"Few things in this world are as delightful as a woman who has arrived at an age where she has so few fucks to give she can't even be bothered to tell you how little your opinion means to her.” - The Q
The Universe will give you what you need when you need it. When I read the above quote from my dear friend, Amand Q. I screamed out loud, “Fuck yeah!” Her words popped up in my Facebook feed as I questioned if my brand of authenticity is maybe too much for some folks.
It’s not insecurity that causes me to question myself; ultimately, I don’t want to offend anyone unnecessarily. I especially don’t want to alienate or repel someone who would otherwise be open to reading what I write.
Honestly, though, it takes way too much energy to care what other people think of me at this stage in my life, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea nor do I want to be. I say fuck and shitballs often, not for shock value but because I’ve earned the right to express myself as colorfully as I so choose.
It’s not lost on me that there are younger generations of women, including my nieces, who may be influenced by what I write. When they are old enough to make informed decisions about how they wish to express themselves, including the use of profanity, well then, so be it. I won’t judge.
It’s taken me a long time to become comfortable in my skin, to judiciously reserve or give fucks, and to accept my midlife experience as just that, mine. I alone (and my hormones) dictate what midlife means to me, my body, my spirit, and my mind.
Midlife is as unique to a woman as her fingerprint; we may have shared or similar experiences, but no two are identical. In midlife, one size does not fit all.
A few years ago, I thought mid-life was the halfway point between life and death, but now I know midlife is an accumulation of our early life’s experiences woven with genetics and heritage. Midlife is also a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual awakening to our true self.
I wrote recently, Midlife is not a crisis; it’s a choice, and got this tossed at me, “Why do you write about midlife? You're not old enough to write about midlife."
Now, look’a here, it was a man who threw this at me. Initially, my reply (in my head) wasn’t very kind. Rather than cut him down, I replied, “How old is old enough to know anything?” Followed by, “How old would you feel if you didn’t know how old you were?” And, “Is midlife only about age?”
A few birthdays ago, someone asked my age, and for a split second, I forgot! You know that feeling when something briefly slips your mind? You can feel it, but the answer doesn't come right away. In that short moment, when I couldn't recall my age, I felt intense relief. It was glorious.
I felt relief at my inability to recall my age not because I was embarrassed or some other nonsense. I felt relieved of any perceived expectations of how I should feel, how I should act, or see myself and my surroundings. Deep, right??
Perceptions, opinions, bias, and most everything that we know and understand about ourselves and our world is a result of information filtered through personal interpretation and experience. Imagine rewriting or reshaping expectations, or better, releasing them all together.
According to Psychology Today, midlife is defined as the central age between 40-65, a time when we struggle with aging, mortality, and a sense of purpose. Midlife is also a state of mind.
Hollywood depictions and other media force-feed us how to feel, how to behave, and what to think about being a woman, about aging, sexuality, and so much more. It’s our job to push back. What feels right to you about life, living, sex, aging, and relationships with yourself and others? Do that.
What do I know about midlife? Adulting, ailments, growing older, and emotional mayhem often make my midlife feel like a struggle rather than an opportunity for growth. Breast Implant Illness catapulted me into early menopause, but even so, my body, mental state, and world outlook are changing. My evolution, how I cope and share my experience is my personal brand of midlife.
It's an odd thing, the concept of time and the perception of age. I'd much rather experience my life guided by how I feel vs. the number of years that I've lived.
Midlife isn't the midway point between life and death. Midlife is when you reevaluate your life and decide what's important, the time when you choose to come into your own. Midlife is a time to awaken to your truth - whatever that means for you.
I can't subscribe to what others think midlife should mean for me. My midlife is real and raw, and messy and filled with lots of fuck balls, and it’s mine.
Most days, I don't think about my midlife as bad or good; it's a phase, a life chapter where I have greater control of how my story unfolds.
So, how do you midlife? Or how old would you feel if you didn't know how old you were?