Are you a cool girl? Hahaha! I think most of us women consider everyone else to be cooler than ourselves. Amiright? Especially as we get older, it becomes more and more difficult to really feel cool. By this time our kids have rolled their eyes at us so many times we’ve left all the cool vibes behind. And despite the fact that those same kids have generally come around again to seeing us as wise beyond our own estimation, we still feel pretty dorky when we get around the younger set. But let me whisper something in your ear, dear friend over 50. You are one of the coolest girls I know! Why? Because you’re still showing up and giving it your best. And you absolutely can wear what the cool girls are wearing this fall.
Being cool is one of those things quite akin to “looking young.” If you try too hard, you miss by a mile. But who’s trying? Right? And that’s exactly why you are indeed so cool. Looking cool is that thing you accidentally fall into on your way to simply being yourself. And you and I know that’s all we’ve got left…being ourselves. Yeah, we’re still awkward and a little unsure of ourselves at times. But even that clumsy, last-straw self-acceptance is somehow endearing and, yes, cool to those around you.
I certainly wasn’t one of the cool girls when I was younger. We’ve got readers here who could attest to that. Ha! They witnessed my awkward middle school and high school years. I was taller than all the boys, flat chested and always had a perm in my hair (compliments of the high school cosmetology students at the school where my dad was a principal). Come to think of it. The only thing that’s changed from that list is that I finally figured out how to style my own hair…and then it thinned and went grey!
No, I don’t feel like I look much cooler these days than I did back in the 80s, when I truly did my best to at least look like I had it all together. Of course I don’t care like I did back then either. I’m not trying to impress anyone. I’m certainly not trying to attract a guy. I somehow managed to do that eventually, and I’m happily keeping the one I got.
I don’t have to walk down the aisle of a school bus each day lugging a huge French horn case and hope I don’t trip. I don’t have to walk through a cafeteria carrying a lunch tray that I hope I don’t spill, looking over the crowds and hoping for a seat amidst friends. And I don’t have to ask a guy friend to take me to our junior prom only to have him turn me down. Yes, that happened. And I didn’t go to that prom. Not cool.
It tickles me because some days it feels more awkward than ever to be over 50. Somehow my body doesn’t do the things it used to do so easily…like walk upright and bend down to pick things up and…have you even tried to skip lately??? And my face and hands and hair and upper arms and tummy…need I go on?…are all changing so rapidly! Yes, in many ways, when we get over 50 we feel just as awkward as we did in middle school.
And yet…at this age we can let the air out of that big, bossy, bad attitude a lot more easily than we could in our teens. We can remind ourselves that we have people who love us. We have accomplished big things. We have gotten through difficult things and gained a little wisdom along the way to share with others.
We’ve developed, too. Maybe we never did develop the body we envisioned, but we cultivated character and built a career and grew a family and accumulated friends and nurtured other lives and curated a life that counts for something. And when we put things in that perspective, those feelings of dorkiness and clumsiness and not fitting in…just dissipate and lose their power over us. Oh, to be able to pass that gift on to our daughters and granddaughters. What a gift that could be!
So I started writing this blog post with the intention of talking about what the cool girls are wearing this fall. You know…sneakers with wide leg trousers and a denim jacket and a I-know-something-you-don’t-know confident smile. But when I look at these photos I don’t see a cool girl. I just see me. And I know that, on any given day, I can feel less like a cool girl and more like a frump. No, I don’t generally feel like a cool girl.
Here’s the thing. I’m just a girl doing my best to show up with the best version of myself that I can muster up on any given day. Some days I knock it out of the park. Other days, not so much. I have moments when I feel confident and secure and pretty. I have just as many when I feel invisible or, worse, dorky and taller than all the boys.
And believe it or not, that’s one of the main reasons I started this style blog for women over 50 four and a half years ago. Because I needed something to hold me accountable to getting dressed for my day and getting out there. I needed to keep pushing myself forward so I didn’t let myself slump into a comfort zone that would swallow me up and cause me to disappear. I needed to keep learning, keep investing, keep growing and keep trying.
And somewhere along the way I realized that I wasn’t the only one. You sweet ladies showed up and I had someone to sit with. You became the girlfriends at that lunchroom table, saving me a seat and a carton of white milk to swap for my corn. And then I didn’t feel so dorky or alone or clumsy. Especially as our number grew (to over 15,000 email subscribers and almost 115,000 YouTube subscribers!!!) and I realized we are the cool girls! Because it’s cool to be humble, to know your strengths and your weaknesses, to admire the accomplishments of others and cheer each other on. It’s cool to walk into a room and forget about yourself and focus on other people and on putting them at ease. And it’s cool to finally realize that you may not be perfect, but you are perfectly created and perfectly placed into your little corner of the world to do what you can to make a difference. Yeah, that’s pretty cool.
I repeat, you’re one of the coolest girls I know. And if you want to rock sneakers with wide leg dress trousers and a denim jacket, you go girl. And if you don’t want to wear that…that’s cool, too. Because whatever you wear today…that’s what the cool girls are wearing this fall.
Hahaha! I crack myself up. Thanks for reading my ramblings, sweet friend. No, I don’t have a fever. Have a great day!
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Blessed for My Day
I guess I’m feeling a little nostalgic and a little sentimental today. So indulge me while I go on to thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing up here. I don’t always respond to your comments. Over the years the number of emails and comments I receive here and on Instagram and on YouTube have grown and I feel a little overwhelmed by them most days. But I absolutely read and sigh and chuckle and tear up and share them with my husband and my daughter and my mom. Your comments and emails keep me going. They bless me. You bless me.
I wanted you to know this today because I’m doubling down and recommitting to showing up here each day for you. Yes, I know I’ve been doing that. But I want you to know that I’ve been praying about this platform and I want to make sure that I keep on using it to the glory of God and your good. I want this blessing to truly bless you. And I’m going to start including a blessing at the end of each video, too. Why? Because every woman needs a little encouragement, a word of hope, a reminder of the truth. And I am committed to offering you that here and there. Thank you for showing up, sweet friend.
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. ~ Ephesians 1:16