Why “Life Begins at Forty” Only Applies When You Still Flow Like You’re Twenty
By flow I mean the red stuff
That shit used to make me mad as hell when it appeared right on time during scheduled trips at locales that require the formal wear of a bathing suit.
Looking back — it’s hard to fathom that I actually ingested stuff to delay my period long enough to make vacations stress-free.
My freakishly regular menses used to be the hassle that began at the ripe old age of 14 — and seemed destined for a long enough run — until mid-life became more than just anticipation.
I had to be psyched to turn forty because what else is there?
You have to embrace the impression that despite joining a club that renders you “forever old” — your life will still sustain the momentum of youth — that keeps your legendary strands deep black — and all bodily functions — operating without interference.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t lucky enough to live up to the hype.
As soon as my forties hit — I lost all connection to the life support that apparently kept me sane — even though I spent most of my existence trying to battle bolts of insanity.
Everything happened suddenly — or maybe I ignored the signs for self-preservation. Either way — when the numbers changed — so did everything I’ve relied on since birth.
My healthy dark locks — have become a landscape of wiry gray strands that still reject the notion of nutrition. The body I pampered with consistency on the assumption that hard work pays off — has betrayed the pact we made.
I’ve succumbed to the cliché of accumulated years and the punishment of living long enough to watch your firm thighs and ass — slowly dissolve in a puddle of ongoing disintegration.
The worst of the joys of aging — is realizing how you took such an honor for granted. It’s overwhelming to be helpless when your period suddenly abandons any hopes for motherhood or at least the security of womanhood that is reliant on the health of ovaries and the hormones that used to drive you crazy.
My hormones still drive me crazy — but this time I feel like a raving masochist who is striving for the inconvenience of the monthly flow of blood — preferably with the sore as fuck nipples and the stomach punches that signaled the blessing of fertility.
You haven’t quite lived until you’re forced to visualize blood gushing out of your vagina —as the days leading to the main event — approaches with methodical rapture.
It’s been a struggle and my future even as a decently healthy forty-something with so much to look forward to — isn’t anywhere near secure. Despite years of relatively healthy living and impressive hours logged at Equinox — I’m a candidate for health issues that are normal for a woman my age — but somehow that message gets hidden behind the Instagrammed testimonies — that present the version I was hoping for.
I’m sharing my challenging status because it’s been kept under wraps long enough. I can’t compete with the images that erase the reality I’m trying to embrace. I can’t stomach friends that boldly declare how incredible the latter years will be — based on the evidence provided by friends who seem to be faring way better than I could’ve imagined.
They’ve managed to retain the features that carried them far enough to accept that their lives will truly begin — once the “3” becomes a “4.”
Unless you flow like you did in your twenties — you are screwed. I regret cursing the symptoms of ovaries that didn’t require daily jumpstarts to function properly.
Of course I try to recall how I fucked my shit up — just to be able to place the blame on something tangible. Turns out that it doesn’t matter what you do — because for the most part your body reserves the right to royally fuck you up — whether you asked for it or not.
I want to share my new reality — as a way to bond with others who are struggling to make their forties — #Fab — despite the setbacks that appear with no warning — to strip you of the lubrication that was supposed to cement a lifespan of intimacy.
You didn’t get the memo instructing you to enjoy the last hoorah! You’re stuck with non-fabulosity that makes it impossible for you to join the pack of users who have tons of posts to keep others breathlessly optimistic.
If I had the courage — I would stamp my profile page with the goriness of prayers — pleading that the month doesn’t end without the stains of endorsement. I would hashtag #uterus, #ovary and the #bummer of constantly begging for more time to feel the gust of being in control of a body that can’t give me what I need.
I prefer to grieve in private — although I know that ends when you glide over this confessional.
I don’t want to be twenty again. Hell no! I’d rather visit my thirty-sixth year — for reasons I won’t share. However I want the 7-seven-day cycle back and I want shit to work organically — without my adherence to pills and checkups that are only delaying the inevitable.
I’m not dying — and yet it feels like I’m on the other side.
I have sweet dreams of soiled tampons and the mess that spreads when you thought you were equipped to hide the most beautiful color of our makeup.
I wish I could be embarrassed with a full dark circle that could be a liquid of any kind — except I know that it’s my exposed badge of honor.
I loved being a woman — even when the cramps tried to dissuade me — and all I want is to honorably finish that role.
But, first I need more of the red stuff.