February 1, 2018
The 40’s. I grew up hearing the 40’s are when it all goes downhill. For women. Vitality, vibrancy, boobs, youth, fertility. If you are single the best chances for scoring a worthy partner have passed, and if you don’t have your crap held together by sex appeal then you’re kind of doomed to the place where unwanted women go. Naturally, I didn’t want to go there. Ever. I never imagined me in my 40’s even when I hit that screaming milestone last year. I calculated that I had come to an apex of half my life lived thus far and therefore if I was lucky I would get another 40 years in, which I equated to only 50% of life left to live.
And then I went there. I went there to the dark places where I pushed at my faster emerging wrinkles, cursing myself for not being more diligent about sunscreen in my younger years. I pulled at that newfound weird skin on my elbows. I spent too many minutes in front of the mirror looking at gray hairs coming in faster than my dog can shed, and just as many minutes lifting, poking and pinching at my naked body. Too much time online looking at bottled promises marketed towards my insecurities. In my deepest heart of hearts I knew that it was silly, unreasonable really, but still I went there. Not where I wanted to be in the face of self-love.
I’m 41 today. I have isolated my last year and those fears, my ‘downhill’ 40, and acknowledged it, accepted it, even embraced it and now I’m moving on. Strong and able-bodied and capable. Truth: can’t get uphill without the downhill. There is beauty in healthy doses of dirt, sweat and a whole lotta sunshine, and that leaves space for a gentle reset in my soul. A little mascara is good too. I have 100% life left to live every day. What a gift.