I believe absolutely in happiness despite age or size or singleness.
A while back I read an interview with eighty-four year old Joyce Carpati, one of Advanced Style’s leading ladies. She said she never baulks at telling anyone her age because ageing is a privilege denied to many and that was a thunderbolt for me. I had had a decade of a demanding job and almost a lifetime of bending myself into a pretzel to accommodate other people which ende in the mother and auntie of breakdowns. At 50 my physical health was broken, my mental health was borderline, and I felt too old and exhausted to do anything. I even felt unworthy of the opportunity to do anything. I was waiting to die and Joyce saved my life.
My Right to Happiness Has Not Been Confiscated
I believe in travelling alone, wearing beautiful clothes, and making “age appropriate” what’s appropriate for me at the age I am now.
And the size I am. And the state of health I am in.
It doesn’t matter if you have greying hair. It doesn’t matter if you are a size 8 or 16 or 26. It doesn’t matter if you are over 40 or 60 or 80. It doesn’t matter if you are single or widowed. Your right to happiness has not been confiscated.
I have joint disease so I can’t wear fashionable shoes. All my shoes are of the flat lacing variety but I have them in silver and gold and others that I’ve bought in beige and dyed orange, lime, and cerise. My lipstick is always red and my style could be summed up as ‘Lady Edith merged with Isadora Duncan and went to join the ladies having Tea With Mussolini.’ My best friend wishes I’d dress exclusively from Marks & Spencer’s Classic section (he has never actually said so but…) and best friend or not he can take a jump in the loch. My clothes make me happy.
Going to Italy makes me happy and I don’t listen to the people who wail at the idea of me travelling alone or ask how I could possibly enjoy it alone. Unless I can help them understand that it’s okay and it’s fun and they can do it too, then I am all ears. I listen to women who need their confidence bolstered but never to people (sadly most of them women) trying to erode mine. I will never be happy if I listen to naysayers.
I am fifty-three. I have common sense, thirty-five years experience of adult life, and a well-honed conscience. I can go to Italy by myself in a dress I made from a sari and all will be well. So can you. So can anyone.
Don’t wait till you’re this old to enjoy the flowers.