Who did you expect to be at fifty? How did you expect to live? Did you expect to be wild, or tame?
I thought fifty would feel so settled. I would be accomplished and self-satisfied, probably rich, definitely calm. I didn’t consider what the state of my dreams and yearnings would be.
Through my thirties and forties I had a simple daydream I would visit when things were particularly stressful. In the daydream I get to fly away alone somewhere. Not for an adventure. For a rest. In the daydream I get to wear very clean very soft cream colored clothing and stay alone in a big luxury hotel room with a huge white fluffy bed. I get room service. I sit around on the bed in cozy creamy clothes. Maybe I go to the spa. Which has clean fluffy white towels.
I kind of thought fifty would feel like this. Cozy clothes and expensive linens. Lots of solitude. Rest. And yes, it is all a bit cleaner and more restful now that the years of child rearing and house building have passed. And yes I have spent some time going to nice hotels and spas. And it’s wonderful. It’s really nice.
But there is this whole other thing happening. For one thing, that daydream just doesn’t work anymore. It doesn’t have an instant calming effect. In fact, its boring. Instead, my daydreams seem to be taking me to odd places. They are more like the daydreams of childhood, wild narratives that have me talking to plants or lying out all night under the swirling stars.
A wildness starts to awaken in us at this age – this is something no one tells you.
I did not expect it… or I might have had an inkling.
There was something that stayed in the back of my head for many years. Throughout my teens and into my very early twenties, I could see things. Precognitive dreams were a regular occurrence. Vivid halos of color sometimes danced around peoples heads, revealing their joys and sorrows, and I could see people’s secrets in a spread of cards. One day in my early twenties it just went away. From technicolor back to black and white – I just didn’t see that dimension of the world anymore. I mourned a little, but I was also relieved. These things set you apart, and they can be painful. While I was mourning, someone – I wish I could remember who – comforted me with this: “It’s alright. It will come back after menopause.” Of course menopause to a twenty-two year old is just about as far away and unlikely as death. So I didn’t think about that for long. But it lodged in the back of my head. My wild gift would return.
I don’t know what your wild gift was. I don’t know what other-worldy wisdom or crazy vision or way of knowing or burning desire gave up its young life so you could be a grown woman, a mother, a partner, a citizen, a bonded and insured and certified adult. I don’t know what your wild gift was, but I know that somewhere in your heart, you are yearning for it again. And I know that somewhere, from the wild, your gift is trying to find its way back to you.