5 min read
by Mandi Em | October 10, 2019
Typically when I close my eyes and think about a woman living her best life, I can’t help but see a lithe, childless twenty-something-year-old with perky breasts and her whole glorious life unfurled before her like a carpet under the feet of a royal. Is it possible that this is the biggest hoax the human race ever conceived? Is aging really a thing to be feared and avoided at all costs?
This assumption that age is the enemy is perpetuated by pop culture, which aims to sell us the vitality of youth. Films and magazines show us youth as beauty, and youth as adventure. So many of us blindly trust in this illusion without fully stepping into the beauty and adventure of aging.
If I had known in my twenties that the reward would be this glorious thirty-something life with its freedom, curiosity, and wisdom, I would have traded in my perky tits and collagen happily in exchange for a life that’s free of limitations, most notably my own. So far my greatest achievement with age has been the ability to break through my bullshit in search of a life that fits me more authentically, and makes me find comfort in the person I am rather than some person I long to be.
I look into the mirror and I see someone who is beautiful— perhaps not conventionally so, but beautiful nonetheless. Despite the fact that everything has shifted slightly south since I last checked, I have more body confidence and satisfaction than I ever had at twenty. Is it possible that I am peaking in my thirties? I bought my first crop top at thirty-five and wear it while I stuff my face with margaritas and chips.
I have better sex because I’m less focused on my appearance. Fun fact, did you know that sex is better when you aren’t mentally flagellating yourself for that donut you had earlier? All sex is good sex, because I’m short on time and blessed to be in a long term relationship where we’ve learned to be exceptionally efficient when it comes to business. And business is a-booming. I have no time for the insecurity of youth.
During my twenties, I put far more time into convincing myself of what I couldn’t do during that time. Don’t dream too big, don’t reach too far. Hello my name is Mandi, and my hobbies include reading, drawing, and violently throwing knives at my own hopes and dreams. With age, that schtick grew stale, and now I collect all the scraps and ponder on how to weave them into the brilliant tapestry of my life.
I no longer accept less, when I deserve better. I don’t avoid fights because I want to seem “nice”. I read about current events so I can moan about them knowledgeably. I no longer lust for excitement, my life is a wonderful place to be. I’m a mystery wrapped in an enigma, housed in a reliable vehicle that checked all the boxes when it came to fuel efficiency and family safety.
I no longer strain my neck to look backwards in time. If I’d known it would be like this, I would’ve hibernated my twenties away and waited for the long liberating fingers of age to set me free and put their marks upon my skin. I am softer but I am louder, I am all the things that have brought me here, and I am the foundation of all the things that will happen next.
I am peaking in my thirties, and the view is fine from here.
How do you feel about aging? How has that changed as you’ve grown older? Let us know in the comments!
Mandi Em is a freelance writer, humorist, and sweary wellness blogger for Healthy Living for Hot Messes. You can find Mandi making jokes and complaining about her kids on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
by Mandi Em