Thirty (gulp!) Five!!!

I’m slightly freaked out.

Ok, so it’s more like I’m freaked out in an overreaction that presents itself in a melodramatic show of: wailing and gnashing of teeth, listening to sad music for emotional cutting purposes, and gorging myself on chocolate, cookie dough ice cream, and copious amounts of homemade wine.

I’m (gasp!) turning 35 in just over a month.

Waaaaaaaiiiiiiiillllllll!!!

To be stereotypical as possible– How did this happen? How am I this old?

I burst into tears today while doing laundry; grieving over the passing of my youth, I imagine.

I’ve got crow’s feet and white hair.

My cheek isn’t as high as it used to be.

My tits certainly aren’t where they used to be.

My ass never really has been what I wanted it to be.

Bottom line, I can tell that my looks are fading, and I’m taking the loss of them terribly hard.

This shock and sadness over my appearance solidifies what I’ve been adamantly denying for years. Admitting it is the first step, so here we go, folks…

I’m superficial and vain.

That song IS about me.

Although I’ve never been what some would call a “real beauty,” like Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Aniston, or Ingrid Bergman; with the right makeup, lighting, and Instagram filter, I can hold my own.

I was a late bloomer though. In high school, I was a dorky girl with a flannel shirt ’round my waist and wild Alanis Morissette hair–because middle-of-nowhere-Tennessee is exactly the place for the 90’s grunge look, right?
Wild hair coupled with an outrageous wardrobe that was equal parts thrift store and hand me downs pretty much nailed down my role as the token teenage misanthrope. I never felt pretty in high school, not even at my prom.

So naturally I tried to reinvent myself in college as a pretty and preppy sorority girl.
There were two problems, though: 1. The sorority I joined was full of rabble rousing girls who cared more about having good times than being the cutest group of girls on campus. (and boy, did we had some good times, folks…whew!) And 2. It was the late 90’s when wearing baggy overalls and an Old Navy tee was considered being “cute.”

Thank God for Sex and the City and In Style magazine! I suddenly became aware of haute couture, dressing for my body type, how to tame my Alanis mane, and the right way to apply make up.

I was 20, and feeling pretty for the first time!

I felt pretty confident most of the time during my early 20’s–especially when walking arm-in-arm with my two girlfriends who were taller than my own 5’9″ frame. We’d wear four inch stilettos and own any bar we walked into. Ah, those glorious 20’s! With all the cat calls and wolf whistles, I’d forgotten there was ever a time when I felt less than beautiful.

I rode this wave of beauty for more than a decade; navigating two pregnancies and the coinciding yo-yo weight with clothing savvy to minimize the flaws in my appearance.

Stacey and Clinton would’ve been so proud.

This upcoming birthday, though is messing with my head like a philosophy professor.
I’m actually seeing the bloom fading before my eyes…

Waaaaaaaaaiiiiillllll again!!!!!!

I decided to do something daring, adventurous, and Sex and the City inspired.

I had boudoir and nudie pictures taken.

Oh yes, I did.

Now, dear readers, there is photographic evidence that I once was pretty.

I know that real beauty is on the inside. It’s in the way mothers love their children. It’s in the way girlfriends are always there for one another. It’s in the tears you cry when you’re moved with overwhelming compassion for a stranger. It’s the sweat on your brow as you prepare a big Sunday afternoon feast for your family. It’s the light in your eyes when you laugh.

I know all of these things.

But that doesn’t make the onset of middle age any easier.

This does.

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Photo by: Emily Ann Hill Photography.

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About sharonthemezzo

Sharon Edwards, a born performer, hoarder of books, pursuer of the highest callings of humanity, and librarian in training resides in rural Tennessee with her home-brewing husband and two beautiful kids. She can be seen, mostly heard, in various community theater productions.

8 responses to “Thirty (gulp!) Five!!!

  1. Great story! I have to say, men don’t escape this either. At 43, I am finding that I don’t quite run as fast, slide as well (Talking softball here), or kick as high (Martial arts). My forehead has multiple wrinkles due to my reactions to my teens’ angst and antics, and despite my best efforts, I am relying more and more on my calendar and notes to help me remember anything. I feel your pain Sister. 😀

    • I recently watched “The Quartet” and it was tough as a singer to think about the day my voice starts to go. 😦
      One line from it says, “Getting old is not for sissies.”
      I guess that make us really strong folk! Lol

      Thanks for reading and the comment…you can always just aim your roundhouse kicks to short people or misbehaving kids.lol!

  2. Stacey

    37 was harder on me than 35. I was ok with saying Mid-30s and I still can, but late-30s are coming fast and loud…

  3. Don’t worry age is just a number, it is how we feel inside that matters so keep thinking with a youthful optimism and like moi ‘Peter Pan’ you will never get any older, well in theory anyway 😉 I have enjoyed reading your posting my friend, and do have a wondrously exciting rest of Friday followed by an equally wicked weekend 🙂 Wow just thirty five next how cool…

    Andro

  4. Woman, grasp every little bit of youth that you can because when it’s gone….you’ll be sitting on a beach enjoying a margarita and your retirement while your kids are off at college living the life you just described.

    I hit the big three eight this year…and met it head on with shock and trepidation. I also decided to take my youth back by force and get up at the crack of dawn every morning to run two miles. I don’t remember ever having to work so hard to feel younger. What gives?

    Anyway, wishing you the best as you march boldly into a “new youth”. I’ll be sitting, drinking scotch with the 4o’s, saving a seat for you..

  5. Heck When i turn 35 i started HapKiDo and TaeKownDo and after the 1st month all the kids and teens where very kind and mostly the 5 to 7 year olds keep saying to me that they happy to see me go up in ranks faster then them.. after 3 to4 years i am High Red Belt in taekowndo and a Purple belt for hapkido
    my grand master is 74 years old and he been doing these arts when he was 5 years of age. if i keep up training i be a black belt in taekowndo Feb.2014 , and black belt for hapkido some time in 2016 . hapkido take longer to go up in ranks it was a art teach to black belts of taekowndo now it and kumdo[swords] are there own arts with ranks now.

  6. Gotta say sister Im about to turn 35 on July 29th and I am NOT dealing with it well, in my mind its halfway to 40.ugh oh god not 40!!!! You gotta do what you can to stay feelin good about yourself 😉 Cute photo BTW!

  7. Beez

    I’m hitting 38. I love it.
    But I’m also coming from a place where I honestly never thought I’d live this long, so every day, every birthday, every grey hair, every wrinkle, is a BIG “SCREW YOU” to the universe.
    😀

    (P.S. I still think you’re gorgeous.)

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