I don’t think that getting older is hard; I think that what’s hard is that as each year passes the inevitability of pain gets closer. Incremental change happens in life no matter what I do to prevent it—wrinkles, thrown-out backs, an inability to listen to 18 year olds sing about heartbreak and life without rolling my eyes. All of these things add up and I realize that I know people with terminal illnesses, friends who’ve buried children, and romantics who no longer wear a ring on their left hand. These are the things that begin to weigh on my face, not the wrinkles.
It’s an intimacy with heartache and the idea that unfair is really just a moment, an excruciating, unwelcome, out-of-your-countrol moment. Unfair is a beginning and a choice—
Can you muster up a smile and say, “Forget it, unfair. I’m moving on without you.”
Last year I had to close a business. I lost a client. I lost people I thought were friends. I got angrier and angrier, and then I got tired. I let my world fall and disappear in a haze of hopelessness. I cried until at last my tears refused to come.
My fortieth birthday came and went. I realized that without any fanfare, I’d emerged from darkness.
Things aren’t perfect; I’m not perfect. I still have to bite my tongue. I get jealous and angry. I have new little aches and pains all the time, but I have my foot back on the pedal.
I want to go toward happy. I think that a lot of us do, but for whatever reason we get tripped up in what we’re supposed to do. How we’re supposed to look. What people think. The thing I learned in a year of feeling like I’d forgotten how to be happy:
It’s not up to them.
I, am not up to them.
It’s up to me, all of it.
Call me grouchy or pushy, but I think we need to take it a little easier on our selves.
So snap a selfie if you want.
Overweight? Snap it.
Not 22? Snap that.
Playing hookie from work? Grab a picture.
Like one side of your face better than the other? Capture it.
Love your shoulders? Frame’em up.
Don’t like it? Move on.
Unfriend, unfollow, disentangle.
Find the thing(s) that brings yourself happy.
The only thing turning 40 did for me was mark the moment when I decided to allow myself to seek out my happiest self.
How can you take it easier on yourself?
Tagged: #365feministselfie, acceptance, Confidence, self
I can identify with every single thing written here. In fact, you have helped me articulate what I didn’t even know I felt. I love this:
I think that what’s hard is that as each year passes the inevitability of pain gets closer.
40 was a huge year for me and it just ended yesterday. I decided to stop asking permission. I also ended a long friendship that was making me feel terrible, and I am beginning to ask for what I need – which is terrifying and which I don’t yet do well.
This is a beautiful and liberating post. Thank you!
I could not imagine a more amazing response to this post. I’ll cherish it. Thank you.
Happy first new day.
You know I get this. Love this. Snap that.
Click, click, flash!
I get this so hard. I have been making a real effort lately to point myself in the direction of happy, listening only to my own voice in my head, and trusting that my happy lies on the same landscape as what is good and right for my family.
This decade – the 40’s – could be really great.
We need to lean on each other for reminders, sips of, “Yes, it’s ok. DO it.”
Thank you for sharing this.
“Unfriend, unfollow, disentangle.”
I kept hearing this in my head all day long Amanda. It was with me when I woke up. Part of me says “If it were only that easy” but then I remind myself for the most part it *is* that easy. Maybe not everything, everyone. But I can choose to make some things easier on myself. Thank you. xo
Hoping you find yourself happily unencumbered! xo
Oh, I love this. I so needed it this morning, too. I’m in the middle of a morass of weird reactivity – things seem to trigger me in a way I don’t totally understand, and last night someone implied that I misrepresent myself in a way that really got under my skin. Even though she’s wrong, and not me, I couldn’t sleep, and feel very upset about it. Why? I don’t know. But thanks for reminding me that I need to just turn towards happy. I do. Just have to figure out how. xox
Here’s to a solid pivot toward happier for you!
Amen to all of that!! Seriously. The older I get the less patience I have for wallowing… I think that’s a lot of it. We don’t have all the time in the world, so make the most of what you have and find the things that make you happy. Love it!
Let’s do it!
My god, woman. So much respect for you. So much love. So so much. Glorious and moving. These words? “It’s an intimacy with heartache”. Oh yes.
It’s been a hard year for me. Still trudging through the find the words. Yours help me. xoxo
I’ve felt your hand in mine so many times, friend.
Love this, sister. Snap it, indeed. xo
You know what? You’re so right! That is exactly what turning 40 just three weeks ago did for me. Going easier on myself? I made a list of things that I want to do and which will induce happiness, and a (mental) list of things that I am no longer willing to put up with. The word that seems to sum it up, I’m finding: unapologetic. I mean really…wife and mom obligations aside, I have no one but myself to answer to at this age.
I love the word disentangle. So much power in that. There are things we can disentangle ourselves from and we should exercise that power more often.
Hopefully we can remember.
I’m right there with you. It’s all about embracing who you are and letting go of what other people think. This post is bold and wonderful. Thank you for it.
Thank you for reading it and getting it. Jessica.
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