“Today is the greatest
Day I’ve ever known
Can’t wait for tomorrow
I might not have that long”
Today I decided to own my pending middle age. I turn 50 next year. 5-0. 5-Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I practice saying the number in the mirror as I study my face for new lines and spots. I’m okay it’s coming, except on days when I’m not. Those aren’t often though.
I am Gen-X. We had phones that had to be plugged into a wall. I liked to twist the cord around my finger as I flirted with a boy within earshot of my disapproving dad. A selfie had to be done in art class. Social media involved posting a message with a pen on somebody’s hand, a yearbook, or on the bathroom wall. The height of our hair during the 80s was a marvel of architecture and alcohol-based bonding agents. I transferred these building skills into career-building skills after earning multiple advanced degrees.
Women in my generation took the workforce and our careers by storm. Some of us, like me, balanced our careers with traditional things like marriage in our 20s and families by 30. I made terrible mistakes. I had phenomenal success. I grew out of my youthful stupid. I set aside some passions willingly to give the most I could to my family and career. Writing was one of the passions I set aside.
FIVE-NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. It is coming. My kids are getting older. One moved out last year for college, and two more are not too far behind. I lost my father earlier this year. That was horrible, and I’m still mucking through grief daily. I’m starting to experience other nuances of middle-age full force, including the desire to wear statement necklaces with everything. I’m actually okay with this.
I’m not okay with not writing. So, here I am. I have been carrying around novels and blogs inside of me for years. I read current books and sometimes resent the way women my age are portrayed. Why are we always wearing scarves, chunky bracelets, tall boots, and leggings in these books? I still wear Converse and Docs. I don’t want to be portrayed in a book falling apart from age and menopause wearing scarves, chunky bracelets, leggings, and boots. I still have more to give the world, including cool fashion.
I am wise, and I don’t care what other people think of me. Baby won’t be put in a corner. I can still bend, run, and throw a cartwheel, even though I’ll need to complain about it the next day. And, I can still write and have the best, most creative things to say about what comes next for me and women of my generation. So, I’m going to write it, and hopefully, some people are going to joyfully read it. Bring it on, 50.
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