Shelley Brown en Storytelling, Creative Writers, Creative Senior Sales Executive • Cvent 9/10/2016 · 2 min de lectura · 1,5K

Middle Age

I am either having a mid-life crisis or just one of my usual nervous breakdowns or maybe both. It’s been really ugly. I’ve been really ugly. I know the usual nervous breakdown part started with the holidays but the middle-aged crisis started because of Madonna. In my younger days, Madonna set the bar for me. She was a SEXY, FIT, BADASS! I never cared much for her music but my latent “I want to kiss a girl and I will like it” tendencies loved everything about her. In my eyes, she was the kind of woman who could “Strike a Pose” and give a bunch of guys an immediate boner.

Any hard…times, in my younger days, it was instilled in the core of my being that looks were everything and that you could never be too thin and blah, blah barf. Yeah, sometimes… Any 0ver-sharing and parental issues… Madonna set the bar for me. I actually met her when I was a concierge. She was a guest at the hotel where I worked for a few months while on location filming. She was a badass, she acted like a badass and she was beautiful. Her chiseled body was ridiculous! I was in awe and inadequate. I would smoke my Marlboro’s, starve and cry over Madonna longing to be like the Material Girl. She exuded confidence and a “I don’t have to tell you not to f*ck with me, I DARE you to”!

Several years later, the Marlboro’s were gone and I had become a new iteration, a different version of myself, physically anyway. I was now a marathoner, a spin instructor and a more chiseled athletic woman. Still defining myself by my body as a measurement of self-esteem, I felt powerful, sexy, confident (aka false ego) and had the “I know you probably want to get some of this but you can’t F*ck with me” attitude. I rolled like this for a number of years until….that thing happened.

That thing was a series of events in a very dark and terrifying season of my life. The blessing in it was I had to find a new way to define myself and ultimately I learned I am just who I am and not what my body looks like or my chronological age.

Any un-ultimately and unlearning…here I am and Madonna is again defining how I feel about myself. How is it possible Madonna is now looking old to me? How is it possible she is less than handful of years older than me? How is it possible the woman who could slay men and women with her dominatrix-like, power, oozing, vexing sensuality mixed with danger doesn’t look sexy to me anymore? Why is it that I would no longer want to make-out with Madonna?

Why? Because I am, yet again, letting my outsides define who I am and not only am I doing it to myself, I am doing to other woman around my age. Looking at others and myself through the lens of our society that makes it really hard for a woman to not only be ok with aging but to be ok at any age.

My dear friends, I needed to write this, to come clean about something I am doing that is so destructive, self-damaging, derogatory and ugly. I can now clearly see the elephant in the room is me.

Elephants don’t belong in rooms, and damaging thoughts don’t belong in our hearts.

I am going to kick the elephant out of the room, slay this shit and embrace the most important truth I have ever learned and that is I am not what I do or what I look like. I am just who I am. I don’t judge you that way. I am going to give myself, others and Madonna a break for being beautiful female human beings who can’t help but get older. There is no more room for the elephant there is only room for an abundance of:





and above all else,


I am so much more. I have so much more. Sometimes I forget and I’m sorry.

Middle Age

Mario Alarcon 10/3/2017 · #22

#10 Your welcome Shelley !

Shelley Brown 7/3/2017 · #21

#17 @Renée 🐝 Cormier beautiful comment. I can feel how genuine you are through your words. I love that you nurture your relationship with yourself so you can be at your best. Extending grace towards oneself and flowing love outwards radiates from the inside out.

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Shelley Brown 7/3/2017 · #20

#16 @Todd Jones I simply can't even tell you how much your comment touches my heart. Being told my writing is addictive just floors me! Thank you. I agree, what's on the inside matters and transcends our fleeting outsides.

Shelley Brown 7/3/2017 · #19

#18 @Jim Murray thank you my friend. I truly appreciate your thoughtful comment. Unfortunately the standards were set not only by society but family as well. Believe me, the elephant appears daily and I just kick his/her big ass out of the room. By the way, I know everything you say to me is genuine and not just because you are an Italian former serial Jew Dater :)

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Jim Murray 6/3/2017 · #18

Over the years I have met a lot of women who have been victimized by the need to define themselves by some standard set by society. Mostly it just fucked them up because they always felt like they were just a hair away from achieving it. But 'it' was a sort of perfection and mostly not defined by women but by women haters. And 'it' was unachieveable and always left the women feeling inadequate, which of course led to all kinds of other crap. Your declaration of independence from all that bullshit is both rare and admirable. We do know each other so you know that this is from the heart. You do not need the affirmation, but I am fucking proud of you Ms Shelley, for going public and for disappearing the elephant, right up above this comment. Hopefully other women will do the same. You're all beautiful and I'm not just saying that because I'm Italian.

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Renée 🐝 Cormier 5/3/2017 · #17

#16 I fully agree, Todd! I only just discovered Shelley, who seems to nail everything she writes.

@Shelley Brown, I can honestly say I have never wanted to be like anyone else, but I still have always wanted to be beautiful inside and out while being different. How I look and how I guide my behaviour have always been important to me. I do it so I can always respect who I am. I want to like what I see when I look in the mirror, and yes, like you, I came from a family where that matters a lot (even though we are all well over 50). Having said that, I refuse to inject myself with fillers and Botox. Nothing says over 50 and insecure like a face full of injections. I keep fit physically and mentally. I try to do the right thing by people and because I am 53 I have long stopped caring about whether people like me or not. Some will and some won't. The most important relationship in my life is the one I have with myself. I nurture that relationship so I can be at my best.

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Todd Jones 5/3/2017 · #16

I recently read a quip somewhere, that when we are young, what shows on the outside is important. When we are old, it is what's on the inside that matters most. In my case, thank god for that :)

BTW Shelley, as a relative newbie to beBee, I have just gotten around to picking my way through your posts. Your writing talent is incredible- unpretentious and natural, and for me, rather addictive!

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Shelley Brown 15/10/2016 · #15

@Lisa Gallagher Thanks so much for your lovely sentiments. It's funny, I remind myself the same thing. I bought myself a dozen roses the other day. Miss connecting regularly but sucked up by the corporate vortex. Hope you are well. I have never met you and I know you are beautiful because of your spirit.

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