Welp, it’s that time again. In less than twenty-four hours I will turn forty-eight.
Yikes. Forty-eight. Yeah, yeah. Age is just a number and all that, but still. For the first time in many years, I skipped a period this month. No, I’m not pregnant. I’m like 99% sure it’s perimenopause. I mean, yeah, all menopause signifies is that I’m no longer able to reproduce. Which, who cares? I never wanted kids. I don’t feel like less of a woman for not being able to birth a child. However, I do find myself buying into the myths people (and by “people” I mean most red pill guys lurking in various corners of the internet) like to dispel about a woman losing her vibrancy once she “goes through the change.”
I was talking with my older sister the other day and I told her about skipping my period.
“Are you pregnant?” she asked.
“What?” I shrieked. “Hello? I’m almost fifty.”
“Oh. Ohhhhhh.” It hit her. “Did you want kids?”
“Christ, no. I’m more concerned about what menopause will do to my skin. I don’t want it to start sagging.”
“Well, you can’t fight it. It happened to me.”
“Yeah, but I look better than you for my age.” The words spilled out of my mouth before I could suck them back in.
“Well,” my sister said, her tone pointed. “Aren’t we full ourselves.”
Eat me. It’s true. I round my age up because I know how great I look “for my age.” I never cared much about that until recently. Now I’m clinging to that advantage. My skin is my thing. I’ve had people snark that I use filters and blur on my photos. I don’t touch my pictures. Never have. But, see, the fact that I feel compelled to defend that is the crux of the problem. I should not be placing so much value on how I look “for my age.”
But I do. It shouldn’t matter. But it does. I go out with guys in their early to mid-forties from OKCupid that don’t want kids and I’m afraid to bring up my age for fear of reminding them. I look at pics of their exes on Facebook and think, “I do not measure up to them.”
Suffice it to say that missing one period has really fucked me up. And of course it had to be the period leading up to my birthday. OF COURSE.
But enough of that. Now let’s talk about the accomplishments I’ve achieved this year:
1. Going on Wellbutrin – I’ll say this over and over: This is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Being officially diagnosed with chronic depression and going on medication has provided me with focus, balance, and clarity.
2. Entering my manuscript in a competition - Ok, so I didn’t place, but I did receive some very encouraging feedback that helped me get to 200 pages. Oh, also see point 1 for how I achieved this. Before Wellbutrin my thinking was so cloudy that I sometimes couldn’t think straight enough to write a complete sentence.
3. Crushing on someone - Hey, so, funny story: remember that guy I wrote about a few months ago that works in my neighborhood? The older one I thought was so handsome? Yeah. That one. Sooooo, I found out his name and looked him up on Facebook. I’m not sure if it was all the comments from dudes admiring his “package” or the photo of him with the gay pride flag, but something told me I wasn’t his type. It was fun while it lasted and awoke something in me that I honestly thought had died: I hadn’t been that attracted to a man in forever, so it was a nice reminder that I was still capable of feeling giddy and hopeful.
4. Launching two new brands – I came up with BuffsandBrainiacs when the Meetup shenanigans started. Then, last week, I put my plans for starting another blog in motion with Women on Top. I’m more excited about the latter than the former, to be honest. I’ve always wanted to start an online magazine for women. I don’t know what will come of it, but I needed to get that started so I can use it as a companion of sorts for the book.
5. Tipping off Jezebel to the fact that xoJane was publishing fake essays – Remember this essay? I’m the tipster the refer to in the piece. It was pretty easy to prove that Brewson was a fake. After one of the editors was a raging twat to a commenter friend of mine I decided I’d have some fun. I sent all the information I had to Anna Merlan, and she took that ball and ran with it. Today’s xoJane’s last day of publication. Later, bitches.
6. Confronting some really uncomfortable truths about why I’m single – Being diagnosed with a dismissive avoidant personality type helped me make sense of why I stayed so secluded. It also taught me something about my online dating habits. I didn’t continue to use these apps and sites because I wanted to meet someone. I kept on using them because they almost assured that I wouldn’t meet someone. Acknowledging that has opened some doors for me, so to speak. Read more here.
7. Being reminded that magic still exists – Tomorrow , this woman is getting married. I’ll be popping in to the cocktail reception before hand to wish her well. As she says in her story, it was pouring the night she registered for that speeddating event. She was also having a bitch of time registering for the event. Many people would see those two signs and think the universe was telling her to stay home, that it wasn’t worth it. Instead of giving into that, she pulled on her boots and grabbed her umbrella and ended up meeting the love of her life.
So, all in all and despite the seemingly growing number of icons we lost and a heinous result of the presidential election, 2016 wasn’t so bad.
Happy New Year, folks.