I know the "inconvenient woman" like the back of my hand. I meet her every day in my sexuality coaching practice or at my retreats. She is a woman who is successful by most measures in every part of her life, yet she feels so frozen in her body that she can no longer feel herself. Her sexuality feels numb and when she talks about her desires and passions, it's said with a shyness as if talking about some kind of dream. Or her voice shakes with a strong anger of being completely done with how she has been living up until this point. Whether the voice is soft or strident, there is a part of her that knows that her fantasy can become reality, but for now it feels out of reach.
There is a time in a woman's life -- usually in midlife -- when a woman has to make a decision. And I believe that this decision may possibly the most important decision of her future life. Will she live the second half of her life as a convenient and bitter woman, or as an alive and inconvenient woman?
Some women come to this place in their late 30s or 40s -- but by the time women turn 50 there is a fierceness to this desire to reemerge and create a new way of being in the world and in their bodies.
I gave up being an convenient woman in my 40s, and it's impossible to go back. The woman who not only understands the rules but follows them. But if you were raising children, climbing the corporate ladder, walking dogs, and running the PTA -- it could have felt really important to follow the rules. But then it happens. That place in our lives where we are so filled up with what has been expected of us and not what we may actually need for our very own soul that we get pissed off and exhausted that all we do is routine. There is no energy for anything else.
What we thought might have been how we were going to live our lives may be nothing more than a crumbled paper in the back of a shoe box. As women who have lived full lives up until midlife we may have accumulated a few broken hearts, failed marriages and more than a handful of lost promises.
It's time to take a breath and look around.
It's time for a rebellion.
In midlife we are still young enough to recreate our lives. For many of us, the kids are grown or almost grown. Or we have moved on from the biological clock imperative. Our parents may not need us fully yet in caretaker mode and it's possible that we no longer have a dog that needs walking or a husband who needs dinner on the table. And if we do, the expectations can now shift.
Personally, At 50, my "give a shit" has run out. I am drawn to a life and love where I disturb the status normal. I gravitate to what pulls me. If there is no pull, no direction, no hunger, I find that I lose interest. Midlife brings with it the possibility of a brand new life if only you are willing. It can be a time of using up what is in our box before we go to our boxes. It can be a time to explore the parts of yourself that you have put on the shelf.
And yes, I know you are not quite ready yet. Well, guess what? We all begin the process before we are ready. I don't' many know women who thought that they were strong enough, or knew enough, or had enough time or money before she began her journey to her own inconvenient woman.
It all starts with a feeling inside of us. Call it "Restless Leg Syndrome", a tickle in our noses or an inability to sleep. It's not peri-menopause, but rather the call within us to break out of the lives we are currently living in some way.
You do not have to know how to read the map in order to get up and change your life. No one starts their journey into their inconvenient woman knowing all the answers. And I know the story. You are not ready yet but you will be soon. I know you need time before you go off to live your big dream, but this only works for a short while. No one is ever ready and there will never be a right time.
At some point each convenient woman needs to simply jump into the land of being an inconvenient woman. You know the one. She's the one that does not show up at Thanksgiving this year because she is riding her RV through the country, dancing tango in Spain, or embracing her midlife sex goddess in Tuscany this year.
It happens all the time.
I may be mad, but I will never again be convenient.