A weekly dose of dauntlessly dealt reality from the What It Is Wednesday Blog Carnival

I could write this post on PTSD, autoimmune conditions, aging, Celiac Disease, parenting, perimenopause, or some other more impressive-sounding topic. The thing is, while they have all influenced this week’s topic, I’ve written about all of those on Intentional Insights at some point. The one thing I’ve never written about related to my health, experience, and daily expression is my looks.

In reality, I’ve never thought too much about my looks; which is to say, I’ve thought just enough about them. I have mostly tried to ignore my appearance. I grew up aware that I was conventionally “pretty,” though not a knockout.  Satisfactorily medium, by the American standard. The thing is, I was oblivious to having a body for most of my life. I was extremely physically self-absorbed in a harmful way through my mid-teen years. I couldn’t be pretty enough, thin enough, tall enough, fit enough.

By the time I was 19, I stopped giving a shit about how I looked. I’d love to say that was wholly a healthy advance on my part, but it was mostly exhaustion from trying to be something I wasn’t and really didn’t care to be, and further extension of not honoring my body.  I wanted to look nice, but I wasn’t as tied up in how other people thought I should look. I stopped wearing makeup for the most part and got plenty of passive aggressive, “you’d be so pretty if you’d just wear makeup,” from brainwashed friends. I’m still spotty with makeup, though how I think about my looks has been a progression to deeper expression of freedom, since.

I always looked older than I was as a youth, and the decades prior to having kids, I looked about 10 years younger than my age. It was a great attribute, except that in my shamanic work, it made a lot of people uncomfortable. They didn’t want to work with someone younger than them.

The thing is, I turned 45 a couple of months ago. I’ve never been bothered at all by age. Everyone I’ve ever said that to said I wasn’t bothered by it because I was young. I’m not young now, and I’m still not bothered by it. The number means nothing to someone who was born old. I’ve made relative peace with my body, so it’s not about the number.

And it’s not even my looks that give me pause now, when I think about my age. Astrologically speaking, I’m at the end of my mid-life crisis, which is a relief. Maybe that what-I-didn’t-do restlessness can abate.

Yes, I am officially entering that androgynous zone we all reach, assuming we live long enough. Women start to look a bit masculine; men turn doughy and appear more feminine. For a while I looked in the mirror and saw my  mom looingk back. Now I look and see male family members looking back.  It’s a thing.

Regarding how other people see me now, they don’t. All the style magazines tout how 40 is the new 20, but 45 is still 45.

It’s true that at middle age, women fly under public radar. Between all the ma’ams we dart undetected through culture.

No more catcalls, whistles, awkward proposals, or lewd advances. That liberation is real.

More than what’s in the mirror, how I live in my body has changed. That’s what I notice, every day. My skin is drier, looser, crinklier, spotted. The way I’ve taken care of it since puberty has had to change. My hair–what hasn’t fallen out from the many medications from https://www.ukmeds.co.uk/ of the last year–is thinner, drier, duller. I didn’t see that coming. In fact, if it’s too close or too far away, I can’t see it at all. About four years ago I awakened to purple bags beneath my eyes. They’re still there. Body mass that shifted after having twins is in the process of shifting, again. Even with the cleanest diet in the Piedmont, my body tells its story of how we got here and our potential for it to continue with every bite I take.

I hoped through my years of ignoring my body that I’d get to come into better relationship with it, with age. I have. The thing is, I equated feeling better with that relationship. In fact, I equated feeling good with it, and that’s just not the way things are going. Instead of looking for a broad outcome of feeling good, I look into the moments, rather than at myself, my appearance.

If You Want to Be Real on your blog, visit the inaugural page —http://www.soulintentarts.com/what-it-is-wednesday/  and follow the instructions there to share your reality with the world! Read other blogs in the carnival, below: