Sunday, August 2, 2009

no effin' rosehip

for the last few weeks, I've been floating through some sort of nebulous psychic journey trying desperately to read my heart and mind and body. I still haven't figured it all out (do we really ever?), but am now more comfortable and patient with the ride than when it began. I am lucky to have a dear friend who is a very gifted therapist (free therapy!). she suggested that maybe I need to consider this a purely hormonal change and recommended a book to me. I should have known better; this author is one of oprah's favorites and, like dr. phil and rachel ray, I was almost certain would annoy the hell out of me.

I did resent this book even though I was very interested in the chemical information and the focus on how women in their forties and beyond are kind of forced to deal with their emotional past or just give up and be miserable. (I truly enjoy a do-or-die the way, I'm doing.) but the chapter on appearance really made my blood boil. first of all, the chapter title is "from rosebud to rosehip". I don't know about you, but I find this categorization demeaning for all women, "rosebuds" and "rosehips" alike. really, why not just compare "kittens" and "cougars"?
I feel a violent rejection of all movements that put me in a box. I've never considered myself a rosebud at any juncture of my life and I certainly am not happy with the label of rosehip that has been thrown on me. I understand the author is outlining all the possible physical outcomes of growing older but I no more fit the accepted definition of beauty now than when I was 24. and I am so happy about that. my look has more to do with characteristics such as a quirky smile, curious eyes and a wicked laugh. I am my own definition of female and I'm busy editing and rewriting that definition every single day.
why is it that experts have to make everyone of any particular stage, condition or development part of the same movement? when you reach a certain stage of life, you have to "do" that thing that those of that age do. you have to be and fit and jump on the bandwagon and follow the sheep in front of you. this is particularly frustrating for members of generation x, who have been forced to accept the archaic leftovers of the baby boomers their entire lives because that generation is so freakin' huge and powerful. I'm all about developmental psychology and even the use of archetypes to help us navigate our way, but can't individuals have truly authentic, unique and therefore beautiful lives (inside and out) and not be resigned to accepting inevitable changes as "less than..."? my instinct tells me that there is some generational unhappiness here and the mass market are those who prefer to suffer as part of a group (go team nearly-dead-flowers?!). the author is merely speaking to her audience, of which I am apparently not part.

I feel more beautiful now than when I was in my twenties. I'm certainly smarter, happier and more interesting. I resent being coaxed into a round hole. I will forever be a square peg. I refuse to shop at chicos for colorful, jaunty scarves to distract from my laugh lines. I earned every single one of those laugh lines and each represents loves, tears, friendships, questions, lessons and beliefs that make up my uniquely rosy life.