I am officially 35 mother fucking years old.
Can we talk about how I feel about aging?
I love the process.
I do actually.
Not all of it but a lot of it.
But let's talk about what I'm "supposed" to be feeling.
See exhibit A the last self portrait of me at age 34. Make up taken off, exhausted as shit and naked but you don't get to see my goodies.
So I'm supposed to be worrying about things like:
- Wrinkles because I smoke, I'm aging and that happens
- Uneven skin tone
- etc etc
So I have several of these things. As you can see in this not well lit cell phone photo, my skin is indeed uneven. It has been since puberty and I spent about 15 years battling, burning, bleaching and generally abusing my skin before I made peace with it.
You can't quite see that I have very dark marks on my neck and chin. My neck and face scar if I look at them crooked and it's okay.
You can kinda see the little shadow of my moustache. I don't have a lot of upper lip hair, not enough to make a (for me) satisfactory moustache and left unchecked I get ingrown hairs. I haven't removed it recently because my skin has been going bitchnuts wild and I'm not trying to annoy it.
Right now I have this insane conflagration of zits right near a spot of contact dermatitis on my forehead.
You can see..I don't give a single fuck.
I look at my face, my naked face in the mirror and I see all those things that I'm supposed to be battling with all my might and money and I"m fine.
I'm fine because fucking A I have survived.
My face is scarred. My thigh is scarred. I have dark scarred knees. I have a plethora of stretchmarks. I have scars on my breasts from having a breast reduction. I'm spotty, spastic (as in twitchy), marks on the inside of my thighs from the occasional boils I've gotten my whole life, my pubic hair is salt n pepper, my hands are dry and peeling, I have crooked weird looking little nails on my pinky toes, I have cellulite, my shins are peeling, my leg hair on my left shin is thinning, I broke a nail shopping after Vday and it hasn't grown back, my feet smell, I have a peeling scaly spot on my butt right in the crease under my left buttcheek, my teeth are fucked up, I have bad knees, my sciatic nerves are fucking assholes, sometimes I limp, my knees swell up, I'm often gassy, if I'm too stressed out I can't poop, if I can't poop I get really emotional, I can't wear really high heels anymore, I have a tendancy to tip over because my equilibrium is fucked, my lips peel really easily, I get random rashes for no reason and you know what?
All these flaws, all these things I'm supposed to obsess over and try to "correct" I'm fine with.
I'm 35 and I'm okay.
I am still fucked up. I have some fucking problems. That's okay.
It's okay for me and it's okay for you.
You know why it's okay? I will tell you my great secret, consider me your Aging Educating Negress today.
It's okay because we're still alive.
Every birthday need not be the panic inducing OH SHIIIIIIIIIIT IMMA DIE SOMEDAY event that it seems to turn into for many of us. It need not be the day where (especially, and yes it happens to men too) women frantically spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on miracle creams and surgeries to try and turn back the clock.
Every birthday can and in my opinion should be a day to reflect on how much we've survived.
I have survived this society that has from the time I was born undervalued me. This society that tells me that I am worthless on so many levels because I'm a Black woman, because I'm fat, because I'm queer, because I'm poor.
I am still alive mother fuckers.
I have survived beloved friends dying. Some have been murdered, some took their own lives, some overdosed.
I have survived abuse.
I have survived hating myself so much I didn't even care enough to commit suicide.
I have survived all of it.
I am ALIVE MOTHER FUCKERS.
I am 35 years old and I am alive.
Every birthday I celebrate is a big old middle finger at everyone who's ever hurt me. At all the people who "didn't mean it" when they said fucked up things to me. To every person who's called me an ugly bitch. To everyone who ever sneered at me or teased me.
What I'm saying my homies and haters is that birthdays aren't just the sigils of our mortality. We're all human. We're going to die. End of story.
I'm saying that your birthday can be a day where you celebrate however you please the fact that you survived too.
Even if it hurts and you find yourself crying, or if you want to put on a costume or a fabulous outfit or spend the day buck ass naked eating cupcakes.
Now I'm postponing actual celebrations until the weather clears up and I can wear the ADORABLE Kinderwhore style dress I bought specifically to wear on my fucking birthday. Instead I am going to stay at home, do some self care like a mother fucker. Give myself a new mani, I'm going to fix up my eyebrows and get my nerd on by watching most of some series of movies. I'm leaning towards LOTR.
Here is my face today. Scars, crappy foundation application, Mac So Scarlet Lipstick which is my favorite red but I'm running out so I don't wear it often. Major eye liner. Reflection on my glasses.
There I am.
And from my dear friend Maggie who knows the way to my heart a LOL:
Now if you'd like to celebrate my birthday feel free to make me shark LOLS, other LOLS, draw me something in paint etc.
I love you my homies and haters. Yes haters I still love you too even when you're cranky.