by Tiffani “No Longer In Her 30’s” Michele
I was going to title this “Aging Gracefully”, but that lent to images in my head of a lovely woman in creme pants and lacy blouse with pink cheeks and gold earrings slowly sipping on tea while lounging in a chinzy chair. And that aint me. I’m known to wear a inappropriately short dress that makes me look like a discoball. I love to make my hair look like colors more suited to frosting on top of cupcakes. I like to dance and sing much too loudly. I love wearing neon colors.
So then I was going to title this “Aging Not So Gracefully” but that lent to images in my head of a used to be party girl a la Pamela Anderson with stringy hair, ashy skin, lips hashed with lines from puffing on cigarettes, and a body hammered by years of thoughtless living. And that aint me either. I’m careful about drinking enough water, getting enough rest, and stretching in the morning. I love feeling strong, athletic, and grounded. Hard drugs aren’t in my past or future, and the only thing I might drink to excess some nights is whiskey.
I almost went with, “Aging, She’s a Bitch!” but she’s really not. Age is another word for experience when it comes to humans, and if someone offered to give me one year back in exchange for one big experience I’ve had in the last 40 years I would stay 40 instead of cashing 20 things in and going back to 20. I know my body intimately now in ways I couldn’t connect to before. My emotions run deep and I have a huge gratitude for this vessel I’m in. I love how strong it is, I love the babies it’s carried, I super love all the orgasms it’s given me, I love how it’s hair grows fast enough to let me color/cut/shave/style it anyway I want and it will always go back to normal, I love it’s insights and confidence.
So, OK, how about, “Aging, She’s Not a Bitch!” but she kind of is. I’m not so zen that I look at the wrinkles around my eyes and call them laugh lines. Things are sagging that used to be…not saggy. Things are softening up that used to be…not soft. Things are stretched and pulled and wrinkled that used to be…not. I watch my teenage daughter develop into the woman I used to be–taut belly, smooth face, firm breasts and a perky butt–and understand a little bit where Snow White’s stepmother was coming from. I’m not proud of that, I just kind of get it though!
As you can tell, aging has left me just as convoluted and all over the place as anything else in my life. I’m a walking contradiction. I like to say, “I contain multitudes”, a line right out of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself. I also accept this reason from my kids when I ask them why the heck they’ve done what they’ve done (because kids really do some crazy shit that makes no sense whatsoever). It really covers a lot.
So. Maybe that’s just it. I contain multitudes. I make no apologies for it. Some days I’m strong, others I’m weak. Some days I know what is going on, others I walk around thinking, “What the fuck?”. I don’t have all the answers. I’m brash and bold and shy and scared. I don’t play by the rules much anymore.
Always always now, I am me.
The first 40 years of my life I feel like were lived for everyone else. For 40 years it was all about what other people liked/wanted/needed/thought/felt/opined. The next 40? It’s the “Me Show”. Some people get it, some don’t. I’m not for everyone. For the first time ever, at this point in my life I don’t really care to be for everyone. I don’t really care to follow someone else’s rules all the time. I know myself well enough to know what I need to do to keep me happy and fulfilled.
I tried to find a horoscope or fortune to tell me what was in store for me in the next year. The fortunes from Panda Express were lame (anyone notice how lame fortunes are getting? They’re more like bossy parents…”do something nice for someone else”…wtf?!) and the horoscopes were all wrong. And then, when I walked into the photobooth with my kids to do a birthday photobooth, there it was. The writing on the wall. The sage words from an Oracle.
Are you ready for what’s in store for the next year? Feel free to join in!