SEVENTY PLUS

Not that you’re asking, but if you were to ask what percentage of myself I display to the world? Vulnerably and bravely. Thirty percent. That’s how much of me is out there.

Where’s the rest, you ask? Neatly tucked away in drawers. Some bits deeper, some more close to hand. But always far away from perceived judgement, criticism, rejection, abandonment.

As if there’s a tiny, snotty desk clerk sitting at the edge of my prefrontal cortex, making snap decisions as to whether a dance a request an opinion a need is safe to put out…there.

“Denied!”, he deems. (Yes, interestingly, I chose a “he”) And ushers the act under the proverbial rug.

But when I stand up for my needs, forty percent. When I dance or sing without scanning the room for wrinkly, disapproving faces, fifty percent. When I say (and mean it) that I like myself for a quality that makes a loved one run far, sixty percent. When I stand up to protect you or call BS or sit with the discomfort of someone calling mine, seventy percent.

But beyond seventy… a mystery. The vast unknown of self-expression I have never ventured into, nor seen modelled growing up.

The zone of unsmothered voices. Of emotions being heard and accepted. Of making mistakes and still being loved. Of the bold and outrageously beautiful bravery of proudly being. Unapologetically and without flinching.

Seventy plus is the name of the club. It has a bulky bouncer at the door that scans not your IDs, but your willingness to love who you are. Am I underage? I can only find out by trying. So, on that door I. Am. Knocking.