Hard Lines I’ve Drawn in My Life

A non-exhaustive list of what I celebrate and what I don’t.

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Photo by averie woodard via Unsplash

I’ve hit a definitive point in my life. I’ve run out of give a shit. There’s none left in the tank.

Mind you, let’s not underscore the importance of caring about things that require your attention: paying your bills, raising your kids, being a decent human being, wine. No really, good wine is important.

Let’s face it, though. I’m in my mid-forties and realizing I have spent far too long giving things my time and energy that I shouldn’t. I’ve boiled life down to what really matters to me. The joy and freedom I’ve found in this is such an incredible release.

I’ve gained the capacity to quickly weed through life and toss aside what doesn’t matter. Turns out, there’s a lot that doesn’t matter.

It’s a noisy world we live in and a short life we get to live. We should reserve the right to call out some bullshit when we see it.

Filters may be the most vain invention of modern technology. No one is being fooled by these. When I see a picture that’s been filtered, only one thing comes to mind: this person is hiding something and that makes me sad.

I have wrinkles. I have a small scar on my cheek from where I landed on the corner of a coffee table when I was a kid. There are things on the upper most portion of my body that require waxing that I am not pleased need waxing.

I don’t care. I don’t want to fool anyone. I don’t want to airbrush myself. I just want to be. Wrinkles and all. I’ve earned them. I’ll show them off without shame.

These are fine lines. Moving through this space is like running the bases of self love. You just need to figure out which base to stay on.

I have been guilty of fighting for a body image ideal that I have no place fighting for anymore. That time has come and gone. I didn’t appreciate my abs when I was 25. I don’t get to have them back. My mistake was striving for perfection for decades. Perfect doesn’t exist. Acceptance does.

I love my body. It does incredible things I’ve trained it hard to do. It’s not perfect. There’s some cellulite. There are some aches. Parts of me have…shifted. It’ll do.

I refuse to give up on my body, though. Just because I may never have six pack abs again in my life doesn’t mean I don’t show up to the gym. You don’t turn your back, you look straight forward.

Okay, your house is bigger than mine. Your car is newer. Your kid is going to a better college than my kid. You found your person and have little desire to strangled them. Your vacation is further away than mine. I am happy for you and proud of you. You can keep all of that. I don’t need it. I have what I have. It’s good enough.

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My actual writing space right now.

As I write this, I am sitting in a little nook in someone else’s 110 year apartment I’ve rented for a few days in downtown Denver, drinking strong coffee and listening to classical music. The old windows are wide open. The weather is perfect.

I’m traveling alone. I made up my mind a while ago that not having a traveling companion was no excuse to hold off on traveling. Do it now or don’t do it at all. This moment, right now, is a gift. This matters. The fact that I have not said one word to a human being so far today doesn’t matter.

I have poured my heart and soul into a career for decades. My resume is pretty fierce. I have given away any care I had left in adding to it. If I never got another promotion in my entire life, I would be just fine. As a matter of fact, I’d be happy.

I spent years lunging forward for the brass ring. I want to relax a little now. Pour myself a cocktail and enjoy resting a minute instead of burning myself out into oblivion. My to-do list of accomplishments is pretty small.

I have no time for this. If I want pizza crust, I will have pizza crust. The same goes for mashed potatoes. There is absolutely nothing you can do to ground up cauliflower that is going to trick me into thinking that I am eating mashed potatoes. My taste buds are smarter than that.

I’m eating the real deal. This applies to everything. Zucchini noodles? Have at it. I’m going straight up carb and gluten loaded pasta. Whatever happens to my body as a result of that is worth it. It’s called living life. I refuse to live a life where my pizza crust is not a flaky, perfectly baked delight but a vegetable. Hard pass.

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Photo by Scott Warman via Unsplash

Judgmental bitch, please enter stage right. I have friends that are in their 40s and 50s that still go out into the world with the goal of getting intoxicated. I don’t get it. I have reached a point in my life where intoxication, if it happens at all, happens accidentally. It’s not an intent.

I’ve learned that quality is far more important and quantity when it comes of alcohol. I’d rather than one really good drink, maybe two, than half a dozen crappy ones. I have no time for bad wine, bad beer or bad whiskey. Give me the good stuff and let me be.

I have nothing to prove to you. Not one damn thing. I have no need to do X thing for Y number of days just to prove I can. The last time I tried this was a challenge to write every day for 30 days. I failed, but not really. No one, and I mean no one, needs that kind of pressure. And, I’m stubborn as hell. Don’t tell me what to do. I will not listen.

What I need is a break. I need rest. I no longer hold stressful expectations of myself. I give what I can. I do what I’m able. I know my limits.

The back half of my life is becoming more restful. More calm. I needed this to happen. It feels amazing. I feel content. Satisfied. Whole. Strong. Right now, I’m going to sit with this feeling. In peace and quiet and let it drift around the room like the air from the open windows.

Written by

Flaming pinball, nerd, music lover, wine snob, horrible violin player. No, I won’t stop taking pictures of my drinks. vanessaltorre@gmail.com IG: vanessaltorre

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