You know what, I haven’t had a reason to take a selfie since I stopped posting on social media. But I’m taking one today because I’m having a good hair day and what better reason to shoot a selfie than when you’re experiencing your best self.
Anyway, today I’m thinking about the fact that I’m getting deeper into my thirties (holy flirting with my forties) and I am surprisingly calm about that fact. But then I think about it longer and, uh, not so calm.
Aging is a roller coaster of emotion and time is just like the most insane concept ever. I swear that it was just yesterday that I was birthing my first born at the tiny age of 24 and now he’s taller than me with a voice that sounds like his dad’s and I’m just real confused as to how we all got here.
I think it’s interesting. Aging that is. Getting older and supposedly wiser. I’m pretty sure I say that every year but I’m nothing if not a repeat joke offender. I think this is truly the first year in my life where I have seen personal growth in several aspects of my life. I mean, there have been slow changes unraveling over the last few years but it seems like they have all culminated at this juncture in my life and I’m trying to process it all so that I can feel like I’ve accomplished something because don’t we all just want to feel accomplished?
One of the things I’m processing is lessons I’ve learned over the years like “never say never” because I guarantee you will absolutely experience all the shit you think you’re immune to.
I look at myself in the mirror and I’m all like, “hee-Ey not too shabby” but then I look at myself in a picture from a mere five years ago and I’m like “damn, shits gotten rough.” But like in a good way, I guess.
I think the eyes give me away. I was looking in my rear view mirror yesterday and noticing how the crinkles around my eyes have gotten deeper. Like just this past week they’ve really carved themselves out despite my spending a small fortune on under eye creams and eye gel creams and eye mask creams and puffy eye creams and fine line and wrinkle creams. They’re just hanging out on my face as if they were invited. Anyway.
All physical signs of aging aside the part that really gives me away is my “fuck it” attitude. There are so many things that I no longer care about. Like being right. Or having the last word. If someone wants to tell me that the sky is purple and grass grows in the ocean I am all for just nodding and smiling back at them and going on my merry way because if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that people with wack-a-doodle opinions don’t give a fuck about mine. And let me tell you that has been a bitter pill to swallow.
Anyway.I think it would be an interesting mental exercise and thought processing experiment to list some of the life altering realizations that I have had. I mean maybe not for you as the reader but you’ve hung in there with me this far so may as well take it one step further amiright?
So in honor of being older and non the wiser (yea, that joke isn’t going anywhere) let’s do the top 38 things I’ve learned in the last 38 years.
Guys. I’m kidding. Even I wouldn’t read that. And also I’m not sure I’ve actually learned that much (cue older but not wiser joke here). But I think I can muddle my way through my top three take-aways from the last almost four decades. Four. Decades? Okay, now I’m starting to panic. It’s fine. We’re fine. Everything’s fine.
Without further ado…
Body size doesn’t fucking matter. I added the fuck in there and I think there will be a few more in this little section because I really want you to feel my disdain for the idea that thin is better and small bodies equal healthy bodies. I recently came across a photo of myself and my husband from our honeymoon- oh so long ago- and my arms were literally skin and bones. I was so so so small. If you want your mind blown I was actually 70 pounds lighter then.
And I vividly remember cowering in my two piece on every beach outing, hating the way I looked and cursing myself every time I caved to hunger and ate something. Hi, I had an eating disorder. Sure I weigh a lot more now but damn if I’m not healthier.
Mind, body, and spirit.
So a little love letter to all y’all who see your expanding body and think it’s let you down. Instead, look at your beautiful changing self and see the life giving story your body tells. Be the healthiest you that you can be and remember that has abso-fucking-lutely nothing to do with the numbers on a scale.
Lie. Lie. Lie. Ok that was misleading. I’m not talking about giving false information although I am tempted to start lying about my age. I’m not 38, I’m 37 and 13 months. That’s a friends reference for all y’all born in and after 1992.
Anyway. I’m referring to positioning. I feel the need to prepare all you young-ins about something that happens around age 35. Or maybe it’s around the time you survive a pandemic. Either way, you basically spend all your time thinking about when you can go back to bed. To sleep. Because that is now what beds are for.
You’re either up and moving or you’re laying down and sleeping. There’s no more sitting on the couch binge watching Netflix documentaries or reading a life giving book all snuggled up under your favorite blankie. Those are merely precursors to your body realizing that it’s no longer moving and therefore should proceed to a horizontal position where it can resume its natural state of sleep. You wake up in the mornings and think about how you are already ready to go back to sleep.
So my biggest piece of advice is to enjoy your vertical lives while you can.
One isn’t the loneliest number. I think this might be the most important lesson I have learned in my life: no one can make you happy.
Not a partner.
Not a spouse.
Not a child.
Not a friend.
No relationship, no situation, no thing can do it.
Not a one.
Sure they might bring you laughter and comfort and company and joyful moments, but they can’t give you resting happiness. I’m not a Christian blogger so I won’t do a play on words and tell you there is only One who can facilitate that actual joy. But I will tell you that my experience with happiness is that it lies in inner peace and it is our responsibility to find what quiets that internal chaos. And when we find it, we should protect it.
Protect that shit like you would protect the last piece of candy in the house from your kids.
So another “in honor of 38” moment, I encourage you to gift yourself with one or all of these things in the coming days:
- Throw away the scale
- Take a nap
- Find your inner peace and do some yoga. (Had to. You think we’d get through a whole post without the mention of yoga?)
Side note: this little space has been a huge facilitator of my inner peace so thank you for being here with me. Happy Thursday (Thoughts), beautiful people.