is this:
Would Jenn want her twenty/twenty-something-year-old, dated?
In a word? NALL.
And here is why.
At twenty, I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know where I wanted to do. I wasn’t in school. I was aimless! I didn’t have an idea of what I wanted or how to get it. I wasn’t writing, and I was depressed! No one needed to date me! I needed to heal! But if I were to narrow this to three things, maybe four, as to why thirty-something Jennifer, is much better than twenty-something Jennifer.
Ambition. I didn’t finish college with my first degree until I was 27. The ambition that I have now, I didn’t have then. Some, but not all. Twentysomething Jenn (TSJ) had all this drive and no assistance to channel it. I knew I wanted to write. But I had small kids! Ambition without aim is wheel-spinning. It’s not cute. Me, now? I don’t shy from that ambition–and I have a trajectory for it now. I have a better idea what, and how to get that. More than before. No one wants a partner that has no aim but all power.
Confidence. I was always tall girl. TSJ was insecure and carried what people thought. I was a people pleaser. I remained fluid with stressful or toxic situations. I stayed when I should have left. I made excuses when I should have never agreed. I was the girl that stayed when I never should have gone. I wasn’t a pushover, but I wasn’t as strong as I am now. Some of that comes with life experience, but some comes from the lack of common sense. Relationships thrive where are spaced of equality and support. Being insecure, within yourself, helps nothing.
The ability to dream. TSJ was a dreamer. I still am on the cusp of becoming 40. In my early twenties, my dreams were nebular. They were there, but they weren’t as solid as they are now. In that label ‘dreamer’, I cheapened the vision for my life. I’m not just a dreamer. I know now that I am a visionary. That is beyond dreaming. That is dreaming plus the implementation. In that dreaming, I am able to pinpoint and plan and set things in place to create what I see! And that visionary capability–sometimes I think–curves advances for my affection or attention before. For and in my current relationship, that visionary capability fueled by my own ambition has caused issues in my relationship. Why? By his own admission, he had never encountered a woman like me. EVER. Dreaming is one thing. Implementing is another. What I understand now is a the dream is one thing, but the hustle is never free. It’s mandatory.
Love. TSJ didn’t think that she was pretty. I thought I wasn’t curvy enough. Breasts too small. I didn’t want to get darker in the sun. I didn’t love me like I love me now. I thought if I was different, looked different, my life would be different. Now, I love all of me. Even the stretch marks, and small pudge. I love the woman I am, and who I am becoming. I grin at the gray hairs. I think, now, that beauty isn’t just being eye candy but being your whole self. Without apology. TSJ wouldn’t do that.
I was ratchet at points. I was ridiculous. I made mistakes and fucked up! Alot. There are things I wished I could change. There are things that I have learned that I would never have learned without going through them. My husband tells me that he wished that he could have met me earlier. Nall. NALL. I wasn’t ready for a man that had a mission or a call or direction! I was unsure of who I was, but I knew that I was alot.
TSJ was still a girl.
Jenn approaching 40 is dope and she is amazing and she is deserving of all good things.
I am grateful for my twenties. I learned. I strived. I became a wife and mother. I became a grateful for everything that I learned from 20-29. But, my mother says it this way, “After 25, you start settling into yourself.” I’ve settled into myself, and I’d have it no other way.
[image from bigsurpartners.com]