As my friends and I grow closer to the big 3-0 I am seeing many a finely tapered heel digging into the ground in obstinate refusal. It comes in many forms:
Denial. “I don’t look 30, anyway.”
Reassurance. “30 is the new 20.”
Humor. “I will just continue to celebrate my 29th birthday over and over again!”
I see women, beautiful women, withholding their age and therefore the wisdom that comes with it. Am I crazy to think that women are MORE beautiful as they age? Is it that unorthodox to welcome each passing year and the experience that it brings? Am I the only one around here that thinks that the confidence that comes with age only makes a woman more beautiful?
I will admit that my curves are more plentiful than they once were . . .let’s just say I could now rival the Pacific Coast Highway . . . but can’t they be just as beautiful as my modest 19-year-old curves? Can’t the softness of my body be a badge of honor, proof that I carried three beautiful children, rather than just a negative sign of aging?
Maybe I’m the crazy one. But if the time comes where I can trade my acquired intellect, confidence, experience and life memories for 50 pounds and some botox, count me out ~
These are my hands. They are rough in some spots and are beginning to wrinkle, but I love them, they are my own. They have held my children, scratched backs and kneaded dough. They have dug in the moist soil of my garden and written thousands of words. They have caressed a newborns cheek and settled on a lover’s chest. These are my hands.
These are my eyes. They are chocolate-brown, a color I despised as a child and love as a grown woman, they are my own. They have crow’s feet from hours of laughter and thousands of smiles. They have devoured volumes of literature and just as heartily consumed a cheap novel or two. They have witnessed the beautiful colors of a sunset and the changing leaves of fall. Taken in a new life with fervor and reluctantly said goodbye to those who have departed. They have looked into the hearts of many and the souls of a few. These are my eyes.
This is my mouth. When I was younger, it could get me into trouble, now it seems to get me out of it. I love my mouth, it is my own. It has kissed family, friends, children and lovers — even its fair share of boo-boos. It has formed words fueled by passion and reason; pain and intellect and has even swallowed down a sentence or two out of self-preservation. It has professed love and said things it couldn’t take back. But still, it is my mouth.
This is my body. Softer and rounder now that it has been before, it is my own and it has amazed me most of all. It has carried my beautiful children, becoming plump and swollen with graceful motherhood. It has pushed me into the arms of love with hopeless abandon and made me walk away with determination. It has made me persevere through my toughest times, forcing me to put one foot in front of the other, when I though I couldn’t. It has loved many, holding those steadfastly that needed it and allowing itself to be embraced when I couldn’t do it on my own, and for this I am grateful. This is my body.
I do not survey myself with worry or disdain; I do not fear each coming year and the marks it will leave upon me, for it is these indelible marks that make me beautiful. This is me.