This is 47: I Am a Perennial

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“There’s even a new term to describe people with this no-age mindset: ‘perennials’ …

‘Perennials are ever-blooming, relevant people of all ages who know what’s happening in the world, stay current with technology and have friends of all ages. We get involved, stay curious, mentor others, and are passionate, compassionate, creative, confident, collaborative, global-minded risk takers.’”

I am 47 years old today.

I never have any hesitancy or desire to hide my age. I own every single year and look forward to every single day that will make up the next trip around the sun.

Sometimes, when I am talking with someone, my age will come up.

When I tell them, there’s often a look of surprise. They think I’m younger than my number.

I don’t think it has as much to do with me looking chronologically younger as it is them seeing that my essence is what is often associated with youth vs. middle age: vibrant, open, glowing; creating and participating in life, versus waiting and expecting.

Today, midlife can be a completely different way of life for women my age than it was for our grandmothers, or even our mothers.

Middle age was once a time in life when women were thought to fade into the background and relinquish their dreams, desires, style and interests.

Our culture still spins a story that women become more irrelevant with each passing year. I see it all the time when I do things as simple as shopping for clothes.

I think the reason my style has become so distinctive and pronounced over the last seven years or so of my life is because I’ve become purposefully rebellious and creative given a lot of the choices out there for women my age.

I do not want to hide my body.

In fact, I’ve never had more topless or nude photos taken of me or jumped into pools or oceans without my clothes on than I have in the past six years of my life.

And not to prove anything to anyone. I do it because I like it. It’s that simple.

I do not listen to any of that shit about “age appropriate” hair. I wear things with leather, mesh and cut-outs.

I look like I’m in a music video or on a runway when I’m dressed to go out to dinner sometimes. It’s all by design.

You can’t contain me with outdated social mores and boring-ass clothes that a department store buyer thinks women my age should be wearing in my region of the country.

And my passion, creativity, confidence, new ideas and participation in life cannot be contained, either.

I always say I possess all of the wonder, dreams and awe of my 13 year old self paired with the wisdom, heart, experience and smarts of my 47 years.

A friend of mine shared an article with me, and I learned that I (and many of my other female, middle aged contemporaries) could be considered perennials.

I never, ever look at a birthday as another year that brings me closer to the time when I won’t be alive, that my face will have more wrinkles, or my body won’t work the same way.

Each year is an opportunity to learn what I can do to continue to live out all of my perennial qualities, and I’ve had people joke that “it’s not fair” that I look younger now than I did 10 years ago.

Here’s the big secret to that,  people — and it’s not my eyelashes or quarterly botox injections (they give a little lift and smoothness, but they’re not magic … I mean, it sorta is — lol — but I’M really the magic 🙂 )

It is deep, knowing-who-the-hell-you-are happiness.



Bambi-eyed wonder at the world.


It’s being willing to feel the tough, scary, struggling feelings and know you’ve got your own back to be a woman who loves her life.

It’s being connected to your mind and body to know how strong and resilient you can be. It might be a risk, but risk we must.

It’s knowing that a number on a calendar does not have the power to shut you down, but can actually let you blossom. #perennials

That number that represents the day you blessed the earth by being bor.

That number on the calendar can be a call for you to come alive more and more each year and live a life that moves you in every way possible.

Happiness is serious business. Perennials know they need to water that happiness and tend to its growth.

There is no one else responsible for your happiness but you, and you can see that as really bad news and think I’m lyin’ to you — or you can see it as the ultimate freedom and key to life.

I was born on July 19th, 1971 in Louisville, Kentucky.

I am 47 years old and ever-blooming. A perennial.

Let freedom ring.


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