Friday, August 14, 2015

Musings on midlife crisis

I’m 41.  I have blue and purple hair.  I recently got a visible tattoo.  And I’m thisssss close to pulling the trigger on a nose ring. 

The only reason I haven’t gotten a nose ring yet is that a few people have suggested I might be too old, and it would be trying too hard, or seem… I don’t know… like I’m trying to hang on to my youth or something. 

In my head (or in their heads filtered through my head—thanks social anxiety, you douchebag), my nose ring is basically an earring or ponytail on an older man in a ridiculous sports car.  I don’t want to be ridiculous. I don’t want to be some midlife crisis cliché. 


I do.

For the first time, I’m like… OH!  I get it!  The middle aged guy gets an earring and a sports car because he has always wanted them!  It’s not a crisis.  It’s just… he can now, so he does. 

At least for me, getting a nose ring has absolutely zero to do with hanging on to my youth.  Eye cream and my dermatologist, yes.  Those things are about hanging on to my youth.  But my hair, my tattoos, my fashion, and my eventual nose ring are about embracing the age I am now.  Embracing the ME I am now. 

I don’t have to please anyone but myself.  I have wanted a nose ring forever.  And I’m a damn grown up, mostly, and I can.  I just… can. 

When I was younger, I was completely paralyzed by social anxiety.  I worried about what everyone would think about my hair, my fashion, my appearance in general.  I couldn’t get a nose ring because who did I think I was?  I’ve talked about this before, the leftover gunk from high school, the voice in my head that tells me I will never be cool enough.  Never be pretty enough.  The voice that tells me that blue hair and fun clothes and body mods are for cool people, and I’m not one of them so I can’t have that.

Seriously?  What a crock of shit. 

Is it a midlife crisis?  I don’t think so.  I think it’s the opposite. 

I think it’s a midlife release of fucks.  I no longer give as many fucks. 

I still give one every once in a while, like the day I put on my “Gorgeous 10” shirt and then second guessed whether strangers would think I think I’m gorgeous and think bad things about me, so then I took it off.  Like the day I wore my favorite comic skirt and I put a crinoline under it, but then I took off the crinoline, because this is suburban Maryland and any pin-up type fashion out here is weird enough without adding a crinoline.  Even though it looked soooo cute that way. 

Visible tattoo AND modcloth dress! No makeup.  No fucks.
But those days were noteworthy because that’s not every day. 

Most days, I wear my weird hair and my modcloth dresses when everyone else is in jeans with smooth highlighted hair and I’m happy.  I’m me and I’m happy and I give no fucks. 

I don’t think that’s a crisis.  I think that’s… awesome.  Does getting older mean I can just do whatever I want?  I think it kind of does.  I don’t want a shiny car.  I want a nose ring.  And if people think that’s weird, I don’t have to care! 

I recently wore one of my bikinis in front of a mom from my kids’ school, and for the first time, I didn’t justify it.  I may have talked to her before about the blog, but I couldn’t remember whether I had. I don’t know if she knows I’m a body activist.  She might.  She might not.  I just wore my bikini. 

No fucks given.

If that’s a midlife crisis, I’ll take it.  Bring it on.  I’ll ride this wave until I become one of those old ladies with giant colorful glasses and 4,000 bracelets who look a little crazy but also amazing. 

It makes me excited about the future to think that way.  It’s not a crisis.  It’s a relief.  It’s joy and celebration. 

Bring on the second act.

And the nose ring.

Me with my fake nose ring!  Real one coming soon!