Tuesday, September 27, 2011

About Women Of A Certain Age

Throughout high school, during college, and to this day, I've found that many of my friends have been women. There are many astounding women in my life, some that I'm related to, others not.

In particular I have several women friends who are in their 40's, 50's, or 60's. And when I watch them and witness what is going on in their lives, I am amazed at their frequent courage, grace, and strength. They are an inspiration to me.

I'm the last person to call himself an expert on all things female, but I think back to what a good friend told me on several occasions: "It gets harder for a woman as she gets older." And she was in her early 30's. Is this because of a certain cultural standard which we see in magazines and movies as to what a woman should look like? Is this because of a sometimes-obsession that we see to keep looking like you're 25 when you're nearing 40? Maybe, maybe not; again, I'm no expert. But any thought that a woman becomes less beautiful or less important as she ages is a complete fabrication, a total lie.

I have seen much strength and am amazed by women who aren't 19 anymore. Many of them go through drastic transitions, seemingly turning their whole life upside down.

They leave the security of a job they've held for years and start their own business.

They get involved in community projects that impact those around them.

They take that trip that they've been wanting to take for years.

They finally leave a marriage that has been unfulfilling or toxic for years and start out on a life of their own.

They start exploring their spiritual and artistic sides that perhaps lay dormant for years.

Some do a combination of the above, undergoing a complete life change even though it is as scary as hell.

You want to see courage and strength? You don't necessarily have to search out a firefighter or a police officer. Just look to the important women in your life, no matter what their age may be. We can all learn from these inspirations.

Mark Andrew