You couldn’t pay me enough money to be 20 again. Maybe there will be an age when I’d like to turn back the clock, but I haven’t gotten there yet.
For me, the biggest difference between 20 and 32 is a lot more confidence. I felt threatened by other girls at age 20 in a way that I simply don’t anymore after going through some shit. (Shit is an effective teacher, right?) When I met another female at age 20, I looked for the differences. Were her thighs skinnier? Was her butt smaller? Now when I meet another woman my first instinct is to look for the connections. Does she like the same books? Has she been through some shit too? (Spoiler: We all have.)
Which isn’t to say that I never feel jealous anymore — I’m not that enlightened yet. But the visits from the green eyed monster are few, and she doesn’t rock my world the way she used to. I can usually recognize her, nod in acknowledgment, and go about my business. If I’m feeling emotionally ambitious, I’ll step back and try to identify what I’m feeling insecure about that triggered my reaction, but sometimes I’ll just move past it without too much reflection.
The day you realize that other women’s accomplishments, possessions, and attributes have absolutely no effect on your own, you are liberated. Your friend’s spotless kitchen doesn’t make yours dirtier. Her Pinterest-perfect birthday parties don’t make your own more or less fun. And once you stop seeing her as competition and instead love her as a fellow sister who’s also just doing the best she can (even if her best — on the surface — looks better than yours), you are free to support, teach, and learn from each other.
The transformation from seeing other women as competition to sisters is miraculous. You will be amazed at how many amazing women you’ll meet. Women who are similarly confident and secure and will do anything to support you on your journey. Women who will celebrate your accomplishments right along with you because you’re all on the same team.
On that note, I want to share one of my favorite Dar Williams songs with you, “As Cool as I Am.”
And if you like her sound, here’s a link to the CD on Amazon: Dar Williams – Mortal City