I got my nosed pierced in in July of 2012. It was family bonding at its best; my brother took me to his favorite tattoo parlor, held my hand and made fun of me while some stranger stabbed me in the face with the biggest needle ever created.

I felt like a total badass.

I remember at the time I was worried about the ramification of my actions. Would I lose clients? Would my mother-in-law faint? Would my husband ever be able to look me in the eye again?

But my biggest concern was … Is this appropriate for a woman my age? I was 41 with two kids, a husband, a business and a real concern about perception.

The 2016 version of me doesn’t struggle those concerns anymore. Hell, I work in the beauty industry now. More eyebrows are raised if I don’t take chances than if I do. It’s like I have a free pass to do whatever I want.  It’s. Awesome.

I’m poised to hit a huge milestone this year; in December I’ll turn 45. I have no freaking idea how that happened. It’s like I went to bed a 21-year-old and woke up middle-aged mom. Eerie.

crossroads woman

And like every other Gen X woman I know, I’m struggling with aging. For me it is not so much the physical changes, although I’m not gonna lie – they suck, but the stereotype.

The number 45 is a difficult one for me to swallow. It carries with it unhappy connotations of repression and respectable behavior. And that is definitely not me.

I don’t want to be held to traditional expectations about what a “woman my age” should be doing or accomplishing or how she should be acting. I’ll be damned if you will find me playing by conventional social rules just because it is expected or has always been done that way. I’ll wear my geeky Supernatural socks and color my hair magenta and teal. I’ll listen to Soundgarden and Sia and Martin Garrix while driving my teenagers to soccer practice. I’ll drink wine at inappropriate times, talk too much, laugh too loud and pierce whatever I want to thankyouverymuch.

And hopefully my friends will love me and accept me while I’m doing it.