Exactly four years since my last post. And what is on my mind today? The New F word:
F for Forty, F for Fabulous
I know women getting maudlin at the threshold of 40. It’s like being in the last stage of cancer. It’s too much to handle, the calendar running away with our youth. I remember how jittery I was at 29 at the thought of turning 30. I felt weepy & depressed. Was there no stopping the clock? I kept wondering. Today, I’m eight months due for forty & actually, strangely, looking forward to it, planning to throw a big bash & announce to the world I’m 40!
I’ve never felt this good. Physically, body image insecurities have taken a beating. Slowly vanishing curves, protruding belly, tanned body from numerous road trips, falling hair, sagging skin - despite all this, I am unfazed. Are all 40 year olds this secure? My body confidence is definitely a boon of my advancing years. Or is it the certainty of death that has invigorated me? Has it freed me from the bondage of other people’s opinion of me? I’ve been a prisoner so long! Time now to free myself! “Don’t sweat the small stuff” said Richard Carlson. Look at how many years it has taken me to get there.
“It took me 40 years to look this good.”
I’ve begun to question my own ideologies, to not be unsettled by the answers, to be shaken by the truth. I wasn't always this confident. Oh why not,I moan today! The years I’ve lost in trying to please people & confirm to their mould of how a woman from a certain place (Udupi) or caste (Shetty) or religion (Hindu) or profession (Teacher) behaves. “Lost myself trying to please everyone. Now I’m losing everyone while I’m finding myself" - Whoever said this, it echoes my sentiments perfectly. I finally know where I stand in my relationships with people – family, friends, and acquaintances. I can separate the grain from the chaff. And that knowledge, in itself, has been greatly liberating, saving this woman many a heartaches and needless stress.
“I’m 40 years old. I’m done with faking friendships & orgasms. Done”
Has the thought of turning 40 galvanized me? I’m finally unapologetic of my opinions, not ashamed of my desires. I abuse. I lust. I speak my mind. I think now I can surely punch people in the face, if needed. And simply dump the new found aggression at the door of my exploding hormones. I can beat my chest, puff it up & exclaim “Don’t you shhhh me anymore.”
“At middle age the soul should be opening up like a rose, not closing up like a cabbage.” John Holmes
To be able hear clearly our own voice amid the din surrounding us, to listen to the inner thoughts, to relish solitude, I believe TIME has already started its magical effects on me. Am I looking forward to my own end? Is that giving me wings to fly? Family taken care of, a child given birth to & raised, a husband well looked after, is it now time to let go? I hear doors of opportunities opening, for self-exploration, for trying out things, for dusting off the past, making one final, clean sweep. I’m looking ahead, ready to take chances, with people, & experiences, ready to let go. The lonely walk that was scary earlier is revered now.