Yes, I have been moaning about my wrinkles, but looking back, I realize that self confidence grows with age.
I remember when I was a fresh-faced girl of 19, I started going out with a slightly older guy who worked in a car magazine. While he was a worldly and well-traveled yuppie, I was fresh out of school, completely new to the world.
For a start, his lifestyle was completely out-of-sync with mine. Being the adventurous type, his weekends were spent motor-crossing or scuba diving in the unspoilt waters of the lesser known islands.
One weekend, he invited me for a weekend of snorkeling in a small Malaysian island. We crammed into his friend’s car and braced ourselves for a long journey (about 3 hours on the road and another few hours on a bumboat) to the tropical paradise.
Along the way, the guys were chatting merrily about their diving adventures. They spoke with such wisdom, in good English with a hint of accent like they had been educated overseas, I was in awe (and dumbstruck).
Thinking that there was no way I could participate (or contribute intelligently) in the lively conversation, and afraid they would ask me to share my stories or views, I pretended to sleep. Have you ever tried pretending to sleep for hours when you’re wide awake? I forced my eyes shut and eavesdropped on their conversation. I even heard someone saying “How can she sleep so much?” My God. That was the most agonizing 3 hours of 'sleep'!
At the island, instead of frolicking in the azure blue sea and having the time of my life, I was worried if I had brought the right outfits or showed too much skin. Was my swimsuit too skimpy? Did I say the right things or eat too much? I was miserable and felt so alone. My personality must have been as charming as the big boulders on the white sandy beach.
Of course, looking back, nobody looked down on me or treated me any differently. They were just a bunch of regular guys out to enjoy a weekend. They were being themselves whilst I was not. I was the one with the issues, not them.
Fast forward… if we were thrown together again today, I'll surely regale and trade silly stories like there's no tomorrow... just like a wise old woman!