Six months away from 50 and here I sit, looking at a series of tiny bruises on my fingertips. I’ve been testing my blood sugar off and on since I woke up today. Am I diabetic? No and that was confirmed today by the 7 tests I’ve done so far. Why did I just type “so far” like 7 isn’t enough? I blame the internet. I have way more access to information than I need. I was looking up appropriate, late 40’s woman stuff (for a friend) like can hot flashes only affect someone’s nose and before I knew it, I’d taken three health assessments and talked myself into needing a blood glucose monitoring system- which got here in less than 24hrs. Thank you, Amazon, for making crazy so easily accessible.
Surely, I’m not the only person that has questions about what to expect as the next decade of life approaches. For me, that decade is my 50’s. When I grew up, 50 year old’s were much different than they are today. They were the lunch ladies that winked at you when they gave you a corner piece of square pizza with the burnt cheese on it or the ones that worked the front counter at the doctor’s office and were stingy with the stickers. Pretty sure they all got perms and had them picked, fluffed and hair sprayed into place once a week. I’m probably so wrong but that’s how I remember it. Now we have Jennifer Lopez, Salma Hayek, and Halle Berry in their 50’s and they defy age of any type. I bet they don’t have bruises on their finger tips right now either.
This is a completely confusing time. 49.5 feels like I’m trying to keep my balance on a spinning barrel in the middle of raging rapids. I’ve experienced enough life to feel like I have an idea of how to do this, but life continues to show me that I don’t know shit about fuck most days. I suppose rebuilding my life over the last five years has something to do with that. I’d say that life, from the outside looking in, is pretty standard. Successful career, check. Two healthy kids that are contributing members of society, check. Finances in order (although I probably need someone to walk behind me and smack the debit card out of my hand), check. Friends that feel like family, check. A readily available reason to smile daily, check. But what about from the inside out?
Inside this head of mine…it’s a place where I float between an amazing, awful, ordinary, mundane, and breathtakingly beautiful life. It’s where I feel out of place in my own life like the moon during the day. It’s where chapters of my life are being written that won’t have titles for some time. It’s a place where I create, attract, and manifest my own happiness. Where I build my own reality with my thoughts, perceptions, and reactions to what goes on around me. It’s a powerful place where I create the life I deserve and where I vibrate love. It’s a place where dealing with myself feels like trying to stand up in a hammock somedays and other days it’s a place where I’m proud of the patience and wisdom I have to stop saying more than what’s necessary. Maybe it’s not a place for the weak, but it’s my place.
I actually enjoy adding another year’s notch to my belt. I feel smart and dumb, hardened and softened by the same experiences, filled with complex thoughts and a desire for simplicity to surround me, and I feel like there are a million questions I want to find answers to but that only a few of them will really matter at the end of my life. I have the realization that two of the only things I have control over are my attitude and my effort. I don’t crave closure and while I’m the first to apologize if I’ve wronged someone, I’m not the first to apologize to make someone else comfortable with their shitty behavior. I don’t want to be liked; I want to be appreciated because I add value to your life in even the smallest of ways. I have an affinity for vulnerability because it echo’s truth and feels like courage and both of those things aren’t comfortable-there’s something awestriking about someone who isn’t afraid to be raw and real.
I look at beauty so differently too. I find something beautiful about most everyone I see. Crooked smiles where kisses have lingered, freckles that lay like sprinkles on cheeks and noses, curly hair that screams to be straight, big ears that peak out from behind purposely placed hair…all the quirks, especially the one that people try to hide, that make them unique are stunning to me. Anyone can admire a perfectly placed flower in a vase, but it takes a little something extra to love a leaf and all it’s ordinariness. A friend told me today that “cute”, great tits and a perky ass are nice but if the insides are a rotten apple that’s not the person for him. I totally get that. It took me 49.5 years to love being a leaf with emotional depth, moxie, grit, a baseball hat and an overly curious smile.
There’s a something to be said about learning to love who you are, leaf or not. I thought I loved myself for years and really, I didn’t. It was more of a tolerance that hey, this is probably the best it’s going to be…sorry not sorry? I think age, the act of self-acceptance and self-preservation, and fully understanding what inspires me and what drains me have all paved the way back to myself. I get to stand face to face with myself every day and say this is where I am, no running, no hiding, there are some amazing things about myself that I’m going to discover and I’m going to find them no matter what and love them to fucking death. Well, that’s the goal at least. I still get caught up in daily bullshit and negative self-talk that I forget to give credit when credit is due even when the most amazing thing I did all day was not put a fork in an outlet.
I have no clue what the next decade will be like. I’d like to think I’ll attract someone who speaks my language so I don’t have to spend a lifetime translating my soul. To have someone understand my mind would be a different kind of intimacy. I want to be ridiculously honest with people and not apologize for feeling something or a lot. I want to have messy hair and a messier soul. I hope I’m brave enough to wear my heart on my sleeve and have passion in my tears. I want to laugh at my own jokes and celebrate my own successes. I want to fight for what I believe in and fight for others who have grown tired of their battle. I never want my spirit to settle for anything, ever. I want the strength to remain soft and let my fire burn hard when it needs to. I want to decide every day if I’m wild wrapped in fragile or fragile wrapped in wild. Yeah, that’s it, that’s how I want my next decade to be..….