I love getting older, it’s a release, a joy, a place I was always meant to inhabit even when I was young. Being young – an adolescent, a young woman, the 20s, the 30s, even the 40s never sat well with me. I baulked under the responsibility of living, of child raising, of career seeking, of keeping up with the swift tsunami of life, the friends, the travel, the grappling at career paths, the pressure, the pressure, the pressure…….
I am 54 now, or in child-speak – 54-and-a-half. I am going through the Menopause – spelt with a capital letter, because Menopause is HELL ON EARTH, but I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, and can see a life post-Menopause twinkling in the near distance.
Despite the hideousness of Menopause, I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I no longer care what others think of me, I can be as rude to shop keepers or objectionable people as I like. I know my limits, I know what I want, I know I will never be an astronaut or a film star or millionaire or a celebrity, and I am fine with it all.
I look at the people from my past who have caused me great pain, anxiety and distress and I smile. None of that matters anymore. I feel healthy and angry at the state of the world (good angry, not bad angry), I have energy and desire. I know how I want to live the rest of my life and know that I no longer have anything to prove to anyone.
I know that death comes and that is all fine. I know that I have lived, and am living my best life, the one designed by me, for me.
I know I care deeply, love passionately and accept one thousand percent who I am. I know I have done my absolute best, and even though my best has never been enough, I know that none of that is my fault, it’s the fault of a world and an existence that always strives for stratospheric perfection.
I know I can look at myself in the mirror and say to myself, I have done my absolute best, for myself, for everyone I love, and now it’s my time, to be, to live, to be my own version of the imperfect me.
Looking back, I would say to my 20-year-old self, everything you’re going through is OK. You will be OK. You’re fine. Have these experiences but realise that none of them are the sum total of what you are. They are what they are right now. It’s 1984 and you are 20, but one day it will 2018 and you’ll be 54 and you’ll be alive and you’ll be fine and you’ll be happy with what you have. No life goes on forever. We all die, and post 50, you will smile more and you’ll swim in the blissful waters of self-approval, and everything will be OK.
(Pictures – me, April 2018, age 54, and below 1992, age 28 with my baby son)