This is what it feels like to be 42.
That photo is me, with Alex (aka Mr. Myg) playing set at Maxwell’s the Saturday before my birthday, which was Monday. I chose this photo because it’s the only one taken of me that night that I can look at and not cringe. All the other photos of me (and there are far too many) don’t hide the extra 30 pounds I’ve been carrying since the kids were born. I wish I could tell you I no longer care – that I’m okay in my body as it is, but it’s not true. Silly at it is, I still want to look like I did when I was in my 20s. Problem is I can’t seem to stop eating like I’m a teenager.
I wasn’t going to dedicate this post to my constant battle with my deteriorating self-image, something that is so familiar to me I almost want to name it, like Helga or Cadbury or something. I was just going to reflect on what it feels like to be the age I am, which feels nothing like I expected it would feel twenty or even ten years ago.
Self-esteem issues and all, I still feel very much like me, only better. Meaning, there’s some hard-won prize I feel like I’ve won at this point in my life. I’m still young enough to be able to dream big dreams and believe I can make them come true, and old enough to feel like the world beneath my feet is solid enough to support them. It’s like you get to a certain age and you learn to stop fretting about all the bad shit that can happen to you, because you know bad shit is going to happen to you. There’s no real escaping it. But somehow you learn to live with it, and you learn to appreciate the periods in life that are calm. And you also figure out that you’re not going to live forever, so if it’s playing in a loud rock band that makes your heart happy, then it doesn’t matter that you have a job and two kids and that you’re now 42 with a mortgage. You have to find a way to make it happen.
Because that’s the whole point, right?