You most likely know the stereotypes older women face — at the most innocent, a menopausal mess who’s lost interest in sex and lives in fear of her fading beauty and becoming invisible to society at large and specifically to men (sorry guys, not all women are interested in men). At the worst, a crazy cat lady destined to die alone.
According to one online asshole, this now begins at fifty (he was commenting in the thread about the journalist whose ass was grabbed during a race)
As a 67 year old woman VERY much in my prime, I would argue strenuously that prime is defined at any point. When I am living fully and richly in myself, doing what I love, working hard, living out loud, I am in my prime. For this above paragraph is how corporations convince us to forfeit our time and treasure to chase impossible ideals.
As long as I fear age, fear losing beauty, I am imprisoned for life. The second I call bullshit on this I am no longer bound in chains. This takes an enormous amount of work to decouple from the intense message that you shouldn’t leave the house unless you are (gorgeous, thin young perfect etc). Kindly, screw those norms. Because living is in part defined by not living by another’s leave. Husband, parent, partner.
I have lived alone almost all my adult life. No kids. No family. My ties are chosen, not imposed. I have paid a pretty price for that freedom. A very pretty price. But I have also increasingly surrounded myself with extraordinary, live out loud women and men who refuse to align with standards that limit who and what they are and can be.
If I had a middle age, I have no idea when it was or when it began or stopped. All I have is life. And that life is so very full, so very rich, so incredible. Right now I am three days away from five weeks in Africa by horse, scuba diving and exploring animal parks. Then I throw my tent in my car and head Northwest to find a brand new home while mine goes up for sale. It is not only probably but highly likely that I will have to camp for a few months while my belongings are in storage while I look for properties. Then, I head back to Mongolia, and with luck, Uruguay at the end of the year.
I am finding more and more and more women just like me. I used to think I was this big outlier. Nope. Not really. I might do a few more epic things than most, but millions of us are breaking out. Not a few, millions. That we don’t document every single moment is meaningless. We’re too busy living.
And like all humans, I will indeed die alone. How I do that, in the middle of a skydive or a kayaking adventure, who knows. But I sure as shit don’t care if I have a guy in my life. That’s the least of my concerns. How well I live, how much I give back, are worthy of my concern. That’s life well lived.