A week from tomorrow I will turn forty-five years old.
Twenty-five years ago I would've thought that was really old, ancient, two crotchety to do anything fabulous. Wow how we grow up! Today I can't wait, it is the freedom to explore who I am that has allowed me to color my world. My shedding of false notions and donning of a full life began just before I turned forty.
I remember being thirty-seven and taking the first step toward an authentic self - I cut off my shoulder-length straight hair and wore a curly fro. The curly fro went to two-strand twists and then in 2007 those became dread locs. I love my natural self.
My evolutions is continuing. I have basically become a vegetarian. Not a vegan - I love my lattes too much and pound cake still needs real butter - but a pretty vegetable and rice and grains eating person. I lost 5.4 pounds, unintentional happening of giving up the chicken and turkey. Beef and pork were already things of the past, even the occasional Sunday morning bacon didn't find me munching down. My meat of choice was chicken wings and ground turkey, since giving it up, I don't miss it. I eat salmon and tilapia and veggie burgers. I have to figure out how to get back up to at least 145 on this tall frame of mine.
The pen found her way back to my hands and the world flowed out like a released dam. I re-acquainted myself with a voice I hadn't heard in a long time - mine. It has taken years to trust my gut and know that I do have the tools to remember what is valuable to me and go change the world. As I look back to when I walked out of my corporate job, I realize I have lived a fuller life, a complicated life, an interesting life.
I know that I am much more comfortable with myself, my presence, my being, and my sexuality. I read once that a woman over forty mused about being more sexually aware and assure and assertive than she was at twenty. I can share those same feelings as I know the gift intimacy really should be. Maybe it is the releasing of the body-image questions younger women ponder daily or the full admiration of every curve, bump, roll, and gray hair that has made itself comfortable on my caramel latte frame. I'm not sure what the release is that I feel in my soul, just that I know the next forty-five years of my life will be fully lived.
There is much yet I want to do like travel to Africa and to Hispaniola to walk the land where my foremother took her breath. I want to publish my collection of poetry and musings and open this heart to the gentle reader. A beach house is out there with my name on it waiting with a creamy latte and big fruit salad. Books are yet to be ready and friends are yet to be cherished.
In a week and a day I will take a breath as a forty-five year old woman and I will yet start something memorable!