Mid-life Without the Crisis

It really isn't the destination, but the journey. May be cliche, but it's true.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Authentically Me

Cyndi Lauper in the 1980s
I remember being a teenager and wanting to do my hair like Cyndi Lauper, pop star.  But I knew I couldn't get away with that color or cut because of some of the places that I'd have to go, like church or school.  Even if my parents had let me, I was pretty sure I'd be shunned or ridiculed for my choice.

As I've gotten older, those pressures and societal constraints have changed but not gone away completely.  I wouldn't exactly be able to wear my hair like Cyndi in my job as a college instructor (at least not at the conservative Midwest college where I am).  But at least I don't have to worry about my school mates or church anymore. 

I've come to realize that is one of the great things about getting older.  I can look back at those things that prevented me from expressing my true self when I was younger and make the decision to leave those things behind.  I'm going to be me whether anyone likes it or not, and those who don't like it will be ignored.

Whitesnake has a song released a few years ago called "Best Years" with the lyric These are the best years...of my life.  I can really relate to that because these are the years that I know what I like, I'm unafraid to express myself, and I'm unwilling to spend time with people or in places that drain the happiness out of me.  I will spend the 2nd half of my life with people I love, I will do things I like doing, and I will not spend time in places that make me feel bad about who I am or what I like.  I will be truly, happily, geekily, authentically me.

Of course, that doesn't mean I still want Cyndi's haircut.  But I still love this song:


Kathy Fain said...

Love it. So true. You do you really well and I love ya.

J.R. Davis said...

Thanks! Love you too.

Cheryl J Cole said...

Funny you should ask this question because I have been in the throes of re-discovering this very subject for myself...so far, I have come up with 'a hippie-ish type person that likes to bath; work in progress. :D