designing ways to a better world

Looking Forward to Forty

Looking Forward to Forty

Ivory Roses in April, photo by Paprika Clark, 2016.

Wow. I’m intense today. If I were a recording artist it would be a good day to cover some Tori Amos or Jeff Beck. This is so real. Never was a cornflake girl.

I’ve wanted to be a wise old woman since I was a child. You can tell because I’m turning 39 in a couple weeks, and I’ve been claiming I’m 40 in conversation for at least 18 months. I’m looking forward to forty more than any birthday since I turned 13. Why? For as long as I can remember I wanted to be heard, I wanted knowledge, respect. I wanted control, influence, and admiration. Somehow – amazingly, since our culture doesn’t do a great job highlighting the value of our elder matriarchs – I’ve always had this bone deep association between age, wisdom, dignity, and gray old women – women who were once wild and are always free, who may also be witches in some mysterious and wonderful way. I even told a kid in day care I was a witch when I was about six. So in our sexist, ageist, superficial culture I’ve been proud of my grays, and had no desire to cover them. But I did get very bored with my hair recently color it “auburn” – which on my hair reads as brunette until I go into the sunlight, when it brightens up. I didn’t think about covering my grays, just having some fun. But now they’re gone, I sort of miss them. You’ll still respect me as an aubrunette, right?

Paprika Clark

I’m a lifelong student of language, art, and human nature: an ENFP Aries Fire Dragon Sex Positive Intersectional Feminist Independent. Join me as I feel my way through this. If you have any questions, send them my way - as far as I'm concerned, every day is an Ask Me Anything.

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