On Aging

my Grandmother's hand <3

I'm not sure if I'm in the minority here, but when I think about getting older, it doesn't bother me one bit. I've never been one to shy away from celebrating a birthday- in fact, I absolutely love them and really enjoy not just my own, but everyone else's too. As the years go by, I've noticed that my love for turning another year older has become more of the oddity than the norm. I've also noticed that with this fear of aging, comes an acceptance of holding onto youth. I'm definitely not one to judge but I do not get this at all. I don't understand trying to hold onto what you looked like before, when this is now, not then. I don't understand risking your life to cut, tuck and snip unwanted body parts up, up and away. I don't understand trying to mask years of emotion and experience by freezing your facial muscles into place. I just don't.

At 28 years old, I've already seen a large number of my friends and acquaintances get all sorts of procedures. Although I accept my friends and I support whatever decision they want to make in regards to their body, it makes me incredibly sad. What is it about our culture that makes women feel like they need to change who they are to suit some notion we have of beauty or youth? Why can't we accept that every stage of life is beautiful? Now- I know some of you reading this may have gotten said procedures, and I hope you know again, I am absolutely not here to judge. I'm simply coming from another side. In fact, if you are in support of the things I've mentioned I'd genuinely love to hear your viewpoints. I understand that in many cases, people feel insecure about certain aspects of their bodies, and plastic surgery or other procedures can help them feel more confident. As always, live and let live; more power to you. I'm not questioning your decision to have the procedure because I know everyone has a reason to do what they do, but I'm more so questioning the basis of the thought process there- what about our culture drives women to make decisions like that?

In all actuality, I think the biggest confusion for me comes in the form of Botox or other injections. One of the things I don't get, and will never ever get, is how someone could inject something into their face without knowing the true implications of the product. Because Botox, Restylane, and the like are fairly new and have been widely used for less than 15-20 years...how on Earth can we even begin to guess the long term affects of these procedures? Even if something is deemed "safe" now, how do we know what will happen in 30, 40, 50 years? These chemicals people are injecting into their bodies are just that- chemicals. And we truly don't know what will happen in a few years from now because this is all uncharted territory. Will they cause Cancer? Loss of all muscle use in the face at age 60? Who knows.

I just started noticing the very beginning of fine lines around my eyes and although I regularly use eye cream and will continue to use eye cream, I feel that wrinkles and lines are inevitable. It's okay to age. It's okay to not look like a teenager when I'll be 30 in two years. I'll make smart choices and use the right products to look the best I can, but it's inevitable- my body, face, and overall self will absolutely change with time. When I see older women with lines on their face, I know each of those lines holds a story- each laugh line was made through the repeated gesture of smiling, and even those brow furrows came from more thoughts than we could imagine. I hope that as I continue to age I will be able to accept all of the changes my body will go through. I know it's easier said than done, especially since I haven't really experienced much of the process yet, but I think with awareness and mindfulness it will be easier. Right now my body is housing another, and after our baby is born my body won't ever be the same. And that is okay with me. Trying to hold on, trying to make things the way they were...this is just not a natural thing in my eyes. Time goes on, aging happens. I want to embrace each number I see, be it 30, 40, or 80, with happiness and celebration that I have made it another year, or forty. I want my face to show everywhere I've been, and I want to be around other women who accept these things about each other rather than peer pressure one another to get the latest procedure and try everything under the sun to turn back time. This is not "Death Becomes Her," and there is no fountain of youth. All we can do is treat our bodies with the utmost respect and do things that keep us feeling youthful and keep our bodies in the best shape possible. We can wear sunscreen and eat fresh foods, exercise, take vitamins and use good for us products. All we can do is make choices that benefit our health, and in turn benefit our spirit. And if I'm doing the best I can, I am going to accept every single wrinkle and change that transpires. I can't wait to be 80, tattooed and wrinkly, and hopefully have a happy life full of self-acceptance to look back on. I write this as a reminder to myself, a reminder to cherish every little step in this journey and to ACCEPT every change, for it is truly, truly inevitable. I hope you'll join me in working towards this acceptance of aging, and in turn an acceptance of ourselves. This may be slightly irrelevant to some of you- many of you are possibly quite a bit younger, but I think it's always something to think about. When you're in college you are no longer a high schooler. Time has gone by, things have changed. After college, you're a twenty-something trying to make it in the world, time has gone by, things have changed. Later you'll be 30, then 40, looking back on your life and musing about how quickly time flies. Why look back and realize you wasted time worrying about the inevitable?

This was all kind of a mish-mosh of things running through my head, but I wanted to share because it's something that's been on my mind for awhile. If you got through this barrage of thoughts, thank you for reading until the end! And now I wonder: Do you have a hard time getting older? Do birthdays bother you? Or are you more in my boat, with each year being a badge of celebration? I'd love to hear from you. :)

Happy Monday, everyone!