My Life as a Grand Experiment

I like to think I survived one of life's unexpected emotional tsunamis. But, instead of holding my breath and waiting for it, I picked up a surfboard and rode that mother fucker into shore. In fact, I'm still paddling and ready for another wave should it hit.

I documented this transition here on my blog as a way of owning my experiences and holding myself accountable for the changes that I embraced at the time. My midlife enlightenment, as I like to call it, caused many people close to me to question my motives and my identity. I had some awakenings, some revelations, and some deep rooted epiphanies about my life in general and where I was headed.

I can honestly say that at 30, 35 and even at 40 years old I was not completely who I wanted to be.

I had serious hang-ups. I worried what other people thought. I hated my body. I didn't feel beautiful or even sexy. I was horribly insecure beneath a thin veneer of forced confidence. I tried to like who I was but could never completely be happy with the woman who stared back at me in the mirror. I saw each and every flaw amplified. I felt like one of those Russian dolls that had another doll trapped deep inside the layers of dolls within her. I had no idea how to love the woman I knew I was in my heart or become the woman that I wanted to be. I was the person society and my parents had raised, created and envisioned. I was a responsible, intelligent human being who brushed her teeth twice a day. I colored my life within the lines of society. I was a loving mother and a good wife. Wasn't that good enough?

Fuck no! It wasn't.

I didn't want to be perfect. I just wanted to be me.

It was unacceptable to be so close to forty years old and have wasted half my life being a person that I didn't really like. She was boring, naive, and probably a little righteous. If the me of today met the me of yesterday I wouldn't want to hang out with her. I would have nothing to say.

I remember the turning point - when life seemed to be crushing me from the outside - when a miscarriage, the loss of my job, a double biopsy, and my father being diagnosed with a rare blood cancer which would ultimately take his life determined my future. I could not stand to live another disingenuous day of my life. 

FUCK THAT SHIT.

I consciously made a decision to challenge that cushy, womb-like normality called my comfort zone. I embraced a new openness to experience life in a way that was more like a scientific experiment rather than daily rote routine. I made very conscious decisions to try new things. 

I threw out my running shoes and started running completely barefoot. I dyed my hair purple. I gave up National Public Radio for Dubstep, Heavy Metal, and Electronica. I embraced expression and cursed more. I debated less. I adopted the word "YES" when every fiber of my being wanted to scream "NO!!!!" This attitude permeated my daily choices from food, clothing, and yes... even sex. I traded wine for whiskey. I got high. A LOT.  I began training for ultras like I was 25 again. I began exploring my physical limits and my mental boundaries. I became a more passionate individual with a deep-rooted desire to learn more about the human experience, to connect with others, and to live deliberately.

So now... everything I do is part of this grand experiment. That's the "live deliberately" part. Because what's the point of making conscious choices that challenge you if you don't fucking learn from them?!

I figure, if I'm lucky, I might have a good forty more years left on this earth to learn about myself. What makes me tick? What do I like? How does this body I've been gifted work? I want the rest of my life to be quilted together with rich pieces of adventure, experience, love, and human connection. I am the seamstress and the artist. I am the only one who can create this masterpiece. 

And when I'm eighty years old and sitting in the old fart's home, I want some really awesome memories to entertain myself with. I'm not one to watch TV.

Finally. Today I know who I am.
I am organic and ever changing
I am beautiful
I am brilliant
I am sexy
I am fun
I am feisty
I am wise
I am crazy
I am happy
I am a thinker
I am a doer
I am a lover
I am wild
I am NOT perfect
And since everything I do now is "for science" I will continue to learn, and push my boundaries, and to challenge the things in my life that I have no clue about. So let the grand experiment continue...
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