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I was a long time in learning how to be myself.

For most of my life people have told me to be myself. As a youngster, I wasn’t sure who I was, so I had a difficult time being myself. All I really cared about was whether other kids liked me. As I grew older, I became more confident. Who I am has changed over the years.

As a teen, I was painfully shy. I tried to hide it behind a fun-loving mask, but I was living a lie. I was insecure and agonized over every aspect of my life. I longed for a boyfriend, but no one could see the real me, so I spent most of my teen years without one. I made some wonderful friends in junior high and high school, though. We made it through our tremulous teen years together, and I still call several of them my good friends these many years later.

As a young woman, I was idealistic and self-righteous. Okay, I was arrogant. I believed I could do anything, but I refused to listen to those who tried to help me accomplish my goals. Imagine that – a young person thinking she knows everything. I still didn’t really know who I was, though. I only knew who I wanted to be.

As I aged, I became more comfortable in my own skin. I realized that I am an intelligent, interesting, creative, and worthy person. If someone doesn’t like me, it’s okay. It took me a long time to figure out that some people are not meant to get along. Some people are like oil and water. I have worked with a few of those people.

Wisdom comes with age, and I now understand that I do not know everything. I have much to learn. I have limitations. No matter how I excel at something, someone will always be better. I’m fine with that fact. The knowledge makes me stronger. When others advise me on issues I’m facing, I listen and carefully consider their counsel. Sometimes, my friends and family are right and I’m wrong. Look at that, I’m strong enough to admit it.

It took me over 40 years, but I like who I am as a person. I understand myself now. I have many people who love me, and I gratefully accept their love without question. If I had this kind of wisdom and self-confidence when I was a teen, there is no telling what wonderful things I may have accomplished. Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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