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When I was a teenager and later a young woman, I thought I had a big nose and the wrong body shape. I thought I was too pale. I thought I had chicken legs.

Now that I’m older, I can see that to be young is to be lovely. Every teenager is beautiful, even the ones who are not magazine-ready. Every college student practically floats. Young skin glows. The shape of your nose or your legs doesn’t much matter.

I wish I had known all this when I was 20. It would have saved me a lot of worry.

Now I wonder what 40 will look like from 60, and what 60 will look like from 80. I assume that although I feel wrinkly and creaky right now, someday I’ll think of 42-year-old me as a superstar: maybe not glowing and lovely, but still strong and capable.

I tell myself things like this to soothe my battered ego about being a middle-aged person. Getting older is still a bitch, though.

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