I recently met up with my friend, Courtney, of Stay Golden at a coffee shop in the East Village, and we found ourselves in a conversation about peoples’ expectations of how we (specifically, as women) should present ourselves.
She was retelling a story to me about a middle-aged woman commenting on Courtney having a few grays, how she’s too young for that, it wasn’t the right time. etc. and Courtney’s response was perfect:
The statement really struck me. It got me thinking about all the ways that we hear only one narrative as to how life is ‘supposed’ to pan out. I’ve always felt the message, whether I realized it or not, was that you come into who you are as you go through college and into your twenties, meet “the person” you’re supposed to meet and start a life with and then your life opens up to a career, parenthood, etc.
One could argue that coming into yourself is when you bloom.
I believe that, like seasons of the year, there are seasons of life which means that there are a myriad opportunities for hibernation, rebirth and re-bloom. One could also argue that The Golden Girls series was a season in the life of the Girls where they were reborn and re-bloomed.
Ultimately, Dorothy finds love again after decades of mistrust and failed relationships. Rose finds work she loves. Although she does not re-marry, Blanche learns to open her heart again, something she thought impossible and tried to avoid after her husband passed. Sophia survived a stroke, re-started relationships and continued her entrepreneurial spirit in her freakin’ eighties.
Sometimes blooming in one’s life happens way later or earlier than expected.
Sometimes it feels like the blooming is happening around us, but we’re just not there yet OR it already happened. For example, I believe that there have been two major blooms in my life; one in my last two years of high school and one that is currently happening right now.
What I’ve noticed about these blooms is that I am very close to being my absolute best self (if not, my best) and I am doing things that I love, surrounded by people I love. I’ve also noticed that these two blooms came after two very intense periods of what I’ll lovingly call hibernation. These periods of hibernation were pretty dark, and very difficult. It can feel frustrating, discouraging and downright hopeless when you’re in it, especially when we see no sign of things changing and/or blooming in the future.
At this moment, I plan to ride this bloom wave for as long as I can. And should I find myself in hibernation mode in the future, I’ll try my best to nourish myself in every way possible and wait for the next bloom to happen.
In friendship and cheesecake,