Yesterday was my cousins 39th birthday. Yay, Cousin! She was always one of the big kids to me, as I guess she's 12 years older than me...I'm turning dundunDUN 27 this year. I'm not fearing it too much any more...the last time I feared turning an age, the year ended up awesomely...the last time I was okay with turning a year, the year still was awesome, but with an unawesome twist. Womp womp womp.
Anyway, my cousin will be 40 before I'm 30. Wow. Whereas 27 felt ancient to me before (the only reason is because this is the first time I've ever been 27...and my 20s were the first time I allowed myself to get out of child-brain and recognize that, why yes, sir, I am actually an adult...and being almost 30 is old for a child-brain person, hehe...), 39 is even more up there. Alhamdulillah, I have 12 long years before that!
So, I've gotten into making ecards for people from someecards.com. I love them, they tem a minha cara. They have my face, haha. They're sarcastic and biting, dry humor. Anyway, I decided to give her a card to wish her a happy birthday...below...
Yes! I thought this was the best picture, of a young hotsy totsy (haha, if I may borrow an outdated term) making pouty face at the poor, almost-over-the-hill cousin. I no longer feel old turning 27 (I feel 27 before I'm actually turning 27...I'm still the dreaded 26, haha), because she's 39, masha'Allah!
And insha'Allah I'll be as rambunctious and gutsy and beautiful as she is at 39...or even more!
But looking at this picture got me to thinking...hrm. I want to be a young hotsy totsy! I bethought myself that when I was in my early 20s. I felt like my peak was 20 and early 21, right before I wore hijab...ehh, which for me was the antithesis of bethinking myself young and hot, haha. And inspired a 30 pound weight gain, but that's neither here nor there. The reason I decided to take up hijab at the time, actually, was because I got so much male attention! Every time I turned around on Michigan's campus, I was getting waved at by this one, called out by the other one. I mean...truck drivers would honk, police men would call, all ethnicities, but mostly my lovely brown (Latino brown) and black men. I was like, oh my gosh, I must be a fine piece!
I didn't know the half of it, apparently...
And by the time I was 23 and had shed the khimar for the various reasons that I mentioned in a previous entry, I was more serious-minded...and I felt no longer like the young hotsie totsie. At 23! Ridículo!
So now, four years later, I'm almost 27. My weight since medical school has fluctuated 40 pounds. That 30 pound weight gain with the advent of hijab kind of opened the door of weight fluctuation into my early adult life. I've gone from weighing my high school weight to weighing what I did once I was okay with going to a co-ed gym in college to start shedding my hijabi weight (while I was still a hijabi, I lost 15 of those pounds...what a difference the gym makes!).
So blah blah blah weight. This wasn't meant to be a weight loss diary.
There's no reason why I can't be the young hotsy totsy for the rest of my pre-elderly life! I'm going to take the Brazilian perspective, as I've learned from novelas. There's no talk about the youth of the 30-somethings in the novelas...that is a given. They are young and beautiful people. The almost 50-somethings are told by their parents, "Você é jovem ainda!" You're still young!
Elderly characters talk about how they have all this life left to live...
And I love that! We don't have that here. In fact, I was telling one of my friends that I was the happiest in life when I was in Brazil, and it wasn't because of male attention, because I got no cat calls like I did in the DR. It was because I felt beautiful at baseline. I felt lovely, loved, desired and beautiful at baseline, just as I was, without the presence of anyone or the promise of anyone. I felt like everyone around me knew it, and it could have been a romanticization of my experience but I do feel like that was the vibe that I got from everyone.
Not that I'm saying everyone wanted me, haha, no...I just feel like my beauty as an individual human being, whether regarded by the other as an accident or creation, was just assumed.
I don't know...I feel like the climate is very different in the US. You get more the indifferent vibe, or even sometimes the hostile vibe, but not the your-beauty-is-a-given vibe. I don't know. I just felt happier and healthier there...
Oh yeah, and these older women one place told me I had a great body, which was hilarious...they were cute, they giggled. I was like, oh really?
No one in the US would ever tell me that unless it was a dude trying to entice me...
Anyway...this is not about me about to go out and show some leg, no. It's about me embracing my inner hotsy totsy...my inner vibrant, boisterous, happy, dancing, singing personality celebrating my youth and beauty que Deus me deu. I'm not going to say that 27 is old anymore...and I'll try not to do that anymore for any of my subsequent ages. I'm not as bright-eyed innocent as I was at 20, for sure, but I'm maybe even more excited about life, and hopeful, and activist, and all those other things that I aspired to be.
Insha'Allah, I have so much more life to live...to be old at 27 or 39.