boomers*

Unchartered Waters . . .


By Julianna Joyce Perkins
The first time I heard the expression "Never trust anyone over 
thirty", I shuddered at the thought of anyone being that old.

Then a day came when the clock ticked towards forty.  Hey, I 
looked thirty, dated men at least ten years younger than myself, 
and wore a size 4.  Aging wasn't so bad.

The clock continued - - fifty approached like a stalker in the
night.  It was after my youth, my mind, my looks, and my health.  
Denial didn't work, I couldn't break my mirror addiction 
(although there are times when I'd like to break my mirror).  
Humor betrayed me, no one laughs at an aging person telling 
age jokes; they just sort of politely titter.

What could I do?  Who would help me?

The muses of mirth must have heard my petition.  They presented 
me with a word that started showing up in the most unlikely places
------ crone!  

Crone, rhymes with groan!!!

NO, not me.  I have a whole life ahead of me.

Then the muses parted the mist.  I HAVE MY WHOLE LIFE AHEAD OF ME. 

I examined my life, as one does on these 'rites of passage' 
birthdays.  I found a pattern.  It was not a fluid, spiral -- 
spinning towards dimensions unknown. It was a bleak container 
that continually folded in on itself.
You see, at every stage of my growth, I bought the lie.  
You know the one. 'You can't because. . .'

My power, my identity, my purpose in life folding in on itself
because --

 I bought the lie.

What now?  How do I change into that amazing flow of grace and 
vitality that I know to be the definition of my personhood?

Don't buy the lie. 

I worked in a field that, fortunately, has little in the way of
gender or age restrictions -- psychology.  In fact an older 
female seems to be a preference for many clients.  But true to
my character, I opted out of that field just as I was coming 
into my prime and chose instead - - - to be a screenwriter.  

You know, the business that thrives on youth and maleness.

"You can't because" became the mantra of associates and friends 
when I told them of my secret dream.  Then I told my daughters.
Their reaction?  Right on, Mom.  If anyone can do it you can.  
That gave me the courage to mention my thoughts to my husband, 
whose business I ran.  He immediately fired me, brought my 
computer home, and said "Go back to school, be the best darned
screenwriter in Hollywood."  I guess all those years of my
encouraging them to not 'buy the lie' paid off.  They bestowed
it back to me.

Well, here I am unemployed, eating junk food, living part-time
in a sorority house by UCLA, all the things it takes to start 
in "The Biz". I have an advantage over the younger crowd - 
a mentor who knows the ropes and is guiding my star.  
Me - the crone.

Crone, rhymes with grown.  And that's what I've done.

I like it here.  It's a new and awesome world.  Peek in my 
window anytime so I can show you the wonders of "cronedom".

perkins@linkline.com (Julianna Joyce Perkins)


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Last modified: August 19, 1997

Jeri Maier BS - USF, MSSM - CND

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