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". firstname.lastname@example.org (Julianna Joyce Perkins)