“What an interesting little prison we build from the invisible bricks of other people’s opinion”
– Jacob Nordby
My joints are swelling, my arse is dropping, my temper worsening, and my décolletage is wrinkling. This last was a real shock to me. I accidentally snapped a photo of it while trying to selfie with my cat and it looked like the surface of the moon. I now know why women of a certain age start wearing turtle necks and jaunty scarves.
I have not just started to wrinkle. I have developed some fascinatingly deep lines which foretell of a pending old-lady-face that will scare feral cats and conservative, wealthy white men. Some of this is simply the normal processes of age and menopause. But I believe some of the blame for new lines this last year must be attributed to our government, and Trump, and social and traditional media, and all of the other egregious people and events that have contributed to my semi-permanent What-The-Fuck face. I’ve ‘unfollowed’ so many people on social media this past year my news feed is dwindling to pictures of cats and advertisements shaming me for my aging body.
Overall, 2019 has been a good year. Not despite aging and anger, but because of them. There is something liberating, even powerful, in allowing oneself to be angry. There have been some inspiring examples of motivational anger in 2019: Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Megan Rapinoe and most recently for me (2020), the Led Zeppelin Goat Lady who confronted and shamed our PM during his failed photo-op in Cobargo. Some more of that please.
Aging is proving to be another powerful antidote to bullshit. I’m less and less concerned about what other people think. Living and interacting authentically means being able to maintain boundaries independent of the expectations of others, a theme I continue to explore in my writing. Middle age is also the time I find forgiveness comes easier, both for self and others. I’ve finally found that edge I’ve wanted to live on since I was twenty, and the balance to hold my position there.
So, I go into 2020 aging, angry and optimistic, my What-the-Fuck face ready to do battle with whatever shit our god-fearing leaders impose upon us in their ongoing attempts to line their own pockets and curry favour with like-minded bell-ends. I have also sent the new manuscript to my publisher and am looking forward to getting stuck into editing and moving this baby toward the shelf.
And I love, love, love receiving emails from my readers! Keep them coming. Just please, my people, do your own homework.
Happy New Year!