I hate to admit this: this past year I’ve come to struggle (a lot) with getting older. I’m stuck in a narrative that tells me that women begin to disappear / become invisible after thirty. I feel this, certainly! But second thought reminds me that this is a false narrative; and one that speaks not to biological reality but to the toxic masculinity, racism, sexism, ageism, that permeates — (now more than ever). And It is true: with age, I can feel the dead weight of fucks lifting.
Saying: WE didn’t write this narrative, for ourselves. This story was enforced.
I forget how insecure I felt in my youth (& how transparent my proclamations of otherwise, were, despite how cunning and sharp I believed I was at the time.) I’d like to tell a younger self that if the world (of men) makes you feel invisible, it is because they are blind and scared of your power; and the only way to assuage their fear is to leverage your autonomy, fault your brilliance for their lack of sight. If the world (of other women) makes you feel invisible, it is because they have been bullied, for long as you have, into thinking/behaving that way.
I’d like to remind a younger self of how much she has to learn from the Womxn she will encounter: how humbled she will be, how inspired, how these Queens (of the binary & beyond!) will hold and love and bolster her!
Here’s to those Queesn who speak truth to bullshit, who urge the tearing down of broken systems, who remind us of strength and beauty, of kindness, of wisdom and VITALITY. Here’s to girls & women growing into themselves. Here’s to the human brain not being fully formed until 26. Here’s to the sassy little girls who will grow up and be seen for the strength of their convictions, their presence, their talents; for the breadth of their hearts and minds, for the vast reach of their kindness and empathy.
Here’s to our roles as women to help our little sisters glow up past the patriarchal baggage hoisted upon them.
And here’s to all the fucks ungiven! I remember who I was at 20, 24, 27, 30... and it is now that I can see the trail of parts and personalities shed, humility gained, foundations demolished and re-built, paths discovered, lost, and forged again— that lead to the woman I am becoming. I no longer mourn the debris behind me. I sever my spine from the drag and trail. I am parting ways with many fucks. I am learning how to nurture the itch of wings that have sprouted in all those severed places.
Sure, Girlhood gave us “pretty”, “precocious” even; but it was full of hard lessons and broken hearts. I see now that nothing rivals the beauty of a woman waking up, coming into her own; of seeing her place in her world make sense. I see now that nothing rivals the ease of mind, the wisdom gained, the discernment and depth of spirit that comes with experience.
& really, nothing, not even collagen and baby cheeks, rivals the appeal of a heart dug deep, a brain fully-formed.