Note: I wrote this a few months ago. Thought with Polar Vortex and all it might be nice to think about shorts and hot weather and, um, other things. Forgive me. xo, Kendra
I live in a busy neighborhood in Los Angeles. If you walk around as much as I do, you’ll hear all kinds of snippets of conversations. People will talk (or yell) at you. Most of the time it’s just noise to me. Yesterday, however, two things stuck in my brain and repeated again and again like a Daft Punk song.
I gave money to a homeless guy. As I walked away, he said, “Everything’s gonna be O.K., sweetheart.” He was homeless and asking for money but he was telling me that everything would be fine. I tried to figure out what I’d said or done to make him think I wasn’t O.K. I wasn’t frowning or crying. I’d smiled at him. I was having a good day. I was on my way to a yoga class so I was wearing yoga pants, a bright blue tank top with a bunny on it and my hair in a bun, not really what you’d wear if you’re depressed.
Later on, I went to a movie with my husband. We walked a mile there and it was hot so I wore a short pair of denim shorts (straight up jorts) and a tank. After the movie, I overheard the girl behind me tell her boyfriend she liked my shorts. His answer was: “Yes, they’re cute but they’d look better on you.”
By the way, girls and boys, this is the correct answer when your significant other points out an item of clothing on someone. I don’t care if I was Sofia Vergara, that guy said the right thing. I glanced behind me and noticed the girl was very pretty and very young. I thought to myself, they would look better on her. I’m a fit person and I weigh less now that I did in my twenties but I’m also completely aware that I’m 38-years-old. A 25-year-old of any size would look better than I do in any item of clothing. And that’s all right. That’s just how it is.
The challenge, I think, is to be fine with this. And I’m not gonna lie, it is challenging. How do I look at the beautiful young women in my neighborhood daily (I swear they’re all models) and not feel depressed that I’m too old to get away with pigtails or crop tops or mini skirts? How do you do the whole “aging gracefully” thing? I bet the wise homeless man knows.
I have no idea.
But, I’m thirty-eight because I’ve lived thirty-eight years. Thirty-eight pretty fun years. I’ve done crazy things; I’ve experienced cool moments. I’ve earned my age. I’ve also earned the right to be walking around in cut-offs by putting in my hours at the gym and on my yoga mat. I should be proud that I can rock a pair of shorts instead of comparing myself to someone over a decade younger than me. In fact, I shouldn’t be comparing myself to anyone at all and I know it. I’m old enough to know it.
All day long I kept hearing the guy talking about my shorts. I stood in front of my full-length mirror staring at my ass for a good five minutes. But then I’d hear the homeless dude telling me everything is going to be O.K. And it is. It is. Be proud of how old you are. Be proud of your body, whatever size or age it is. Be proud of your jorts, y’all. Be proud of your jorts.
*terrible selfie by me that day. please forgive that too.