I’m 45 years old and that seems like a dirty secret. I feel young. In my head, I still have the attention span, dreaminess, indignation, and blind passion I felt when I was 17. I LOVED being 17. Everything before is a blurry hell when I had no control over my life and a lot of things after made me feel like I was in a mixed martial arts ring with a champ. When I was 17 I had car keys, ambition, and a not so jiggly butt. Now, I’m what? Old? Dépasse as they say in French, left behind? I don’t tell people my age, because I don’t want them to think that about me, and … actually, it isn’t true.
This is MY spring solstice. Roots that were buried under the hard soil of winter are starting to feel the sun. Ice that covered the highest peaks is melting into sparkling streams.
For the longest damn time, I’ve been apologizing to the people who know me best, saying: this isn’t how I usually am, this isn’t the normal me, I don’t recognize myself in the mirror, I feel off, I suck right now, but I’m on the verge of changing. I said words like that so often that they echoed inside the mound of fear and disappointment that had me trapped. I am seriously fortunate to have a partner, friends, and family who do know me well enough that they could toss in survival rations, like chocolate, martinis, shiny baubles, and high heels. There were two things that I kept doing for myself, not every day, but often enough to keep me sane: writing and training my body to do what it’s supposed to do to the best of it’s ability.
And then, in the way that life works sometimes, bringing disconnected snippets together into a bow, I watched an interview with the legendary model Iman where she said her secret for staying young was staying curious. Something so simple resonated. I realized that at some point, I’d become afraid to be curious, to try and fail, to move forward without knowing what I was doing, to make a fool of myself. I’d forgotten that if I didn’t know how to do something, I could learn, and that I could ask someone to teach me. How fucking liberating.
It has taken some time for me to start to feeling like a better version of my younger self. I no longer have an orange convertible, but I do have a kick-ass bike. Getting a job is no longer my career goal, but creating my work #everydamnday is. As for my butt, it’s holding up just fine, thank you very much.
When I’m in danger of falling back under my mound of doubt, I write, I run, I drink tea from a beautiful cup, I take a yoga class, I take a writing class, I treat myself to a long shower, I read a well-written book, and then I write some more.
I tend my roots, because spring is coming.