I remember a few years ago when my mother turned 50, she had this new lease on life. She would relate a personal anecdote to me of how she had stood up for herself or said "No" to someone and after would say: "I can do that now, because I'm 50."
I found her moxie to be inspiring.
However, I had a fair amount already, and though mine might have waned or got rerouted a little bit during my recent struggles, I'm still pretty brave.
And of course, this gets me into trouble fairly often. But I feel pretty comfortable with the trouble because it usually involves me telling the truth, or at least trying to, telling my truth, trying to figure out if it's right, or needs some tweaking.
This week I felt 50 for a few incidences:
1. A new (now) friend told me just what she thought of me before she got to know me. That conversation is usually an unpleasant one. It happened in high school a few times: "I used to hate you until you became my best friend" conversations. Anyone else have these? Anyway, when she began I braced myself, but I felt okay with hearing it, and was glad that she gave me a chance and realized that perhaps she misunderstood me. Phewsh.
2. I unassigned myself to a school project. I got assigned to it pretty much against my will the first time, and was recommitted to it for year 2, also without my instigation. Grrr. After a few months mulling it over, I took myself off the project.
3. Even though it was only 2 dollars less, I insisted that the manager at Toys R Us give me the price as marked on the sign, even though it caused a lot of customers to wait several minutes while we walked back to the sign, looked it up on the computer, yadda yadda...After she made the price adjustment she pointed out a survey I could take online: "Since I went out of my way and all....I mean, it was not out of my way, just excellent service." I thought that was funny. I didn't fill out the survey. I do things like that when I'm not asked, the minute someone tells me what to do...
4. I had an audition this week. It was an open call for a the workshop of the new musical ELF (I know, I hope it's good too). It was at a casting office that rules NYC and I have never felt good about any audition I have had there, in fact, the last time I went there, I was typed-out [casting dir. looks at you and your resume and by credits/sight decides if they will hear you sing. If you are typed OUT, you are sent away without singing]. For the first time at a musical audition, I wore jeans, a t-shirt and my converse sneakers. I sang that song better then I ever have, I was not nervous and I owned the room. It was a personal triumph! I walked away so relieved that after 7 years auditioning in this town, I really had my best audition for theatre SO FAR. Feeling so good, I'm going to an open movement call next week. HA!
And there are a few more, like when a fellow-shopper was totally rude to me and I (nicely, I promise) didn't let her get away with it. And when I tried to (a tad frantically) stand up for myself at the airport when the ticket agent improperly assumed I had a stroller and wouldn't let me on the plane until she tagged it (um...carrying 6 heavy bags b/c of your exorbitant charges on checked baggage-2 kids!--no stroller! please take the tickets from my lovely helper daughter!!!!!!!).
I never knew 50 would feel so good. The best part, for 50? I look good too. I hope it lasts...because I don't want to have to pay for hair dye until I'm 70...only a few years away.