Eldridge "Lady E" Cole
In one week I will turn 55. There! I said it! No shame in my game really. We can’t change the fact of aging, but we can change the face of aging and we can change the way we thing about it. How do I feel becoming a speed limit, five years into my fifties? I won’t say that I Love it but I will say I embrace it. I know the road I’ve traveled on this journey to “maturity” that of a woman-of-a-certain-age. I can say that I am filled with gratitude rather than remorse for all that I have been through, that has brought me to this moment in time; to BECOME the woman I am today. It’s a process.
Sure I've stood in front of the mirror and played “face lift” and took a sideways glance at my sagging midsection and skin in all the usual places. I look long and hard. I fondly recall there was a time when I was a small petite slender size 7 and the reality of what stared back at me from the mirror I could NEVER have envisioned, never in my wildest imagination could I see myself being, well this old. Or at least that’s what anything over 25 seemed like at the time. But what was way afar off into the distant future is now upon me and I’m staring at mid-life with a much different attitude (and body). Like I said, I’m grateful and I’m beginning to realize that a NEW kind of beauty emerges at this age. I’m not talking about the obvious quest to be eternally young. More like appreciating every curve, bump, sag, wrinkle, stretch marks or fine lines that should be praised like the trophy they are that took years to earn. These are the results of a life, well lived and a body with all the markings to show for it.
Rather than deny this aging package that life has given me, I lovingly embrace it. Then, I began searching for my own beauty. It was always easy for me to see beauty in others. However, I never saw it in myself; that is until I got older and now I can finally own my uniqueness. I’ve experimented with all kinds of looks, styles, trends and what have you. But I always come back to what suits me best. I never really liked the idea of conformity, or playing safe, being like everybody else. That still has not changed. I don’t have to do what is socially expected of me or look or act a certain way because of my age. But what has changed is my “Becoming” my authentic self. Being TRUE to ME. What that means is I’ve come to the point where I see things much differently than I ever have before. Therefore I approach things in much different way. I want things I was too scared to try before. I say, what I’ve held back before. I’m making better, wiser choices. I wear what I like and what feels good. Yes, that includes big hair, hoop earrings and stiletto heels (a must). I eat healthier foods (long overdue) I feel good about myself. Let me tell you healthy is the BEST way to live. (don’t wait for serious illness to dictate making the choice to do what’s right for you). I indulge my passions with abandon and I do the things that interest me.
While all of this might sound just a little bit selfish, to an extent, it is. But I’ve paid my dues. I’ve raised my kids, I worked, I’ve remarried, I’ve given and given and given and like most women, I didn’t take nearly enough time for me. But that’s yesterday’s news. Today, I’m a priority. It’s what I call a “Living Arrangement” I encourage you to do the same. Life is to be enjoyed not endured and there is a time limit and a due date, so while I can I’m gonna LIVE life deliciously, on purpose every day and BECOME ALL the woman I know I CAN BE! ~EC