F*ck “should.”

No really. Fuck it. Have you seen Elizabeth Gilbert’s amazing Facebook post today, about feeling the “wrong” emotion? If you haven’t, take a minute and go read it. I’ll wait.

This is one of the most powerful, truthful, naked things I have ever read and I spent a large chunk of it thinking, “Oh yes, me too. Yes. ”

My friends, listen: I want you to learn how to feel what you are feeling — not what you think you are SUPPOSED to feel, but what you ACTUALLY feel.

And I want you to guide your own life based on that, and only that.

Phew. Read that again. Go on. I’ll wait.

For the last couple of years I’ve been stuck on this idea. I am supposed to be “aging gracefully.”

And what’s more? That I’m supposed to LIKE IT.

I decided to “age gracefully” a few years ago. (Actually I think I was just feeling too lazy to go to the salon to get my roots done, and I constructed an elaborate scheme to make it okay. -ed)  Filling Pinterest boards with youthful looking, active ladies doing yoga, sporting sleek grey hair and skinny jeans, I decided to let mine grow out. I kept telling myself I was really happy with it. That yoga isn’t so bad. Truthfully?

My new grey hair was not sleek.  I can’t wear skinny jeans.

hate yoga.

The internet says that my 40’s are this powerful and amazing time of self knowledge, where all has been revealed. That’s the industry standard of aging, now. Your 40’s are supposedly the new 20’s (or some such bunk).  Well that’s not how my 40’s are feeling.

I am feeling the wrong emotion, y’all.

Definitely this decade has a leg up on my 20’s. I do feel a lot more at home in this skin overall. I’m more confident, that’s true. But I still feel like I’m just doing my best to figure it all out. Only now – in addition to staring into the unknown – my knees hurt, I can’t eat dairy and y’all, I am having a hard time embracing my saggy chin.

I recently read something that said how after 40, the training wheels come off. Boy howdy do they ever.

Shit gets real.

What’s real is? Time is marching. There is no time to waste on the wrong emotion, other people’s ideas, or  any “shoulds” that you bought into.  Fuck other people’s arbitrary rules about how we age. Fuck the elaborate facade of crunchy, natural womanhood. Or carefully polished, made up womanhood, for that matter. You do you.  I’m out, y’all. I missed my brightly colored hair, I missed lipstick, and I’ve really missed getting my eyebrows waxed. I’ll try being youthfully grey and all-natural in another ten or so, okay? I’ll try yoga again then too.

What’s real is, this is what we get.

SO MAKE THE MOST OF IT.

I have Elizabeth Gilbert to thank (or blame) for this, btw.  I read her post this morning and decided to go all in with what I really wanted.

I’m so glad I did. Welcome back, baby. The insides match the outsides once more. I’m so happy!

Finally. I’m feeling the right emotion.

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Oh yes! I’m back! The insides match the outsides, once again. Thanks to Lora at Studio C in Monrovia, CA

Btw, we packed up the cats, the yarn, the art studio and the books, and trundled back down to the land of swimming pools and movie stars a few weeks ago. Because, Reasons. Which means, that…

If you need an awesome labor or postpartum doula and you’re located in Southern California? You’re in luck! Call me! The San Gabriel Valley Doula!

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About Maia Rainwood

Owner and Maker at Maia Rainwood Design. Wearable art for wise women, birth keepers, witches, and world-builders.
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7 Responses to F*ck “should.”

  1. Been tormented lately by a “wrong emotion” thanks for the post

    • Rainy says:

      I think it happens to all of us. There are a lot of rules in the rulebook for how things are “supposed” to be, aren’t there?

  2. Bjo Trimble says:

    Hooray for you! I was getting worried about you. Good on you for giving other ideas and other venues a try, but welcome home at last, lady! Never let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do with your life (or hair). I’ve been told that 80 is the “new 50” to which I tell them, “No, 80 is the same old 80 it’s ever been. Numbers should never delineate your life.” Says the lady with a bright pink streak in her hair, also courtesy of daughter Lora at Studio C salon in Monrovia.

    • Rainy says:

      Ugh, yeah. That was… let’s pretend that never happened, shall we? It’s so good to be home! On so many levels.

      Also? Your daughter is awesome, cubed!

  3. You know, I kind of went through this after my mom died 4 years ago now. Wow time has passed. I made a lot of big shifts in my attitudes while she was sick. I learned who my friends REALLY were and who were just there and didn’t really care. I also decided to be more ME. She had boring regular glass drinking glasses. I donated them all and bought fun pint glasses. Like Wonder Woman and Iocane Powder and I have a full 12-glass set of Grinch glasses for the holidays.

    Then there’s my hair. I was at a convention 2 years ago and so many people had wild colored hair, and I was a little envious. When I got home I realized WHY NOT ME, TOO?! So I took myself off to my hairstylist and she did a great blue on the top layer of my hair. And I liked it well enough. It was fun, but this time I did a huge chunk of hair in the back behind my right ear that was HOT PINK.

    And I fucking love it. I smile every time I see it. I work from home as a freelance copyeditor, so it’s not like I have an office manager I answer to. I mean, the cat likes to judge me, but only when I don’t feed her fast enough or cuddle long enough. LOL.

    I’m thinking about making another big change, and I talked to my dad today and he thinks it’s a great idea, so we’ll see. But my late-40s are all about me enjoying myself more and caring less what others think.

    And you look both gorgeous and happy. I LOVE the hair.

    Here’s mine. Ignore the curls. That was my hairstylist trying to make my hair do anything other than hang there straight as a board.

    The final result. I LOVE it!!!

    A post shared by Lynda Ryba (@fishwithsticks) on

    Welcome back!

    • Rainy says:

      I’m local to you again, I think. Are you still in LA? We should grab coffee and snacks one day, I’m flexible! I am love love loving your pink.

      That’s a great mantra, btw. WHY NOT ME TOO?

      Yes, me too. Yes, you too. Yes to all of that.

      • Lynda the Guppy says:

        Yes! I’m in the West Valley, but I so rarely leave my house that I’m always willing to drive to meet up with friends. Lol!

        Coffee! Tea! Food! Whatever! Let’s do it. None of my contact info has changed since I last ordered Jewelry, so you should have my cell. If not DM me on Twitter @fishwithsticks or email me and let’s get together soon!

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