I follow Jezebel on Facebook. It’s my version of reading a “women’s magazine”.
Generally I ignore the celebrity stuff and the under-35 version of feminism, and I roll my eyes, a lot, but it’s not all tripe or overwrought op-ed. Sometimes they discuss pertinent current events and social issues that are dear to me, and sometimes they just express truisms I can relate to.
The most recent example of the latter was this article:
I was like – “fuck yeah”.
And I don’t know when precisely it happened. Was it a moment of “A-ha!” or just a gradual realization as I shed the last vestiges of worrying about what others thought or caring that people would judge my disinterest or disagreement with their causes, hysterics, manias or general need to be dissatisfied and in people’s faces about it?
What I know for certain is that where I sit now in life is a place that allows me the luxury (and yes it absolutely is) of being able to say, “I am just too old for (fill in the blank).”
I’m not at all sorry to be here even though I realize that it’s not comfortable for those who have to interact with me sometimes. Because even though I attempt to curb the abrasive aspects, I know that I don’t always succeed. It’s difficult to be true to oneself and simultaneously cater to the needs of those around you to not be whether that is by choice or circumstance.
I never imagined myself as the little old lady who calls it as she sees it and I still don’t.
For all my candidness, I hold a lot back. If you only knew what I didn’t say (or write or tweet), you’d pay more than a pretty penny for those thoughts, I assure you.
So I am not one of those who uses age and experience to lay waste, either out of ignorance or disingenuous intentions, but I do believe we’d all benefit more from a world where – at some point – we can lay down the facades “polite” society forces on us and be a bit more real and practical.
The article went on to list all the things that you might eventually out-grow the need to pretend about.
For me the chief thing about coming to the realization that I needn’t bother anymore was that the people who liked, respected, and/or loved me, did so regardless of whether I was myself or a sanitized version of myself for polite public purposes.
I also learned that recognizing you’ve out-grown the need to have a facade of force-field strength meant I could dispense with the trappings that are still required of women in terms of appearance, and I could just please myself without apologies or explanations.
My mother has always said – and it continues to be true – that what others think of you is not your business.
This, to me, fits in well with the “too old for this” idea because the truth is we were always too old once we left high school. It just takes a while for many of us to figure that out.
Finally, the chief thing I am too old for is the idea that there is “only one”. Side of a story or issue. That there is only one solution to a problem. Only one religious point of view. Only one political party with the best plan or policy. Etc.
The adage that “there can be only one” is bullshit I am too old for by many, many years.
And that makes me happy.