Nights out at 29

I need to preface this with a note to say, this is not meant to worry people. I'm lambasting myself and my own insecurities!

Last night, Nickie and I went out to celebrate the engagement of our pals Michele and Aly and I noticed a few things...

1) My face... my beautiful face...
There was a time when I was happy to throw on a pair of baggy jeans (or skinnies if I was feeling thin), slick on some lipgloss and skip merrily out of the house off on an adventure (or piss up as we call them in England).

Now, when I look in the mirror, I pretty much want to spackle it. I try not to do regrets, but I do wish I'd listened to the skin protection rhetoric - moisturiser, SPF etc. Sun damage and bitchy resting face has left me with lines on my forehead and those attractive frown lines between my eyes. Luckily I have a very good primer which I use under my make-up which seems to work.

I also have spots... so it's like puberty and menopause are fighting on my face. I've been taking tips from RuPaul's Drag Race (Because damn those girls know how to paint their faces!) and have almost successfully learned to contour using different shades of concealer, foundation and powder.

This process, combined with showering, washing and doing my hair, strapping myself into my scaffolding and bending over to fasten my shoes takes the best part of two hours - which it never did before. What's weird is that I am less bothered about my appearance now (I am happily married and not looking for love/a shag) than I was 8 years ago so I can only assume that the current trend of age and fat shaming has got to me. #feminismfail.

2) Oh the aching...
I never understood that noise that people made when they stood up. Ooooh, Ahhh and the air drawn through clenched teeth.

I know for a fact that this has come to me prematurely. Anybody who knows me, or has read my blog for any significant time, will know that I had a back injury a couple of years ago that took me out of action for 6 months.

I also know that if I'd just done my exercises, every day, forever, I wouldn't be in this predicament. I'm actually sat in bed writing this, and I've got a nagging pain in my lower back. When I get out of bed, up off a chair in a bar or God forbid try and get off the floor I make faces and noises that I associate with my 50 something year old parents.

3) Pretty / sexy vs. uncomfortable
I have now reached a stage where if I find comfortable shoes, you'd better believe I'm buying four pairs... Nothing above 2 and a half inches is a viable choice for either day wear, or nights out. My dogs start barking and I have to go home. As long as my feet don't hurt, I'm ok - I can stay out all night.

I haven't worn a thong in about three years. My bras are reinforced with steel and Spanx and suck me in vests are NOT SEXY. Now I'll be honest, I've never owned really pretty / sexy bras. I've always had huge cans that require a staff of five to enrobe.

4) Another cake please
The eternal struggle between cake and a flat stomach wages daily war in my brain. I know what I need to do - I'm not stupid - but cake calls and I come running (I'm actually going to Krispy Kreme later on). I put up with the Spanx and NASA issued bras to give me a shape which doesn't send children screaming from my presence... Everyone, Wife, friends, family - tell me that my body is gorgeous and I should stop worrying. Once again I have absorbed the fat-shaming of the media and once again #feminismfail.

5) Let's just take the damn car...
If I'm not driving my car, I'm drinking heavily. This is mainly because soft drinks are dear! When compared to alcoholic drinks, they are always much lower quality (watered down post-mix). Also because, damn it - it's easier to wait on a cold platform at 2 in the morning if I'm three sheets to the wind. I now refuse to wait for a bus / train on a night out sober. It effing sucks.

6) We've all grown up...
A happier / positive note to end on. Looking around at the people I've known for several years, it amazes me how different we are. Almost all in strong, happy, long term relationships; all in careers rather than jobs; all sort of living the dream. I had a conversation with my friend Carys about how it used to be - out all night, very drunk, several times per week. Thinking we were the bees knees. The older I get, the cooler I ain't and I am incredibly happy with that. We have the joy that can only come when you truly know yourself.

I guess what I'm saying is that I know and love myself, and I'm happy to put up with a few grey hairs, wrinkles and stretch marks if that means I can look in the mirror and see wisdom.

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