Written today during my writer’s group…

…setting was a beautiful old Catholic Church that has been converted to a brewery.

Recently, I was exercising one morning in my basement. I usually ask Alexa to play me some work out music and leave my accompaniment up to chance. A song my daughter is familiar with, which I think is sung by the musician, “Megan Thee Stallion” was on the playlist. She was singing about, “Hot Girl Stuff.” I laughed as I thought to myself, “and here I am doing ‘old girl stuff…’” trying to keep my body in good working order as I approach my 50th birthday this summer. As I tell people often, “my 40s were pretty shitty. I’d like my 50’s to be pretty stupendous. I want to be in shape and ready for anything.”

Just now, what could be referred to as, “hot girls—hot girl summer girls who do hot stuff,” walked into the brewery where I am sitting with a group of like minded people. They, the hot girls—not the like minded folk, are effortlessly “hot” in their tank tops, shoulders showing. They are not worried about scars from previous precancerous mole removal or the ever encroaching crepe skin that plagues me now. Their stomachs are still taut—no leftover loose skin from multiple pregnancies and attempts at losing that weight, only to gain it again, and lose it, and gain it.

The skin under their eyes is smooth and clear. Worries about children and how they will make their way in the world, or staying up too late to make sure those same children get home alive when they are out into the small hours of a the morning, have not come to create baggage underneath their eyes, or in their hearts. Broken homes and relationships have not marred their hot girl stuff.

Would I go back and be a hot girl again. Too be honest, I never really was a hot girl. I’ve always been too serious for my own good. I prefer Jane Austen adaptations to Kevin Hart comedies. Yes, my 40s were tumultuous, infidelity and emotional abuse from the one that is supposed to be my ride or die for life ripped a pretty significant hole in my soul. But would I go back and *not* do that—would I live the hot girl life, free or care and ready for pleasure, comfortable in my own skin?

No—because the woman I have become, resilient and brave…the children I have raised, loving and strong—are worth all the “not hot” stuff that I lived in and through. And time has taught me that what the world calls “hot girl” is just an illusion to hide a facade of yearning for love and passion and purpose that never leaves us if we’re doing life right. So, I’ll drink to the hot girls, looking like their living their best hot girl life (and I hope they really are), and to us old girls, doing the best we can to keep on keeping on, and all of us in between as we seek to find ourselves and our place wherever and whenever we are in life.

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