On aging.. I turned 46 in April, one year older than 45, fours years away from 50. Shit is starting to get real. I will never be young again, my youth is a thing of the past, the only way to go is up. The other day I heard a friend say 50 is not so bad but once you hit 52, you're old. I've been in a deep process over what this all means to me for the past few months, but it really hit me hard these past couple of days as I've been observing how those around me are coping with this inevitable process. I look in the mirror and I see a different face, I see a face that's losing it youth, a face that has a little more wear than it used to, a face that's losing its youthful glow. I see a body that's subtly changing shape, just slightly but noticeable enough to make me completely aware of the fact that there is no going back. I take incredible care of myself, I eat healthy, I exercise, I have a healthy emotional life. I take time to honor my process, in fact there is nothing more important to me than being present to, owning and ultimately embracing everything in my life, no matter how uncomfortable or excruciating it may be. I will never give advice to my clients unless I have been there first which is why it's even more important for me to stay totally committed to my emotional life. So, in an effort to remain transparent and, I will admit it scares the shit out of me to be this vulnerable, to put it all out there, I am going to share the real truth of what it feels like to age. It's terrifying, it's scary and it's HARD, and this is just the beginning. It's terrifying because I am a woman in a society that idolizes beauty above everything else, we spend billions of dollars a year chasing the unobtainable standard and, in that process, completely disconnect from our hearts, our souls, that which can and will transcend this external desire to be beautiful, to be loved, to be worthy.. Sometimes our very existence depends on that validation, our VERY EXISTENCE. We were born not good enough, we were born in a world that only values us for how we look, and no matter how much we try to deny it, we are so steeped in this feeling of not being good enough that it dictates every action we take. Even for someone like me who does the work on a daily basis to rise above this superficial belief system, it is ALIVE in me, so alive in fact that most people and, no offense meant, but men especially cannot even begin to fathom the kind of pressure that a woman feels to "measure up" on a moment by moment basis. Everything, and I mean everything, in our society, revolves around the beauty of a woman. If you disagree, great. But, if you disagree, take a second, a minute, an hour to look around and ponder what I'm saying as a possibility. I never imagined this was something I would have to deal with, when you're young you think you're invincible, that you'll never age, that you'll always be beautiful and perfect. Letting go of everything I've known is terrifying, a deep dive into the abyss..Something about the age of 46 puts it all in perspective, one year older than 45, 4 years away from 50. As I write this it is 1:30 in the afternoon on a Sunday and I am sitting in a bar having a Bloody Mary which is really rare for me. Recognizing my desire to drink on a Sunday as yet another coping mechanism, I dive in. I dive in to the facts, the fact that recently I spent the evening with some friends who are also dealing with this very strange and surreal reality, we are aging. These friends, I consider to be the most beautiful women I know are discussing this very same thing, there is no going back. Then there are the friends that I spend time with on a regular basis, the ones who are barely 30, who are still stunningly beautiful (so much so that they don't even realize it, it's just who they are), who are talking about having children who are ripe and fertile (such a desired quality in our society), then there's me, stuck somewhere in the middle, a middle aged, single...purgatory. A woman who, on the outside looks like she has it all together, who looks "young" for "her age" who is "spiritually evolved" and who knows, deep in her heart that something in her society is just not right. We live in a time where the aging woman is outcast, she has no value, she has no opinion (well, she never had an opinion but at least she has her beauty..). And, I am on the verge of that, I am on the verge of being old, teetering on the edge of young and old, respect and... disregard. As I write this, I happened to look at the TV screen and there were two male sportscasters who, by societies standards, are overweight, “old” and “unattractive.” If that were a woman, she would be shredded, absolutely shredded. In fact, if it were a woman she would never have this job in the first place. There is no respect in our society for a women who has surpassed a certain age, she loses her looks, she loses her value.. I have been so torn. I want to Botox my forehead, I want to have a facelift, I want to laser my skin, I want to do anything and everything I can to avoid the inevitable, to control my reality and pretend that I'm not aging. I want to do everything in my power not to get old. And, I want to love myself (which is easy when you're young and perfect, lol), I want to love my vessel that I came into this life to respect, nurture and love, I want to embrace the "seasons," I want to look deeper into this journey of life, I want to accept this moment, here and now. I want to embrace my youth, let it go, mourn it and know that, no matter what happens, I am valuable, I am powerful and I am beautiful no matter what my society tells me. This, right here and now, is the most vulnerable, the most afraid I've ever been. I see some friends who've opted for plastic surgery, for the occasional "nip/tuck" and I don't blame them for a second, the temptation is greater than any addiction I can Imagine. We will do anything to avoid facing our own mortality.. Like everyone else, I am trying, hoping and determined to hold space for this change. As women we KNOW and realize how powerful we are and we also have generations upon generations of programming to overcome. For the rest of my days I will hold optimism for change. I will hold space for us to love, honor and respect ourselves and each other, I believe that I/we have been put on this planet for precisely this reason. Now is the time.. Now is the time to recognize that, and this is the true irony, that we cannot become that which we truly are until we let go of our belief that our external reality defines us. The only way we will ever become the “wise woman,’ the “sage,” who we truly are, we must let go of the fiction that has defined us. We must let go in order to merge with the greatness that exists within. And, the more we chase the “occasional” procedure, the further away from our center we drift. One year older than 45, 4 years away from 50. This is my reality, I will never see a youthful girl in the mirror again. What I will see however is a woman who's lived a life appreciating what it feels like to know that truth, to have respect and attention based on who I am on the outside. I have done so much work to learn to love myself from the inside and this right here, right now, is where the rubber hits the road, the moment of truth..
My life is a compilation of experiences which have brought me here, to this moment of transition, to mourning my youth, saying goodbye and allowing myself to open to something new. What life will bring me from this moment I don't know, but what I do know is I get to enter in with a new kind of strength, I get to be the example, to live in a new way and teach the next generations about who they are, from the inside, when all else falls away...
One year older than 45, 4 years away from 50.