Fifty

50Today I am 50.

Yes, I was born on April Fool’s Day.  I double dog dare you to come up with one I haven’t heard.

Anyway, when I awoke this morning I received a text from a ridiculously dear friend that read: “Welcome to the “I’m good with myself and I don’t give a shit what you think” decade!”  I had two thoughts: “Amen, sista!” and “Wait, I can only feel that way for a decade?!”

I then got a call from my mother who asked how I felt on this “momentous day”.  The real question, I told her, was how did she feel?  I am, after all, the baby of the family (not to mention my father’s favorite) so it has to be weird for her that I am, by all accounts, a grown up.  Took me til 50 to feel that way, but now I am solidly in the “bring it on” phase of my life which, in my mind, gives me bragging rights on being an adult.

Anyone who has ever read anything I have ever written (ever) knows that my 40’s were a little shall we say, tumultuous?  I had cancer, deaths, divorce, gender transitions, surgeries, moves and the occasional bout of hysteria so intense that my eyes swelled shut from crying.  I was filled with fear, anxiety, a stunning lack of confidence and, thankfully, a posse of supporters holding my hand, kicking my ass and reminding me of my very own mantra; “I got this.”  Relationships, living situations and the world I had always known changed repeatedly.  The forties were tough.

And then I began the ascent to 50.  I worked hard to obtain a firm grasp on the next set of rules and regulations and, while I would never say I have it all together, I can honestly say that I am facing 50 feeling pretty damn fine.

I am good with myself and I don’t give a shit what others think.*  I am surrounded by people I love who think I am all that.  I am (working on) feeling more confident.  I crack myself up most days and even when I get annoyed, frustrated or disgusted I am not (usually) (or with anywhere near the regularity of days gone by) brought to my knees.

I’ve never been a planner (rather, I was more of a reactor…never a good thing to be) but I am starting to plan.  I’ve never been entirely comfortable in my own skin but I am starting to embrace my body, spirit and soul.  I’ve never been as confident as my parents (or brothers) (or friends) (or teachers) (or partners) thought I should be, but I am beginning to go easier on myself and am respecting others for however the crap that they have had to deal with has made them into the flawed people that we all are.

I am more about the sisterhood than ever before.  We women and moms need to stick together so that every one of us feels the way I am starting to feel now that I am 50.  We all deserve a sense of calm, happiness and joy in our lives and we can, as women, help make it happen for one another.  No need for competition, gossip or criticism.  That’s part of being 50.  You know, the “I’m good with myself and I don’t give a shit what you think” decade!

I plan on eating cake, singing loudly with the sunroof open, facing fears, making things happen, keeping my sense of humor, having compassion for every single person out there who, despite perhaps acting in a manner I deem assaholic, deserves acceptance, laughing loudly and often, loving desperately and reminding myself how far I have come.

Today I am 50.

p.s. I found this just the other day.  Miss and love my dad and so desperately wish he was here to celebrate that 78th…

notefrondad

 

* Well, if we are being totally honest, I don’t entirely give a shit what other people think.  What?  Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all.

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17 thoughts on “Fifty

  1. Julie, you deserve the best damn 50th birthday ever! Sing, laugh, love, and eat all the cake you want🎂🎉!

  2. Happy Birthday from a woman who is pretty much stuck together all by herself. I can attest to the fact that you can feel even better about yourself and give even less of a shit a decade(+) later. 🙂

  3. Julie, I love the way you write and find your blog so inspiring. I always look forward to hearing what you have to say because so much of it rings true. Thanks for sharing your life and story. I wish you a very Happy 50th Birthday! Hope you have a great time celebrating! All the best to you…health, happiness and good wishes!

  4. Julie, I think this might be the best thing you’ve written thus far. Send it to Slate or Buzzreads or something. They’ll hire you.
    I am so pleased to see and hear (through FB and this blog) that good and positive things are happening in your life. You truly deserve them.
    Also, that letter from your dad just about tore my heart apart. I know what it’s like to lose a beloved father too soon. Mine died when he was 60 and I was 38 and now that I am 52(!) as of yesterday, it puts it all in a disquieting but forward-looking perspective.
    Happiest of birthdays to you. I know you will celebrate joyously.

  5. Happy Birthday, Julie! 50 is great!!! I so enjoy your writing and am grateful that Beth N. shared your blog a while back. Because I’m so OCD, I went back and read your blog from the beginning. You are inspiring, funny, and so honest. Thank you for all that you have given to all of us. Enjoy celebrating YOU! Lisa

    • Happy Birthday, Julie! I remembered your birthday this am but didn’t have your email address to send you an ecard. Your blog is beautiful. You are accomplished in so many ways, self -understanding, understanding others, and writing your own truth. And, I agree with the note from Lisa. May you have many more happy, healthy birthdays to celebrate!
      Love,
      Sandy and Bob

  6. 🎉Happy,Happy Birthday, Julie!! Welcome to the ‘I don’t give a shit’ decade! I’m halfway through and that mindset helps a lot to offset the arthritis, OAB, empty nesting,weight gain in all the wrong places… I’ve been following you for awhile now and I can say you are one amazingly tough lady and you’re gonna have an awesome decade:)😍

  7. Happy Birthday Julie!! 7 1/2 years ago I was having my 50th. Cherish every day.. with each new decade the time goes by even more quickly! I’m pretty sure my next decade (God willing) will only feel like two or three years long! Love the note from your Dad. What a sweetheart! May the year ahead bring you much health and happiness!

  8. Great post! Happy birthday! Your feelings of”being good with yourself and not giving a crap about what others may think” is the reason there are so many “late in life” TG’s in transition. They can’t be striking beauty queens at their age but living true to their inner person is what matters most. It doesn’t matter what others think…we row our own boat in this life. Thanks,Rogina

  9. Happy 50th Julie! I am a few months ahead of you and totally agree. 50 is FAB! Best wishes for love, luck, joy and most of all good health! XO

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