The thing I cringe most to admit wanting at fifty.

4/12/20233 min read

I'm supposed to have a clear VISION of what I want at this stage in life, so I gave myself permission to fantasize about ALL of the things I want at fifty: no holds barred.

No desire too taboo or shameful.

My gift to myself at age fifty is to allow myself to acknowledge my deepest wants, and build my life and work around getting them. To censor nothing.

Mostly this gift of freely wanting takes the form of security and relatively asexual golden-girl desires: the kinds of things my younger self's sex drive, curiosity, webwhore work and cravings didn't have interest in or room to prioritize.

You could say I was working more on my fuckit list than my bucket list in my younger years, and now I'm working on creature comforts and some long overdue financial cushioning.

I'm supposed to have a clear vision of what I want my perfect day to look like. Perfect morning, perfect work day, perfect weekend, perfect vacation, etc. Clear super-motivating pictures of the life I want to build down to every detail. But as much as I love to daydream and fantasize, I'm finding the practice of wanting and perfecting of these aspirational visions challenging in all kinds of ways I never anticipated.

Perhaps the most difficult want for me to accept is acknowledging that I WANT TO BE BEAUTIFUL.

Wanting to be beautiful is catching me off guard. I do not want to want to be beautiful. And not just because I think it is unattainable; my ideas of beauty are expansive and often weird. I easily find beauty in ugliness, so being "beautiful" in my own eyes is something I can realistically achieve.

A lot of the problem of me allowing myself to want to be beautiful, and to include being beautiful in my vision for life in my fifties, is RESENTMENT. I resent the investment of money and work and time I associate with presenting myself in artful ways or stepping forward confident of my beauty and taking pleasure in it without doubt or hesitation.

I do not want to be resentful. There is no room for resentment in my perfect life.

But can't I still hide? Isn't hiding in a quiet hermit fortress of seclusion my idea of the perfect life?

And if I'm not hiding, how can I still be comical and funny out amongst people if I am beautiful? Is that even possible? And if not, which do I want more: to be a source of laughter or to be beautiful? Maybe I can just be beautiful to myself privately, while presenting myself as a humorous spectacle to others.

See how confused I still I am? I have a lot of work to do on this practice of freely wanting and clarifying my vision of the life I want to build.

It shouldn't be so strange to me that something as simple and obvious as wanting to be beautiful is a perfect stumbling block for my progress showing me how much more grace, honesty, range of motion and ease of movement I need to cultivate to move forward into my best, most radiant golden years. But here it is:


In my vision of my perfect day, my perfect adventure, my perfect job, my perfect service, my perfect solitary retreat, my perfect weekend with my wife ... I have to admit that the vision is not complete down to every last detail if I overlook this want to be beautiful. Even if it is not entirely effortless. I want the resources, the time, and the artful clarity of self-knowledge, style and aesthetics to be BEAUTIFUL. If the days and weeks and jobs and journeys are truly "perfect", I have an abundance of resources to accomplish being beautiful in addition to having and being and doing all of the other things included in my visions of a perfect well-lived life.