Unlike the fabulous Norma Desmond, an over-the-top character in the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard, I am neither dangerous, nor completely insane. Those caveats aside, I’m constrained to shift into “Oh My God I’m 50” mode with an unblinking honesty that belies the hysteria lying just under the surface of my psyche.
Hmm, I was actually able to utter the phrase: “I’m 50” without breaking out into too many hives. Interesting.
Let’s review: 20 was raucous. 30 was smashing. 40 was awesome. What will 50 be like? Certainly I would never choose to return to a time of youthful indiscretion, or free-wheeling risk taking. 40 was all about raising children and living the Claire and Cliff Huxtable ‘thing’, whatever that is. It was awesome, and without being trite: Been there, done that. (I hate being self-referential, but see the previous post: I am Not My Laundry)
So far, 50 is liberating and full of energy. Free-flowing ideas, creativity and fascinating people. Spiritual renewal. Optimism and joy. Healing. Hope. Rebirth.
God has sent me new and very special sister-friends who are helping me rebuild my self-concept. From the fabulous and multi-talented Karima, to the brilliant Marie and the amazing Dorinda; and Dawn who is a businesswoman like no other (can I be like you when I grow up??) and the bold and confident Audrey and the incomparable Jennifer, I am leaning how to work this whole; ‘I’m free to be whoever I want, now what?’ thing. And let me not forget the Gorgeous-Inside-and-Out Pascale who gave me my very own NEXT! Button. Words can’t express how much I love you.
I want to roll call all my beloved sisters: Dr. Jacqueline (Mom, you sacrificed so much so that I can be me), Jacqueline (Sisters forever) The Beautiful and Inspiring Kathryn whom I love SO Much!!!! Booski, Cynthia, Larissa, Sonja, Christine!!!, Anita, Dr. Peggy P., Debbie (You’re unbelievable!!) Miki (my intellectual twin), Turkessa, Kemie, Shadawn, Chana, Kibian, Scevia, Susan, Michelle, Lisa, Linda W, Ruth, Sara, Jean, Candy, Kitty, Sandra, Paula (please forgive me), Michelle Renee, Ms. Pat, Tara, Morgan, Pudd’n, Marsha, Linda A, Jocelyn, Eugenia, Jessica (what would I be without your insight!!!) Aisha (I know you can feel my love, so when the time is right…) Charlene, Peggy…. and what would life be without the Queens of my heart Justine and Miss Dominique?
Having recently made agonizing, but I think, correct choices in my life, I’m reveling in the new found freedom without feeling adrift. I can create any future I want for myself, and that knowledge is incredibly empowering. I’m not defined by my past or my losses or my pain. I can think about losing my stuff without sadness because my stuff no longer defines me. As the dawn emerges against today’s snowy panorama, I’m renewed by the strength and love and support that my friends have endowed me with. Maybe THAT’s what being 50 is all about!