Strange how certain images can trigger past memories as happened to me while converting some old negatives into digital ones that led me to embark on a sort of ‘views & values’ detox. It’s proving to be an interesting if somewhat challenging journey to navigate as once you begin unpacking stuff its surprising what rabbit holes of thought it can lead you down.
Kickstarted by reviewing up long held beliefs about tattoos & finding I no longer agreed with myself was quite shocking concept to accept initially. However working alongside professional, caring yet heavily tattooed health care colleagues sort of smashed the narrative that had been previously been pressed on me.
Unlike Frank Carter in one of his most recent songs I am not imploring everyone to ‘Go get a tattoo’ however I would recommend the personal overhaul of long held view points up for thorough scrutiny.
It occurs to me that as we age quite often we cling to what seems familiar & sometimes leads to views becoming so entrenched that new ideas or approaches to problems can be rejected without consideration.
Age does bring a degree of learned experience that can help circumvent replicating mistakes but I am now trying to actively keep my ears in receive mode especially when talking to those younger than myself. Not always easy but definitely enlightening & interestingly I have found that many newer narratives have greater merit than those of the past.
Take for example the iconic Doc Marten footwear once the preserve of workmen & skin heads that have since become mainstream & like tattoos started to fascinate me to the point where I realised that actually wanted a pair. However the desire for heavy boots with elaborate black roses embroidered on the side was accompanied by a flash of anxiety over whether such a purchase & subsequent wearing was ‘age appropriate’?
While I am sure there are probably many ‘keyboard karens’ ready to rush to tell me that I shouldn’t have, I’m proud to confess I mustered the courage from some where to buy a pair. Breaking them in is a work in progress but totally worth it as they are becoming so comfortable & after my recent foray in to a ‘mosh pit’ I can totally understand why they would be the footwear of choice. Yet where had that fear come from? No one had actually told me not to yet I still feared the ‘judgement’ & felt the sense of unease that I was doing something wrong.
Whilst it’s not exclusive, the judgy comments surprisingly tend to come from women of a similar age leading me to conclude this stems from their own fears or lack of confidence to break out of conventions they have become immersed in.
Based on recent personal experience risking ridicule by flouting conventions is never easy but at least I am not trying to ‘change the narrative for older women’ singlehandedly.
There are growing band of adept female influencers whom I follow across various social media platforms now continually challenging these tired old views. They inspire me to ‘do my bit’ even when faced with what seems like an endless loop of ‘no you can’t or shouldn’t narrative’ together with any amount of eye rolling, tutting & derogatory smirking.
Confounding the expectations of what it is to be older or retired is proving quite fun & presenting opportunities to not only don the clothes & footwear I want but also new activities. The sunny weather over the Easter holidays provided the perfect time for breaking out the slackline for the first time.
It was fun if a little challenging & it might be a while before I can jump up on to it & cross without the aid of the guide rope but everyone has to start somewhere. I have recently read some articles advising the need for ‘senior folk’ to work on their balance, just not sure this is quite what they had in mind to be fair.
So I will leave you for now while I go and work on improving the nano second of balance achieved without holding on until next time.