The Serenity I Have(n't Really) Found

October 16th, 2012

They say that as you grow older, you also grow in self-knowledge, which leads, in turn, to self-acceptance and eventual serenity. (Or senility, which is sort of serene.)

I can’t wait. Self-acceptance? Serenity? Sign me up. Too bad I have to do all that learning about myself first. That sounds unpleasant.

Not that I haven’t experienced some growth already. I can fairly safely say that I have learned to accept certain truths about myself. Oh, not the big ones–I’m still in deep denial about anything that matters. But I have come to terms with the little unpleasant realities. And that’s a start, right?

Here are the shortcomings I have already–even in these tender years–learned to accept in myself:

1. I can’t wear eyeliner. I don’t know if the problem is my lack of skill at applying it, or simply that my buggy eyes can’t absorb a lot of make-up, but any attempt to outline them just looks WRONG. I surrender: Zooey, you can have my eye pencils.

2. I have a serious potato chip addiction. There. I said it.

4. I’m a lousy housekeeper.  Take today: there was an empty edamame shell on the floor between my husband’s office and our bedroom. I don’t know how it got there–hitchhiked on a passing dog?–but there it is. I’ve passed it by a dozen times today, but I have not–yet–picked it up. I just don’t see any rush.

6. I eat a lot of kale and spinach and accept that I am likely to be identified by strangers as The Woman with Something Stuck in Her Teeth.

7. I will never choose style over comfort. Which is why I look the way I do. But that’s not going to change, no matter how disgusted my teenage daughter becomes with me.

9. I like to eat.  I spent a lot of my young adult years hoping I would suddenly become one of those skinny girls who can nibble a few crumbs and then declare themselves full, but when I descend on a plate of food, I don’t resurface until it’s empty. Some of us are born picky poodles and some of us are greedy yellow labs and there’s no fighting nature.

10. I suck at math. (If you don’t believe me, look back at this numbered list.)

I realize these all seem trivial. If you can think of more important shortcomings that I may have neglected to acknowledge, please–keep them to yourself. There’s only so much self-acceptance I can take. At least until the senility kicks in.