Say my Age.
This past weekend at an art show in south London.
What’s with us not wanting to say our age? I notice this especially at my age, but it’s been going on with a lot of us for quite some time now. And usually with women. Friends on facebook have birthdays, but their age isn’t there. It’s hidden. Come on, really? You’re not fooling anyone. Just making it MORE obvious that this societal shaming of anyone of a certain age is on your mind. Are we afraid of the repercussions of announcing our age? What repercussions you ask? Ooooh, - Plenty. Not getting hired, being seen as irrelevant, not on trend, too expensive, too slow, too much. I worked in fashion for years. I remember moving to Los Angeles in my late 30’s. Getting certain jobs was way out of the question – I was no longer up for consideration by many companies. But I was really good. I had been working in fashion and sales since high school. It didn’t matter.
So ---- what would happen if we all started to change the idea of these numbers, our age – that is part of our essence, our being? Think how powerful it would be. If we all do a bit to let our ages be known, to be proud of them. My grandfather lived to be 100. I have many many more years to go. And I sure as hell am not going to sit around and wait for the world to go by. I have a second career that has felt like a bit of a boulder to push up a hill, but I’m not stopping. No fucking way.
As I scroll through my LinkedIn profile, I sometimes wonder if I should list when I graduated from college (1989) or just leave it out altogether. Like I need to be ashamed of it. But I’m not. I came of age in the 80’s and it was an awesome time. I’m proud to have lived and danced and dressed in the 80’s. Anybody else? And I often wish I was old enough to celebrate the Summer of Love and the original Woodstock. I mean, those stories have to be pretty awesome, huh?
I’m not saying we need to let ourselves go. I feel my best when I dye my hair and put on makeup and wear my favorite skinny jeans. I even had a tweak or two before I turned 50 (hello chin lift and boob reduction). Not that it was necessary, but I needed it to feel better. I had just closed the first chapter of my career and life and it was time to move to the next one. I try to swim a few times a week and can proudly report that I am usually one of the fastest people in the pool at my gym. I do my flip turns with pride and like to surprise people when I hop in the fast lane.
Me in the mid 70’s when I swam competitively.
What I’m saying is this: That no matter what – WE ARE RELEVANT. Collectively we have life experience and have seen the world through some major transitions. And I believe in keeping up with the cool kids, or at least being aware of what’s going on. But I’m old enough to know that if it’s time to take a break, I will. And then I’m back with fresh ideas, ready to keep moving and creating. I don’t need to be told to hustle (in fact, I remember when the song came out, it was the disco era!) I’m a beginner again with a robust resume. It can be weird.
Like many of my peers, I was here before the hashtags. But I’m also keeping up with the cool kids and creating my own thing along the way. I love being a part of a group screen print studio where I learn from the younger and older artists alike. I especially love the millennials who are making things happen. I didn’t have that sort of support when I started my first business, ME & Blue (a clothing boutique in Philadelphia) in 2000 and later in 2009 in Venice, CA. Now I’m lucky to have a bunch of go getters as my peers.
I turn 52 on December 30, 2019. Who wants to celebrate with me?