What It Looks Like From Here
April 24, 2008, by Melissa Howden
Becoming a woman of a certain age caused me to pause and take a look around. The number 50 appeared like a big round sound calling me to prayer. It posed the questions of “What’s been, what’s so and what will be?”
In the stair-step years leading up to 50, I’d lost my mother to emphysema, my lover and partner of ten years to another woman, my grandmother to suicide and my best friend of 30 years to Lou Gehrig’s Disease. So much of my personal history had been wrapped up in those four women. This life moment demanded review and renewal.
One of the many upsides of 50 is I don’t feel inclined to wrangle over silly insecurities and misperceptions. Rather I have the tools to sooth my own fearful gestures into something GRAND NEW! Each day becomes an opportunity to report honestly from where I stand if I so choose.
From where I stand now I can see a couple of things clearly; the objects in the mirror only appear closer with readers on. I have almost made peace with the fact that gravity will one day get the best of me. And along those lines, I am here to report that ONE SIZE does not freaking FIT ALL! And though I believe that some former lovers should just plain stay out of sight, like sizes, this rule doesn’t apply to all. More hopefully, sometimes a former lover shows up after 20 years and you find you can say to her, “I hated being your rebound relationship, but I loved you, always have and still do. Why aren’t we in each other’s lives?” And sometimes, the one who got away replies that she feels the same way and suggests we try things differently. And so we begin to make up a new way toward friendship, no process required. We start from this present moment forward built on joint history and a desire to share the qualities we liked so much about each other in the first place. No guaranteed warranty here, just a willingness to see what happens.
And so at the midpoint of my 50th year, I let go of the things only my Mother knew and step into uncharted territory. I am not so different now than I was 25 years ago, I am just becoming more myself. It is reassuring to know that living requires a certain fluidity especially if Grace is desired and when I am open sometimes a loved one thought to be lost, steps into the Grace Space and shares it with me. This is just one beautiful view from 50.