The other day I felt a bit flat. It was simply one of those days. I felt lonely and suddenly started to obsess slightly about never again being spotted by a man.
It sounds a bit ridiculous, I know, and I seriously don´t worry much about this. I´m soon to be 44, and the combination of the confidence I have in myself and the trust I have in life, makes me a very different woman from what I used to be ten or fifteen years ago. That´s part of the beauty with age.
I am however, a single mum and since January I have only been approached by two men. One married sleeze bag looking for I don´t know what, and one very sweet person that has absolutely nothing of what I am looking for in a man. Considering this, I´m guessing it´s only natural to feel a little at loss at times.
Unfortunately this last sensation prevailed the other day, and for some reason I decided to look for comfort. So I contacted someone I consider to be a friend and in whose judgment I normally trust.
I wanted to be reassured that it´s only a question of time, that I´m fabulous and that any man not considering me as a serious option is just plain stupid. I wanted to hear someone say all the right things: that mature women are more fun, more relaxed, wiser, more beautiful and better in bed.
But my friend provided me with a whole different opinion.
Basically, I have to be more outgoing. I should chase the man down. Drink a couple of margaritas and relax so I can be more flirty. I should change my hairstyle (apparently it always helps) wear more transparent clothes in order to show off my assets better (according to this person, tits and ass – which I actually took as a compliment). I should also consider exercising more in order to lose some weight and become more sparkly:
– Don´t kid yourself, you´re not exactly thin with those hips!, said my friend.
I have to admit I got a bit defensive. This was NOT what I had expected. It also took me back in time – to be precise almost fifteen years. Because this is exactly the strategy I opted for in my late twenties, early thirties.
I remember the insecurity of never feeling good enough. The idea that I had to turn myself into a pretzel in order to capture the interest of a man, was my truth. Since I was never good enough I had to do my best in order to convince a man that I actually was. And the way to do that was to be everything I wasn´t.
I tried dieting. I tried exercising. But I was born with those over-sized hips. I used to hate them so much I would cover my butt with sweaters or skirts all the time.
I changed style, bought new, sexier clothes, fixed my hair (not that easy because there are basically only two ways to wear curly hair: you put it up or let it down).
I also started going out to bars even though I dislike alcohol and love my early nights in bed.
I even tried internet dating.
At some point I got really tired of it all and decided it wasn´t worth it. And I found a man that adored me and obsessed about my hips and butt.
More than ten years later, here I am again, single. And if there is something life has taught me, it´s to be authentic.
On one hand, it´s just so much easier. I don´t have to try so hard any longer. I can be myself and feel great about it! On the other hand, I´ve realized that when I try to be someone I´m not, I´m only attracting the wrong people. If I wear a mask, I will attract more mask wearers – and frankly, at this point in my life I don´t have time for guessing games.
Turning 44 feels exhilarating. I know what I like and dislike, I know what I want and what I don´t want. And for the first time in my life, I feel really great in my body. I know it´s far from perfect, but it´s mine and I love it. Yes, I have a belly, but who cares? I carried a baby in there nine years ago. I want that to show. I want my hardships, lessons and wisdom to reflect in my face.
It took me a lifetime of self-loathing to get to this point, and when someone well-intentioned but blunt is pulling me back to a place where I´ve already been and didn´t feel good, I react.
Even though this person probably had another idea of how to be of help, everything that was pointed out to me the other day has actually been very helpful. No, I didn´t get to hear what I wanted. But I got the opportunity to be even clearer with myself and state out as loud as I possibly can: I AM GOOD ENOUGH!
I don´t want a man that doesn’t like my body. I´m not interested in a man that cares more about how I dress than who I am. And I refuse to have to chase him down. I want him to spot me and walk up to me because he loves what he sees in me. And I want him to see my sparkles even the days that I am flat.
And yes, I am absolutely certain I can and will have all of that.