At age 60, Karen is finally living the life she always dreamed of. Find out how she overcame her fear and stopped worrying about other people’s expectations in this new video.
0:08 When I see the number 6-0
0:35 The “into the woods” part of the fairy tale
1:08 Starting something new
1:30 Reconnecting with old friends
2:30 Do what makes you happy
3:15 What does my real hair look like?
3:55 A sense of freedom
4:10 Using BOOM! for the first time
4:46 Feeling Sexy
My name is Karen Esconi. I’m 60 and a half. When I see the number, 6-0, it just blows me away.
It’s like, “I don’t…how did I…I’m here that long? That’s a lot of time.”
And what’s odd to me is that I don’t feel like that. I don’t even…I don’t even know what that’s supposed to feel like.
In my 20s, there was that whole, you know, you get married, you have kids, that’s it, you’re done, you know, that whole, someday, my prince will come. And my prince came and went.
I guess, you know, it’s all those stumbles, it’s all those beautiful, the into-the-woods part of the fairy tale, the part where you go in the woods, you get all tangled up and you get all screwed up, and then you start to dig down into the dirt.
You start to dig down and pull out the weeds, and find what’s in there already, you know, what you come here with.
And so, now, after a lot of inner work, a lot of soul-searching, a lot of stumbles, I’m much more confident about being me.
You know, and most people say, “Oh, you can’t start that when you’re a certain age,” or, “You can’t do that when you’re a certain age,” or, “Why are you moving into New York City?
New York City’s dangerous.” I moved here five and a half years ago.
I took early retirement from education. I taught for 33 and a half years. I walked out of the building one day, and there was a young man peeing in the garbage can, and I said, “Check, please! My job is done.”
I have a really, really good friend, and we went to the prom together in high school.
We dated for a little bit, and then we both went on our separate ways that summer. I taught in this school where I went to high school.
So, one of our colleagues was having a retirement dinner. He was the band director. And so, my friend, Dennis, was in the band.
So, Dennis literally flies back into my life from Florida, and we’re sitting at this retirement dinner, quacking away about, “So what have you been doing?
Where have you been?” He’s got two studios. One’s in Nashville, one’s in Florida. He’s been a producer, a ranger, just a genius.
So, he mentioned something about, he was doing this job that he loved, and then something else came along, and he said, “So, I just went with that.”
And I said to him, “Then, you were doing something that you loved, you were making great money, and you left it to do something else. Why?”
He said, Ka, we’re going to be 50 this year. We don’t know how much longer we have on the planet. You gotta f*** fear and do what makes you happy.”
I was like, “Oh, yeah, there’s that.” And not long after that, I moved out of my long-term relationship, that was essentially comatose and went off on my own.
You know, being on the train and having people say to me, “Would you like a seat?” I started to say, “Who am I trying to kid with coloring my hair?
Maybe I look…I don’t know. Maybe I look 60. I don’t know. I don’t even know what that means.” But, beyond that, I just started getting curious.
“I wonder what my hair looks like? I wonder what my real hair looks like, and what would it be like if I didn’t have to have that anxiety?
Oh, god, my roots are showing,” or, “It’s orange. I have to dye my hair. What would it be like if I just let my hair grow?”
I’m 60 and three-quarters. I have earned all of this. It’s who I am, and I don’t want to pretend anymore.
So, it’s like, the grays, and I call them “my grace.” It’s not my grays, it’s my grace, shouting out from my rooftop.
Because I just, it’s like, “Yeah.” It’s the sense of freedom, again. It’s that sense of, “This is my hair. This is what it looks like.
If I wanted to, I could always dye it again.” I don’t think I will, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what it looks like in its natural state.
I used the mask last night. I’ve never used a mask before. But, I was like…put the mask on.
It was great. I was like, “Wow, this feels good.” And I washed it off, and then I put the silk on before I went to bed.
And today, I put it on my face, and I put it on my feet and my hands. It feels really good. I like that there’s no fragrance.
Twenty, 30, I think I was numb. I just think, again, I was numb from all the stuff that I was supposed to do, the stuff that I had to do, the being a good girl, doing everything the right way.
And I think, I really think, back then, and even maybe up until last year or whatever, I think
feeling sexy was more related to a physical thing, the physical aspect of being sexy.
I don’t think I was able to feel beyond, sexy means being sexy, being able to attract someone, being able to do certain things.
It’s not about that at all. It’s just about being in the world, and connecting with people, and feeling really confident about yourself.