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middle aged

women, middle aged women, midlife crisis, an open letter to women everywhere, you deserve better

I’m smack dab in the middle of a life journey back to me. Sounds existential, right? No, it’s not a midlife crisis. I was thrust into a situation where I had to evaluate all of my life choices and make better choices for myself, for my family and for my life but mostly, for MYSELF.

Women, you deserve better.

It’s really pretty simple and it’s more common than not. In fact, I know a lot of women who are also going through this exact same thing. Don’t get me wrong, I know plenty going through a midlife crisis too. I’m just not there yet. I’m sure my time is coming. When it does, I will embrace it.

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The journey I’m talking about is the moment that we find ourselves in a new chapter of motherhood and life. Our kids don’t need us as much as they used to. They’re a little more self-sufficient. We’re a little lonelier. We want to contribute. We want to feel needed. We want to feel purposeful. We want to be seen for who we are and suddenly, we barely recognize ourselves in the mirror.

I don’t recognize the middle-aged woman staring back at me.

She looks like me but tired and grey. She’s missing her spark. Feeling like a childhood lovie; worn, outgrown and left behind.

We realize that we’ve let ourselves fall to the wayside too many times. We’ve lost priority seating in our own life. We can’t even get past the velvet ropes into VIP and we’re the effing bouncer. Gone are the days of taking 2-hours to get ready but we’re done with the ponytail and yoga pants too.

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We’ve let ourselves become invisible for so long that we almost can’t see ourselves and if we do, we definitely don’t recognize the person staring back at us. We’ve glimpsed our reflection and we deserve more. We want more. We are no longer satisfied with being a ghost, transparent from the photos of our own lives. The problem is that we need to remember to see ourselves before anyone else can.

I thought I was in this situation by myself but its more common than not.

I had a medical crisis that made me take a hard look at myself with all the lights on, strong fluorescent lights at that. It wasn’t even good lighting. I had a come to Jesus meeting with myself and myself gave it to me straight.

This is all my fault.

No one else did this to me. They just followed suit. I’ve heard so many ladies asking the internet for permission to do for themselves lately that I’m dizzy. Before I would have nodded in agreement but now, I’m saying take it. You deserve it. You deserve all the good things. I’m grateful for me and I’m not taking it for granted anymore.

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Suddenly, I realized that if I wanted to be prioritized and treated right by others, then I have to prioritize and treat myself right. Respect yourself and others will too. We show people how to treat us. If we accept being pushed aside and made to wait for what we want, that’s what will happen. If you ask for permission, you run the risk of someone saying no. Do “you” and ask for forgiveness. You won’t need it.

There is no award for martyrdom and our families can’t read our minds. But just like we tell our daughters, “you set the standard of how others will treat you.” We need to believe that it applies to us too. I’ve been drilling it into my daughters’ heads and hearts since birth, all the while contradicting myself in the way I live my own life.

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That’s where I am today. I’m loving who I am. I’m remembering that I am worth all the love and hard work that I put into everyone else in my life. I deserve good things and I shouldn’t be afraid of failure or not being perfect. Just by doing my best, I am succeeding.

My journey is slow and steady and that’s exactly how I want it to be. Nothing good ever happens overnight and if it did, I wouldn’t trust it anyways. This slow shift is giving me time to get used to who I’m becoming; to live and thrive in my new normal. It’s giving me time to ease into the fact that I am good enough. You are too.

What are you doing for you? Just for you? Are you working out? Are you resting? Sleeping enough? Eating right? Are you forgiving yourself? Do you believe in yourself? Are you going for your dreams? Trying new things? Taking vacations? Being kind to your heart? Living out loud? Are you loving the life you live? If not, stop what you’re doing right now. Change it. It’s that simple. Make up your mind to change the narrative.

 

 

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