What's the saying: "be careful what you wish for"? You may recall that at the end of October I posted a blog about the fact that I could literally smell change in the air. Then, two weeks later, because the unemployment situation is kicking everyone's ass at the moment, I was suddenly moving house. I talk about the whys and wherefores in episode 13, 'Good Will Hunter', which was recorded right in the midst of it all. And because of the chaos, it ended up being one of the most candid, off-the-cuff and unvarnished podcasts yet. I finally feel like I've settled into this gig and am more able to experiment and allow myself to be truly spontaneous and vulnerable. While the story I shared (narrated), was a story I'd shared in print a decade ago, the emotions really, REALLY hit me, when reading it. I was really taken aback just how immersive the experience was for me. It was tempting to collect myself and re-record the emotional bits, but I preferred to see this experience as a gift to be shared. I don't have a huge following but some folx have followed from the very beginning - every step of the way - so, thinking about it that way, we've been in a relationship for six months now. It's ok to share a few tears. Dang it all to heck, (pardon my French) it's gotta be expected by now!
Doing six interviews on the trot (eps 7-12) definitely loosened me up a lot! Getting back into flying solo after all that has been a bit tricky. I do have every intention of continuing to explore the topic of CONSENT - but I simply had to put a pin in that while I sorted out my personal life. I actually have an interview scheduled for January - about BDSM to plonk into it - but until it's recorded (probably next week) I won't know how to piece the rest of that little series together.
You know me. I'm nothing if not sequential.
Even accidentally so. Episodes 13 and 14 weren't meant to be related. But...they were, because they both ended up documenting the rather unusual luck I had (and definitely had to have) to help me stumble on down the unlikely path that eventually lead me here.
Number 14 ("On Vaginas, Friendship, The Universe and Everything") - is quite a cracking yarn. I wouldn't even believe it was true if it didn't happen to me
This new place is bigger than before. I'm sharing with more of my family. My recording equipment is no longer in my bedroom. The theory goes that having a dedicated office/studio room, I'll feel more legit and productive.
I'm sure that vibe will kick in any day now.
MEANWHILE, here we are, it's New Year's Eve. November came and went without a blog post - and I'm just getting this one in under the wire. During November, I celebrated my 59th revolution around the sun.
Looking back, turning 50 felt like a thing. I suppose. Well it was supposed to feel like a thing. Like I was becoming a middle aged...OLDER person. An adult. A mature woman. All adjectives I haven't really embraced thus far.
An Elder even.
But in all honesty my 50s have been pretty fucking challenging, confusing and emotionally charged. I could blame menopause I suppose (but I'm not gonna). It was just a time for all my dysfunctional chickens to come home to roost. Being in two long term relationships for 32 years of my life, kind of put me in suspended animation - emotionally and psychologically. I was Cleopatra, Queen of Denial. My escapist and addictive tendencies went unchecked. I was very good at looking functional. Having creative outlets like writing and acting are a really cool smoke-and-mirrors trick.
Sure I had periods of introspection and reflection and therapy and breakdowns and stuff, from my mid 30s onwards, but it wasn't until the past two years that I have done the really hard grunt work to HEAL my wounds. Find inner peace. Less anxiety. To feel less burdened by judgement and expectation and desire (mine and others'). I mean, DAMN, I've even been voluntarily celibate for a year. Where's my badge? Where's my fucking parade? I did it. Me. Needy, insecure, horny, affection-starved, me.
It doesn't feel like defeat. I thought it might. When I was gazing at it through a long lens a few years ago. I was like WHY DOES ANYONE CHOOSE TO BE CELIBATE?
Many reasons. But for me it was a combo of self-preservation, self satisfaction and (and this is the key) I just got used to not caring about it.
It took a while to get the hang. But the hang I did get. While I'd love to have a regular cuddle-and-kiss-and-hold-hands-at-the-movies buddy, I'm really ok without it. Like. Really. OK. Not just 'dealing'. But really OK. It feels so good to be really, REALLY, really, really SUPER ok with being a single person, who is completely nonplussed about dating.
No. Really. Sure, there's part of me that has grown scared of it too, there's definitely that, but it's not like I'd scare it away if it came looking for me. I'm just done looking for it.
So, looking at it that way...
The run up to 60 has a more auspicious twang about it. I'm actually ready to feel older and to claim the esteemed mantle of Human Tribal Elder.
Look. There's nothing in the manual that says you have to be perfect when you're an elder.
My body is as sensual and erotically responsive as it ever was, but it's way more patient now. I give myself the loving attention I deserve. It's self care. I'm my own best friend. I have a new iphone now - which is CRYSTAL FUCKING CLEAR and I am only using the 'warm vivid' filter in the pic above. I'm reallly ok with that picture.
It's me. (I'm warm. And vivid. And wrinkly. And hot as hell, if you don't mind)
Obviously there are cons to getting older that are physical, I am not as fit as I was. When I bend down to sit on the floor, I have a momentary think-blink about the whole 'getting back up' dealie. My internal dialogue goes like this
"Ok, I'm going to squat now. Can I still squat? If I do squat, will my knees hurt? Will I actually be able cope with 10 seconds of squatting and be able to just, get back up again, should I go full 'sit'. Or God-forbid KNEEL? (and yes, I have watched Fleabag heh)
"Will I have to use one hand of the floor to push myself back up? Or maybe two hands. Yes. Two hands. But will I use my core strength or my legs to make it the rest of the way? Do my glutes still glute? Why is it so hard to do this now? Awwww fudgsticks! Getting old, sucks!"
And then I proceed to make the noises my mother used to make, as I rise.
I thought she was being funny. Cracking wise.
Nup. Although, it definitely is funny. It's just not intentionally so.
Sixty is officially 'senior' territory. I'll get a concession card for cheaper travel and movie tickets and stuff. Which is an absolute perk.
Fuck it. I have decided to be super ok with being a senior. I'm going to be one of THOSE people who makes jokes about being a senior. But I promise they'll be funny. Bold statement, I know. It's rare turf I'm hoping to tread.
When I turned 50, I had a 70s themed, Hollywood Roast style party and my fam and friends took the absolute piss out of me - just like the old Dean Martin roasts. Man they got me good. But I wore something really sexy and revealing that I probably wouldn't wear today. And that is the difference. I cannot help but laugh at people who think 30 and 40 is 'getting old'. Fuck me, 50 isn't even that old. But 60? Shit's getting real!
True to form, I suddenly made the spontaneous decision on the actual day of my 59th birthday, to pay a year long tribute to my favourite artist on 'reels' on instagram. This will be the most liberating of creative projects. Deciding who it should be was a hard decision to make. When I was a wee small child, it was The Beatles and during early puberty it was David Bowie - and they have all continued to be part of the soundtrack to my life. But hot on the heels of that, just after I left school in year 10 Kate Bush broke me wide open. I'll never forget the first time I heard "Wuthering Heights" on the radio. I was on a road trip with a bunch of school friends, feeling all grown up and free and shit - and we all went nuts over it. I immediately ran out and bought her debut album not really knowing what to expect. And every album since. But the thing is with Kate, you can't go into any of her albums 'expecting' anything. She always surprises.
She was the first artist I diligently followed, buying each album immediately upon release. Playing them over and over. Eventually learning most of them by heart. The first two albums were recorded in the same year and they do feel like a 'double album' for that. Hard to separate. The next three felt like a triple-tie for second favourite album. The next two came out in staggered fashion, but there are tracks on both of those that are in my top ten. Oh, that top ten, will vex me.
I've posted seven songs so far. The 'top 52' was easy to compile as a collective lump of songs in total. But, putting them in order of 'favourite' will get very, very hard from now on in. The 'bottom 20' or so will be random - in no preferential order, but the top 32 will be torture to put in order. They are so hard to separate.
All I know is, I have already made a commitment to the number one song.
And I daresay it won't be one that people might expect. It's my sentimental favourite.
Anyway, in doing this project, I've already realised just how freeing this will be, artistically. I'm prepared to go full quirky weirdo. Full muse. Full me.
There's a "Full House" in my head.
She was there when I fell in love for the first time. She helped me develop my voice without me really understanding that one day I would actually sing out loud in public, on purpose. And they'd like it!
She has been there through all the break ups and grief and turmoil and beauty and joy. Her sensual approach to her craft, which is essentially poetry and short stories set to music - and her theatricality - set her apart. She was the game changer as an independent artist. She gave me solace and stimulation. And a thirst for The Original.
And she continues to fuel my desire to reach people with the truth of who we are.
And, well, if I had never had the chance to grow up with her, I don't know WHUT!
So here's to Kate. Here's to 2021...and here's to the road to 60. If you want to follow along, please check out this highlight link on instagram.
Sending my biggest hugs, warmest love vibes and best wishes for a healthy, happy, productive and inspirational 2021. Let's keep each other motivated to be kinder, more tolerant and way better at life, shall we?
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