On aging and grace

“You look great for your age!…. Whatever, um, age you might be.”

Did you just call me old?

I stared at the teen something girl in the clothing resale shop, perplexed for the first time as the reality that I wasn’t in the “20-something” category anymore sunk in.

Up until this point, I didn’t really see myself that differently from any other 20-year old. And now, unintentionally (I hope), this girl was basically telling me that my style isn’t “teen” enough to buy, my clothes bought too long ago to purchase and resell to today’s discerning youth.

Why was I so rattled? I don’t particularly want to dress as a teenager—those crop tops and printed pants aren’t really my thing anyway—nor do I want to behave as a 20-something year old anymore. At night, I’m too tired to start getting ready at 9 pm to go out. By that time I’m getting ready for one thing only: bedtime. I don’t recover the same way after a night out of drinking (not that those kinds of nights happen much anymore). I don’t really get Coachella, or any summer festival in the blazing hot sun.

I think what this experience really showed me was who I am becoming. A little over a year ago I became a mother, and a few months after that I turned 30. With these changes brought so many other things, from postpartum depression, self-reinvention, blogging, and a self-confidence and security that I never had as a teen or 20 year old. So much has changed in my life.

I take my belly ring out for the last time, it’s pink jewel catching the sunlight as I put it away in my dresser drawer, the glint almost seeming like it is winking at me as I shut it away, another chapter in my life closed.

I smile to myself. I don’t dress the same or wear the same size I used to. I spend a lot of the day crawling after a toddler and wiping dirty hands, doing laundry and dishes repeatedly. My favorite scene isn’t at a bar, but instead is watching my son and husband play. My favorite activity isn’t very social; it’s the quiet moments when my baby boy—although not so baby anymore—grins at me and flings his arms around my neck for a big hug that warms me to my very core.

Change is good. Change is healing. Change is revealing to who we really are, what is important to us, and who we want to be. Bring on the changes. I am ready for them.

 

 

About the author

Not too long ago Ainsley became a mother, fulfilling her unrealized calling. After experiencing intense physical and emotional challenges during pregnancy and facing motherhood with zero sense of reality, she found her calling in helping other women. She left her career to raise her son and committed herself to letting other women know they aren’t alone in their experiences. She aims to give women a realistic voice and view of pregnancy and motherhood, while creating a community of support around them and celebrate each unique motherhood experience. She started her own blog and eventually co-created The Luna Mom.

Blog: https://themilkleech.com/

Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter: @themilkleech

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