The art of becoming uninvisible.
I’ve always been one of those people who learn by walking into walls. So I let menopause hit me like a tonne of bricks.
I decided in my mid forties that I was going to treat my loss of fertility with humour and awe.
The awe bit was easy.
Experiencing a hot flush with the power of Mount Vesuvius is like something out of a sci-fi movie.
And suddenly owning your own personal sprinkler system that goes off in response to that volcanic explosion is quite spectacular.
But I wasn’t.
I’d heard about the ‘hag phase’ but always believed it would never happen to me.
Gaining 20 kilos, rarely brushing my hair and buying my clothes from Sainsbury’s was so out of character I never saw it coming.
Actually, I never looked in the mirror.
You see, the thing they don’t tell you about menopause is the subconscious grieving process it throws you in to.
Then, after years and years of hot stuff in the bedroom (and not the good kind), you wake up one morning and realise you had a full eight hours sleep with the covers intact and you’re ready to take on the world.
All that creative power you used to make human beings has magically gone to your brain and you’re inspired like never before.
And there’s something else, the biggest bonus of all.
The couldn’t give a fuckery.
Who knew dead ovaries were the key to super confidence?
I finally knew how David Droga felt at 22.
Light bulb moment.
One that played out in real time for me.
I woke up from my first 8-hour sleep in Paris.
As I ate my croissant on a street corner I watched a parade of supremely confident older women, beautifully dressed with their own personal style (and natural hair colour) and I quickly ran to the Galleries Lafayette and their 70% off sales.
Then I came home to an email telling me that an overconfident young man had convinced my biggest client that he was a brand expert (with absolutely no track record to back it up) and I, (with 30 years experience creating dozens of multi-million dollar brands) didn’t know what I was talking about.
Straight to the hairdresser.
I was furious.
“OK, take it all off, no more old woman, I want old punk.”
I walked out with a shock of white hair and something I hadn’t expected.
Before, when I looked at myself with long, lustrous, brown hair all I saw was the wrinkles and the fact that I wasn’t 28 anymore.
Now all I saw was me.
A fierce fifty-five year old ready to take on the world…