I remember at 13-years-old, reminiscing on my 30-year-old self. She was sitting in her baby blue room. One wall warped and badly painted, and up, a crunchy popcorn ceiling with cobwebs. I would tell my baby sister the wall was all wavy and bulgy like a fat man because there was actually one buried in there so she wouldn’t bother me.
Sitting on my bed, resting from my previous dance practice to Freak Nasty.
I was working my hips in front of my small boom-box with one busted speaker, wiggling like a leach. Each pelvic thrust sucking the cool out of every thread of my being, to include my clothes.
Squat; dip, squat; dip, just wanting to look like the other girls did at 13, ♪♬”When I dip, you dip, we dip.”♫♩
Resting on the bed panting, I felt a shift in my reality; my whole body was sucked into a vacuum of thoughts, and everything drifted through me. I was abruptly brought back to that spot on the bed, and after my eyes readjusted, I remember thinking, “I can’t wait to be 30.”
It was a curious event that I have carried with me for years.
I still think about that day often. Going through the vortex, I knew that life at 30 was going to be epic. I just didn’t realize at the time, 30 was when everything, all the elements from 30 years of life would come crashing together to teach me a lesson, a lesson that I could learn from or dodge but one that taught me to manage either way.
Well, I’m not 13 anymore, and 30 is a distant memory of depression, alcohol, and death.
Now, here we are at midlife, and I have to say, I feel better than I ever had. My mind is clear, I stopped caring what everyone around me was doing, and I stopped drinking after a 15-year binge while finding a ton of love for myself that I didn’t know was there. I am fully utilizing all of it now.
But, the best thing about this whole midlife thing for me is deciding to have my daughter, Rubi Jean, at 38. This is when reality really really hit. Not that reality of responsibility and lackluster I hear and read about; I mean that reality of “I Get to raise a kid with tons of spiritual and worldly knowledge” reality. I don’t feel like a mid-life mom, dragging down my own self-worth because it seems that is what mom’s do — lose themselves in their adulting and mommy-ing. No, I feel more alive and focused than ever. I feel like a Mami — sassy, sexy, and secure. I feel that I can push through all that tired with a purpose now.
I made the right decision and am looking forward to my little Mustardbutt annoying the shit out of me with questions while I get to view the world from her eyes. I just keep her full and hydrated and bathed, and she gets to figure out this whole life thing the way she will.
She is all I am having, and I am not comparing my experience to yours or saying one is better than the other. However, what I am saying is, I am sure as shit glad I waited.
I guess you could say I am freaking stoked. I also feel like I won an all-access pass to the secret mom club. It’s like raising a kid is the ultimate responsibility, and nobody knows how to do it right, and moms all know that, and everybody else just assumes. And only so everyone knows, moms love unsolicited advice! Doesn’t everybody? Please don’t do it.
All kidding aside, I feel privileged to get to raise her and not have to raise myself too. I had to learn how to take responsibility for my self before I took on the responsibility of creating ‘a self’ — a whole other person. Moreover, I got to experience being pregnant. That is another ‘Nope’ that I would only wish on my worst enemy — nine months pregnant forever with the dramatic hemroids. I’m still trying to figure out why my butthole wanted to move out as I strategically replace it with creams and suppository.
Oh, sorry. Too much? No way. Mami Club Card!
Life is too much, and bodies are gross and erotic.
So, I am that midlife MAMI! I feel good about it. It’s that time where the 13-year-old gets to come back and hang out a bit as well and share her laughter and imagination — pushing new limits that are opening different doors, which can only be observed by a mom. I feel like I am getting a second chance with my imagination. I look great; my body feels pained but purposed. My wrinkles look better when I have a kid on my hip. Sounds crazy to some, but I feel like I am doing it right, and I want to inspire others to put away the mommy woes and bust out the “Hey Mami!”
Be That Midlife Mami that annoys everyone with how awesome your kids are. Do what feels right and F everyone else.
Even if you don’t have a kid, midlife for us women is a special time, a time of becoming who we are supposed to be as divine sensual beings. There is freedom and clarity with age. Betty White’s mom said it best, “The only way to get better is to get older. Unless you are a banana.”
I don’t know about you, but I ain’t no banana.