As a woman, it feels harder to stay young and active because I do not want to labeled old or expendable. Why do I have to feel this way? Why do I have to appease the media and the pressures to compete with the young? Why does society disrespect the aging process? What is wrong with my graceful age? Absolutely nothing!!! As I approach the big 40, I am tickled with excitement as I look forward to new beginnings and adventures. I look in the mirror and I see a phenomenal woman who survived the death of her parents at a young age; who struggled and migrated to America for a better life; who put herself through college by washing hair in a salon; who survived two complicated fibroid surgeries; who gave birth to two beautiful children and almost died from blood hemorrhaging during the second delivery. My hardships and blessings have made me who I am- a woman with the passion to live!!! I encourage other women out there going through the motions of aging to get their passion back and celebrate their past because it is their core and essence. Believe it or not, I feel sexier now than I did in my twenties and when I look at my earlier pictures I ask myself – “Ngoma what were you thinking wearing that dress!!!”

To be honest, getting older is more fun because I get to speak my mind without fear even though, I cannot explain why I have more hair growing in unusual parts of my body or why my hair completely fell off after childbirth. However, that is why I have a fabulous hairstylist and my gorgeous hair extensions!! I find myself applying more lotion on my body than I did in my twenties because for some reason I itch more now; and a lot more in the winter. My sexual appetite however, did not suffer any drawbacks because our acrobatics and bedroom actions still get high ratings…Yes!!! And talk about keeping fit, there was a time I was tired and exhausted running after my toddlers, which made it difficult to keep up with the little ones. To rectify that situation, my husband and I workout to stay fit for the children and it is amazing. I started doing Zumba aerobics and completely changed my diet. I went from a size twelve to a size four in seven months and this Mama is rocking on strong. When I go out with my younger female friends they cannot believe that I am older because I can accomplish tasks better and faster than they can and this amazes them. I do not why my age surprises people because age ain’t nothing but a number. It seems like I lost ten years in age because I take care of myself to be healthy for my family. I must say, the beauty about having my children in my late thirties is that I have the patience to grow with them and learn from them. Age brings patience and wisdom; - two qualities you cannot buy or learn because it comes with experience.

I look around me and I see strong women takin¬¬g charge of their destinies. I admire women who dispel all myths on what aging should look like because it is all in the mind. I understand the stereotypes that exist about the expectations of women at a certain age; but today, mothers and grandmothers are looking younger and feeling fabulous about their lives. When I see social media changing the trend of womanhood and age it brightens my world. Hashtags #FitMoms #Ageless #IWokeUpLikeThis and #Flawless are my favorites to use because they not only define who I am; I get to connect with other fabulous ageless women out there celebrating their lives.

I am flattered when people compliment me for looking young and a day never goes by without someone asking me the secret to staying ageless. Here is what I tell them – stay healthy, love yourself more; forgive yourself; forgive others; find peace in your chaos; surround yourself with positive lights and people; encourage others to succeed; embrace adversity and defeat with dignity; be open to change; be optimistic; live your dream to the fullest; say no to negativity; let go of the poison that pollutes your soul; be happy; find joy; find love; love more; and the most important… stay blessed! There is no true secret to ageless beauty because you have to own your life and be proud of your age. If you do not love yourself, you will allow others to poison your soul. So I dare you today to love yourself and tell yourself – I Choose to Age with Grace because I ROCK!!!!