Today is my 52nd birthday. My gift to myself is a personal art project.
The pandemic has been a time of change for me, like it has for many people. Most of the changes aren't ones I would have chosen, but we don't usually get to choose these things.
My husband died three days before my 50th birthday. My friends and family carried me through those first few days and weeks. They tried to distract me with a birthday celebration, but I don't remember much of it. He died on a Monday. The funeral was on Saturday. The next week the entire world came to a stop for covid. Most people thought it was strange, but the world stopping felt natural to me.
For 27 years I'd planned my days and my life around my family. My oldest got married and moved out 5 months after my husband died. My youngest went to college in another state. It felt like my whole world changed overnight. At 50, I started all over again, trying to figure out what my life looks like and what I want to do with the rest of it.
It isn't what I expected and I don't have it all figured out yet, but I'm living life by choice - choosing every day to get up, face the world, and do something good with the day.
We all go through transitions in life, both good and bad. They transform us inside and out. They show us what we are made of and teach us to accept ourselves in ways we never can in our youth. With age, we gain confidence and wisdom that younger women need to see and hear. We all have a story to tell. What's yours?
I want to photograph 50 women over 50 in the next 50 weeks and share their stories. If you are a woman 50 or over, please consider participating in the #50over50 project. If you know a woman who would be perfect for this, please recommend her or forward this to her. For more information, go to smile.rebeccapetermanphotography.com/50.