At 51, Pat approaches life with strength, confidence, silver hair, and a lot of laughter. For her, that’s just being her own authentic self.
Watch the video to hear her story.
My name is Pat. I am 51 years old.
Wrinkles, to me, are love lines. They are your experience. They’re where you’ve cried. They’re where you’ve laughed. They’re badges of honor.
51 feels a little different from 21. In some ways, I guess I’m wiser. I am more confident. I don’t care as much what people think. I’m still the weirdo I was at 21, but when I was 21, I cared a lot more about what people thought. And these days, I…well, I probably shouldn’t swear, but I don’t give a flying fig.
The most pleasurable part of getting older, in addition to the wisdom that experience brings you, I think it’s that same feeling of not really caring if you look silly doing something.
I know, and maybe this was just me being very insecure as a youngster, but at this point, I don’t care if I’m the only person who likes a certain TV show. I don’t care if I’m the only person wearing something very strange. I actually kind of glory in it.
When I was in my 20s, I was actually emerging from a teenage bout with anorexia. When I was in my 20s and I was having children, I was deathly afraid of gaining weight, or of losing weight, always afraid that you’d get that monkey back on your back.
I had gone years without having a period, until I met my husband, ironically, and then suddenly it came raging back. But I was lucky to be able to bear children, but I was always afraid of not being thin enough, not looking good enough.
My body image now, I think, is more about strength. I always say, “Never say never,” now. So, I train now. I swim, I bike. I like the fact that I’m a 51-year-old woman. But, man, if I’m running for that subway or I’m running upstairs, I can get there.
I feel very visible. Actually, at this age, I let my hair go natural about four or five years ago. And contrary to popular belief, I actually feel more outstanding. I feel more visible. I was totally ready to let my hair go silver. It wasn’t scary in the least.
I know there are some support groups online for women who are doing that, and actually, that’s where I’ve heard about BOOM!, but I was totally ready to embrace it and be my own self, my own authentic self.
I like it. I like being unique. I think what makes a woman beautiful is the confidence to be who she is.
And whether that person she is is what society says she should be or is something totally different, as long as she loves who she is and shows that to the world, I think she’s beautiful.
I think confidence has to come from being who you are, no matter how weird you are, no matter the fact that you do things differently from other people.
Even when I was a teenager and going through a lot of stuff, I actually took confidence in the fact that I liked different things than the other kids did. They were listening to rock music, I was listening to big band and jazz. They were watching sitcoms on TV and I was watching Dr. Who. So, strange, but that’s kind of where I got my confidence, is being who I am.
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