BY: JANA GREENE
If you’re a woman,
You’ll have to be the Mother of invention, the Sultana of Self-Worth.
And I’ll tell you why:
Nobody can validate you better than YOU.
I just turned fifty-two years old, and GOD I love it.
I glory in this mid-life thing (most days, anyway) and here’s why:
Because every outside force you can imagine
Is going to keep changing.
The “new normal” is a revolving thing.
Having the “look” is nothing compared to owning your self-worth.
And the ways you are changing?
Be lady-like, we were always told.
At half a century and some change,
I feel emboldened, empowered, and not at all “small.”
You see, in our youths, we were told
To make ourselves small, so as not to be a bother.
To be selfless and only consider
Your feelings as afterthought.
We did the dainty girl things.
And that’s ok, I LOVE the dainty girl things, but….
It’s still dishearteningly a man’s world,
So we have to be strong, too.
And not the kind of strong
That can hoist a monster truck tire in the air.
Now we are strong enough to hoist each other up.
At this stage,
We are the kind of strong that you can only get from
Wading through the dregs,
Surviving some God-awful shit
And coming out the other side.
The kind of strong that stains your soul so deeply,
It rubs off on others.
The type of strong that isn’t sullied by the dewy, fresh hope of the young,
But is built upon heartache and victory both.
A strength that reinforces faith, not replaces it.
Cheer for yourself, my Queens,
With as much gusto as the cheerleaders in high school
May have put in making us awkward girls “less than.”
Be at the top of your own pyramid,
Without expecting the Strong Man at the bottom
Of the pyramid to catch you.
Have confidence in your own two feet.
Strut your stuff like you know your worth.
If you are dressed to the nines for a celebration,
Or schlepping off to the grocery store in gray sweats
And your hair in a messy bun,
because darling, you are WORKING that casual look.
Appreciate yourself for being comfortable in your own skin,
Because its easy for young women to feel good about themselves
In all their youthful glory.
It takes chutzpah to
Tell yourself the little things a man might say.
Your hair looks great.
You smell fantastic.
Your ass looks amazing in those jeans.
Except say it like you mean it.
After all, you have no ulterior motives when building yourself up.
Because you, my darling, are a phenomenon.
Millennials got nothing on your badassery.
Wrinkles cannot dim your strength, and
White hairs do not distract from it.
Shine on, you Crazy Diamond.
Shine on knowing that all that has gone into making you who you are
Has built one hell of a person.
Reinvent yourself if you need to, sister,
Become a Sultana of Self Worth,
Because you are a Wonder, my Love.
And time can’t take that away from you.
Because nobody can validate you better than you.