This post is made possible with support from AARP’s Disrupt Aging. All opinions are my own.
I turned 41 last week, on July 4th. Now that I'm officially and undeniably in my 40s, I wanted to take this time to step back and reflect a little bit on what it means to be a woman “of a certain age” in this world.
There's a pretty specific thing that I've noticed as I get older, and I'm totally OK with it. I've kind of written about it before, but it's changed more even since I wrote that post.
There is no “right” way to look, dress or act when you're over 40.
My closet is full of brightly colored, novelty print skirts and dresses, I recently spent $40 on a shirt at Hot Topic, and I unabashedly laugh too loud when I think something is funny.
I love ridiculous earrings and my Star Wars cardigan, and if something in the juniors department catches my eye, I'm going to try it on.
Because here's the thing; for every fashion “risk” I choose to take, there's someone inspired by it. For every graphic tee I put on, someone is smiling at the sentiment, even if that someone is just me.
As I get older, as I grasp even more and more onto my individuality and take ownership of myself, with all my oddities and ridiculousness, life just gets better.
- I like that I'm a mom who will floss (dance, not dentistry) with her kid in the Costco line.
- I like that I'm able to wear what I want without worry about what others will think of me.
- I like that I don't care if I'm spotted singing along in my car at the top of my lungs.
- I like that most days, I'm pretty comfortable in my skin, even as age spots and wrinkles appear where there were none yesterday.
- I like that my friend Jeff and I staged a Chewbacca-masked lightsaber battle on the lawn of a fancy hotel at Mom 2, to celebrate Star Wars Day.
I feel like these things are the trick to staying and looking vital and healthy; it's not about serums and potions. I've spent a lot of my life avoiding the camera, hiding in the back of group photos and never being the one to suggest taking a selfie.
Again, age has made me less wary of this, with wonderful results. I stepped in front of the camera at a work event a couple of months ago, and gasped when the photographers sent me this photo of myself.
I look better in this photo than I feel I did in my 20s, and it's not just Photoshop.
I'm doing my thing, living my life, and I think it shows well every day.
Learn more about how to blaze your own trail and own your life, regardless of age, at DisruptAging.org