Friday, September 4, 2009

Growing into Myself



One of the great things about seeing my friends in California after such a long break was that it gave me the opportunity to understand how much I've changed over the last twenty years, inside and out. It helped me remember all the reasons I really love being middle aged. Really, I do!

As a young adult I was hot. I'm not saying I was the most beautiful woman you've ever seen, and certainly never a "ten." I'm Russian peasant stock, mostly, with the requisite short legs and long torso, squarish shaped body that would never make it to the cover of Sports Illustrated, no matter what. But I was hot, I was! I radiated pheromones like nobody's business. Wherever I went, men looked me up and down as if they were very hungry. My curiosity about the human condition, in combination with the pheromones, created an atmosphere in which men assumed I wanted to have sex with all of them. Yikes.

For many years I believed the only thing I had going for me was the hottie factor. Isn't that sad? Of course I was interested in sex, but in an ideal situation, I would have been a lot more discerning about who I slept with, when, and why. Sometimes I just did it so as to not cause energetic turbulence, sometimes because I wanted to, sometimes I just thought "Why not?" I dissipated so much energy during those years, energy I could possibly have used for many other projects and endeavors.

After menopause, the hottie factor recedes in all women. For me, that is such a blessing. Now I can do whatever I want to, since I've become (as many 50-something women) kind of invisible. I've been saying to myself that I'm much better suited to "life after juice," a statement to which my friend Kurt (one of my California friends) strenuously disagreed. He insisted I think of it differently; gave me a new mantra: I have learned to live with my juice. Nice, huh?

Middle age suits my personality really well. I'm so relieved to no longer be a hottie. Seriously. Life is better and better as time goes on, and I am grateful.


Yeah that's me, circa 1984, hiding my hottie thirty-something face against the cheek of my Tahoe boyfriend, Dave. He's the guy who drove me around the lake last weekend. Wasn't he handsome?

30 comments:

Ronda Laveen said...

Ahhh,I have learned to live with my juice. I really like that mantra. I love that monochrome photo. He is very handsome and you look smoldering against him.

Steve said...

Reya, as attractive as you still are, it's no surprise to see that you were "hot" years ago!

I also look back and wonder "What was I thinking?" about some of my sexual past -- I guess we all do that. But when the energy arises, you just have to follow it sometimes, you know? :)

larkspur said...

Reya, this little post of yours says it all. I hated 'life after juice'. Everyone around me made me feel so invisible, so I decided to shake it up. The 'juice is back', I'm embracing it, and it is spectacular being this new woman....

Nancy said...

After meeting you and Dave, and seeing this picture up close, I can totally see what you are talking about in this post.

I put way too much emphasis on my looks when I was a young woman, to the detriment of education, etc. Then the brain tumor in my thirties which paralyzed my face. All of sudden I realized all the other parts of myself that needed my attention.

Great post - love the picture.

Rain said...

Hi Reya! I love the photo!!! You are a hottie! I feel the same as you about my age. I am happy to be in my forty's. I'll be happier after menopause, for obvious reasons! But I too have kind of fallen into my life these days and I'd NEVER want to go back!

Elizabeth said...

Odd now to have such a long past
I sort of miss being a hottie
but it did take up a lot of psychic energy....

Barry said...

I have to agree, you must have learned to live with your juice, because this post is way hot!

In fact I see smoke coming out of the corner of my laptop.

The Bug said...

You were lovely then & you are just as lovely now. But then I'm a heterosexual female who really doesn't care about other women's "juice." I'm happy all of that yearning & indescretion is in my past too - I never really knew what to do about it.

Liza said...

"I radiated pheromones like nobody's business"
Great post Reya! Thanks for sharing.

Tom said...

stuttering

Peaches said...

Well said...and I agree...happy to have banked the fire.

globaltoll said...

You're still a total hottie- especially when you wear red!

Reya Mellicker said...

Larkspur you have re-juiced? Wow. Need to check on your blog ... I'm never even slightly interested in going back to that. Am I crazy?

Steve, oh yeah.

Tom, stuttering no longer necessary, thank God.

Barry you are so funny!

Shaista said...

This is such a wonderful post - so honest, and you simultaneously make both versions of yourself sound equally right for you at the time. I think your hottie factor must come from your confidence - wish I had more of that :)

Meri said...

I love the mantra. And Ronda's right -- you were just smoldering with sexual energy. Ah pheromones! Do they die out after you pass your sexual prime?

Reya Mellicker said...

I wouldn't say they're dead, but definitely under control - at last!

poietes said...

Reya,
What a beautiful photograph. The pose, the closeness, it could be taken today and still be just as beautiful because of its honesty.

We do not become invisible. We just learn how to tread on the earth more lightly than when we were younger. It makes a difference.

Dan Gurney said...

Unless ravaged by really crummy life circumstances, I've observed that pre sexual people and post sexual people (children and old folks) seem arguably happier and definitely more serene than people driven by their reproductive hormones. And yet, paradoxically, when we're under the influence of those sex hormones, nothing seems more central to our happiness and identity.

PurestGreen said...

The juice doesn't go! We just get ripe. Tee hee.

Delwyn said...

Reya

I love that feeling of being anonymously invisible...and having no expectation of anyone...

Happy days

sinnlighet said...

Ohhhhh you are a very very good ambassadors för the blog-sphere.... I love your blog!

Regards from Agneta in Sweden

Adrianne said...

Hate to break it to you, Reya dear, but you're *still* a hottie. (: )

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Oh my, what an absolute cutie you were then (and still are gorgeous now). Short legs, long torso? Sounds like me... I'm a mixture English, Welsh, German... short legs, long torso!
The photo of you & Dave is classic!
I wonder sometimes "what did I think I was doing" back in the 70s. It's a wonder I made it through in one piece.
Somehow I think it might be more likely that I have learned/am learning how to live "without" my juice!

larkspur said...

That foto of you with your hottie Tahoe boyfriend, Dave, the one who drove you around the lake....that has everything to do with getting your juice back! %:-)

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes Dan, hormones are incredibly powerful. And it's not like a cup of hormones, it's just a drop here and there that drives us so powerfully. Wow!

California Girl said...

I am trying to grow into myself but it is a long slow process. Photos kill me. I can look at myself in the mirror and I'm okay with it but photos affect me differently. My husband is convinced I'll never be happy with any photos again so he never takes any. He thinks I'm nuts. My therapist thinks I'm grieving. I understand now why my mother in law always liked evening light.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

what a wonderful intimate double portrait....

wow....loverly that dave was driving miss reya

GYPSYWOMAN said...

ok, so is it just moi'?
- but my favorite fragrance always has been and remains still: pheromone parfum -
and i love being the age of me - the hottie of me and with all my juices and pheromones in tact! yummmm!!!

absolutely gorgeous photo of you and your friend - as is your profile photo of you!

lettuce said...

what a gorgeous photo
and Pure Green's comment made me laugh. Ripeness is everything.

Gary said...

Hi hottie! I've never really been a hottie. My personality has always been my 'calling card' so to speak. The thing that makes me attractive. So, aging and changing is, for the most part, a non-issue. Hopefully my energy and outlook with stay with me.

I can def see this 'hottie' in you and I met you after the juice?? I am very attracted to you (but you know that already don't you).