aging

This week I got a desk and some pretty stationary. Different coloured pens and a nice note book have basically changed my life. I feel really motivated and organised and I’ve started properly working on the book. It feels good. I’m not currently speaking to any men, so no change there. My phone is dead. I might as well not even have a phone (although it is useful for other things I suppose). I’m cool with the deadness though, it’s not making me question my desirability like it would have done before. I’ve got shit to be getting on with other than trying to find someone to fall in love with, or even just have regular sex with. Although I am getting a wax tomorrow.

It’s possibly the most pointless wax on earth, but I have had enough of feeling like my fanny is out of bounds. It feels like it is no longer in working order. I know that all grown up women get pubic hair, and it’s natural, and some men love it and most don’t care, and blah, blah, blah……but I just don’t like it. I actually think a bit of hair looks good on other women, but not me, I don’t like it at all, it makes me feel unsexy. Nobody else is seeing it except for me but that makes no difference, I need to feel like a buff ting underneath my clothes. I’ve been resisting a wax for the last two months but I just cannot take this 70’s look any more.

I’m going to a festival this weekend and I KNOW that I am going to bump into a familiar face whilst under the influence, so let’s see what happens. I don’t want to break my celibacy for some mash up post festival fumble with an ex but at least my bikini line will be an a decent state if I do. I really hope I don’t though because I have recently steamed and cleansed my ‘Yoni’ (minge) with some magical plant based herbs. I’m all about getting rid of fuckboys and the bad energy they bring, so knowing that, one of my Instagram followers DM’d me asking whether I had ever tried Yoni steaming to cleanse fuckboys away, I had not, and so she offered to send me her product Indigo Peach.

Obviously I’m going to be up for trying anything that eradicates fuckboys and so I was well up for it. I told a few friends about it and a lot of them had heard of it, apparently it’s really big in America. I never knew such a thing existed, but I steam and cleanse my face so it makes sense to also have a routine for one of the most important parts of my body, if not THE most. The herbs come in individual bags in nice packaging with clear instructions. There is an explanation of what each one does, for example, Calendula can help you to tighten and regain elasticity, Motherwort helps with vaginal dryness, Rose petals help you get rid of bad fuckboy energy and help you to be good to your soul, nettle helps you with menstrual symptoms, and chamomile has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, there’s loads of benefits. I was very curious about it all.

You have to boil the mixture of magical vaginal cleansing herbs in 2 litres of water for 2 minutes and then leave it for 24 hours before you boil it again. After the second boil you are ready to steam. This bit I found problematic because it recommends that you either use a steamer with a fitted seat – I do not even know what that means – or sit on a slatted chair or stool, of which I do not have either. So I decided to sit astride the saucepan on the floor. I have wooden flooring in my bedroom and so I put down 2 pillows for my knees and straddled a fucking saucepan full of boiling hot water for 20 minutes on my floor, you’ll be pleased to know that I did not sustain any vaginal burns. I had a towel wrapped around my waist over the bowl too, to ensure that all the steam was contained. I am so glad that nobody walked in at that moment.

I must say that despite my horrifically uncomfortable and undignified position, it did feel really good. Not in a sexual way, in an ‘I’m taking care of my vagina and it feels all warm and clean and fresh’ way. When I was finished I felt like I had developed arthritis from kneeling astride a cooking pot for all that time but my fanny felt great. If you don’t like reading about periods then you should skip to the next paragraph because I’m going to talk about them now. My next period was weird. I don’t have heavy or painful periods. I’m on the pill and have been for years so my periods are really light and they don’t last long. I am very lucky, I realise this. But my first period after Yoni steaming was really ermmm… I don’t want to gross you out…it was just different, it had different bits in it and was slightly different coloured. The instructions tell you to expect this. Apparently it’s all the old stuff that’s been hanging around in your womb. My period was short but really heavy. Lacey at Indigo Peach said that it’s the fuckboy energy getting cleansed out.

I’ve now had my second period since steaming (you only steam once every few months) and it was even lighter and shorter than usual and I experienced less bloating and discomfort. The other thing which is very different is that whenever I take anti-biotics I get thrush every single time, without fail. In the last month I’ve been on two courses of anti-biotics and I didn’t get thrush either time. I’m putting that down to the steaming. Some people absolutely swear by it. I don’t know if I will make it a regular part of my life, but if I had problematic periods or other issues down there then I would definitely stick to it. The thing that I think it’s brilliant for is as a present for a friend who has just had a shitty break up with a fuckboy. I’d love to receive something like that, because even if it doesn’t really get rid of fuckboys, there is something symbolic about going through the whole process. It’s definitely worth a try.

So basically, my punani feels all fresh and cleansed now, and because I haven’t waxed or shaved in a while this Hollywood is going to be super smooth and magnificent. I’ve also got a decent tan and nice white marks. I’m still a stone heavier than I like being but I’m feeling thick and firm instead of fat, I am in a place of self-love and I do kind of want to show someone my body. I don’t always feel like this and so I do not want to waste it, but I also do not want to wreck my fresh, clean, celibacy feeling #DILEMMA (actually it’s not really a dilemma because it’s not as though I have any decent offers at the moment). I really love myself at the moment but that doesn’t take away from me wanting a man to tell me that I look hot naked. I don’t NEED a man’s validation, I want it. I don’t think that wanting that makes me any less self-confident or assured. I like being told that I’m sexy but not being told doesn’t make me feel any less sexy. I’m cool and content, but a bit of male attention would be nice right now. I am craving male energy (and penis too), but I go through this. One day I couldn’t care less, and then the next day I’ll go through a horny patch. My life’s mission is to not make mistakes or decisions during my horny patches.

I’m finding that fairly easy at the moment. I’m always banging on about how contentedly single I am and how I feel really positive that the Univserse will bring my soul mate when I am ready. One negative thought  keeps popping into my head and throwing me a bit off track though, and that is aging. I’m getting older every day (you are too by the way), and although I still look decent, there is no way of fighting nature and things might just start heading south any day now. I’m worried about wasting my good body years being single, although that’s better than wasting them on terrible men.

I turn 36 in a few months and I have been becoming more and more aware of the aging process the closer I get to 40. Fuck, 40. That number makes my stomach drop. I’ll notice some sun damage on my chest, or I’ll realise that it takes double the time for pillow creases to erase themselves from my face. Sometimes I look at my hands and I notice that they are aging, or I become aware of my crow’s feet when I smile in pictures and it makes me panic. I’ve become acutely aware that someday I will lose these looks that I have taken for granted for my whole entire life up until now, and then what will happen? Why does that make me feel so sick? Why has society made me believe that my value and beauty decreases with age? If I love myself then surely that is because I love who I have become as a person, not because I think I’m hot, but there is so much pressure on women to look a certain way now and it’s hard not to fall into the trap.

I’m so against society’s sexual objectification of women, and I hate how our value is tied up in our appearance, and I totally agree that women are more beautiful when they are natural and without make up, and I know that looks don’t matter. I am quite into my looks though, and I am always trying to make myself look better. I spend an outrageous amount of money on beauty treatments and products every month and I like to wear make-up. When I don’t people generally ask me if I’m ill. I feel better when I look good and so I try to look good all the time. It probably stems from the stuff with my Dad criticising my looks as a child. I comfort ate after my parents divorced and so I was a chubby kid too, up until I discovered raving and E’s when I was 16 I was always the fat one. I have striven to be the sexy one ever since.

Maybe that means I have self-esteem issues, I don’t know. I don’t actually think it’s such a big deal. I don’t do it for men anymore, I do it for me, and I will happily go out without make-up, I just feel far, far better with. I do get a lot of male attention though which I have spoken about before.  I have written about how horrible it feels to be stared at or hollered at by strangers and how women should not be treated like walking adverts for sex when they walk down the road, but I also wonder how I will feel when it stops. I always remember my Mum telling me that it felt really strange for her to walk down the road with me and my sister when we became teenagers because suddenly she wasn’t getting any male attention at all, it was all on me and my sister. I think that was quite a significant moment for my Mum. A stark realisation of what men are all about. Two stupid, naïve teenage girls take preference over a bright, funny, settled, secure, independent, strong woman in her mid-forties. How can that be?

So yeah, whilst I am 80% completely happy to be man free and my plan is to not be out there searching for love, 20% of me is slightly worried that the longer that time goes on, the more my chances get reduced. I wish I lived in a culture where aging was revered. In the UK, and across most of the Western world, women are viewed as losing their looks as they age. Magazines have whole spreads dedicated to pointing out celebrities with bags under their eyes, or lines around their lips. Although, because of the pressure that female celebs are under not to age, there are even more spreads about botched botox and fillers (which I will definitely be getting when the time is right – not botched though I hope). Annoyingly though, where aging is seen as making women decline, it is seen as making men better, more distinguished. There are a multitude of silver fox male celebrities whose sex symbol status has increased as the years have gone by.

It’s fucked.

I think older women are beautiful, but often the thought ‘she must have been stunning when she was younger’ goes through my head when I see one, and that makes me feel guilty. She’s stunning now. I wish that wrinkles, lines, and grey hair were seen as signs of beauty because of the wisdom and life experience they represent, but they’re not, they are often made fun of or pointed out. Being old is a cuss. If I got into a road rage situation and someone shouted that I was an old cow, or a crusty wrinkled bitch, I would be truly unbelievably devastated for at least 3 days. Young skin looks better, there is no getting away from it, older people can look incredible, but our youth definitely has a time limit and the closer I get to my expiration date, the more I have got to actively practice loving myself and my wrinkles wholeheartedly because there really is no point in hating something I cannot change. Being older is not a problem, being older and depressed is.

I think aging effects women more than men because of the sense of running out of time, for years I took being able to have children for granted and then suddenly I’ve hit 35 and it’s like OK FUCK, if I want to have any more kids then I pretty much need to meet someone now so that I can be with him for a couple of years first, because if I’m going to do it again I want to do it before 40. Several of my close friends haven’t had children yet and the panic is even worse for them. They are giving chances to men who they would not ordinarily consider because their body clocks are ticking.

There are several menopausal women in my team at work and it’s really been an eye opener into what is to come. They are all over the place emotionally, they want all the windows open when its freezing cold, they break into sweats, they cry a lot, and they are just generally hormonal messes. The menopause is like one big, long crazy PMS situation but worse. Some women go through it as early as their 30’s which must be an incredibly difficult thing to face. Of course, it will be wonderful to have no more periods, but with that comes having to worry about brittle bones and vaginal dryness. Is this blog depressing you yet? I’m sorry, stick with it. It’s a crazy thing to think that all of our main female hormone just runs out and that we are going to have to adjust to being and feeling completely different to how we’ve felt for our whole adult lives. Women have it really hard.

The other thing about getting older is that it seems as though everybody is attached, and even if they are not in relationships they are going through messy divorces or they have children, things are just a little bit more complicated. I feel like most men I meet are involved with someone in some way. I remember a male friend saying to me how much he could feel the tables turn. He said that men in their late teens and early 20’s are still finding themselves, they don’t have careers yet, they are not earning great money and they are not where they want to be and so it is harder to get women because women in their teens and 20’s can have their pick, and so they are running about with older men with money and cars. He said that now that he is in his 30’s with a stable career and life, he has an abundance of women to choose from because women in their late 20’s/30’s realise that time is running out in terms of having babies and those older guys have left them for younger women, and so now they are desperate. They can’t have their pick anymore. That made me want to punch him in his face, mainly because it’s true.

So I’m a bit scared of getting older because of my declining looks, my future body changes, because society will be less accepting of me, and because I don’t want to be alone when I’m old, but I know that I must not over think these things. I have a close friend who is 45 and she was talking to me the other day about not getting as much attention as she did before, she was pointing out some loose skin around her jaw and some sagging on her chest and I was pointing out bits of me that I have noticed changing and she said:

‘Lay, when I was 35 I felt the same as you. I was already stressing about aging then and when I look back on pictures of myself I just wish that I had been able to tell myself to stop focusing on it, to enjoy every single day and to never ever worry about aging, because you’ll never be as young as you are right now again. I didn’t need to spend the last 10 years stressing about aging, the things I thought were bad then are REALLY bad now. I wish they looked how they did when I was your age, and when I’m 55 I know I’ll look back to now and think FUCK you looked great at 45! So please appreciate how things are now or you’ll regret it when you really do have something to worry about’

That hit me, and I keep thinking about that every time anti-aging thoughts creep into my head, and so I’m making a conscious effort to park those thoughts. I’m feel like I look great now and that is all that matters. The other thing that hit me was when another friend was messaging me at the weekend saying that she had 3 offers to go out but because it was raining and cold she decided to stay in, she just couldn’t face it. She said ‘urgh, I’m getting old’, and I thought, yeah – and that’s a good thing. Your life experience has taught you that nights out in the rain are not that fun, and that if you’re not feeling it and something is telling you not to go out, then you should stay in. I have been out on shitty, cold, rainy nights in heels enough times to know that I do not want to do it again.

Just like I have raved enough times in my life to know that I am done with clubs. I have worn ill fitting heels enough times to know that I will never put my feet through that again. I have had hangovers at work enough times to know that it is not worth me going out drinking mid-week. I have had enough exhausted days to know that sex with an ex is not worth only getting 2 hours sleep for. I have had enough fake friends to know who is real and who I can trust. I’ve dealt with enough fuckboys to be able to spot one a mile off and to know that I never want to go near one again. I have been slim, and fat, and chubby, and slim-thick, and obese, and skinny, enough times to know that regardless of what weight I am I can still attract men. I have experienced week long come downs enough times to know that there is no point in getting on it unless it’s absolutely worth it. I have been involved in enough drama to know that it is better to avoid it like the plague. I have dealt with enough wastemen to know that they are a drain on my energy and that life is way to short to waste precious years on fuckers who only want to waste my time. I have dealt with enough pain and hurt to know that I am strong and that I can deal with whatever bullshit is thrown at me. I know so much more about who I am and what makes me happy, and that wisdom comes with age.

The older you get, the clearer you become about who you are and what you want. You know exactly what you like and what you don’t and you are more confident in going out to get it. I have never felt more confident and sure of myself than I do now. As you get older you realise how little the opinions of other’s matter. Over the years you see little evidence of people’s opinions making any difference to your life unless you let them and so you stop letting them. I could not give a fuck what strangers think of me (actually sometimes I give a fuck, but it passes). With age comes self-assurance and self-confidence, and as long as you don’t allow the physical aging process to impact on that internal confidence then getting older is actually a wonderful thing. Getting older means getting richer (although under a Tory Government that’s hard, but still), you are more likely to be settled in a career and to be at a point of more financial security. You are better in bed as you get older too, and so are the partners that you meet. If you’re 19 and reading this, then trust me, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Getting older gives you freedom and knowledge, you know so much more than you ever have in your life and as long as you use your mistakes and experiences wisely, then you will continue to become wiser and stronger with every year that goes by. I wish that I had understood this when I was younger, I was a dickhead and I believed that I knew it all, I knew better than my Mum and older women around me. I dismissed their age as meaning that they were past it, completely disregarding the fact that they had already lived through everything I was going through. I could have learnt so much if I had respected their wisdom and listened to their stories, but I didn’t. I had to learn the harsh lessons for myself, but I am glad that I finally did.

I wish I’d had the knowledge that I have in my head now when I was younger, fuck me, the things I would have done with my life, but I’ve got it now, just in a slightly less youthful looking package. I have so much more to offer now, my soul is so much more developed. Getting older has made me calm, settled, and secure, and I know that what I could bring to a relationship now is better than anything I could have given 10 years ago. I’m going to combat all negative thoughts about aging and focus on all of these positives, I’m also going to respect the shit out of my elders and listen to everything that they have to teach me. Life is short and time is precious, way too precious to be spent stressing over fuckboys, sometimes it takes getting to a certain age to realise that. Aging is happening and  I can’t fight it so I’m just going to embrace it (with a little help from botox and fillers). Watch me buss out in my batty riders on my 60th birthday with my 40 year old boyfriend on my arm. I can’t wait.