Okay, okay, I’m going to make a bold statement. I admit it – I’m over 50 now, yes I am. It is a hard pill to swallow. But I’m getting there and am starting to get comfortable with it.
I used to hate walking down a street and getting whistles from the men around me. Now, there were never hundreds, but I got my share. BUT… and again I hate to admit it but… when the whistles started disappearing and finally stopped altogether, I missed them. I missed them… I really, really missed them.
So I looked in the mirror. I mean REALLY looked in the mirror and I didn’t see the “me” I thought I was. “Who is that?” I said. Where did that young woman go? Where did I go? Who is that in the mirror? Egads, that’s my mother! Now my mother is beautiful and I adore my mother but… looking middle -aged was going to take some getting used to.
I saw myself one way, but the world obviously saw me a different way, or didn’t see me at all. I thought I was okay with getting older, especially considering the alternative. But it didn’t seem to be okay with the rest of the world. And since it isn’t okay with the rest of the world I guess it isn’t okay with me.
It wasn’t just the bruised ego, but it was something much more important and elemental. My purpose. The acting career that I loved and adored took a BIG hit. Now it was about making the house payments, the car payments, paying for my hair color to cover the gray.. .in other words, my mere survival. Just as the whistles and my self worth slowly disappeared the opportunities for work started to fade away as well. I was fading away.
I was really, really down… way down, because I felt I had lost both my looks and my purpose. It isn’t easy to maintain your self-worth or to believe in your individual unique beauty at this age. It isn’t easy to find a passionate new purpose or a new dream to dream after having the same dream for 30 years.
But I believe the key to finding your “inner whistle” is to re-imagine your dream. At least it was for me. It didn’t happen overnight. But eventually I realized that I was a tapestry of talents and possibilities, not just one talent with one purpose. I had to find a way to use all of my talents – old and newly discovered – to make a difference in changing things for women and maybe even make a dollar or two at the same time.
The closer I got to finding the new passion and path the closer I got to hearing a faint whistle deep inside. This new path, this newfound dream, brought me back to life. Starting In the Trenches Productions, and the journey it has taken me on, has helped me to find my own “inner whistle”.
Life after 40 is not downhill, far from it. It is full of exciting possibilities…. So don’t buy into the images you see in the media or whatever you think society wants you to be!
Don’t wait for permission. Don’t listen to the naysayers. If you have even a tiny drop of an idea for a new path in your heart – investigate it. Stay open to it and to all that may come from it. Don’t wait for someone else.
Start dreaming, no matter how big or small your idea. Believe that you can make it happen. Dreams don’t stop as we age. Dreams are essential to living and essential to finding your “inner whistle”.
My dream is that you hear your “inner whistle” loud and clear. Then the world will finally take notice and see women over 40 as we see ourselves. Dynamic, resilient, smart, important, vital, beautiful, confident, powerful women over 40!! That is you!