We spoke to Alexandra Marier days before her 45th birthday, a time in life where she has reached a place of self-acceptance and self-love. Alexandra is a professional translator from Québec City, now living in Montréal who has taken an introspective approach to middle age. “What I am finding most surprising about my current age is that I’m overcome with an intense desire for reinvention, for finding a way to fully express who I am and to really own it.”
When we’re younger, we’re so busy trying to figure out who we are — in our careers and in our relationships. We have these ideas about what our future is going to be like, or what it should be like, and when we’re young we can be too focused on the narrative we create for ourselves. My forties are quickly becoming about taking stock of all the things I’ve learned so far and how I can leverage my experiences — the good and the bad.
Starting menopause was actually what brought me to try cannabis again after many years of not even really thinking about it.
I’m definitely noticing a lot of changes in my body and mind. These changes haven’t happened overnight or hit me like a steamroller. It is subtle things: I need more sleep, I have to be mindful of what I eat and how my food impacts me, I find that I can’t really drink as much coffee because it makes me incredibly irritated. And of course, the hot flashes you would expect — those are real and nothing to joke about!
For a long while I wouldn’t even so much as touch cannabis at parties. Now, smoking a bit at the end of a day allows me to create a safe, intimate space within myself where I can ask the tougher questions. To create a healthy distance from anything difficult I may be going through, and be able to look at things from a new perspective. It’s not the fuzziness that I’m after. I’m searching for an introspective feeling that allows me to put everything else on the backburner and really focus on a specific issue that I’ve had that day, to feel well, or see things more clearly in general, from up high.
It’s not the fuzziness that I’m after. I’m searching for an introspective feeling that allows me to put everything else on the backburner and really focus on a specific issue that I’ve had that day, or see things more clearly in general, from up high. ”
I’ve been a translator for most of my career. I’ve always loved language, but what I love most about this job is that it keeps me sharp and on my toes — I am constantly learning because language is an organic thing, it’s very much alive. Kind of like a plant, it just keeps expanding and morphing and adapting. So I have to expand and morph and adapt along with it!
I love this quote from the Hávamál, a collection of Old Norse poems from the Viking age, and I couldn’t agree with it more.
Middle age sort of feels to me like being a teenager again in the sense of being faced with a lot of opportunities and a lot of big decisions to make. As you get older you understand that making good choices isn’t so much about your age, but rather depends on how much attention you are paying to the events in your life and what you can learn from them.
The flip side is that more knowledge can complicate even the smallest choices. For instance, once you know about industrial farming practices, should you go back to living how you did before you knew? Once you realize how your behaviour and energy affects others and the world around you, you have a responsibility to be mindful. It seems to me that it’s far more enjoyable to travel through life armed with curiosity. You can be totally jaded in a cushy job at 26, or be open to all possibilities at 72 and begin a painting career. Being old (or young) is a state of mind.