My twenties came and went with a sweep, yet, so many things happened in my twenties. I graduated college, began a career, got married, mothered 5 pets… and birthed three humans. It was a decade of change for sure. Each event was life altering, shaping me more and more into the woman I am today.
There was a time when I approached womanhood with a certain dose of timidity. I still hate being categorized “lady”… i.e.: the ladies room, ladies department, ladies apparel, lady of the night… (just kidding on that last one). With turning 30 I have felt a certain commissioning into womanhood. Literally the day I turned the big 3-0, I could finally say, “Yes, I fill the shoes of this title “woman” that’s been hanging over my head”. In my twenties I felt as if I was putting on a big charade; pretending to be an adult, but secretly still feeling 17. With the onset of this last decade, I kicked off the label of “girl” and slipped securely into my new confidence of rocking the woman that was within. I have quickly found that embracing this part of me has come with a few perks and a few disadvantages.
Disadvantage: Swimsuit Shopping
For instance… Swimsuit shopping. I mean. First off, let me mention my love/hate relationship with the new mirrors at TJ Maxx. I stopped into TJM last week and they had magic light up mirrors… making you look good in every single item you try on (although, this was not a swim suit shopping). After debating between the 14 items I tried on (and looked fabulous in), I came home with 3. Then, I tried them on in front of my mirror and was horrified. You could see that roll and this roll. The top was too high and the bottoms too loose… yet I SWEAR to you that I looked FLAWLESS in their backlit mirrors… Oy Vey.
So, back to swimsuit shopping. (I am putting off writing about it, just like I am putting off going to try one on. #irony) After I turned thirty, I soon realized that all swim suits are NOT created equal. Move over OLD Navy and Xhileration! Friends, there is an upper echelon of swimsuits; suits that tuck and squeeze and push up. It may take three consecutive sessions of hot yoga to limber up enough to weasel your body into one of these said suits, but after it’s on… it’s all staying put. The dimples smooth out, the ladies lift to new heights and your midsection, aka: the remnant of your third child, has all but disappeared. Like THAT *snap*. After trying one on, you look in the mirror… back-lit or not, and you loooooook hot. (Well, maybe “hot” is a stretch… you look good enough.)
Now, Give Yourself a Pep-Talk
After admiring yourself in the mirror, you think, “Okay… maybe I can do this summer pool thing…Maybe people will wear really dark sunglasses or they will drink one too many margaritas to notice… but I can at least pull off a little pool time… especially if I don’t get off the lounge chair without a towel wrapped around my behind.”
After talking yourself into it…
You look down. You lift your arm, and you search around with your opposite hand, fumbling for the 8 tags that are dangling from your left arm pit. You do some more yoga to look at the price tag and WHOAAAAA! It’s sooo expensive. Like, “we might not eat this week” expensive.
Dropping the tag you look back into the mirror and give yourself a pep talk.
“You’re THIRTY FOUR… It’s okay to spend money on yourself. Let’s be honest, you’re not buying another swimsuit for 12 years… it will be okay.”
Make the Commitment, You’ll Thank Yourself
You nod at yourself in the mirror and you make the choice. Yes. We are going home TOGETHER! Then you grease yourself up with the PAM you packed in your purse so you can slip out of this crazy expensive 1/4 yard of fabric you just tried on. You march up to the cash register with head held high and you realize that you just DID IT! You bought a SWIMSUIT!
This is THIRTY FOUR “ladies”. Chalk this one up with chin hairs, upper arm flab, gray streaks and the 8 pairs of SPANX in your closet.
But, the best thing about this entire situation… is that I don’t even care. It is what it is! And, I love it. At times I feel like Molly Shannon in her SNL sketch where she kicks up her leg and shouts, “I’m FIFTY”… But, instead, I would be shouting, “I’m THIRTY”.
Bring it on WOMANHOOD! I see you and I got you!