As I have hit each of the milestones labeled by age – 13, 16, 21, 25, 30, 40, 45… I approached the half-century mark with trepidation, with concern, with celebration, with contemplation, in observation, with grateful musings, and with INTERROGATION!
So much has occurred to me, starting with why is this milestone shrouded in and with great mystery for me, in me, to me, and from me. Yep, preposition after preposition. What is 50 all about? Most importantly what am I all about at 50? What is expected of me? What do I expect of myself?
As a Black woman, it is not lost on me that I now have three “isms” against me – I am black, I am woman, and I am 50. I live in a culture where my currency is not what it once was, and note it never garnered the full valuation of the dollar in the first place -more like 58 cents.
There was most definitely a time when the external defined me and even shaped who I was and wanted to be. I have found that with experience and accomplishments, with failures, and with losses that I thought insurmountable, I have received the gift and the freedom of a little more boldness to say, “To Hell With What Other People Think of Me, I am going to DO ME!”
There it is! Did you hear it? The over simplification of the answer to the question, “I am 50, Now What?” The earlier milestones were steeped in my formation. Growing up, school, education (traditional or non-traditional) career, employment, children, marriage, divorce, relationships, and experiences accompanied by the surprises that life brings. They formed me and informed who I “BE.” Sometimes chiseling away and sometimes building up, but none-the-less, shaping.
If I have been fearless enough to concern myself with “DOING THE WORK.” The who, what, and why of me. Then I should enter 50 at least knowing what I do not want, will not tolerate, will not sacrifice, and will not compromise. If have done the work, then I get to Dream A New! Without allowing the external noise to silence my dreams, I get to be sassy and answer Langston Hughes’s question of “What Happens To A Dream Deferred?” and say I am not deferring a damn thing, I am all about trying to make them come true!
If I have done the work, then my 50’s will allow me to accept me, love me, forgive me, pamper me, and challenge all my fears, which are simply shadows. Yeah, though I walk through the valley.
I am 50, Now what? My Latter will be Greater because I am wiser, I am stronger, I am more capable, and I am ENOUGH to:
Of anything that I want because at 50plus, I give myself permission to DO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!
Please join my on my Podcast, LOL: LIVING OUT LOUD, found wherever you listen to podcast.