When You Are 50

When you are 50, you are reborn. The same skin, the same face, the same body, but different. You are in the next half, now. You cannot waste a moment.

When you are 50, you love this face, this skin you’re in. You love that quick temper, that wild laugh, those strident opinions, that passion, that huge and open heart. You know exactly how you fail. How you hurt. How you fall short. You love yourself because of these things, not in spite of them.

When you are 50, you know what it is to be human. You have known spectacular, deep, breathtaking love. You have known heartache. There have been many losses. Life makes less sense. She is a cruel mistress, but you dance with her. You dance with abandon. You give yourself over to unpredictable rhythm.

When you are 50, you are terrified. Terrified of oblivion, of invisibility, of becoming less. You vow to never let that happen. You were not born to be invisible.

When you are 50, the opinions that once threatened to break you, that kept you up at night, that slapped tears out of you, are powerless. All the things about you that you once thought might be too big; too much: you fit them now. You fit them with the ease and confidence of a woman freshly laid, adored by her lover, but needing none of it.

Myself. I am enough.

When you are 50, you feel liberated. You don’t care, about a great many things. The things you do care about, matter.

When you are 50, your shoulders are broad, and capable of bearing more than you ever thought possible. For the first time in your life, you truly believe in your own strength.

When you are 50, you kiss with urgency. You make wild love. You let go. You surprise yourself with the pleasure and confidence your body gives you. This should have been the case 20 years ago, 30 even, but back then you were too busy doubting and fearing and hiding and covering all your perceived imperfections. These are things you now, joyously, wondrously, no longer give one single fuck about.

When you are 50, you gather around yourself friends, lovers, ex-lovers, children, people who have shaped you and given to you and taught you and challenged you: loved you, all in their own way. Held you. Heard you. Annoyed you. Hurt you. Forgiven you. And you feel safe, and grounded, and blessed. You let go of those who harm you, who make you less than you want to be. You wish them well.

When you are 50, you finally, finally, are brave enough, strong enough, broken enough, patched up enough.

When you are 50, life beckons. You take its hand, and you say: I am ready.



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