The consensus seems to be among those of a certain age, especially women, that there is a great liberation in getting older; that we are less likely to care what other people think and more likely to do what we want because it makes us happy and fulfilled. While I believe that can be true, my experience sometimes proves otherwise. Certainly, I’m finding new ventures that are making me happy and taking chances that I may not have when I was younger, but have I stopped worrying about what other people think? Hell, no! In fact, as I face menopause, I think I’m even more concerned with the opinions of others. When I was younger, there was always the gift of time. I would get thin, find the perfect haircut, become a great actress, or singer, be beautiful and desirable. Whatever I wanted was going to happen, someday, with apparently no help or effort from me. The years flew by and I got heavier, gave up acting, sing only for pleasure, still search for the perfect haircut, and while my husband finds me beautiful and desirable, I think he’s crazy. But, I started my own business, and started writing this blog. I’ve been zip-lining, and rode a bike in the ruins of Coba in the pouring rain. I take more risks and feel more joy. And yet…I can no longer pretend that the cute 30 something guy in the subway is looking me over, or watching me walk. And why does that matter? Why did it ever matter? As I sit on the fence, balancing between what was and what will be, desire for that elusive, skin-deep attractiveness is lodged stubbornly in my throat, leaving little room for what’s really beautiful.
On the Fence carynjune