I finally know the difference between pleasing and loving, obeying and respecting. It has taken me so many years to be okay with being different, and with being this alive, this intense.
― Eve Ensler, I am an Emotional Creature
I’ve never really given much thought to my age. My Grandmother fought, denied, and punched the idea of aging in the face. To say she merely denied her age is being generous. The family didn’t dare whisper her age, celebrating her birthday was acceptable but there is an infamous story about her 75th birthday where a well meaning family member put up a giant banner declaring Happy 75th Birthday!! Time has faded my memory but I do remember that the banner was removed before she arrived. My Father recounts the story of finding a letter from the Prime Minister in her room, when she was living in an assisted living residence. It was congratulating her on one of her ‘big‘ birthdays. He offered to hang it for her and she balked at it, conveying her offence that the Prime Minister had the audacity to send a letter that actually stated her age.
My Grandmother was always dressed in heels and stockings, hair done, and bathed in Chanel number 5 when she left the house. She was put together, and I don’t think she would have ever thought about not leaving the house dressed. Despite her denial of the aging process she lived into her 90’s. I don’t think she understood my Mom outfit when she visited. My sweat pants with paint on them were for hanging around the house. My sweat pants that came with a jacket were for grocery shopping and picking the kids up at school, and yes I did on occasion drop off in pyjamas.
As I look back I honestly thought I would have a little more money saved, and not still be obsessing about my weight. In a nutshell I thought I would have my shit together.
Maybe next year.
Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.
― Gloria Steinem
Besides, it happens fast for some people and slow for some, accidents or gravity, but we all end up mutilated. Most women know this feeling of being more and more invisible everyday.
― Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters♥♥
Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.
― Coco Chanel
I’m 51 and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
I’m still marvelling at the fact I’m in my 50’s. How did this even happen? I’ve never been one to deny or dread my age but I find myself as a new empty nester feeling like I have opportunity staring me in the face and I’m oblivious to it all.
I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing with said opportunity. Travel? Maybe. I do admire the travel blogs where people chuck all their possessions and travel. If I’m being honest though, the thought of going through everything I own seems like a very stressful endeavour so my laziness would probably prevail.
I updated my bucket list, so maybe that’s a good place to start.
60 Before 60
It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.
― Gabriel García Márquez
So I decided to stop colouring my hair. I say it’s because I wanted to embrace my age, to stop denying my 51 years. To have the freedom to live in Taipei for a year without the pressure of needing to colour my roots. The truth is, it’s because I’m lazy. One good thing came out of my self diagnosed possible depression, my funk, my ‘it’s been a really bad few years’. I have no desire to leave the house so my grey roots aren’t really an issue.
I was inspired by all the women on Pinterest posting pictures of their process growing out their coloured hair. Of course they look cool, and chic, rebels. I however do not look cool. I think I’m OK with that. Looking at the pictures I probably could have combed my hair. I’m also realizing how much I look like my Dad.
This isn’t my first foray into blogging, not that anyone actually read my blog. I blogged for quite a few years, and then as most blogs have done now, the writer finds other things more interesting or challenging and lets it go dark. The mommy blogger trend seems to have gone the way of the dodo, I suspect because their kids got to the point where they weren’t so cute anymore, marriages portrayed as the perfect unions failed, and there is only so long you can keep up a facade of perfection in life. Life’s messy. It occurs to me that this may be why no one read my blog, I never fit in any of the categories that seemed popular. I wasn’t a ‘mommy’, I don’t feel the need or desire to quote scripture. I can’t see myself chucking all my belongings and traveling the world. (I can’t imagine getting rid of all my books) My constant battle with my weight is not fun or successful, so that pretty much rules out not only weight loss blogging, but fitness and healthy recipes. I like to travel but my travel adventures are not very exciting. I’m not sitting on a stool in the street in Taipei eating noodles, or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. My greatest travel adventures involved a rum bar in Manhattan and drinking two martinis on an empty stomach, and running from Elmo in Times Square. The Elmo incident alone is an example of why I’m not a good ‘tourist’, and one of several examples of why I hate Times Square.
So I’m blogging again. It feels pretty good. Like screaming into a cave to hear your own echo and knowing no one else can hear it. I had a friend who confessed to me when our kids were little that she felt so crazy at times she went into her room, locked the door and screamed into her pillow until she felt she could cope. Maybe this is more like that.