Today I am 50.
Yes, I was born on April Fool’s Day. I double dog dare you to come up with one I haven’t heard.
Anyway, when I awoke this morning I received a text from a ridiculously dear friend that read: “Welcome to the “I’m good with myself and I don’t give a shit what you think” decade!” I had two thoughts: “Amen, sista!” and “Wait, I can only feel that way for a decade?!”
I then got a call from my mother who asked how I felt on this “momentous day”. The real question, I told her, was how did she feel? I am, after all, the baby of the family (not to mention my father’s favorite) so it has to be weird for her that I am, by all accounts, a grown up. Took me til 50 to feel that way, but now I am solidly in the “bring it on” phase of my life which, in my mind, gives me bragging rights on being an adult.
Anyone who has ever read anything I have ever written (ever) knows that my 40’s were a little shall we say, tumultuous? I had cancer, deaths, divorce, gender transitions, surgeries, moves and the occasional bout of hysteria so intense that my eyes swelled shut from crying. I was filled with fear, anxiety, a stunning lack of confidence and, thankfully, a posse of supporters holding my hand, kicking my ass and reminding me of my very own mantra; “I got this.” Relationships, living situations and the world I had always known changed repeatedly. The forties were tough.
And then I began the ascent to 50. I worked hard to obtain a firm grasp on the next set of rules and regulations and, while I would never say I have it all together, I can honestly say that I am facing 50 feeling pretty damn fine.
I am good with myself and I don’t give a shit what others think.* I am surrounded by people I love who think I am all that. I am (working on) feeling more confident. I crack myself up most days and even when I get annoyed, frustrated or disgusted I am not (usually) (or with anywhere near the regularity of days gone by) brought to my knees.
I’ve never been a planner (rather, I was more of a reactor…never a good thing to be) but I am starting to plan. I’ve never been entirely comfortable in my own skin but I am starting to embrace my body, spirit and soul. I’ve never been as confident as my parents (or brothers) (or friends) (or teachers) (or partners) thought I should be, but I am beginning to go easier on myself and am respecting others for however the crap that they have had to deal with has made them into the flawed people that we all are.
I am more about the sisterhood than ever before. We women and moms need to stick together so that every one of us feels the way I am starting to feel now that I am 50. We all deserve a sense of calm, happiness and joy in our lives and we can, as women, help make it happen for one another. No need for competition, gossip or criticism. That’s part of being 50. You know, the “I’m good with myself and I don’t give a shit what you think” decade!
I plan on eating cake, singing loudly with the sunroof open, facing fears, making things happen, keeping my sense of humor, having compassion for every single person out there who, despite perhaps acting in a manner I deem assaholic, deserves acceptance, laughing loudly and often, loving desperately and reminding myself how far I have come.
Today I am 50.
p.s. I found this just the other day. Miss and love my dad and so desperately wish he was here to celebrate that 78th…
* Well, if we are being totally honest, I don’t entirely give a shit what other people think. What? Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all.