Where are you?
They say, when you think you’ve healed and come so far, try visit your family. Or start a business.
I suppose it would fall under that second category, but I might include and specify update your website.
It was all over the news a while back: the ecstatic, excited astronomers celebrating their photo three years in the making of the supermassive black hole. (Yes, that is exactly how long it’s taken me to start, scrap, rewrite, and finish this post.) While I am still a big fan of “Big Bang Theory” reruns, I flunked – and royally — introductory university physics and can’t even begin to wrap my head around their enthusiasm, personally. But I am intimately familiar at the present time with the disheartening rabbit hole that is searching the internet for relevant, representative stock photos. Ditto for the majority of my Instagram searches, in an effort to fill my feed with content I can deeply relate to and truly feel inspired by.
When “O Magazine” first came out, I often wondered why Opera herself appeared on every single cover. Maybe I somewhat get it now.
Not to mention she’s a self-made freaking billionaire, so… really… why the hell not?
But where do you see yourself reflected back to you?
Is it any wonder that we might have too many moments where we feel like we’re irrelevant? Redundant? Invisible? And worse still… like we don’t matter? That we find it challenging to not react – and strongly — when it’s implied, or outright suggested, that we step aside and let the masses of outwardly beautiful, heavily filtered and photoshopped nubiles have their turn? When we may not even feel like we’ve necessarily had our own yet?
NOTE: DO NOT search “nubiles” to see is the plural is, in fact, a word. Unless you are fully prepared for an eye full. Please just trust me on this one.
At the risk of answering in accordance with our current reality to the innocent introductory question “what’s new?” or “how are you?” with the truth instead of the polite answer, if you hit that well-intentioned acquaintance or friend full-on with how you’re handling — or more pointedly, not so well — even one, some, any combination, or all of…
the aftermath of the last couple of years and the present state of the world
the trials and tribulations of loving aging, declining parents and making peace with your relationships
adapting to empty-nesting
trying to navigate sticking the landing on the execution of an appropriately-timed, financially-savvy retirement before you’re so ungraciously pushed out, in the name of the bottom line
AND managing your own fluctuating health and the uncontrollable inevitable changes to the vessel meant to be appreciated and worshipped that is your precious body…
Well, it can feel like it comes across as just a whole lot of freaking complaining, can’t it?
Although… is it, really? Complaining, I mean? If you didn’t feel like you were met with a toxic “positive vibes only” wall or judgmental non-understanding and lack of empathy because the receiver simply can’t relate or has no capacity to process for the reality they are personally experiencing?
How often do you censor yourself
so that others get to stay comfortable?
If the enormity of your reality renders you near speechless…
Is it a wonder we might start to wonder if anyone else even notices? Or remotely cares?
As our roles and lives change, who we are now? And what space do we take up? What is our healthy outlet?
Maybe it’s publicly embracing an entirely new hobby or passion. Even the way you make a living. Even if it might be a departure or considered out of character.
Maybe it’s posting that picture of a meaningful moment to you, but that you’ve judge the hell out from every angle because you stress that that worry crevasse between your eyebrows looks particularly deep and pronounced in that lighting, or it shows too much of your why-do-they-have-to-be-so-freaking-sparkly grays, or your belly.
Maybe it’s actually speaking up and sharing our perspective, instead of quietly, politely nodding while others insist on holding court.
Maybe it’s posting a blog calling out ageism, when there’s laser focus on so many other important -ism’s.
Dear Women of a Certain Age…
Our life is not over. Unless we buy into the lie that it is.
What are we going to do with the precious years we have left? Are we going to age ourself out, before society or anyone else takes the opportunity to? Or are we going to get loud, live large, and allow ourselves to be seen?
Let us pledge to support each other and to keep imperfectly showing up, shall we?
I put two questions to you today:
- How are you going to get loud and make your mark? (And, yes, this can include choosing to live a quiet and simple, joyful existence, if that’s the choice that’s true to you. That’s absolutely living out loud, too.)
- What’s your favourite social media follow that represent women just like us living out loud?
I’ll add your submission to update my own list to share out at a future date. But, for now, here’s a few that I enjoy that are currently showing up in my feed…
(Note: I have been trying to find out where and how to stream this movie, with no success yet. But the trailer certainly looks interesting)