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Caitlyn Jenner – a Stunning Example of a Midlife Woman

Caitlyn Jenner is beautiful, don’t you think?

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Yes, she’s been photoshopped and she’s probably wearing a boatload of makeup, and Annie Leibovitz could make anyone look good. But this is something to admire.

It’s not just that Caitlyn Jenner looks good. It’s the amount of courage she has to have to put herself out there, first on television as a man, and then on the cover of Vanity-freakin’-Fair as a woman. And not a young woman, either. Jenner is 65 years old – midlife, but approaching her senior years.

I’ve always said that midlife is a state of mind more than an age, and I am fairly certain that Caitlyn Jenner is not thinking of herself as old at all. Her life is just beginning. All of the excitement and thrill of approaching womanhood that you and I felt as we passed out of the awkward adolescent years and into the beginning of womanhood – that’s probably what she’s feeling right now. She has finally become fully and completely herself. Just like so many women at midlife have.

Ask a midlife woman what the best thing about being at this stage of life is and, more often than not she’ll tell you it’s the freedom to be who she is, do what she wants, embrace all of her own quirks and passions without apology or regret. For so many of us at midlife it’s the first time in a long time that we aren’t responsible for anyone’s happiness but our own.

Caitlyn Jenner is on the cutting edge of society’s norms because she’s transitioned from male to female, but as a midlife woman she’s faced with all the same things so many of us are facing – our youth is gone, our lives are more behind us than ahead of us, our identities – as mothers, as wives, as working women – if we’ve retired – have possibly been drastically changed. We have the chance, at midlife, to let go of whatever may have inhibited us when we were in our 20’s and insecure, in our 30’s and distracted by everyone and everything around us,  even in our 40’s and unsure of what would come next.

Caitlyn Jenner is finally, finally living her true life. We should all do the same.

Sharon Greenthal

Sharon's blog, Empty House Full Mind, focuses on observations of the world from the midlife empty nest. Sharon is the Young Adults Expert on Sharon writes for the Huffington Post and Purple Clover. Sharon is the mother of two grown children - a daughter, 26 and a son, 24. She lives in Long Beach, CA with her husband and their perfect dog, Lambeau. Instagram: sharongreenthal

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Jo Heroux

Monday 1st of June 2015

that social media tag on the left of the page annoys the crap out of me on my iPad. I can only read two lines and scroll to see the next two lines.

Anyway...I'm very happy for her. I believe everyone should be who they are. Period. And I imagine she helped untold numbers of others make a move of some sort.

Carol Cassara

Monday 1st of June 2015

I love this post, Sharon! all so true.

Sharon Greenthal

Monday 1st of June 2015

Thanks Carol.

Carpool Goddess

Monday 1st of June 2015

She looks beautiful! I wish her the best of luck.

Kathy Radigan

Monday 1st of June 2015

Wonderful piece! It really is amazing to think of the courage it takes to own your truth, as Jenner as done and then to share that journey with the whole world. Thanks for a great piece. I'm very happy for her!

Sharon Greenthal

Monday 1st of June 2015

I hope the rest of her life is peaceful.

Maureen Baeck

Monday 1st of June 2015

I wish her the best and yes the photo was Photoshopped and I am sure they troweled on the make-up but what the hell. As long as she's happy who the hell cares? At her age she deserves to live the life she wants and raise her middle finger to the haters.

Sharon Greenthal

Monday 1st of June 2015

Totally agree. And if I was on the cover of Vanity Fair, I'd want to be photoshopped too!

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