I’m going to start off by saying I wasn’t planning on writing about hitting a milestone today. Nope. I thought to myself… I’m just going to let this quietly slip by. No one has to know. If I don’t think about it, maybe I’ll forget about it.
It even worked… for a week.
Also, just a heads up here… I’m going to let the cuss words fly so if you’re offended by them just do yourself a favor and get the fuck out now. Come back another time when I’m not in such a mood. This new milestone seems to have done that to me.
What milestone am I talking about?
How about turning fucking fifty. That’s right. Fifty fucking years on this earth.
How the fuck did this happen? I sailed right through what I call my adult challenging years… you know the twenties, thirties and forties. Let me remember…
The Tumultuous Twenties when you’re young and naive but it’s fine because everything is new and you’re just learning how the world really works. You’re going out, drinking and having a great time until your girlfriends end up pregnant and you have to start hanging out with your new work friends if you’re not. A lot of your family is still around so of course you totally take advantage of that and think you have all the time in the world. You don’t even think about age as long as you’ve hit 21 and can now buy liquor legally. Life is a big party and you’re sexy as fuck. You don’t understand why the older people don’t like you.
The Freewheeling Thirties when you feel like maybe you’re an adult or at least you have to do adultly type things like show up for work everyday but you’re still feeling great and partying with little remorse. You feel smug with your other thirty something friends laughing at backyard barbecues and playing cards. A lot of your girlfriends have already divorced and are on man number 2 which wasn’t hard to get cause we still look good.
Most of us have kids by now if that’s going to happen so social life consists of drinking on the patio at mommy time play dates and those barbecues. Your body still works and feels like it should for the most part but you notice towards the end of that decade a lot of people complaining about what’s coming.
You start to eye the twenty somethings like they’ve got something you don’t because you already lost it… youth. You don’t like it. You still feel sexy but the younger people think you’re old and you start to feel it a little as you look in the mirror. Suddenly sunscreen is your best friend. You’re probably driving a mini van but that’s okay because you’ve convinced yourself it’s the swagger wagon.
The Fabulous Forties. Ah here’s where you know you’re on borrowed time but you think you still look fairly good and you feel like you’ve got your shit together at least… for the most part. 40 is considered “Over the Hill” and you laugh but you know you can still get pregnant so you don’t take it to heart too much. Men aren’t craning their neck to look at you anymore though. You scream at younger people in traffic “Fucker I’ve been driving longer than you’ve been alive!” when they pass you or cut you off. Then you think about what you just said and you realize it’s coming or maybe it’s here. You’re middle age. Get off my lawn just might fly out of your mouth next. Your girlfriends are already becoming grandmas (wtf?!). Gravity is real.
Then it’s here before you even know what happened and what hit you. Fifty.
That’s seriously what I’m thinking below as I eat my Hot Tamales.
So here’s where I’m going to get more personal. I was sorta joking earlier but most jokes have a hint of truth to them, right? Turning 30 didn’t bother me. My grandma wrote me (she actually typed it out on her old typewriter) a letter when I turned 30 and talked about how she felt at 30. It was hard for her. I used to have the best talks with my grandma. But I still felt young at 30. That is until I was around the 20 somethings. Funny how that works.
Turning 40 was a little harder to take but still fine. I had my son later in life… almost 36 so I was a busy mom (still am). I remember feeling like aging isn’t so bad. Looking in the mirror didn’t make me cringe yet. In my earlier 40’s, I still had looks from men but they quickly went away mid to late 40’s. I tell myself it’s the van. haha.
My generation grew up seeing women being glorified and yes, seen as a sex object. I’m a Gen Xer so we still had that as I grew up. So when that stops for you, you notice it and it sucks. I know that probably doesn’t set well with a lot of feminists but it’s the truth. I think it sucks because society has placed so much importance on youth and beauty. So much that when you naturally age, as one does if you’re lucky enough to get older, then you feel like you’ve done something wrong and you’re embarrassed by it. You’re even punished for it.
Men rarely turn their head anymore and that never really bothered me until now. But worse than that is the feeling of being invisible. It’s crazy but it’s true. I think it’s human nature to want to feel desired. Now I keep talking about men and getting looks… don’t get me wrong. I’m a married woman. But I’ve been married a long time. Things change in a marriage and desire changes too, but that doesn’t mean you still don’t want it.
I have a favorite show I watch called “Better Things” on FX. It’s great, it’s just about life and as a woman, I really relate. She’s got the same kinda gal pals with kids and exes, same age related body problems and we could be friends except for the fact she’s an actress living in California and lives in a mansion.
Sam Fox, (actor/directed/written/produced by Pamela Adlon) the main character, is going through some of the same things I am. In fact, she just turned 50 on the show as well. In this season, during a midlife crisis she bought a 69 El Camino on the show and it is badass. I’ve always love those. The season finale just aired and it was like she was reading my mind. It interviewed various women on getting older and their thoughts and I was like Yes! Me too! I knew I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. It was a great finale and I look forward to the new season even though it’ll be a while.
So now, here I am fifty. I’ve lost most of my family by now and I’m seriously wondering how many years I myself have. How many paintings will I paint? At this age, I had hoped to have had a better art career by now. Being a woman is hard enough, being a woman artist is worse. It feels like you’re never taken seriously. I’m sure lots of other professional women feel the same.
So there’s my thoughts, partly at least. Hitting this milestone has really put me in a melancholy mood. Deep thoughts, a little sadness and yet hope that I’ll embrace getting older. I’m not in my crone years yet, but that does sound kinda cool doesn’t it? Still though I think of youth gone, life ending, looks fading and the horrible effects of menopause of which I’ll spare you.
Oh yeah one thing I wanted to mention. Filters. I wonder if hitting this milestone allows me to use these face softening filters like you see on Instagram or if it just is sad. I’ve used some in the photos in the gallery above. Of course I love the way the filters make me look, all smooth and long lashes… plump lips and glowing skin. But then I see the real photo. Gah.
I think I’ll just switch to black and white self portraits. Maybe that’s the milestone.
Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page under the additional links menu. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts and have started created more and more of them. My most favorite thing to try to achieve in my painting is is mystery and telling mystical stories.
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