My head hurts. Not the inside of my head. The outside. The muscles on top of my skull. The ligaments.
I sat under a young tree yesterday and leaned my head back and my head was and is tender, so tender.
I swear my skull has changed shape in the past few years- at the very top. It feels like it has sunken in- or maybe it has always been like that since the top of my skull met a lamp post on my 5th birthday— I didn’t know how to use the kick brake on my new bicycle and I headed straight into the lamp post at the bottom of the hill by the grocery store.
I don’t know.
But the indentation feels different.
I’ve lost hair of late- my already thin hair is becoming a whisper at the crown of my skull. I can chalk it up to menopause, but it feels like something else.
The top of my head is tender, yes, like an open wound.
Like the old crown I wore in my old life (the skin having grown around it) has been ripped away and exposed the dermis. My crown that sat there for 55 years and is now pried away. All my old roles stripped away.
And it’s OK. It’s OK. Oh my god, it is OK. All as it should be.
But it is quiet and strange.
And sometimes I scramble around on my knees with blurry eyes and the light so low, searching for the crown, with pieces of old skin still attached… thinking I need to put it back on.
I feel the air brushing against the exposed part of my skull. Perhaps it is a new fontanelle… for certainly this, this life, my life is all anew.
My parents released like birds.
My kids all grown and flying.
The apartment, my nest, so quiet.
As a woman, as a daughter, as a mother, as a human, I do not want to take this lightly. To let it pass unnoticed or to try to numb it all away. This is truly something to PAY ATTENTION too. To allow the emotions. The quiet. To not rush this. To allow the sacredness. To know the tap tap on the shoulder by the darkness is creativity daring me now to step into my time.
With breadth, space, grace and humour.
And it is GOOD. This stunned/stunning graduation.
And what now? Do I await a new crown? A stepping into… what?
I feel kind of like that deer in that church, walking around in a silent house, a little lost, a little curious…
Growing. Not a crown. But protective horns. A new cycle. A new chapter. Regenerating.
Being age 54 and “single” I am often asked (by people my own age),
Are you dating anyone now?
When my response is one of raised eyebrows and a cynical laugh, and an adamant, I have no interest, I often get the NEVER SAY NEVER statement.
Oh my God. I know I know— who knows what lies ahead. But, seriously, at age 54 and with lots of LIFE under my belt- I have the right to plead:
Please never say never say never to me.
There is an implication that by not being with a partner, I am not whole.
Also, please don’t say:
You’ll find someone eventually.
You shouldn’t put yourself down!
You aren’t ugly.
You just don’t know what you want.
I don’t need to defend myself, but I feel I need to advocate for us asexual middle agers, who despite who we were before, whatever the hell came before, who we fucked, loved, identified as, whatever- we are WHOLE now.
WHAT BEING ACE MEANS TO ME:
Opening up to defining myself as ace and what that means to me feels relieving right now.
• I have found my identity that really explains to me who I am now.
• Life is fluid and so am I.
• Every stage of my life has been magical, deep, rich.
Touch me life, not softly. – Maya Angelou
• I have experienced joy, lust, juice, frenzy, quiet, cozy, lovely, scary, gutsy, sensual heterosexual love.
• I have witnessed and been astounded by the earthy, gorgeous beauty of my body carrying and birthing two children.
• I have had crushes on men and women, madness, deep love, incredulous love, frustrating love, zany love.
• I have been happily married.
• I have been heartbroken.
• Though I have experienced heartache and trauma, I am not ace because of those experiences.
• I experienced intense freedom and a feeling of coming home when the pain of divorce finally subsided.
• I have been single since 2001. No- scratch that, I’ve been me since 1962.
• I have zero interest in sexual relationships.
• I still love me though and my ever shifting body.
• I have zero interest in getting to know someone romantically.
• I do have crushes on minds.
• And I admit, I have romantic types
• The overarching crush is Lol in This is England.
• But it shifts from having a crush to wanting to look like her. Yeah, I want to look like her, wear Fred Perry clothes, maybe hang out as twins. Kick some people in the ass or on the chin with shit covered boots.
• Not a single cell, molecule, atom in my body is interested in dating.
• There’s no interest in spending the time or making the room.
• I admit I have zero interest in small talk and getting to know new people at parties unless its about some kind of creative endeavour or really interesting stuff.
• Observing the game makes me tired and all I can think about is wanting to make a sock monkey or draw something and wish I was wearing PJs.
• I love my friends.
• I love my family.
• I love my kids and we are so damn close.
• I love my kids’ friends. I sometimes steal them.
• I love having freedom to laugh and be myself.
YUP, THIS IS ME:
My friend Matt wrote me the day the other day-
Asexuality is fucking hard to breach because people of all sexualities can’t comprehend it. It will be the next big “coming out” I think for many people. Apparently there was a study done that millennials are having less sex than any other generation. Perhaps there’s a correlation. Not that asexuals can’t create and enjoy pleasure. They’re just more self sufficient about it.
So next time you see me in the corner with my head buried in a book and not at the bar scanning the room or reviewing potentials on Tinder- know that I’m good. I’m good!
A movement is only composed of people moving. To feel its warmth and motion around us is the end as well as the means. – Gloria Steinhem
An idea is building and I thank the women I met with last night for our initial brainstorm. Stay tuned as we move from the concept to the concrete! What unfolds will be a surprise to all involved. A beautiful surprise!
Do not become alarmed when you experience yourself in totally new ways… You are changing, getting ready to be initiated into the third stage of your life. Are you ready for the ride of your life?
– Susun Weed
Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. – Gloria Steinem