At 6:38 this evening I will turn forty-six.
We’ve been having the sort of conversations where we look back at points in our lives and say “wow, my parents seemed so old when we did _____________ but they were the age we are now!” or worse, “… but they were younger than we are now.”
This is just what we say now.
Age is such a funny thing really. There was a period of time when I was convinced I’d surely have my crap together by forty and yet I am here to tell you that as I wake today, turning six years past that point, my crap is most assuredly not together. Maybe we only really figure it all out when we’re about to be Game Over. It certainly feels that way.
I write this while I’m sipping an afternoon iced coffee and also subconsciously questioning the wisdom in such a decision. I’ve never been one for gambling, but at this stage in my adulthood every time I partake in coffee it feels like a giant game of dice rolling risk:
will it wake me up with an energy kick? (also, why am I so tired at 2 in the afternoon?)
will it destroy my stomach and leave me wishing I were dead?
will it do nothing?
I’d throw in other options for fun, but honestly, it will only be one of those three and more than likely the second one because this is who I am now.
Adulthood! Am I right???
When I was in my twenties and dreaming of big risks like skydiving, backpacking through a foreign country, or deep-sea diving I was certain by now I’d be collecting countless risky adventure stories and living my best life. Instead, I traded in every opportunity and desire for such things for a failed stint at motherhood. Today the biggest risks I’m likely to take look like sleeping with a new pillow or braving Costco on a Saturday.
Well, and iced coffee in the afternoon apparently…
Or the spicy Dominican restaurant I’ve heard so much about. (IYKYK)
Here’s the truth though–as much as I miss dreaming of carefree and life-threatening risks (not of the coffee variety) I’m pretty ok with where I m today. I’m ok with forty-six. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love this old neck of mine to be a bit more flexible with pillows, and I prefer Costco on a Tuesday evening, but of the deeper stuff… I’m a big fan.
I know who I am today, and that girl dreaming of jumping from an airplane had no clue who she was. It’s safe to say that up until a small handful of years ago I still hadn’t a clue, though I’d wager I was getting closer. I no longer need the approval of others. I no longer fear failure because I understand the necessity of it–the richness of it.
I spent so long, as a writer, angry at myself that I didn’t have it together enough to finish (and publish) a book. Yet today, as I gather promotional items, work on edits, and prepare for my memoir to release in August I realize that it came just when it should have. One year shorter and it would have been something less than it is.
At forty-six I can relax. I can comprehend that problems are not likely knitted with the urgency they once seemed to have been comprised of. At forty-six I’m sleeping better than I have ever slept, and carrying myself with more confidence than I ever have. It turns out that feeling confident has nothing to do with what size you wear, how not-grey your hair is, or how your economic status plays out in your portfolio. Who knew?
At forty-six I understand that moments truly are the beautiful bits that comprise a life. I’ve dealt with enough nonsense from others that I have no problems insisting on a boundary, cutting my losses, and moving on.
Last weekend we went to the Van Gogh exhibit with friends. I wore a flowy sheer-floral ruana and my biggest cocktail rings. At one point, mid-laughter, I asked how I was doing channeling my best Mrs. Roper vibes and laughter ensued. My husband lovingly assured me I wasn’t “even close” to Mrs. Roper, but suddenly I realized I didn’t care if others thought I was. I didn’t care. I was comfortable, filled with joy, and living my best life. If that screams Mrs. Roper’s appearance then more power to us both!
I love floral dresses, floral coverups, and giant gemstone jewelry.
I love crystals, tarot cards, Jesus, Dan Levy, and puppies.
I am who I am and the biggest gift about being this age is accepting that and not changing my interests based on what is trending or someone else’s approval.
Wherever you’re at today, and however you are, I hope you can love yourself and accept this moment as authentically as it is. This has to be the definition of truly living because otherwise–what’s the point???