In my 20s, I was full of energy. Launching a career, launching a *life* — the possibilities were, literally, limitless.
In my 30s, I was full of satisfaction. I married the best guy I had ever known, a guy who never, ever (not one single time) tried to change me. I had my two babies. I had an established career, a job I loved that I was really good at.
In my 40s, I was full of confidence. I had this whole thing down. I was in control.
In my 50s, I am full of … well, the best way I can describe it is, what-the-fuckedness. The physical, professional and personal changes and challenges have left me whipsawed. From the never-ending, soul-crushing, physically debilitating menopause to the loss of some of the dearest souls I love, to the recent emptying of my nest, well, on a scale of 1–10, the what-the-fuckedness is at 11.
Every morning I look in the mirror and think “What the fuck?” I pull the skin around my eyes and at the nape of my neck to put it back where I think it used to be. I squeeze the roll of fat at my belly that I swear to God appeared while I was sleeping. What. The. Fuck.
I felt like I was disappearing. That in the battle to not go gently into that good night, the night was kicking my ass. I felt like I wasn’t me. What. The Fuck. Where was I? Where’d I go?
Then my beautiful friend Kara “did a thing” and wrote about how it was all part of her finding her true self. I cried when I read what she wrote because it made me realize … WE are all so hard on ourselves. Women. We are SO hard on ourselves. We spend so much time and energy nitpicking stupid shit when we should be celebrating ourselves. Every damn day. But we never think to do it. We’ll do it for each other, but never for ourselves.
So I “did the thing.” I cried on the phone with Amy Mello Panucci when we first talked. But since then, I’ve just smiled. And when we went through my photos today, sitting together eating carbs and drinking coffee, I smiled and smiled. I wouldn’t let myself focus on anything other than the fact that these photos are my latest proof that I refuse to go gentle into that good night. This is me, raging against the dying of the light. Shine on.