Meet Chistel-Michelle, or as she prefers to be known, Wenchy! She describes herself as Frεεlaทce Social Mεdia Collaborator, Bloggεr, Foodiε & Braทd Ambassador, Mεdia εveทts, Promotioทs & Rεviεws, I usε to bε Sɳow White but I driftεd. She is also the trademarker of Wenchytude!
Name and age:
Where can we find you online?
How do you feel now that you’re in your forties?
From the date of my 40th birthday, I’ve been unusually aware of immortality. In my mind I have reached at very least… midway, should I live to be 80.
With that came a very real appreciation of time and how precious every day is. It has also awoken a rather “off with your head” approach to life. Life is too short for terrible literature, life is too short for anything remotely mediocre, life is too short not to have a Strawberry Daiquiri … “
What has been your greatest achievement since turning forty?
I travelled on my own to the Grahamstown Festival in 2015. It included a personal farewell, a closing of a chapter, to a friend I had loved very much.
We met during a school trip to the festival in our matric year. We had been born on the same day, same year, four hours apart. Him in Zimbabwe and I in South Africa. He died in a freak accident 18 years ago during his third day visiting London. I was devastated.
The trip was a gift from my husband, Dion and my eldest son Kev, neither of whom knew my Tim. I had carried the pain of his death everywhere with me, but I experienced a great deal of healing on that trip. I sat on the steps we met. Smiled at memories and cried inside a church we visited.
My Shirley Valentine moment in Grahamstown left me so much lighter.
Now, as a mature woman, do you have any regrets? Anything you wish you could go back and do differently?
Regrets I have many, but the greatest… I regret marrying my first serious boyfriend when in fact it was a co-dependant relationship, abusive relationship with a person older than I, not the kind of emotion you build a marriage on. We divorced after 7 years.
If you could talk to your 20 or 30 something self, what would be one piece of advice you’d give yourself?
Breathe. Don’t force life. It will come. It is as simple and as complicated as that.
What has been one/some of the biggest changes you’ve noticed within yourself since turning forty?
I pick my battles more carefully. I make time to spend with my children and husband individually. I visited my parents more often. I pay more attention to my health. I’ve realised the reasons people do what they do is not always as clear cut as one may think and judgement is not mine to render. I take myself more seriously.
What do you still hope to achieve in your forties?
I hope to see my social collaboration business The Nocturnal Wenchy, expand and reach greater success. I hope to complete the book I am so often asked about.
What advice would you give to women who are fearful about approaching forty?
Embrace. Celebrate. Be someone’s crazy aunt!
What is one of societies stereotypes about women in their forties that you wish you could change?
The only time you will see you are getting older, is when you look in the mirror. Besides a few wrinkles, you are who you always have been. Do not let society ever dictate to you how to behave, at any age!
Any parting thoughts or comments?
Be who you have ever wanted to be, just add glitter! It’s the kind of age where you are to old to be young, and to young to be old. Colour your hair, go on a trip alone, have your nails done… and sparkle!
Thank you Wenchy for your wisdom and sharing! I feel like we share so many similar thoughts of being in our forties. Now I’m off to get out there and put on my sparkle!