I wanted to be a princess. Now I know that I am an Empress.

Hello and thank you for taking the time to read a post called Empress. Let me start off by saying that I realize my chosen title could be off-putting. Who the hell am I to say that I am an Empress? It seems rather arrogant, right?

Well, as it turns out, empress simply means that you are “a ruler.” So I do think that, at the ripe old age of 47, that I am an empress. Because I like to think that I rule my life. I am thrilled about that because I don’t think I did rule my life until pretty recently.

For most of my life I had been more interested in nailing the princess role. I didn’t know then that princess just means “the daughter of a ruler;” I instead thought princesses were the epitome of beauty and grace (while being generous and kind). Princesses also meant tiaras and I am a rather big fan of head pieces generally. Of course there was very little that was princess-like about by life as an attorney (and no sparkly headwear at all).

But I am guessing that a lot of you reading this right now will understand what I am talking about when I tell you that I spent my life trying really, really hard to be a super successful hard driving professional and trying just as hard to be all the stuff women generally feel they should be (a gorgeous, loving domestic/sex goddess who flawlessly takes cares of everyone around her).

These days I feel way more empress-like. Empress-hood is pretty amazing as it turns out. But the road to empress-hood is not an easy one and there are very few shortcuts. Driving lessons are absolutely required. Seatbelts too because there will be some fender benders, maybe even a serious crash.

Eventually, though, you are granted your crown. I got my crown around 40 and I am thrilled to wear it (recall I like headpieces).

What is odd about the kingdom is that many of it’s citizens think that women are spending their hours mourning the loss of youth, in particular our youthful faces and bodies. There are parts of youth that I do miss, perhaps most notably the sense that there was forever in front of you). But I much rather you take a picture of me now than I show you my prom pictures. And I certainly don’t miss the insecurities, the angst-ridden relationships or the outstandingly poor fashion choices of my younger years.

I very, very much miss that “forever ahead” feeling though. The reason is a bit less obvious than you might think. Yes, like most people I fear the day that I am no longer here. But the real reason I wish forever was ahead is because I enjoy life so much. The life I live today, not the one I lived 30 years ago.

Life today has its challenges but it has so many amazing moments — moments that are not tarred by the second-guessing that comes with youthful decisions. Today I know when things are right. Or wrong for that matter.

So what I write is a lot about today and a bit about how I got to today. I hope that my life as a single 40-something working absurd hours in the office — — and my life as a wife spending some days wishing I was working absurd hours in the office — means that something I say will resonate with many of you.

Empress means ruler. I suspect virtually all of you gave up princess dreams in favor of empress-hood a while ago.

Greetings to all the empresses. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read the words of a self-declared Empress.

(By the way, the lyric that made me focus on empresses comes from a song. By Ruth B., it’s called Superficial Love. The lyric: “If you want to keep me, treat me like a damn princess, make that an empress.”)

To that, I now say: Exactly.

I am a 46 year old woman living in Manhattan with her husband and dog. After years of law, I have discovered fun. I now love dancing naked in my kitchen.