As I was reading through the blogs I follow, I came across the daily prompt and found myself pausing on its topic. Aging. Ugh, that word. As a child I couldn’t wait to grow up. I was sure I was going to just magically turn into this beautiful movie star. But the days of my childhood that I so desperately want to relive are gone. Aging has taken them from me where I will never see them again. You see, I’m terrified of aging. I wish I could find my way to Neverland. Now I’m not in the dire need to go rushing out the door to pump my face full of botox, but just the fact of getting old frightens me. I’m not ready. Of course there’s the dreaded physical aging, but then there’s also the changes you have to go through in your life that come with getting older. And I guess, also, the inevitable- death.
I’m 27, but I look like a child. Seriously. I’m still asked for my ID at R rated movies. The librarian a few weeks ago looked at my license and said she was sure I was a teenager. And I’m always mistaken for being the youngest out of my four sisters (I’m the second oldest). So while being a teenager for oh, 15 years and counting, can be a little annoying in an adult world where you’re trying to be taken seriously, it can also be a blessing- that is if I continue this way for a good bit. But should aging be scary? Should a large percentage of us (mostly women, thanks a lot media) feel like they will only go downhill the older they get? It seems like men for the most part get to become better looking with age. But women, we just turn into old crones whose days of beauty have been stolen by age. I remember one of my ex boyfriends, who I thought I was going to marry, was talking about this topic with me and said that when I’m old, he won’t find me attractive anymore, but he’ll still love me for being me. I think in his own special way he thought he was saying something beautiful, but I was horrified. I was hurt. Just the idea that he already assumed I was going to be ugly as an old woman and wouldn’t find me attractive stung. I mean, if you think I’m going to turn out ugly, please keep that esteem killer to yourself, sir. Sure, looks aren’t everything. I’ve never considered myself that beautiful woman I believed I would turn into when I was a child. But still, no one wants to hear that age will cause them to be unattractive. We’re already nervous about it enough as it is. I envy those who laugh in the face of aging. They take every wrinkle, every gray hair in stride and just don’t care. I wish I could say I’ll be that strong, and maybe I will be, but right now I’m not. However, I have found the best way to deal with physical aging is to be as good to my body now as I can. Gone are the days when I would tan as a teenager. This girl has been slathered in sunscreen for years. No tanning beds (never was a fan anyway), no laying out, when I’m in the sun- I’m protected. Even daily I make sure to wear a sunscreen moisturizer. This is so important if you want to keep your skin looking as good as it can for a long time. And moisturize too! I’m crazy about moisturizing. Bio oil and moisturizing cream at night, and argan oil and spf moisturizer in the day. And of course eye cream day and night too. I drink water like a camel, exercise daily, try not to stress, and eat as healthy as I can. When we take care of our bodies early on, at least we’ll feel like we’re doing our best to age gracefully. Now, just wait until that ex boyfriend of mine sees this gorgeous old woman in years to come. ;)
Then there’s the lifestyle changes that come about as you age. I’m still trying to find the perfect career, the perfect guy, and just where I stand in this world. On top of that, I have to be pressured by those around me that I should be married to one person for the rest of my life (or until we divorce) by now; I should be popping out kids by now; and I should be all set up with this family and house and being a wife and mom. I’m pressured about this, because I’m old enough to where that should be naturally happening. But, I’m not ready. There’s so much more out there that I want to do. While I may look like a little girl, sometimes I feel like one too. Aging doesn’t wait though. When I was 25, and I had broken up with my long term boyfriend, my mom said to me, “Well, you just may never get married.” Thanks, mom. I was only 25. Each year, I’ll be pressured more and more to join the rest of those aging around me and become a part of the typical “what you should do now that you’re growing older” ideal. Which don’t get me wrong, I do want to settle down and have children. I think that’s wonderful. And if I was happy and content right now where I am in life, I just might do that. But I’m not. And I don’t believe anyone should feel like they have to because they’re getting older. You should only do so when you’re ready, whether you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or later. Aging is daunting enough without having the pressure to hurry up and jump on board with what everyone else is doing. I’ve found that the best way to deal with that aspect of aging is to just let it go. Just like Elsa. I shouldn’t worry about what I should be doing now in life. When I’m ready, I’m ready. And just because I get older, doesn’t mean I have to quickly jump into anything to feel like I’m not being left behind. That can only cause misery in the long run.
So what do I think of aging? I think it’s scary. But I’m trying to just live in the moment, be happy, take care of myself, and experience as much of life as I can before the process of aging is over. One day I won’t be 27 anymore. One day I’ll remember 40 as being young. So we should all enjoy these young years, whatever age you may be, that we are living now before they too are gone.