If you had to introduce yourself or describe yourself with only honesty, without care of what others would think or without trying to sell yourself what would you say?
If you truly couldn’t give a flying fuck how you were perceived by your audience and you were totally comfortable in your own skin what would you say?
If you had no need to impress anyone what would you say?
I’m 39 years old. I’m a wife of 14 years (yeah I was a child bride), a mum of 3 (humans), a doggy mum to Wilbur (we hang out a lot), a dreamer and a not formally diagnosed shopaholic.
I’ve had more careers than I wish to recall (yes I’m flighty or easily bored or a risk taker), a closet poet, a dog lover (breed of choice every time is a Boxer) and a fitness fanatic (who never really reaches the end goal yet fully understands that its’s 20% exercise / 80% food).
I adore clothes and I love getting dressed up. I have the perfect outfit in my wardrobe for whatever occasion may arise at a moment’s notice – funeral, court date due to unpaid speeding fine, christening, confirmation, boozy lunch, date night, school concert, I AM READY! I plan my outfits in advance, surely everyone does, no?! It is not out of character to be kept awake tossing and turning over a top I didn’t buy that would have brought the black fringe midi skirt out of the retirement section of the wardrobe. Yeah I know there’s proabaly deeper issues going on here.
I ask my husband at least twice a day should I continue to grow my hair or go back and get the Sienna Miller 2015 Bob chopped back in
I can’t make a decision to save my life. I’m a libra but I’m about as balanced as a Next Sale shopper that has queued all St. Stephen’s day to dress the kids for the next 12 years.
So you get the picture. I’m not perfect but I’m all heart.
I love to dance and sing, I love a night out, and I love my family with every molecule of my being. If you hurt my kids so help me God I will take you down to Chinatown (see a Poet). I love my friends, I love to laugh and I never take myself too seriously and yet for the past 12 months I have been emotionally beating the shite out of myself because, (and I have absolutely no idea how this happened or where the years have gone) I am now Middle aged.
Well how the hell did that happen? I’ve only just begun and I am only pretending to be a grown up.
Now don’t get me wrong here. I am pretty cool and I definitely don’t feel middle aged nor do I look it. (Have I gone too far? Is it ok to say that about yourself?)
But then I was recently at my nephews 16th birthday party, obviously in the cool Aunt capacity and to prevent his mum, my sister, doing the embarrassing mum gig.
I was absolutely horrified by the whole experience.
Let me be clear, I was not horrified by the teenage bondage outfits that the girls were wearing, hey they’re not my kids and hell if I had those bodies I would wear flesh colour togs to Aldi.
Nor was I horrified that very few parents dropped or collected their budding rum drinkers to the party and I was left quite smug that since I myself was an animated teen that my own pre-teen would never pull the wool over my eyes.
On an aside, what is the story with teenagers leaving the house with giant back packs on? Come on people! What do you think they have inside, giant Jenga?
- No one wearing a black PVC pencil skirt laced up to the hip so you can clearly see they are sans Knickers is going to wear a back pack out of choice
- the Giant back packs are filled with Rum unimaginatively disguised in Hollister Body Spray bottles
Do yourselves a favour and buy your teens a mini handbag that is totally on trend for SS18 and can fit only a perfume tester bottle amount of booze.
What in fact left me shook to my core was the fact that some of them thought I was his mum! Wow, how drunk were they?
Until I did the maths and realised that of course I could be his mum. I could easily have had him at 22 but it just didn’t feel like it was possible that I was that old. But alas I am. I even went so far as to ask my nephew ‘but did anyone say that your ‘Mum’ was hot?!’
I mean I could wipe the floor with people half my age in the fashion stakes. I can spot a trend 12 months before Zara spits it out. I’ve kept myself in relatively good shape so I can strut around our sleepy village in the latest ‘it’ trainers (I have Vans for fuck sake), active wear and Rixo London’s offerings.
But then suddenly and out of nowhere I’ve started to feel like I am cheating or maybe even a bit ridiculous.
Should I be acting differently as I’ve found myself plunged into this unfamiliar age bracket?
Should I be dressing differently?
Should I feel different?
But I don’t feel different and Oh God here it comes, that line I dreaded from my mother…
I still feel like I’m 21!
All this grown up stuff is going on around me yet me and The S.O (Signifiant Other) are only now getting our shit together.
I’m not really ready for my daughter to turn 13 this year, it’s much easier to watch and judge everyone else messing up their teen kids. Will I miss the giant back pack with the neon flashing sign over it saying, ‘I am filled with booze’?
I am not ready to think about what we are going to do when we retire. Retire? I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up for God’s sake.
So I panicked. I full on panicked. I mean I’m not sure that I have had a full nights sleep in a whole year without waking up feeling like there’s a village sitting on my chest taunting me for not being grown up enough, rich enough, thin enough, mature enough and all the while I am screaming back, ‘I’ve run out of time, this is as good as it gets, this is my life’.
So I did what anyone would do when faced with such a crisis. I went all weird.
I pulled away from people. I started to feel paranoid. I started to give a shit what people thought of me. I had gone from the queen of not caring, from the person who never asked, ‘what is everyone wearing on Saturday night, so I don’t turn up overdressed’? – to suddenly worrying about everything.
Yes I wear a full face of make-up and winged eyeliner on the school run in the mornings, heck I’m more glam than Joan Collins and I used to Rock it! But suddenly I found myself wondering if people thought I was ridiculous. I even started to care when one of the mothers at the school started ignoring me. This was not me. Before I would have uttered ‘knob face’ under my breathe and walked off swishing my hair and fluttering my magnetic lashes (yes they do work).
I lost every shred of confidence. I stopped making decision on my own (ok this is a stretch since I find this wholly difficult anyway) and started to rely on everyone else’s opinion. I became a sheep.
I looked for approval or advise anywhere I could find it and when I didn’t I would crumble.
I stared judging myself every time I looked in the mirror, or stood on the scales, or spoke to anyone. I stopped enjoying exercise, I stopped enjoying shopping and worst of all I stopped enjoying me.
Maybe people noticed and maybe they didn’t. But I noticed so much that I nearly drove myself mad but now…Enough. It’s time to get my Judyness back.
Here comes the boring bit but I feel I need to add in a little teeny bit of the puzzle at this stage that might make you understand my need to share this voyage of rediscovering myself. Last year The S.O lost his job. So while I would love to blame my demise on a bunch of teenagers seeing me differently to what I saw myself, I can’t. Teenagers get a bad rep as it is, it’s best not to blame them for my unravelling also.
In short, the bottom fell out of our world and we found ourselves thrust into survival mode and reinvention mode. There was no time to mess about and decide what to do next and The S.O went from being a suit wearing pen pusher on a Friday to a Labourer on a Monday. Yes there’s worse things that can happen. No one was sick, no one was dying but it was a rough time. But like every hard time you have to seize it by the balls and know that once you are through the other end that everything will be better on the other side. Things happen for a reason, don’t they?
Anyway I hate a moaner. I’ll touch on the boring bits again on our travels but the point is that we write our own books, we can change how we feel or how our lives turn out, we can get past a (oh shit I’m going to have to say it) MID LIFE CRISIS.
So now I’ve told you the back story you can probably see, I’m a calamity. I make more mistakes than the average person. My life is a roller-coaster but it’s anything but boring. So if you want to follow my journey please come along for the ride and don’t forget to fasten your seatbelt. There may be a cartilage piercing or maybe even a small, yet stylish tattoo thrown in.
Hi…It’s lovely to meet you.
I am Judy in the Middle.