… And I love the blues. Cause I got the blues just like anyone else got the blues. But this white girl always had this little nagging thing in the back of her head. Not poor enough, not rich enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not ugly enough, not thin enough, not fat enough, not weak enough, not strong enough, not talented enough, not rich enough.. Etc.. Etc…
Wow, doesn’t that get tiring. Exhausting I might add. I remember spending 5 years.. That’s FIVE YEARS of my wonderful young life being totally anxiety driven about turning 40. So from the time I turned 35, right up until the very last day of my 39th year, I was filled with dread about growing old. Losing the zing of youth.. Getting wrinkled and having my boobs sag. You might say, and so do I, what a privilege to be able to worry about getting old. But we all have our version of the blues. Yours is not more valid than mine. Okay?
The day I turned 40, I took my sweet dog Ruby out for her morning walk. As I was waking up, as I always did on that lovely morning walk, and realized that I felt no different being 40 than I did being 35. Huh, I thought, this is easy. What was I so stressed about? Then, stopping in my tracks, I realizing that this was the very first day of my 41st year. Oh shit man!!! I never though about getting older than 40! What? And then and there I was like.. “really, val, you’re gonna spend the next decade worried about turning 50? Wtf?” So it was then I decide to not worry about growing older. So I didn’t. I just was like.. I’m older, and I can love it or I can dread it. My choice. So I chose to love it.
Growing older doesn’t change who I am. I can only get better if I choose to. And as long as I take care of myself, (which I didn’t really learn to do till I was really into my 50’s, because then, well, I deserved it by shear virtue of the fact that I had been on this planet for half a century and growed my kids up and survived divorce, bankruptcy and solo homeownership) all will be fine. My mind will remain clear, my body healthy. I am a survivor of LIFE. Man that an accomplishment. So I started to give my self stuff back. Or even stuff I never truly felt I deserved. And that would be simply the sense that who I am is no less valid and colorful and interesting than those old blues guys and gals who suffered and sang, and those inner city funky folk that branded hip hop and changed the world. Mine is valid, funky, interesting and deserving of a platform.
I have met so many amazing people out here in Taos. Folks who are plugging through their day, finding meaning in their lives and jobs after their initial youth colored dreams got a bit beat up. But we have one life. It’s hard. Getting through is hard. Life is not meant to be easy. Let’s face it. But everyday keep reminding yourself that this is just one journey. And it doesn’t matter if you sink or swim but that you just keep on keeping on. And take good care of yourself. Only you can do that for you.