The Roaring Forties

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM JENA SCHWARTZ AND HER SERIES “THE ROAR SESSIONS”

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THE ROARING FORTIES

I am horrible
at admitting
personal faults

I am a perfectionist
and have been
for as long as I can recall

It’s exhausting
and lonely
and yet I slog along
in my made up
false
bliss

But today
well
today I’m going to shake shit up
and throw myself
for a loop
and admit something
quite difficult to embrace

It took me damn near forty years to find my roar

I come from
a line of badasses
women who roared
louder
more often
with more urgency
their entire lives

Women who didn’t
take no for an answer
who claimed their place
stood their ground
and prospered

My mom
lifted me with her words
“you can do anything”
and her belief
I could do anything

My aunts
inspired me
with their acts
their can-do
their oh hell yes
My grandmother
badass to end all badasses
awed me
with her mere existence
her choices
her belief in self
her gangsta

My alma mater
Barnard College
that bastion
of women’s education
that brilliant
patch of green
in Morningside Heights
nurturing young women
teaching us the finer points of badassery
providing us the tools
necessary to survive
this cruel world
then releasing us
with the admonition
to kick ass
and take names

My friends
amazing women
smart
gorgeous
poised
who will fuck you up
at the drop of a hat
then piece you back together
with a caress
and a kiss

My husband
a man’s man
total alpha
and believer
that I can do it all
and do it better
than anyone

My kid
that gorgeous
bundle of brown
with laughter in his voice
and sunshine in his smile
and a soul
older than mine could ever dream
who thinks
I hang the stars

All of this support
and belief
in me and myself

And still
nothing
as I struggled
under the weight
of bruised hopes
uncertain realities
deferred dreams

Instead
partying
shopping
laughing
drinking
fucking
smoking
dancing
forgetting

what mattered
and how to
find it
achieve it
make it mine

Until
April 25th
that year
when it happened
that thing my teenage self never believed
my twenties self scoffed at
my thirties self laughed at
and said bring it

I turned forty

We live
in a society
obsessed with youth
where women
are told
from the time
we’re children
“oh god,
eventually you’ll be 40”
as if it’s a sin
a death knell
the end

Let me tell you something
those motherfuckers lied

Forty is the shit

It’s when
everything clicks
your meaning
as a woman
becomes clear
your mind
sheds the bullshit
clears the dust
and sings a new song
full of hope
wonder
wisdom

It’s when
being smart
means weeding
out the nonsense
ridding oneself
of the negative
celebrating
the soul

It’s when
being skinny
no longer matters
and suddenly
the woman
staring back in the mirror
with her curvier hips
fuller thighs
bigger ass
is goddamned hot
smoking
fire

It’s when
perfectionism
is understood
to be a hopeless ideal
something to box
one within its
suffocating confines
a concept
impossible to achieve
and yet
for so many years
the goal

It’s when
I allowed myself
to love freely
have fun
not pay attention
to what society
deems normal
but to do
what feels right
and good
for my body
and my soul
and fuuuuuuuuck yeah
it feels good

It’s when
I remembered
what mattered most
– my imagination
and my words –
I grew some balls
and decided
I was not going to die
the girl
with all the notebooks

It’s when
I let my inner voice soar
that internal rhythm
playing in my head
pounding out a steady beat
guiding my ifs
ands
or buts
my whos
whens
or whys

It’s when I
settled into myself
understood my power
and let her rip

It’s when I
stopped being scared
embraced my inner poet
and unleashed her
[and all of her nasty]
into the ether

It’s Dev and Wyatt
Ryker and Jools
it’s Darby and her lovers
Carter and his evil
Ava and her gangsta
Dutch and his pain
Juma and her light
It’s The Sanctum Trilogy
The Keeper Series
It’s blogging
tweeting
interviewing
It’s selling myself
because I believe
I am
that fucking good

It’s romance
sex
love
it’s raunch
smut
filth
it’s writing all of it
when the need strikes
and knowing
my words matter

It’s
My
Words

It’s finding them
and putting them
out there
for the world
to see

They
Are
My
ROAR

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*dedicated to all the badass women out there, turning forty. You have no idea how good it’s about to be. Embrace it, love it, and keep on with your bad selves.

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM JENA SCHWARTZ AND HER SERIES “THE ROAR SESSIONS”


 

11670_1049250048433618_2331636278988596548_nMadhuri is that Indian girl everyone thinks is Black, or Spanish, or Black and Spanish. She’s from down South, has lived in the New York City area for more than twenty years, and is proof that you can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl.

She loves Old Scout bourbon, tattoos, french fries, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, her mom’s Indian food, all kinds of naughty, filthy things, Friday Night Lights, coffee, and Martha’s Vineyard. She can wiggle her ears, flare her nostrils, and curl her tongue.

She is an introvert who can fool people into thinking she’s an extrovert, all the while wishing she was home alone, not having to speak to a soul, lost in a fantastical world of her own creation.

As the great Charles Bukowski said, she writes because it comes bursting out of her. She cannot stop it, nor does she want to.

She’s the author of the paranormal romance trilogy, The Sanctum, and the upcoming erotic romance, The Keeper Series. In a past life, when she was much sweeter and kind of shy, she wrote and published the middle reader series, Ayesha’s Teenage Survival Files.

She does other things to pay the bills.

facebook.com/thesanctumtrilogy
madhuriblaylock.wordpress.com (blog)
goodreads.com/author/show/7323620.Madhuri_Blaylock
mblaylock4.tumblr.com
twitter.com/MadhuriBlaylock
instagram.com/madhuriwrites
www.pinterest.com/madhuriwrites

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