I’m 47, female, and here to announce that there’s bugger all wonderful about getting older.
Now look, I’m not some Debbie Downer. I have a great life; I live in Bali.
I have a fabulous job, and I’m married to a great man, but I’ve discovered, and it appears to have happened overnight, that I am no longer deemed “attractive.”
I have ceased to be of any physical appeal. And I gotta tell you, ladies, that’s come as a bit of a shock—distressing almost.
Who knew I had come to lean on the specific power that being younger, slimmer, and smoother brought me?
And now that it’s no longer here, a battle has commenced.
It swings from trying to reverse the aging process in an almost desperate manner (Botox, fillers, and exercise), to engaging in obsessive positive self-talk and chanting affirmations—many attempts to convince myself that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
The truth is it sucks, and however we want to look at it, wherever we are in the process, it’s going to suck balls—big ones—until we manage to dig deep and start filling the hole that’s left behind. We have to find other ways to feel fabulous.
Before, we got a self-esteem kick from feeling great and confident in the way we looked. Now, we have to work a bit harder to find value in ourselves.
Of course, I’ve always worked hard, been a good person, and journeyed through self-development, but I hadn’t realized that the physical confidence I possessed was adding cement to my foundation.
If you take that away, well, we’re going to flounder until we replace it.
I’ve found being honest about this helps normalize it—bust the shame that struggling alone can exacerbate.
Honoring my heart, successes, and growth by physically writing them out and feeling them is huge in filling the self-esteem gap.
When I look at myself through my loved ones’ eyes and spend real, quality time in their company, it reinforces the inner dialogue that I am indeed loveable.
You see, I’m not decreasing in value; I’m having a crutch removed (one that I didn’t know I used).
And without that crutch, there will be some stumbling, some struggle, and some fight to pull it back.
But we realize that while we might be losing certain surface attributes, we gain depth in the digging for greater acceptance. And that, I hear, can never be taken away.
So my advice is to embrace the struggle; it’s normal. Engage in your process, whatever that looks like, and allow yourself to feel whatever it is you feel regardless of what the “gurus” say.
Yes, we’re getting old, our belly resembles a marshmallow, and we can no longer wear shorts because our legs look like sh*t—it sucks, and it’s sad—but I guess it’s necessary. It’s the unfolding—the stepping out of our old selves into the next level of who we are.
We must let our boobs deflate so our souls can elevate!
Thank you for helping me gain another layer of acceptance from writing this.