In eight months I will turn 50. I know it’s true and I hear myself say the words but most of the time the reality of this fact doesn’t sink in. You see in my head and my heart I’m still a teenager, although my body frequently reminds me that I’m not. I still think everybody on the television is older than me and I’m often surprised when I find out the real ages of people I consider to be old, especially when they turn out to be younger than I am.
I have been telling everybody that I’m in complete denial about my age and have been kicking and screaming all the way. The reality is that there is nothing I can do but accept it. The grey hair, reading glasses and bits that don’t bend quite like they used to remind me often that I’m not in fact 18 anymore. But rather than just accept it, I’ve decided to embrace it, grab it with both hands and run like the wind with it. Having said that, I still have no plans to age gracefully, I will age as disgracefully as I can get away with. Just watch me!
This week I am in my beautiful Bali without the usual distractions of social media, business, television and other interruptions and I have had a shit ton of time to think and reflect and I’ve loved it. It’s been quite insightful and I’ve realised a whole lot of things about myself.
So who is Rae-Anne? I’m extroverted, in-your-face, opinionated, smart, crazy and honest with a wicked sense of humour and I don’t suffer fools. I like harmony and order, cringe at bad spelling and grammar and I’m grieving the loss of the written word. However I’m also vulnerable, easily hurt, love to be held and cuddled and I’m really very soft and smooshy on the inside.
Do I have any regrets? Hell no. I truly believe that every single experience we have, whether we perceive it to be positive or negative teaches us something and I’m grateful for my many lessons, no matter how painful some of them have been.
Do I wish I could have been a better mother, daughter, sister, wife and friend? Yes almost daily. Sometimes my memories haunt me to the point of terrible distress, but I have to remember that I did the best I could do with what I had at the time. I never woke up thinking “I’m going to yell at my kids today” or a thousand other things I could mention here. The truth is I raised two amazing men who make me proud every day, so maybe I did something right. I love my family and friends fiercely, even if I’m not in touch as much as I should. I do my best and will continue to do so.
Do I wish I was younger? I can finally say no. Of course I’d love my youthful body, skin and energy but I wouldn’t give up my hard earned wisdom for anything. I would however love to whisper three things in the ears of my younger self – you are amazing just as you are, don’t ever go on a diet and always wear sunblock. The wisdom of age, time and experience is really a wonderful gift and one that I relish in daily.
I am incredibly grateful for everything and everyone in my amazing life. One of the many things I’m especially grateful for is my wonderfully resilient body that has withstood years of abuse from eating disorders and sugar addiction and has faithfully healed and restored itself time and time again. I made a promise to myself lying on the massage table today to be more gentle to it from now on, and nourish my body, mind and spirit as they so truly deserve.
I’m now feeling very excited as I venture into this next incredible phase of my life, so many wonderful things to do, try and see and I’m going to love every single fucking minute of it!
I am woman – hear me roar!